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National Semiconductor and Synopsys Collaborate on Developing Reference Design Flow for PowerWise Technology

Reference Design Flow Streamlines Design Process for Energy-efficient Applications

Jun 16, 2003

June 16, 2003 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: NSM), the premier analog and mixed signal company, and Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS), the world leader in integrated circuit (IC) design software, today announced they are collaborating to develop a reference design flow supporting National Semiconductor’s energy-efficient PowerWise™ technology for handheld portable devices. The PowerWise reference design flow, based on Synopsys’ proven Galaxy™ Design Platform, facilitates faster implementation of the PowerWise technology among IC designers as well as wide adoption by handset manufacturers worldwide.

Energy efficiency has rapidly become a key differentiator for handheld portable devices. National Semiconductor’s PowerWise closed-loop Adaptive Voltage Scaling (AVS) technology increases energy efficiency significantly over existing open-loop voltage scaling schemes, achieving the lowest possible voltage at which an application can still meet its performance requirements. After jointly developing a methodology for designs with variable voltage supplies during the first phase of this collaboration, the two companies are now proceeding with the development of the PowerWise reference design flow.

As part of this effort, Synopsys is integrating support for variable voltage supplies in its Galaxy Design Platform, while National Semiconductor is providing libraries that utilize Synopsys’ advanced Liberty™ library format. These libraries make use of Liberty’s Scalable Polynomial Delay Model (SPDM), a delay model that offers a more accurate timing representation and reduces memory requirements, Scalable Polynomial Power Model (SPPM), and Scalable Polynomial Leakage Model (SPLM). National Semiconductor is also contributing key intellectual properties (IPs) and test cases.

“Energy efficiency is a key problem for many of our customers,” said Antun Domic, senior vice president and general manager of Synopsys’ IC Implementation business unit. “Our work with National takes full advantage of the most advanced variable supply voltage capabilities of the Galaxy Design Platform, implemented in synthesis, timing analysis and physical design. It has helped us to improve energy-efficient design techniques and will accelerate their adoption among our customers.”

“The addition of variable supply voltage capabilities in the Synopsys Galaxy Design Platform will enable the design of SoCs exhibiting a significant reduction in power consumption,” said Peter Henry, vice president for portable power products, National Semiconductor. “There has been tremendous interest in National Semiconductor’s PowerWise technology since its launch last November. The collaboration between two leaders in power management and EDA software will streamline the development of PowerWise-based applications.”

About Galaxy Design Platform
The Galaxy Design Platform is an open, integrated design implementation platform with best-in-class tools, enabling advanced IC design. Anchored by Synopsys’ industry-leading IC implementation tools and the open MilkywayTM database, the Galaxy Design Platform incorporates consistent timing, signal integrity (SI) analysis, common libraries, delay calculation, and constraints from RTL all the way to silicon. The Galaxy Design Platform helps reduce design time, decreases integration cost and minimizes the risks inherent in advanced, complex IC design.

About PowerWise technology
National’s PowerWise technology is a solution for increasing energy efficiency of handheld portable devices. The heart of the PowerWise technology for embedded system-on-chip (SoC) designs is an integrated Adaptive Power Controller (APC), which communicates with an external Energy Management Unit (EMU) using a standard PowerWise Interface (PWI). PowerWise technology reduces the system power supply voltage to the absolute minimum necessary to meet the required level of performance.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor is the premier analog company driving the information age. Combining real-world analog and state-of-the-art digital technology, the company is focused on analog-based semiconductor products, which include stand-alone devices and subsystems in the areas of power management, imaging, display drivers, audio, amplifiers and data conversion. The company targets key markets such as wireless, displays, PCs, networks and a broad range of portable applications. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $1.67 billion for its most recent fiscal year. Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at www.national.com

About Synopsys
Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq:SNPS) is the world leader in electronic design automation (EDA) software for integrated circuit (IC) design. The company delivers technology-leading IC design and verification platforms to the global electronics market, enabling the development of complex systems-on-chips (SoCs). Synopsys also provides intellectual property and design services to simplify the design process and accelerate time-to-market for its customers. Synopsys is headquartered in Mountain View, California and has offices in more than 60 locations throughout North America, Europe, Japan and Asia. Visit Synopsys online at http://www.synopsys.com/