Imagination Techmologies Successfully Tapes Out 3D Graphics Controller Using Magma Software

CUPERTINO, April 2, 2001 –– Magma Design Automation, Inc., a technology leader in silicon design implementation solutions, today announced that Imagination Technologies Group plc has taped out a high performance graphics controller chip with the Blast Fusion? physical design system. The chip is targeted for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) advanced 0.18-micron process technology. With Magma’s software, Imagination Technologies was able to achieve a high operating speed in the chip’s key clock domains and to produce a cleanly routed layout in significantly less time than before. The new controller is a low cost solution for delivering high performance 3D graphics for consumer applications and the set-top box market.

To ensure the success of this next-generation design, Imagination designers knew they would have to be involved in the logic design and the layout and routing. Taking physical design in house and using Blast Fusion on key blocks of the controller, Imagination was able to significantly improve timing results and reduce design effort. They completed this version of the controller with fewer design engineers.

“With Blast Fusion, the development cycle of this controller was the smoothest I’ve ever experienced,” said Jim Whittaker, vice president of development at Imagination Technologies. “The Magma system fit seamlessly into our flow, was easy to use and, unlike our previous flow, provided a complete, integrated solution. It automatically handled all timing and backend details including clock insertion, useful skew management, and antenna avoidance. Blast Fusion really saved us time -- we never had to take the design out of the Magma environment to manually fix crucial post-processing details like scan chain lacing, pattern fill or spare cell insertion. Blast Fusion automatically delivered clean blocks that passed all manufacturing and electrical design rule checks.”

Imagination Technologies selected TSMC’s 0.18-micron process technology because it offers an optimal combination of density, speed and power. By adopting Magma's Blast Fusion for their in-house customer own tooling (COT) flow, Imagination was able to shorten the time to tape out for the project and take advantage of the performance offered by the 0.18-micron process.

“We are very pleased that our technology allowed Imagination Technologies to meet their critical product requirements,” said Ken Roberts, general manager and vice president of Magma Europe. “This successful COT tape out underscores the fact that to effectively address today’s deep submicron design challenges, you must have a proven, complete and integrated place and route solution. We look forward to working with Imagination Technologies as they continue to leverage our technology to deliver their next-generation 3D graphics solutions.”

About Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies Group plc is an international company that develops, licenses and supplies market-leading 2D/3D graphics, digital video, audio and speech technologies and products for consumer entertainment and PC Markets. The company has deployed and planned technologies for games consoles, PCs, arcade entertainment machines, digital set-top boxes, in car information/entertainment systems, and mobile devices. Since it was founded in 1985, the company has introduced, via licensing arrangements or directly, a succession of innovative technologies, silicon chips and add-in boards, which have played a major role in the development of multimedia and computer-based entertainment systems. Imagination Technologies Group plc has its corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (FTSE:IMG). More information is available on the Imagination Technologies web site at

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