MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA — May 29, 2001 — Sonics, Inc. today announced the public launch of SOCworks (www.socworks.com), the first web-based interactive environment that enables designers to rapidly explore SOC architectures and evaluate semiconductor IP in the context of those architectures - for free. The site empowers users to evaluate third-party vendor IP cores using full chip simulations without requiring non-disclosure agreements. In a few hours on SOCworks, an SOC designer can replace the tens of weeks currently required to obtain vendor IP core access, assess performance and interoperability, and validate system architectural concepts.
“SOCworks consolidates the world’s premiere semiconductor IP vendors into a readily accessible environment of pre-assembled platforms that can be modified, simulated, analyzed, and refined to approximate the design ideas and needs of designers modeling their applications,” said Grant Pierce, president and CEO of Sonics. “Sonics MicroNetworks are uniquely capable of delivering the “plug and play” flexibility required of an integration environment to make web-based SOC exploration and IP assessment feasible, especially for multi-processor designs.”
Expanding on earlier industry platform concepts, SOCworks application platforms maximize modification and configuration flexibility. Commercially available semiconductor IP cores are assembled into reference architectures along with menus of each IP vendor’s test benches to enable selective patterning of system traffic on a core-by-core basis that is representative of the user’s application for data flow analysis. SOC designers can easily modify a SOCworks platform to emulate their target architecture using the vendor IP hosted on the site, and by approximating their proprietary IP core system interfaces by configuring Sonics “QuickModel” behavioral models.
The initial SOCworks reference platform was developed with TSMC, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE: TSM), and is initially configured to model small office, home office (SOHO) networking applications such as routers and gateways. The SOCworks SOHO network appliance platform includes IP cores from MIPS Technologies (NASDAQ: MIPS), inSilicon (NASDAQ: INSN), Virage Logic (NASDAQ: VIRL), and Denali Software. Central to the platform’s flexibility is the Sonics SiliconBackplane(tm) MicroNetwork that provides a configurable, on-chip communications fabric inter-connecting the IP cores on the platform.
“TSMC’s customers face the challenge of mounting time-to-market pressure and the escalating complexity of large SOC designs,” said Michael Pawlik, TSMC’s vice president of corporate marketing. “We believe SOCworks’ live, online access to flexible application platforms and immediate access to quality IP cores, such as those proven in TSMC’s DSA program, address these demands by allowing customers to add their own value and definition to the SOC platform.”
SOCworks partnership with Model Technology enables designers to run the ModelSim(tm) simulator with the actual platform vendor IP to generate substantive system performance and data flow analysis information. Both the ViewSim(tm) waveform viewer and ModelSim textual summaries enable detailed analysis of each IP core’s system activity. In addition, the Sonics SOCCreator tool allows IP interface and MicroNetwork analysis, including bandwidth and latency measurements and protocol checks. Gate count estimates are tracked by core to also enable die size and cost estimates.
After completing an SOC evaluation, designers can link directly to the site’s IP vendors for additional technical or licensing assistance. Virtual Component Exchange (VCX) members will also benefit from the VCX Gateway(tm) for transaction-enabled IP cores to further