If your only news source were some of the common EDA pundits, you would likely believe that VoltageStorm is all but dead, and that Apache was the only game in town, but that is very far from the truth. So what has happened to VoltageStorm since Cadence acquired Simplex back in 2003? The easy answer is “a lot”.
If you have read my bio, I came to Cadence from Simplex and so power integrity analysis is close to my heart, and at the time of the acquisition, VoltageStorm PE was the recognized standard for static power integrity analysis, and Apache had taken the lead in the dynamic power rail analysis space (and I definitely wasn’t a happy camper because of this).
The whole VoltageStorm team determined that there needed to be a very focused effort to develop a dynamic VoltageStorm solution, which resulted in the launch of the VoltageStorm Dynamic Gate Option (VoltageStorm DG) in mid-2005. The new dynamic functionality enabled VoltageStorm to regain market share in the dynamic analysis segment, and with a very solid reputation and a large installed base, VoltageStorm became, and continues to remain, the #1 selling analysis product in the Cadence portfolio.
But we didn’t stop there. As an ex-design engineer, I fully understood the value of power and power rail analysis within the design implementation flow, where analysis results could help create more robust designs prior to signoff analysis, and so we integrated some of the VoltageStorm functionality into the Encounter platform. Today, instead of being used solely for signoff analysis, it is great to see that functionality from VoltageStorm is a critical component within our digital implementation solution.
Encounter Power System … The Next Generation of Power Integrity Analysis
I’m not sure if you caught the announcement, but we recently launched the new Encounter Power System (EPS) at the end of 2008. EPS continues to build on the VoltageStorm engines, but is tightly integrated with the Encounter Timing System (ETS) … the EPS/ETS combination enables an easy-to-use, comprehensive timing-SI-power signoff analysis solution required for advanced designs.
So, plagiarizing the immortal words of Mark Twain, I am very pleased to report that any rumors of VoltageStorm’s death have been greatly exaggerated. On the contrary, VoltageStorm’s functionality is stronger than ever and lives on within the new Encounter Power System products.
By the way, if you haven’t yet learned about ETS and EPS, I encourage you to follow this link to get more information … set your mouse on the “Signoff analysis” tab on the left.
I am very proud of the fact that not only has VoltageStorm survived against tough competition, but the VoltageStorm functionality lives on as an integral part of the Encounter Digital Implementation System and as a next generation signoff analysis product.
I plan to start off some more threads on power and power integrity analysis, so if you have comments or questions around power integrity analysis, watch this space. If there is something specific you would like to know, let me know and I will get you the answers.