At a Glance
Mentor Graphics® is a technology leader in electronic design automation (EDA), providing software and hardware design solutions that enable companies to develop better electronic products faster and more cost-effectively. The company offers innovative products and solutions that help engineers overcome the design challenges they face in the increasingly complex worlds of board and chip design. Mentor Graphics has the broadest industry portfolio of best-in-class products and is the only EDA company with an embedded software solution.
* Publicly held (NASDAQ: MENT)
* Founded 1981, headquartered in Wilsonville, Oregon
* Approximately 4,500 employees worldwide
* Revenue in last reported 12 months: about $850 million
* Over 70 offices worldwide
* World Wide Web address – www.mentor.com
Areas of Focus:
Mentor Graphics provides its customers with critical tools for solving the increasingly complicated problems of verifying that today’s complex chip designs actually function as intended. Functional errors at the system level are the leading cause of design revisions affecting time to market and profitability. Design teams must improve existing methodologies with tools that scale across design complexity and multiple levels of abstraction. The Mentor Graphics Scalable Verification™ platform, featuring the Questa™ advanced verification environment, is the most comprehensive EDA solution for functional verification, merging standards support, tools and a “design for verification” methodology to minimize verification cycles and design revisions. This solution provides the industry’s best language support and the most complete path for verification, from hardware description language (HDL) simulation to in-circuit emulation, including support for testbenches, assertions and functional prototypes. Mentor offers standards-based support for the most advanced verification requirements with integrated technologies now including the 0-In® assertion-based verification tools and methodologies to enable comprehensive verification throughout the entire design.
The Scalable Verification platform is comprised of “best-in-class” technologies. Mentor supports the Open Verification Methodology (OVM), the industry’s first true, Open Source system-level to RLT verification methodology implemented in SystemC and SystemVerilog languages. Other technologies include the popular ModelSim® simulator, Seamless® Hardware/Software Co-Verification, and ADVanceMS™ for analog/mixed-signal verification.
Mentor’s verification offering is completed by the industry’s fastest functional verification platform for systems on chip and embedded systems. The Veloce™ product family of hardware-assisted solutions further strengthens the company’s leadership in high-performance transaction-based acceleration.
Design to Silicon
Traditional EDA tools for physical design and verification are starting to reach limits due to greater manufacturing process variability and the growing size and complexity of designs taking advantage of 65/45 nanometer scaling. In advanced process technologies, the handoff between integrated circuit (IC) layout and manufacturing has changed. In previous technologies, the handoff was a simple check when the design went to manufacturing. Now it is a multi-step process where the layout database is modified so the design can be manufactured. This presents a host of challenges related to manufacturing process effects, photolithography, data volumes, and achieving a cost-effective yield of finished chips from each wafer.
To meet these challenges with confidence, design teams turn to Mentor’s Olympus-SoC™ place and route system with Multi-Corner-Multi-Mode timing analysis and DFM-aware layout optimization, and the integrated Calibre® design-to-silicon platform, which includes physical verification, full-chip, transistor-level parasitic extraction, design for manufacturability (DFM), mask data preparation (MDP) and resolution enhancement technologies (RET). The Calibre product family efficiently and accurately manages every facet of the design-to-silicon transition.
Moving to ever-smaller geometries and new process materials causes a fundamental shift in the physical defect spectrum in silicon manufacturing. The Mentor Graphics TestKompress® automatic test program generation (ATPG) tool with embedded compression helps companies efficiently screen complex devices to identify the new types of failures, while simultaneously reducing the cost of test. The YieldAssist™ product uses volume test data to pin point the cause of failures and feeds information back to design and verification tools to accelerate the yield-learning ramp and eliminate the root cause of defects.
Integrated PCB-FPGA Systems Design
As ICs, ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) and FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) become more complex and printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication technology advances to include embedded components and high-density interconnect layers, the design of PCBs is reaching new levels of complexity. These are frequently a source of design bottlenecks. Mentor Graphics is the market and technology leader in PCB design, providing many of the world’s largest system design companies today with a range of scalable design solutions to reduce the time, cost and risk of electronic system design: the Expedition™ Series, for the creation of today’s most complex PCB designs; the Board Station® family, the market standard solution for the PCB design challenges of the global enterprise; and the PADS® flow, the leading Windows-based solution for complex PCB design.
Mentor Graphics also offers solutions for specific design challenges such as radio frequency (RF) design management, high-speed routing and verification advanced packaging, concurrent team design, FPGA-on-board integration and design data management.
New and Emerging Products:
Electronic System Level (ESL) Design
Design complexity of next-generation digital applications is outgrowing the capabilities of current design methods. Increasingly, designs are large systems that include embedded cores, IP, and complex signal processing hardware that implements computationally intensive algorithms. To deal with this complexity, Mentor Graphics offers the EDA industry’s most comprehensive suite of electronic system level (ESL) design tools for hardware creation. The Catapult® C Synthesis product from Mentor Graphics is a customer-proven algorithmic synthesis environment using pure C++ language to describe functional intent. This enables engineering teams to produce superior ASIC or FPGA hardware 10-20x faster than manual methods. Vista™, a SystemC debug environment, helps designers model their designs at a higher level of abstraction where they can identify and resolve problems with minimal effort. For system integration, Visual Elite™ helps designers deal with IP from different sources, modeled in different languages, and written at different levels of abstraction. Together these tools deliver dramatic productivity and design quality improvements, and provide a methodology that will satisfy designers’ requirements for the next 10-15 years.
Electrical/Electronic System Design and Harness Engineering
A new car now contains 15 percent more electronics than the models of one year ago, in entertainment, navigation and safety systems. As the electrical wiring systems in the transportation industry become increasingly complex, so the need for software solutions to manage this complexity grows. Mentor Graphics offers an unrivalled range of leading-edge solutions being used by OEMs and wire harness manufacturers throughout the world. Mentor’s CHS™ tool is a powerful design environment developed specifically for the wire harness industry, providing a data-centric tool suite for electrical systems and associated harness design. Mentor’s Volcano™ product line supports a structured engineering process for the development of distributed control systems. In-vehicle software with optimized resource utilization and network design tools allow the design of robust AUTOSAR and non-AUTOSAR in-vehicle networks in a very cost – efficient way.
Embedded Systems Design
Most electronics products today are a synthesis of hardware design and embedded software, and the embedded software is the main differentiator for product functionality and performance. As a result, embedded software has increased dramatically in electronic systems design. Mentor Graphics is the only EDA company to offer design solutions for embedded software. Mentor’s Nucleus® software development platform offers a source code, a real-time operating system (RTOS) and a fully integrated development system. This means that embedded software tools can be developed and tested at the same time as hardware, and can be debugged simultaneously. Furthermore, the simultaneous development enables a “design-in” reliability so that good architectural decisions can be made in both hardware and software development.
The growing complexity of systems-on-chips, including increased complexity in commercial blocks of intellectual property (IP) blocks, creates challenges in optimizing the interfaces between a core microprocessor and its peripherals. Platform-based methodology involves building and configuring a design around a stable core platform and connecting by means of standard buses which have been optimized for use with the processor core. The Platform Express™ environment from Mentor Graphics verifies the viability of interfaces in the portion of the design surrounding the embedded processor and its attached peripherals. By automating tedious and error-prone design creation and verification steps, Platform Express shortens product development cycles and allows designers to focus on product differentiators.
Consulting, Services and Support:
Mentor Graphics global customer support organization offers leading customer support solutions online, by phone and in-person, to ensure that customers can find answers to their questions at any hour of the day or night from anywhere in the world. The company’s “customer first” approach has resulted in Mentor Graphics being the only EDA company to achieve Support Center Practices (SCP) certification and be an unprecedented five-time winner of the Software Technical Assistance Recognition (STAR) Award from the Service and Support Professionals Association. Mentor is also the first company to earn certification for its web support services through the internationally recognized Service Capability & Performance (SCP) Standards.
Mentor Consulting is an expert in electronic design infrastructures and methodology services and is the only service partner in the industry that invests in the transfer of knowledge to its customers. Their solutions are used worldwide by forward-looking electronics companies to optimize design productivity and advance adoption of the latest industry design best practices. Education Services is focused on developing and delivering quality training to help customers assimilate new tools and technologies into their design environments, increasing productivity and ensuring success in the marketplace.