Magma cans chip-test tools

A little more than six months after launching a set of design-for-test (DFT) tools, Magma Design Automation has decided to kill them off. The company found it tough to make headway with its automated test-pattern generation (ATPG) software against incumbents in the market.

Magma launched the Talus ATPG and ATPG-X in October last year, having worked on them for several years. The company claimed that it was the only vendors with “physically aware DFT”, providing tests that would probe for defects such as interconnect bridges and crosstalk. But, after an annual review process held in the last month, the company decided that the tools were not commercially viable as they did not show enough of an advantage over existing tools from other vendors.

“We could not differentiate hugely with the ATPG solution,” said Sanjay Bali, product director for Magma’s design-implementation business unit. “ATPG folks are pretty conservative and people have existing flows in place. We had to have major adoption before people would switch.”

Although some customers evaluated the tools, there were no tape-outs that used either of the Magma ATPG tools, Bali said.

Bali claimed that staff from the DFT operation have been moved to work on the core implementation flow as the company concentrates on that. “The backbone of implementation is complemented by others. We don’t see it as a gaping hole in our product portfolio. We have working flows in place with Logicvision and Mentor and, in some cases, with Synopsys. We basically reallocated resources to fortify our implementation flow. We have a bunch of very good engineers and want to reuse their expertise in other areas.”

Bali said the scan-insertion tools that form part of the Talus suite remain. “We have always had scan in-house,” he claimed, although they are not used by all customers. “A few of our leading customers use Magma’s organic scan but there are others who may have a predefined methodology. We are pretty open to work with other vendors. We want customers to use our scan methodology but it is not essential.”

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