> Xoomsys (Xoomsys)

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Xoomsys Achieves 20x Speedup in Accurate Circuit Simulation on a 10-CPU Distributed Processing Cluster
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Xoomsys raises $8M in New Funding - Company plans to expand the deployment of its scalable SPICE simulation solution

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Accurate and fast simulation of semiconductor designs is rapidly growing in stature as a key enabler of semiconductor industry progress. As the industry migrates to decreasing geometries, performance sensitivity to higher-order effects, combined with increased design complexity and tight market windows continues to place greater demands on the accuracy, capacity and throughput requirements of circuit simulation. In advanced mixed-signal and SOC designs, inadequate accounting of performance-degrading parasitic effects such as cross-talk, dynamic coupling through substrate and power grids, and interconnect dynamics, can lead to either sacrificing performance, which thereby sacrifices some of the benefits multi-billion dollar investments in new process technology, or costly mask and silicon iterations, which can result in missing critical market windows.

It is well-known that partitioning and distributing simulation tasks over several independent processors in parallel could offer a potential solution to this growing bottleneck. However, years of university and corporate research in this field had thus far failed to yield adequate solutions to this problem due to the tightly coupled nature of the circuits that need to be simulated. In fact, most researchers discontinued their efforts in this field in the early-to-mid 1990’s.

Xoomsys is currently developing products to provide unprecedented simulation throughput and capacity using industry standard simulators with no loss of accuracy. A major technical breakthrough by the company, brought about by integration of disciplines outside of traditional circuit simulations, forms the core of the company’s technology. This technical breakthrough enables partitioning of very large tightly-coupled circuits and distribution of the resulting partitions for simulation as effectively decoupled problems on multiple independent processors. As a result, a dramatic speedup in simulation time is achieved. The typical speedup grows linearly with the number of processors applied.

The foundation technology that Xoomsys is developing can be utilized by applications in such diverse industries as pharmaceuticals, chemicals and petroleum, automotive and aerospace, animation etc. However, Xoomsys’s first target is the semiconductor industry where circuit simulation is a critical step in the design process but the simulation throughput bottleneck is impeding product success.

Key features of the Xoomsys solution:

  • Runs trusted industry-standard SPICE simulators
  • Fast ramp-up for customers
  • Leverages customers’ existing investments in simulators and related know-how
  • No changes needed to the netlists
  • Provides accuracy identical to the full coupled simulation
  • As defined by the accuracy of the particular SPICE simulator used
  • Partitions the original simulation task and coordinates decoupled simulations on independent machines
  • Uses generic computing clusters, e.g. P4 based Linux clusters
  • Inexpensive, readily-available computing platforms
  • Speedup factor typically scales linearly with the number of processors
  • Dramatic speedup factors observed on examples run to date, which include very tightly-coupled non-linear mixed signal circuits and meshes that have been specifically characterized as “very difficult problems” by leading experts.
  • No predetermined theoretical limitations on scalability
  • The company’s technology is not specific to circuit simulation
  • Applications to other verticals including simulation in pharmaceutical and chemical industries are planned for the future

Xoomsys’s technology enables solutions to a class of critically important simulation problems that are simply impractical to solve with current technology - replacing months of thrashing disks with a day or two of simulation.

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