As the semiconductor industry has gradually become a national strategic highland that has attracted wide attention, EDA, which occupies an important position in the semiconductor industry chain, has gradually entered the public's field of vision. It can be said that EDA is a crucial development tool in semiconductor design, and China's current gap in EDA may be the biggest gap in the entire semiconductor industry chain.
At present, the three major EDA software giants dominated by Cadence, Synopsys and Mentor almost monopolize more than 90% of the global EDA market share. In terms of stock, China is the second largest single EDA software revenue market in the world; in terms of increments, China is the most important business growth market for the Big Three. Regrettably, the three major EDA manufacturers are all American companies (Siemens Industrial Software, a subsidiary of Mentor, is headquartered in the United States), which means that even if China's semiconductor industry can produce its own, it is limited by EDA control, from the most front-end design links From the beginning, it is impossible to finally land the design requirements into chip design. Although many domestic companies are currently developing EDA software, including a long-established national team like Huada Jiutian, the semiconductor design process involved in EDA is extremely complex, from design to verification, from digital to analog, only A company is far from being able to meet domestic design needs, nor can it compete with the three giants that provide complete design process coverage. Therefore, more EDA companies are needed in China to jointly break through the monopoly of the traditional three major manufacturers. Xinhuazhang is one of the typical representatives of start-ups.
"At present, domestic enterprises have accumulated in analog and digital back-end design, but they are still very weak in digital verification with a high technical threshold." Wang Libin, founder, chairman and CEO of Xinhuazhang Technology Describing the positioning of Xinhuazhang in the EDA industry chain, "Xinhuazhang hopes to make up for the deficiencies of the domestic EDA industry in terms of digital verification, which is also an important step in the domestic EDA full design service chain."
The new architecture and open source are the technical basis for changing lanes and overtaking
As the functions of the chip become more and more powerful, the integration of various IPs brings more and more time and cost to the verification process in the design. It can even be said that verification determines the success or failure of the chip. With the increasing design complexity of SoC integration, the space and scope of verification need to be explored exponentially, and the time required for verification is also getting longer and longer. In current SoC R&D projects, simulation and verification time occupy More than 70% of the entire project time, while simulation and verification engineers cover more than 70% of the entire team. EDA verification tools in the chip design process are already indispensable. The more complete the verification, the higher the success rate of the chip. The innovation goal of the verification tool is to complete the increasingly complex verification quickly, accurately, completely, and easily to debug. Only after sufficient simulation and verification and enough bugs are found, can the tape be taken out with confidence.
As a design tool, it must bring efficiency improvement or quality improvement in R&D to customers. The reason why the three giants can occupy the EDA market is due to their profound patent accumulation and perfect design service system. If domestic EDA companies still choose to compete on the traditional track, they will inevitably need to invest more time and resources. Based on technology, talents and innovation, Xinhuazhang has chosen a new path to build a full-process digital verification platform in order to achieve rapid catch-up. "I don't think it's catching up. It's very difficult for you to just follow the old road after running for decades. You must change your thinking, introduce new technologies to develop EDA, and change lanes to overtake on a brand new road." Wang Libin commented on the relationship between Xinhuazhang and traditional EDA giants.
Traditional EDA tools have the advantage of years of research and development, but on the other hand, limited by the underlying architecture of early research and development, new algorithms and new functions have been continuously superimposed over the years, resulting in great redundancy in the system, thus affect the efficiency of execution. On the other hand, Xinhuazhang is based on a new software architecture and algorithm, and integrates cutting-edge technologies to independently develop core products, hoping to quickly bridge the gap and bring new competitive advantages to customers with a new software architecture. "The core R&D personnel of Xinhuazhang know what is good about traditional EDA tools and what are the pitfalls. We will not repeat mistakes. This is very important. When you are designing and doing architecture, you clearly know which architectures have failed. However, you don’t have to think about it anymore, because our R&D team is very experienced, we can reduce a lot of such detours and wrong costs, which is actually an accumulation.” Wang Libin introduced that the R&D team of Xinhuazhang will be based on the past 20 years. On the basis of the most advanced software engineering methodology and high-performance hardware architecture, it fully integrates new-generation technologies such as cloud computing and AI, and conducts EDA research and development through new paths. With such a high-tech starting point, Xinhuazhang will build full-process verification products and systems, including hardware emulation accelerators, FPGA prototype verification, formal verification, intelligent verification, logic simulation and other products and platforms.
At the same time, based on the classic EDA methodology and technology, Xinhuazhang plans to gradually launch commercial-level open-source EDA verification products. The first open-source product that has been launched in the industry is the verification simulation tool EpicSim. From data structure, syntax support, and more efficient tasks In terms of scheduling engine and resource management mechanism, it has the fastest dynamic simulation speed in the industry among EDA open source products, which can achieve at least 2 times performance improvement, and greatly improve software quality and debugging capabilities. The language support is more comprehensive, thereby improving the verification efficiency of chip design. This product will be launched on the EDA ecological community EDAGit.com, lowering the threshold for EDA research and development and accelerating the improvement of China's integrated circuit industry chain.
Gather industry talents to create a new type of EDA for the future
When designing companies choose EDA, they need EDA companies to provide the most professional technical services to help them efficiently realize chip innovation. In this process, the value of "talent" is extraordinary. Wang Libin introduced, "The core team of Xinhuazhang has many years of deep industry experience and can provide customers with world-class technical services, whether it is from the verification strategy or verification technical support, these outstanding talents and rich service experience, It is another cornerstone of Xinhuazhang's future success."
As a rising star in the EDA industry, Xinhuazhang has a unique advantage of being a latecomer. Wang Libin said, "We closely track the latest cutting-edge technologies. Our core talent team includes not only EDA professionals, but also cutting-edge talents from well-known domestic and foreign fields such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and the Internet. We will be the most advanced at present. On the basis of the latest software engineering methodology and high-performance hardware architecture, it fully integrates new-generation technologies such as cloud computing and AI, and conducts EDA research and development through a new path." Wang Libin said that Xinhuazhang is open to all outstanding talents who are determined to participate in the development of domestic EDA. Open the door.
In August this year, X-EPIC announced that Dr. Lin Caiqin (Ph.D. TC Lin), who has more than 30 years of profound attainments in the EDA field, joined X-EPIC as the chief scientist of X-EPIC and led the team. Carry out technical research in the field of verification EDA and the cutting-edge exploration of the combination of EDA with artificial intelligence and cloud computing technology; then YT Lin, who has many years of experience in the integration of new technologies such as software architecture design and algorithm innovation with EDA, also joined the team. , as the vice president of R&D, bringing more innovations to verify the software architecture design in the field of EDA and the algorithm innovation combined with EDA and machine learning technology. The addition of these world-class R&D talents has raised the R&D strength of Xinhuazhang to a new level and accelerated the deployment of Xinhuazhang's product strategy.