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2 Spicey?

Tanner just announced the integration of Berkeley Design Automation’s (BDA’s) FastSPICE into their flow. You may remember Tanner as a company that does things their own way, offering a full suite of tools for custom design. Including their own T-SPICE.

And their own T-SPICE doesn’t seem to be going away; it’s not being replaced by FastSPICE. I got a chance to talk about that with Vice President of Marketing and Business Strategy John Zuk to understand better what the strategy is for maintaining both. And, actually, it doesn’t hinge on anything technical or esoteric; it’s really much simpler than that: price/performance.

It’s hard to do SPICE (or any tool) to sign-off accuracy. It’s harder yet to get people to believe you have the accuracy for sign off. And it’s horrendously hard to keep up with the most aggressive nodes underway. (Yeah, much analog stays far back from those nodes, but custom digital chips like FPGAs tend to push as far as they can go.)

So it’s easy to imagine looking down the path of your own home-grown SPICE and think, “Wow, this isn’t gonna be easy.” Meanwhile, as they mulled their options, their customers even suggested collaboration with BDA. So they got in touch, aligned their release schedules, and worked out an integration.

At which point, you might easily think, OK, end of the road for T-SPICE. Except for one thing: Mr. Zuk says that they have plenty of customers that are happy with T-SPICE – and, in particular, its price, since it sells more modestly than does FastSPICE.

So they’re keeping them both. While they won’t be delving into the deepest dimensions with T-SPICE, they will still continue developing models and improving performance, so he says that it’s not a dead-end product. But for customers needing more accuracy and technology reach, they can get it with FastSPICE.

You can find more information on the announcement in their release

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