February 06, 2012
Silicon Valley: EDA Magnet!
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Russ Henke - Contributing Editor

by Russ Henke - Contributing Editor
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        Acquisition-related costs of $13.2 million consist primarily of professional service fees, which include legal, tax and accounting fees; severance costs for employee termination, and other directly related charges. As of October 31, 2007, the Company has paid all the costs related to this acquisition.

        Assets Acquired.    The Company acquired $30.4 million of intangible assets consisting of $15.7 million in core developed technology, $7.3 million in customer relationships, $5.9 million in contract rights and $1.5 million in non competes to be amortized over three to five years. Additionally, the Company acquired tangible assets of $116.7 million and assumed liabilities of $42.5 million.

        Goodwill, representing the excess of the purchase price over the fair value of the net tangible and identifiable intangible assets acquired in the merger was $92.4 million. Goodwill resulted primarily from the Company's expectation of synergies from the integration of Nassda’s technology with the Company's technology and operations. During fiscal year 2006, reversal of $0.5 million acquisition related costs and $2.6 million tax related adjustments resulted in a reduction in goodwill. During fiscal year 2007, $0.6 million tax related adjustments resulted in a further reduction in goodwill. As of October 31, 2007, the goodwill acquired resulting from the acquisition of Nassda was $88.7 million.

Enter Silicon Frontline

Once Feinberg and Tcherniaev had departed from Nassda, and with the guidance and support of the former Nassda CEO Sang Wang, they founded Silicon Frontline.

“We founded Silicon Frontline with the goal of moving post-layout verification technology to the next level,”
said Yuri Feinberg, as the new CEO of Silicon Frontline. “We wanted EDA users to experience what hadn’t been possible before—Guaranteed Accuracy and fast parasitic extraction and analysis for post-layout verification.”

Wow, who could resist that description?
As it turns out, not many, once you realize you need it! The company, with fewer than 20 employees, has landed over 25 customers since its first products began shipping in Q2 2009, including 10 of the top semiconductor vendors and over 250 separate designs. Customers have used Silicon Frontline technology to solve problems for 28nm and 40nm sensitive analog circuits, analog digital convertors, image sensors, memories, custom digital designs and power devices.

While revenue creation has not always been smooth and exponential, here is what VP Sales and Marketing Dermott Lynch told me recently about Silicon Frontline’s results in 2011, “We are very happy to have our products adopted by so many companies.  We are grateful for our customers' support and on-going commitments, which in 2011 led many customers to significantly increase their license count, and/or to purchase additional products. With the growth from our initial products R3D (resistive 3D extraction and analysis) and F3D (Fast 3D extraction), and our recently introduced H3D (Hierarchical 3D extractor), Silicon Frontline finished 2011 very favorably and enters 2012 with high confidence.”

Current Products of Silicon Frontline

Silicon Frontline today has a product portfolio as follows:

H3D – Hierarchical 3D RC Extraction

Nanometer process technologies permit designers to develop innovative circuits, delivering high-performance functionality and incorporating logic, memory, analog and RF on a single CMOS die.

F3D – Fast 3D Extraction

F3D is a 3D capacitance and distributed RC extractor based on stochastic random walk method. F3D calculates capacitances from first principles using the original layout configuration, including all 3D and advanced manufacturing effects associated with 65nm, 45nm processes, and beyond.

R3D – Resistive 3D Extraction and Analysis

R3D is a resistive 3D extraction and analysis product for large resistive structures like power devices.  Efficiency and reliability are key design criteria and R3D provides a solution to calculate and optimize both.

P2P: Point to Point Resistance extraction and analysis

ESD Checker: Full chip ESD analysis

Why the electronics industry needs 3-D technology

Why 3D extraction? “It all comes down to the need to create, from the layout view, a more precise electrical circuit model, which when simulated gives the designer performance characteristics such as timing, power and noise, as well as other important parameters like gain, bandwidth and reliability,” according to Dermott Lynch.

What's wrong with 2.5D extraction technology?

Traditional tools available from some other EDA providers are polarized. On one hand, 2.5D extractors scan through the layout geometries, devices and interconnect, looking for matches with pre-characterized patterns. When they find a match, they check sizes, run some calculations, and produce R and C values for back-annotation into the netlist. Capacity is rarely a problem for these products, and performance has been mostly acceptable (though the run time is lengthening, due to a greater number of more complex patterns for which to check); however, what has become increasingly an issue is precision.

For example, Figure 1 shows a typical MOMCAP structure, which due to the 3D topology requires 3D extraction to ensure accuracy; 2D or 2.5D extractors simply don’t handle this topology correctly.

At the more advanced process nodes, designers need to extract distributed RC models that incorporate crosstalk, fringing and shielding capacitance — and more — between interconnect segments in an increasingly complex metal stack, as well as between devices and interconnect. And don't forget the substrate. Since 2.5D extraction lacks the necessary precision for nm designs, designers are forced to follow conservative design practices, giving sub-optimal designs.

Backgrounds of Key People associated with Silicon Frontline

Let’s find out more about the key folks at Silicon Frontline:

Yuri Feinberg – Silicon Frontline Co-founder & CEO

Yuri Feinberg

In his career prior to 2007, Yuri Feinberg had realized that the bulk of a design team’s work was focused on the physical side of electronic design with verification being a cumbersome and slow process. At Silicon Frontline, he wanted to develop tools that would streamline the verification process and therefore achieve quality levels rapidly with a reduced resource requirement.

Yuri was born in the city of Minsk, in Belarus, to Alla and Valerie Feinberg. Minsk is the capital and largest city in Belarus. Minsk is also a headquarters of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It had a population of 1.8 million as of 2009.


The earliest references to Minsk date to the 11th century (1067). It was annexed by Russia in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919–1991, Minsk was the capital of the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Yuri has one younger brother, Alex, who is an engineer at LinkedIn.

Yuri attended St. Petersburg Engineering Academy, graduating with a Master’s degree.  The university trains experts in the field of construction of buildings and special structures, engineering and technical systems, and the power industry. It has a modern experimental base for testing various thermal-mechanical and power equipment, structures and construction materials, and carries out research and development activities.

St. Petersburg Engineering Academy

Yuri’s wife, Yulia, is an engineer working for Intel.  The couple has 3 children, 2 boys and a girl.  The two older children attend Harker Academy, while the younger boy recently celebrated his first birthday.

Dr. Maxim Ershov – Silicon Frontline Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Maxim Ershov

Maxim Ershov is Silicon Frontline’s CTO, having joined the Company in September of 2007.

Maxim was born in the city of Yaroslavl, Russia, located 250 kilometers (160 mi) northeast of Moscow.


Maxim’s father worked as an engineer and schoolteacher. Maxim has 2 siblings, both of whom still live in Russia working in the medical and financial fields.

In his younger years, Maxim was heavily involved in sports, competing in swimming and rowing, while also playing on local soccer teams.  Additionally, his love of things technical led him to an interest in radio-engineering, and he filled any remaining time by being an avid reader. Maxim attended boarding school at the Moscow State University, specializing in physics and mathematics.

Moscow State University

During his high school years, he won first prize in the Russian Olympiad in physics in 1982.

Maxim then attended the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology from 1983-1989, where he graduated with a M.Sc. in solid state electronics. While there, he also achieved first prize in the USSR Olympiad in physics in 1986.

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

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-- Russ Henke, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.

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