Synopsys: Magma Design Automation

Company Background

Magma Design Automation was established in 1997 and had headquarters in San Jose, California (2). In February 2012, Magma was acquired by key competitor, also located in California, Synopsys (4).

Magma developed software for electronic design automation (EDA), enabling integrated circuit designers to meet critical time-to-market objectives and improve chip performance. EDA software is used by engineers designing integrated circuits for electronic products such as cell phones, Wi-Fi, digital video and networking.  Magma's Talus software products combined front- and back-end design processes into a single, integrated workflow, while its Quartz applications tackled sign-off and verification tasks. A major marketing point for the company's software products is that they combine what are traditionally separate steps in the chip design process into one integrated workflow that encompasses logic design, physical design, analysis and sign-off processes. 

Suppliers and Buyers

Magma's customers included leading semiconductor companies around the world (1a). Customers have included Texas Instruments, NEC, Qualcomm, and Samsung. It gets about 60% of sales from North America (2).

Strategic Partnerships

Magma, through Synopsis, has partnerships with ARM, Common Platform, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, and TSMC for design and manufacture purposes (1b).

Innovation and Technology

The Magma design system combines traditionally separate front-end and back-end chip design into an integrated flow that's designed to eliminate iterations between the synthesis and place-and-route processes, accelerate the design cycle and reduce IC development costs. Magma is also the first to combine analog and digital design into a single platform. Unlike other solutions, Magma tightly integrates mixed-signal implementation with digital implementation, circuit simulation, transistor-level extraction and verification – providing a quantum leap in efficiency and productivity for analog designers (1a).

Magma's systems are based on a unique unified data model architecture. This is a key enabler of the system's ability to concurrently and automatically address timing, area, signal integrity, power and yield. Magma's unified data model contains all the logical and physical information about the design and is resident in core memory during execution. The various functional elements of Magma's software, such as the implementation engines for synthesis, placement and routing, and the analysis software for timing, delay extraction and signal integrity, all operate directly on this data model.  It makes it possible to analyze the design and make rapid tradeoff decisions during the physical design process to optimize for better chip performance (1a).

Magma recently announced Talus® 1.2 and Talus Vortex FX. Talus 1.2 is a next-generation integrated circuit (IC) implementation solution that accelerates the design cycle of SoCs by enabling engineers to implement 1 million to 1.5 million cells per day on large designs or blocks of 2 million to 5 million cells - with crosstalk avoidance, advanced on-chip variation (AOCV) and multi-mode multi-corner (MMMC) analysis enabled. Already silicon-proven at the 40-nanometer (nm) node, Talus is currently in use for complex 28-nm designs. With these latest enhancements, Talus is primed to handle the challenges of designing at the 20-nm process node and beyond.  Talus® Vortex FX is the first and only IC implementation solution to fully utilize distributed computing for place and route. Talus Vortex FX's Distributed Smart Sync™ technology represents a significant breakthrough. It enables concurrent implementation management and smart synchronization of very large designs across a network of machines. Talus Vortex FX significantly increases productivity and provides higher capacity, enabling designers to implement multimillion-cell designs flat and to generate 2 million to 5 million cells per day with crosstalk avoidance, AOCV and MMMC analysis enabled - while using existing hardware resources. Talus Vortex FX is the ideal solution for very large, complex advanced-node designs (3).


  • Camelot (defect and yield management)
  • Excalibur Litho (CAD design system)
  • FineSim Pro and FineSim SPICE (circuit simulation engines with distributed processing)
  • Hydra (chip design)
  • Merlin's Framework (navigation tool)
  • Quartz (chip design sign-off and verification)
  • SiliconSmart (library characterization and modeling)
  • Talus (chip design)
  • Tekton (timing analysis, multi-scenario analysis)
  • Titan (mixed-signal chip design)
  • YieldManager (defect and yield management) (2).

For more information on Synopsys, see the location page.


  1. Synopsys, Inc. (2012). Retrieved on October 31, 2012
    1. “About Magma Design Automation” from
    2. “Partnering with leaders throughout the industry” from
  2. Hoover’s, Inc. (2012).  “Magma Design Automation, Inc.” Retrieved on October 31, 2012
  3. Nanotechnology Now (2011, January 4). “Magma Design Automation Extends Technology Lead.” Retrieved on October 31, 2012 from
  4. Synopsys. (2012, February 22). "Synopsys Completes Acquisition of Magma Design Automation." Retrieved on May 4, 2012 from