The game of hokey-cokey that Magma Design Automation has played with design-for-test (DFT) tools has finished with the company putting its left leg out. The Magma automated test-pattern generation (ATPG) tools had a lengthy gestation and were rumoured to be missing in action a couple of years ago.
The company did get around to launching its ATPG tools in October last year. But, finding itself unable to displace the incumbents, Magma's management decided to kill off the Talus ATPG and ATPG-X products. The scan tools that form part of Talus remain, but these are not used by all of Magma's customers, which often use test tools from the likes of Mentor Graphics.ß
“We could not differentiate hugely with the ATPG solution,” said Sanjay Bali, product director for Magma’s design-implementation business unit. “ATPG folks are pretty conservative and people have existing flows in place. We had to have major adoption before people would switch.”
Magma did seem to be going for the full-flow strategy, having launched into DFT and mixed-signal design, in common with the bigger players such as Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys. The decision to step back out of DFT works against that. It's a comparatively small market but there are indications from work on standards such as IEEE P1687 that test is going to become more of a critical part of chip and system-in-package design. So, it might be something that implementation-focused EDA companies will have to keep looking at.