Fractal Technologies: Avant-garde Tools for IP Validation
Rene Donkers, CEO
In the SoC design arena, a decade ago, almost 80 percent of the IP was done internally, which stands in stark contrast to today, where 75 percent of the design is done externally. The older method allowed building a platform with limited validation that proved to be ineffectual in a multi-vendor strategy. California-based Fractal Technologies promptly caught on to this trend and embarked on the journey of offering IP validation. Being an early entrant in the market proved to be instrumental in their success as the market changed to the company’s benefit with semiconductor companies transitioning from an in-house IP construction to third-party IP.
“With a focus on deploying IP validation in the market, our primary objective is to become the defacto solution provider for IP certification,” says Rene Donkers, CEO of Fractal Technologies. Being adopted by most of the key players in the ecosystem has catapulted Fractal Technologies to a certification level with a spiralling IP validation market share.
Crossfire is the company’s groundbreaking technology that addresses QA challenges with usability features such as high-level reporting and Transport that allow the provider and the customer to exchange data on the fly, and run the same data set. The additional features that customers are keen on are the extensive viewing and debugging capabilities.
Crossfire’s waiving mechanism allows the customer to waive certain errors, which in some cases are not important for them, with the added ability to put timestamps. The basic goal is to make sure that the IP is validated and consistent throughout the full design cycle from ideation to tape-out. To support more customers, Fractal Technologies continuously adds rules every year, now having more than 300 checks, supporting over 45 formats.
With a focus on deploying IP validation in the market, our primary objective is to become the de facto solution provider for IP certification
Until a year ago, Fractal Technologies provided software to IP providers and semiconductor companies. What changed from then is that they now also have discussions with foundries and IP providers to have their run set and report as part of their IPs.
The release of the bottleneck analysis by Fractal Technologies about a year ago has now gained massive popularity in the realm of data exposure where pinpointing issues in validation became all the more difficult. The company has successfully converted about 85 percent of their customers to their Transport language—a new way to generate a more modular and flexible setup that can also be transferred from a customer to an IP provider.
With a goal to get more enterprise type of usage, Fractal Technologies focuses on growing on a different path geographically this year. Crossfire’s strong adoption across North America generates 75 percent of their revenue. Currently, the focus is on strengthening the customer base in the APAC region.
Of the top ten North American semiconductor customers, Fractal Technologies has acquired eight of them and is working on getting the last two. The IP market is a small world and the fact that existing customers spread the word about Crossfire, is the best door opener for Fractal Technologies to acquire new clients. This has, in fact, helped the company to secure a leading semiconductor company as their customer.
The majority of Fractal Technologies’ customer base is interested in the company’s new IP versioning solution currently in development, which will augment their solution portfolio. In addition, the Fractal team is also focusing on incremental checks to improve performance and productivity as a whole.
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