Mentor Graphics and Artisan Develop High Quality Embedded Memory Testing with Advanced BIST Architecture

06 October 2004

WILSONVILLE, Ore., Oct. 6, 2004 – Mentor Graphics Corporation today announced new enhancements to its MBISTArchitect™ built-in self-test (BIST) tool to provide thorough on-chip testing for embedded memories generated by Artisan Components, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARTI). Additionally, Artisan has recognized the MBISTArchitect tool as a qualified BIST solution for testing its embedded memories and facilitating its Flex-Repair™ Redundancy solution for yield improvement. This collaboration will enable joint customers to employ a high quality test, diagnostic and repair strategy for all their embedded memory needs.

As the use of embedded memory continues to increase, thorough testing and defect diagnosis has become paramount to product quality and yield enhancement. Memory BIST has emerged as the most efficient method to test and diagnose problems with embedded memories. The MBISTArchitect tool generates and inserts BIST for a wide variety of embedded memory arrays. It boasts the largest set of industry accepted test algorithms, including March, retention, and various background patterns that can be used to thoroughly test Artisan memories. The MBIST Flex™ feature offers users the ability to implement custom algorithms to help enable even the detection of subtle defects that can elude conventional test techniques. The tool's on-line algorithm selection capability provides users with the ability to choose tests that should be executed during manufacturing, allowing for the perfect balance between test time and increased coverage during production.

“Defining solid embedded memory test strategies is an essential step in the design process and working with leading EDA vendors enables best-in-breed solutions to help IC designers achieve silicon success,” said Neal Carney, Artisan's vice president of marketing. “Collaborating with Mentor Graphics, we are able to offer mutual customers integrated test and repair solutions to help ensure their successful path-to-silicon and help meet faster time-to-market.”

Artisan has developed a detailed and comprehensive set of tests specifically targeted for its embedded memories. Mentor Graphics worked closely with Artisan to incorporate complete support of these tests within the MBISTArchitect tool. This collaborative effort enables more efficient, higher quality memory testing. Artisan's Flex-Repair Redundancy solution provides the ability to correct most prevalent types of memory faults. The MBISTArchitect tool supports the Flex-Repair solution, facilitating the diagnosis and repair process.

“Because of the amount of memory used in today's designs, our customers need an effective and efficient means to thoroughly test them,” said Robert Hum, vice president and general manager, Design-for-Test business unit, Mentor Graphics. “Our collaboration with Artisan provides customers with a proven solution to test, diagnose and repair memories without compromising time, cost or, most importantly, quality.”

The MBISTArchitect tool features complete at-speed test and diagnostic capabilities for improved detection of nanometer defects. Its unique at-speed operation, MBIST Full-Speed™, enables the tool to run the Artisan-recommended memory tests at-speed. Using a patented pipelining architecture, the tool has been successfully applied to memories that have operating speeds approaching 1GHz. For more information visit www.mentor.com/dft.


To complete the full support of Artisan's recommended algorithms, the MBISTArchitect tool will offer enhanced test algorithms for individual memory select lines and multi-port memories by late 2004.

About Mentor Graphics

Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of about $675 million and employs approximately 3,800 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777; Silicon Valley headquarters are located at 1001 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, California 95131-2314. World Wide Web site: http://www.mentor.com/.


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