Siemens’s contribution to RAMP Phase II will initially focus on physical, or “back-end,” integrated circuit (IC) design via its Calibre® platform. (Photo: PRNewswire)

The RAMP program was established by the U.S. DoD to develop secure design and prototyping capabilities

 August 9, 2022

PLANO, Texas—Siemens Digital Industries Software was selected to participate in the Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) Phase II initiative, the company said in release.

The RAMP program was established by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to develop secure design and prototyping capabilities. It aims to demonstrate how the DoD can securely leverage state-of-the-art microelectronics technologies without depending on a closed-security architecture fabrication process or facility, according to the release.

In 2020, the DoD was seeking to leverage commercial industry expertise as part of its effort to modernize practices. That year, it designated Microsoft as a central RAMP partner.

Siemens said it has long been Microsoft’s lead partner for enabling electronic design automation (EDA) in the cloud. As part of the RAMP Phase II program, the collaboration between the two companies extends into secure, cloud-based environments built on the Microsoft Azure Government platform, the company said.

Siemens’s contribution to RAMP Phase II will initially focus on physical, or “back-end,” integrated circuit (IC) design via its Calibre® platform. This part of design creation is said to be particularly challenging due to tight coupling of design techniques with the specific wafer fabrication processes targeted.

Siemens described its Calibre platform as “the industry’s golden back-end verification solution.” Deployed throughout the global semiconductor ecosystem, the Calibre platform “sets the pace for IC verification accuracy, reliability, and performance,” the company said.

“Siemens is pleased that Microsoft has agreed to extend our relationship into their RAMP II program,” said Michael Buehler-Garcia, vice president for Calibre Design Solutions Product Management, in the release. “This additional collaboration will help to demonstrate that semiconductors designed through the RAMP II program can leverage Siemens’s industry-leading verification expertise.

“Additionally, expanding our cloud collaboration with Microsoft Azure Government is expected to generate valuable insights that can be fed back into the RAMP program in an effort to enhance the design and security of next-generation integrated circuits derived from the DoD’s RAMP program.”

According to Siemens, Microsoft is using all elements of the Calibre platform, including its physical (DRC) layout versus schematic (LVS), reliability, and extraction solutions for the RAMP II program. The Calibre platform’s interface offerings are said to allow IC designers to interactively use Calibre with any design creation flow selected by companies participating in RAMP II.

“Siemens’s participation in the RAMP program brings the industry-leading back-end verification solution for DoD’s use for secure development of microelectronics for defense technologies,” said Mujtaba Hamid, general manager, Silicon, Modeling and Simulation, Microsoft, in the release. “Our experience with Siemens for EDA on the cloud to address commercial customer needs is now being leveraged in the RAMP Phase II program, to help the government and the defense industry develop silicon with secure access to advanced commercial design processes.”

According to Siemens Digital Industries Software, it is “driving transformation to enable a digital enterprise where engineering, manufacturing, and electronics design meet tomorrow.” The company’s Xcelerator portfolio is said to help “companies of all sizes create and leverage digital twins that provide organizations with new insights, opportunities, and levels of automation to drive innovation.”

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