SOURCE: Mentor Graphics Corporation

Mentor Graphics Corporation

April 13, 2010 09:00 ET

Mentor Graphics Extends DO-254 Platform Offering With Enhanced HDL Coding Standards

WILSONVILLE, OR--(Marketwire - April 13, 2010) -  Mentor Graphics Corp. (NASDAQ: MENT), a leading electronic design automation (EDA) solutions provider, today announced the availability of the HDL Designer tool's enhanced set of HDL coding checks for DO-254 compliance. This is the latest addition to Mentor's unique platform of tools that enable a requirements-driven flow from development through verification for safety-critical design.

RTCA/DO-254 "Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware" is a standard that is currently being enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and other worldwide aviation certification agencies to ensure the safety of in-flight hardware. Compliance to DO-254 can be very costly, and as more programs have to comply, more companies are looking for ways to reduce the cost of compliance. One way to do this is to use tools to automate or facilitate key aspects of the process.

Recent policy has mandated that DO-254 programs have a document set of HDL coding standards as well as a mechanism to review code against these standards. DO-254 does not specify what the coding standards should be so each company must determine this for themselves. The DO-254 rule set included in the HDL Designer tool was developed by input from numerous companies developing safety-critical designs, and an initiative led by Mentor in the DO-254 User's Group to create a foundational set of HDL coding checks that could be used in DO-254 programs.

"Saab has been using the automated HDL code checking capability in HDL Designer for our aviation projects with great success for years," said Hakan Forsberg, Specialist in Safety-Critical Electronics and Computers at Saab in Jonkoping. "Especially with the recent enhancements, we've found that automating our safety-critical design rules with HDL Designer has allowed us to save a tremendous amount of time by complementing our manual reviews and has also helped us improve our code quality."

"Many companies are struggling to develop a good set of HDL coding standards to comply with the recently-defined policy requirements," said Tammy Reeve, President of Patmos Engineering Services, DER and US DO-254 User Group Chair. "Mentor's effort in the DO-254 User Group to help define a foundational set of HDL coding standards for DO-254 programs is very valuable for the aviation industry."

"Thales Airborne Computer Solutions uses Mentor tools in its DO-254 standard flow. We have found great value in using the code checker in HDL Designer to automate the checking of our HDL coding standards," said Alain Giraudat, FPGA Team Manager and Hardware Methodology Manager. "This tool provides an efficient solution to check our HDL coding rules while avoiding a huge and unacceptable amount of independent verification work required to be compliant with this aspect of DO-254."

"Mentor has been involved and investing in solutions to drive down the cost of DO-254 compliance for several years," said Michelle Lange, DO-254 Program Manager at Mentor Graphics. "Our customers have been instrumental in helping us define and implement new capabilities in our DO-254 platform. Mentor's broad range of industry-leading technologies allows us to support this market like no other vendor can, and we continue to strengthen our offering."

About Mentor's DO-254 Platform
Mentor's platform of tools supporting DO-254 compliance for FPGAs and ASICs includes: the ReqTracertool, which manages and traces device requirements through development and verification activities; the Vista tool, which delivers a platform for conceptual design; the HDL Designer tool, which provides the environment for HDL development, code checking, code visualizations, review assistance, and structured project guidance; the ModelSim® tool, and the more advanced verification capabilities offered by the Questa® platform, which support requirements-based simulation of the HDL and netlist models; the 0-In® CDC tool for clock-domain crossing analysis; Formal methods tools, the 0-In Formal Verification tool for formal model checking, and the FormalPro tool for logical equivalency checking, to augment simulation; and the Precision® Synthesis tool, which offers FPGA vendor-independent synthesis, integration with place and route tools, and special features to ensure accurate and safer netlist results. Mentor's PCB and system level tools also provide a requirements-driven flow DO-254 compliance at higher levels of design. Mentor's expansive DO-254 offering is unique in the industry. For more information, visit

About the DO-254 User Group
The DO-254 User Group is an industry representative entity, created to share experiences in addressing the hardware aspects of certification. Initially focused on climbing the learning curve, the Group has now reached a high level of maturity and is working on developing best practices and proposing industry positions to Certification Authorities related to a number of important topics. SEH activities, IP development, COTS usage, verification coverage, best practices for HDL coding, and SoC development are examples of the current subjects being addressed by the Group.

The EU group is chaired by Aeroconseil, and participants include Actel, Aeroconseil, Airbus Operations, Airbus Military, Altera, ARM, Barco, EADS Security and Defense, IoxOS, Latecoere, Mentor Graphics, MTU Engines, Rockwell Collins, SystiQ, Thales Avionics, Thales Communications, TTTech, and Xilinx.

The US group is chaired by Patmos Engineering Services, and participants include Actel, Altera, Astronautics, BAE Systems, Boeing, ChipX, ENEA, FAA Consultants, Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, Mentor Graphics, Rockwell Collins, Rolls Royce, Sagem, and Xilinx. Learn more at

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 $800 million and employs approximately 4,425 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777. World Wide Web site:

(Mentor, Mentor Graphics, Questa, ModelSim, Precision and 0-In are registered trademarks and ReqTracer, Vista, HDL Designer and FormalPro are trademarks of Mentor Graphics Corporation. All other company or product names are the registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.)

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