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Mentor Graphics extends DO-254 platform offering with enhanced HDL coding standards

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."

Press release issued by Mentor Graphics Corporation on April 13, 2010


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