Solido Design Automation Welcomes Chief Technology Officer Patrick Drennan

April 25, 2007

Release Date: April 25, 2007
Former Freescale Semiconductor expert on semiconductor statistical variation joins Solido team

SASKATOON, CANADA – April 25, 2007 – Solido Design Automation today announced that Patrick Drennan, Ph.D., has joined the company as chief technology officer. Drennan, formerly a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff with Freescale Semiconductor, is well known in the electrical engineering community for his work in semiconductor process technology variations.

Solido is developing transistor-level statistical design and verification software that aims to ensure robust analog/mixed-signal (A/MS), custom digital, and memory integrated circuit (IC) designs. The statistical algorithm development experience of cofounder Trent McConaghy, who now assumes the role of chief scientific officer, complements Drennan’s statistical silicon knowledge to round out the expertise of the research and development team.

“True EDA solutions cannot be developed with just an EDA background,” said Amit Gupta, founder and CEO of Solido. “Patrick is one of the few with a true grip on the effects of statistical variations in silicon, having worked in this area for more than 15 years. Under his technology leadership, Solido is well positioned to provide customers with a complete statistical solution, with the designer in control.”

Drennan echoed these remarks. “There is a symbiotic relationship between statistical data models and a statistical tool suite. Each makes the other stronger. Solido will provide its customers with world class solutions in both areas.”

Drennan began working with Gupta and McConaghy in the formative days of Solido. “Current best practices do not have the ‘legs’ for statistical design. They are either computationally too expensive or they contain bad assumptions. A new, adaptive approach is needed. I knew what the approach had to be, but I didn’t know how to do it,” said Drennan. “At our first meeting, it took me about 15 minutes to realize that Trent and Amit had exactly what designers are looking for.”

“The key to statistical design and verification is to zero in on what matters. You simply cannot consider all devices equally with a set of flat rules. The trick is to quickly determine which devices matter electrically. Then you can focus your attention on those few devices. This is what Solido does.”

Drennan was one of the creators of the backwards propagation of variance (BPV) method for statistical characterization. This model guarantees consistency between simulation and silicon measurement and it is valid for all biases and geometries, which are significant attributes for design. His mismatch (local variation) model earned the Best Regular paper at the 2002 IEEE Custom Integrated Circuit Conference.

Drennan was the first to describe the impact of shallow trench isolation (STI) and well proximity effect (WPE) on design, demonstrating that the WPE produces a graded channel MOSFET. More importantly, he showed the catastrophic impact these unforeseen phenomena can have on circuit design. For this work, he received the Best Invited Paper at the 2006 IEEE Custom Integrated Circuit Conference.

Drennan joined Motorola (which later became Freescale Semiconductor) in Tempe, Arizona in 1992 . He was responsible for local statistical variation (test structures, measurement, modeling, parameter extraction and consulting) for all process technologies for the entire company for several years.

He received the B.S. degree in microelectronic engineering and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1991 and 1993. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University in 1999.

About Solido Design Automation
Solido Design Automation Inc. provides transistor-level statistical design and verification software solutions for analog/mixed-signal, custom digital, and memory integrated circuits. Founded by serial analog entrepreneurs, the privately held company is headquartered in Saskatoon, Canada with sales offices in U.S.A., Japan and Europe. For further information, visit or call 306-382-4100.

Editorial Contact:
PR for Solido Design Automation – Cayenne Communication LLC
Michelle Clancy, 252-940-0981,

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