The electronic design automation (EDA) tools, methodologies, and flows developed under Antun Domic’s leadership have driven the state of the art in digital microelectronics for almost three decades and have enabled the continued miniaturization of the electronic components that power today’s applications. EDA makes possible the creation of complex electronic systems with computer software that aids in the design, verification, and testing processes and helps detect and eliminate bugs and defects in chips and circuit boards. The EDA tools developed under Domic’s leadership while at Synopsys and other companies have impacted the creation of a large number of the world’s most advanced microelectronic components by enabling the design of chips containing billions of gates from high-level synthesis through physical layout and verification, including timing, power, area, and test optimization, all the way to the final design result. With a remarkable focus on emerging technology nodes and integration beyond anything previously seen in EDA, Domic is known for his ability to successfully balance the demands of the present with those of the future, successfully starting next-generation products while still supporting the needs of established technologies. He also recognized that the interaction of multiple optimization criteria such as area, power, timing, test, and manufacturability would grind design productivity to a halt unless the many tools involved could collaborate effectively during the design flow. To address this looming roadblock to continued miniaturization, Domic gradually aligned a large set of tools, first on a common data flow, then on a common understanding of the optimization metrics, and finally with a set of look-ahead capabilities that let up-stream tools (such as logic synthesis) anticipate what problems down-stream tools (such as place and route) could encounter and mitigate the identified issues up front in the design process. This look-ahead system integration has had a critical impact on engineering productivity and is a requirement for state-of-the-art chip design today.
An IEEE Fellow, Domic is currently chief technical officer at Synopsys, Mountain View, CA, USA.