According to the NASA website, Transits of Venus across the disk of the Sun are among the rarest of planetary alignments. Indeed, only seven such events have occurred since the invention of the telescope (1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, and 2004). Per Wikipedia:
A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. The duration of such transits is usually measured in hours (the transit of 2004 lasted six hours). A transit is similar to a solar eclipse by the Moon. While the diameter of Venus is almost four times that of the Moon, Venus appears smaller, and travels more slowly across the face of the Sun, because it is much farther away from Earth.
Even more interesting is the new Ciranova Helix layout automation solution to enable Agile Layout, a dramatic improvement over traditional, manual layout techniques. Using Agile Layout, IC design teams are able to start layout sooner, refine the circuit based on feedback from layout, and finish layout faster.
Because traditional layout takes so long and is so hard to change, layout designers seldom start before the circuit design is nearly complete. This means that circuit designers must wait weeks or months after their circuit is complete to learn whether the layout will meet performance and area targets.
Using an Agile layout flow, design teams can start layout early, as soon as the first blocks of a design have been completed. Helix produces initial layout results very quickly, so circuit designers can get early feedback on performance, parasitics and area. Layout designers have time to refine their designs and test alternatives, often resulting in smaller, higher-performance layouts. With Agile Layout, layout is usually finished soon after circuit designers finish their last blocks.
Click HERE for the new Helix FAQ. Then see Helix in action at DAC 2012 booth #1608 and pick up your free pair of solar viewing glasses!