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    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Bridging the Divide : EDA User Groups For Multi-Vendor Flows

    There's SNUG for Synopsys and MUSIC for Magma. There's User2User for Mentor and CDNLive for Cadence. But, it still feels like something's missing. Don't get me wrong, these conferences are a great place to learn about the latest and greatest ways to use your favorite tool. It's just than no one is looking after the interface between the EDA vendors. If you are one of many ASIC design houses that use multiple EDA vendors, then you know what I'm talking about. If the place-and-route tool does not re-order the scan chains stitched by your DFT tool, What do you do? It may be the PNR tool's problem or the DFT tool's problem, but it is certainly your problem!

    There's potential for some mismatches when a flow crosses EDA vendor boundaries and, usually, it's up to the users to make the tools from different vendors work together. While one does get a whole lot of support from the vendors, the ultimate responsibility rests on the ASIC engineer. Further, the inter-vendor issues are discovered anew by each ASIC design company (or worse, each engineer) and precious cycles are wasted in figuring out the issue and possible workarounds. If only there was some way to document the issue and associated workarounds for the benefit of all ASIC design companies! Enter Multi-Vendor EDA User Groups, stage left.

    EDA vendors might not be the biggest sponsors of such groups as PR ROI might not be as great as for their individual events. Maybe all the small EDA companies that cannot afford their own user groups can get together on this one. But, I'm guessing this idea needs a more democratic driving force to really work. The people who'd make it a success would be the ones who feel the pain.

    Multi-Vendor User Groups. Of the Fabless ASICs, By the Fabless ASICs, For the Fabless ASICs?

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    1 comment:

    1. I feel the pain! There are many inter-vendor flow issues. I love SNUG, but they don't like papers on other vendors there. :-)

      I wonder if a conference like DesignCon could serve this purpose? Or maybe an online forum, with the option for anonymity?

      There are some online fora at

      DFT forum
      , though it's new and hasn't reached a critical mass of users yet.