SI2 Launches Special Interest Group For AI and ML in Electronic Design Automation

SIG Will Fill Industry Gaps to Enable Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in EDA

Silicon Integration Initiative has launched a special interest group to focus on the growing needs and opportunities in artificial intelligence and machine learning for electronic design automation.

The group will identify current solutions and technology gaps in AI and ML strategies for EDA digital design. “AI and ML are changing semiconductor design and improving performance and time to market,” said Leigh Anne Clevenger, Si2 design automation data scientist.  “Based on member company interest, we expect the SIG to propose prototype projects to accelerate the development of standards in areas such as machine learning training, and data handling and sharing.

“High manufacturing costs and the growing complexity of chip development are spurring disruptive technologies such as AI and ML,” Clevenger explained. “Si2 provides a unique opportunity for semiconductor companies, EDA suppliers and IP providers to voice their needs and focus resources on common solutions, including leveraging university research.”

The SIG is open to all Si2 members and is chaired by Joydip Das, Senior Engineer I, Samsung Austin R&D Center, and co-chaired by Kerim Kalafala, senior technical staff member, EDA, IBM.

“In recent years, the EDA industry has significantly expanded the use of AI/ML technology and techniques in its design tools,” said Das. “We’ve identified the need for a common industry-wide infrastructure to help share this information. This will help eliminate duplicative work and open up avenues for new breakthroughs.”

Other Si2 members participating in the SIG include: Advanced Micro Devices, ANSYS, Cadence Design Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Intento Design, NC State University, PDF Solutions, Sandia Labs, Synopsys and the University of California, Berkeley.

About Si2

Founded in 1988, Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools. Its activities include support of OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used standard API and reference database for integrated circuit design. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of The National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws.

Qualcomm Executive Joins Si2 Board of Directors

Pankaj Kukkal, vice president of Engineering at Qualcomm Inc., has been elected to the Silicon Integration Initiative board of directors. Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools.

In his current role, Kukkal oversees all EDA, emulation and post-silicon engineering functions for mobile, compute, automotive, and artificial intelligence/machine learning business units. He joined Qualcomm in 2012. He has contributed to delivering over 50 leading-edge SoCs in various application domains.

Kukkal has more than 25 years of experience in EDA, silicon, systems, and software engineering. Before joining Qualcomm, he held various leadership positions at Intel, focusing on CAD, emulation and validation. He has led the creation of several industry-leading technologies for chip design, emulation and post-silicon debug and automation.

Kukkal has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the National Institutes of Technology, India, and a master’s degree in computer engineering from the University of South Carolina.

John Ellis, president and CEO, said Kukkal brings crucial experience and domain knowledge to the Si2 board.  “Pankaj has been in key, strategic roles at Qualcomm and Intel over his long career. The insights he has gained, along with his extensive network of contacts including former associates, customers and suppliers in the semiconductor industry, will be invaluable as Si2 and its board maps out where the industry is going, and what Si2 members need from us to help propel them there most efficiently.”

About Si2

Founded in 1988, Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of The National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws.

 

Microsoft, GLOBALFOUNDRIES Join Si2 OpenAccess Coalition

Growing Membership Shows Ongoing Vertical Integration in IC Design

Austin, Texas—Microsoft Corporation and GLOBALFOUNDRIES have joined Silicon Integration Initiative’s OpenAccess Coalition, a diverse group of international semiconductor companies that support the OpenAccess design database application programming interface.

OpenAccess, which was introduced in 2002, is the most widely used IC design database and is currently supported by its 43 members, representing semiconductors manufacturers and foundries, fabless companies, EDA software providers and systems houses. The OpenAccess database provides EDA software tools with immediate design flow interoperability, saving members time and money.

John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO, said that the recent addition of Microsoft—and Google last year—illustrates the continuing trend of IC design vertical integration. He cited a recent Si2 industry survey which showed “that more than 80 percent of end users develop specialized, internal design tools. OpenAccess allows these home-grown tools to fit into the company’s own, optimized design flow, integrating the best-in-class EDA tools without sacrificing interoperability or performance.

“These end-users are often most interested in the OpenAccess scripting-language interface, which gives engineers direct access into their OA-based design through, for example, the Python programming language,” Ellis said. “This makes their design directly accessible from the console, or rapidly prototyped scripts. Python is well-known and widely adopted by programmers, and has many libraries and tools available, including popular AI development toolkits. The new code release supports these and provides a path toward developing machine-learning-based EDA tools which can make use of the OA database for training.”

Si2 recently introduced OpenAccess Data Model 6, the first major code revision since 2014. DM6 features oaPartitions, a new addition which allows multiprocessing capability to be applied simultaneously to smaller, partitioned regions in large chip designs. Early-stage performance benchmarking by Dr. Rhett Davis from N.C. State University, which was presented at the recent Design Automation Conference, showed under certain circumstances a more than 10x processing speed improvement over the prior version of OpenAccess. DM6 provides a path to higher-efficiency design. Its multiprocessing capability enables cloud-centric design flows for EDA tools which are based on the OpenAccess database.

IEEE Approves New Power Modeling Standard. 2416-2019 Built on Si2 Unified Power Model

AUSTIN, Texas–Silicon Integration Initiative has announced that its Unified Power Model, developed with major contributions from IBM and GLOBALFOUNDRIES, has been approved as IEEE 2416-2019, a new Standard for Power Modeling to Enable System Level Analysis, which complements UPF/IEEE 1801-2018 Standard for Design and Verification of Low-Power, Energy-Aware Electronic Systems.

Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools.

UPM/IEEE 2416-2019 provides a rich set of power modeling semantics enabling system designers to model entire systems with great flexibility. It supports power modeling from abstract design description all the way to gate level implementation providing data consistency from earliest architectural explorations to final power verification.

“We view UPM/IEEE 2416 as a major step forward for low power design,” commented Dr. Nagu Dhanwada of IBM, chair of the IEEE 2416 and the Si2 UPM Working Groups.

“The foundation of the UPM/IEEE 2416-2019 standard originated in IBM and has been successfully used in power sign-off of several generations and families of IBM microprocessors. Concepts like multi-level, state-based modeling and efficient, expressive semantics in UPM/IEEE 2416-2019 support constructing accurate and standardized power models for IP blocks. This enables SoC designs to be energy efficient from the ground up, a key reason companies will use 2416-2019 to upgrade modeling, analysis and sign-off flows,” stated Dr. Dhanwada.

Si2 UPM is a product of the Si2 OpenStandards Coalition, an R&D incubator which rapidly seeds and prototypes potential new EDA software tool interoperability standards. “The target of this development and subsequent standardization was an efficient and flexible mechanism for the specification and interchange of consistent power models throughout a project’s lifetime, from system design to manufacturing, especially for IP blocks and chiplets,” said Jerry Frenkil, Si2 director of OpenStandards. “This work led to significant advances in power modeling, including contributor and multi-level modeling, both of which are included in the 2416-2019 standard.”

A prototype power tool, upmPowerCalc, was built to prove the new concepts from end-to-end, both accelerating the delivery of a ready-to-implement standard and providing OpenStandards members with tools to aid in their own implementation.” The Si2 work was supported by the UPM Working Group consisting of ANSYS, IBM, Intel, Cadence, Entasys, and Thrace Systems.

Power contributors are Process, Voltage, and Temperature independent proxies for power. This PVT independence enables the late binding of PVT conditions at simulation run time, enabling power analysis at various PVT corners without requiring new libraries. Multi-level models provide multiple model views, or interfaces, to access the same power data. With multi-level construction, a single model provides consistent data for both system-level abstract simulations and bit-level simulations with RTL or gates.

“These advancements, along with UPM’s semantic expressiveness, deliver multiple benefits for design organizations” Frenkil explained. “System architects and SoC designers can model entire systems at a variety of PVT points with great flexibility. Power can be modeled in UPM using scalars, tables, expressions, and contributors, as well as expressions referencing contributors.”

UPM’s expressiveness also provides major benefits for IP developers. The use of power contributors leads to significant productivity gains since far fewer models and libraries are needed with UPM’s PVT independence. In addition, the models are abstract black boxes – functionality cannot be reverse-engineered from the power models.

Model interoperability and consistency with UPF/IEEE 1801 were identified early on as key goals in support of increasing emphasis on system level design. “IEEE 2416 provides a standardized interoperable system-level power model that is an essential piece of the foundation of an emerging industry-scale chiplet ecosystem” commented Ramune Nagisetty, senior principal engineer and director of Process and Product Integration at Intel Corporation.

“Energy-aware, system-level design can be a challenging task,” added John Biggs, chair of the IEEE P1801 Working Group, and distinguished engineer and co-founder of Arm. “With this new standard, designers will be better enabled by having access to semiconductor IP delivered with both IEEE 1801 power state models and IEEE 2416 power data models.”

For design automation groups, UPM provides an industry-standard format for both internal and external IP. This common format saves resources and time as there is no need to support or translate external proprietary formats. UPM also reduces reliance on internal proprietary formats, a long-standing design obsolescence trap.

An EDA startup, Thrace Systems, is planning to add IEEE 2416 support to its products. “UPM/IEEE 2416 is an important new standard. Its rich modeling semantics provide our power analysis platform with the solid infrastructure needed for comprehensive system level analysis,” commented David Ratchkov, Thrace Systems founder and CEO.

The P2416 Working Group was led by IBM, Si2, and Cadence, with active support from Intel and Arm.

For more information contact Jerry Frenkil at jfrenkil@si2.org.

Rahul Goyal of Intel Re-elected Board Chair of Silicon Integration Initiative

AUSTIN, Texas — Rahul Goyal of Intel has been reelected to a one-year term as board chair of Silicon Integration Initiative, a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools. The election was held during Si2’s board meeting at the recent Design Automation Conference.

Other companies represented on the Si2 board are: ANSYS, Cadence Design Systems, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Google, IBM, Qualcomm Technologies, Samsung, Siemens–a Mentor Business, Synopsys and Texas Instruments.

John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO, said Goyal’s reelection “will assure leadership continuity as we expand support for our members into such advanced technologies as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and design in the cloud.”

A member of the Si2 board since 2003, Goyal is vice president, Technology and Manufacturing Group and director, Research and Development Strategic Enabling for Intel. He has global responsibility for strategic sourcing, supply chain strategy, industry relations, ecosystem development, strategic collaborations, data analytics, and capacity management related to product development across Intel’s broad product portfolio. This includes software, system and semiconductor intellectual property, product development outsourcing services, electronic measurement solutions, Electronic Design Automation software, prototyping and verification products used in all aspects of product design, validation and technology development.

Goyal joined Intel in 1989 and has held various technical and management positions in software engineering and technology development. His previous roles there include engineering director in the Design and Technology Solutions Group, director of the integrated silicon technology roadmap development in the Microprocessor Products Group, and senior engineering manager of mask operations. Goyal holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India, and a master’s degree in computer engineering from Syracuse University in New York.

Si2 Announces Winners of Inaugural Power of Partnerships Awards

Si2 Announces Winners of Inaugural Power of Partnerships Awards

Engineers from Intel, Samsung and Synopsys Honored

AUSTIN, Texas – Semiconductor design experts from Intel, Samsung and Synopsys are winners of the first annual Si2 Power of Partnerships award which recognizes the Si2 group or committee that has made the most significant contributions to the success of electronic design automation industry.

Volunteers of the Si2 OpenAccess oaScript Working Group were the winners of a competition between committees from each of three Si2 coalitions:  OpenAccess, Compact Model, and OpenStandards.  Key contributors from the oaScript Working Group will be recognized during the Si2 Annual Member Meeting Reception at the Design Automation Conference in Las Vegas, Monday, June 3, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Las Vegas Westgate Hotel, Ballroom F.

Honorees from the oaScript Working Group are:

  • Rudy Albachten, oaScript Working Group Chair; Co-Chair, OpenAccess Coalition; and Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Intel
  • James D. Masters, Engineering Manager, Intel
  • Cory Krug, Senior Staff Engineer, Samsung
  • Christian Delbaere, Senior Staff Research and Development Engineer, Synopsys

Marshall Tiner, Si2 director of Production Standards, said the oaScript Working Group plays a major role in expanding the functionality of OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used standard API and reference database for integrated circuit design. “This group has brought EDA development capabilities directly to the designers. EDA startups and design groups within end-user companies use it for rapid development of production design tools that strengthen OpenAccess’ relevance,” Tiner said.

“The use of scripting languages, such as Python, to directly access the OpenAccess database is a powerful feature. Turn-around time for creating and modifying scripted code is very fast, and almost all new university graduates are well-versed in one or more scripting languages. Beyond this, there are a number of additional packages available, such as the powerful Polygon Operators extension which relies on oaScript. Access to AI tools, such as TensorFlow, which is built on Python, is now accessible to our users,” Tiner added.

Each Si2 coalition nominated one team for the inaugural award, which spotlights the essential role that teams and individual member volunteers play in Si2’s continuing success:

Runners up in 2019 were:

Compact Model Coalition:  Gallium Nitride High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) Model Working Group, which released two standard models in 2018, culminating a multi-year effort by members and developers.

OpenStandards Coalition:  Unified Power Model Working Group developed several versions of a specification for system-level power modeling focused on IP blocks of arbitrary complexity.

Si2 Names Dr. Rhett Davis Technical and Education Advisor

AUSTIN, Texas — Rhett Davis, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University, has been named Technical and Educational Advisor for Silicon Integration Initiative. Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools.

“This new position expands Davis’ reach and impact on the semiconductor industry,” said John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO.  “His experience with the Si2 OpenAccess database and in artificial intelligence and machine learning will be brought to bear on expanding the ecosystem surrounding our newly upgraded version of OA. The new OA release will greater support high-performance, partitioned, multithreaded AI EDA applications. Dr. Davis’ expertise will assist Si2 and its members in bridging the gap between visionary research and real-world, high-performance, AI applications.”

In this expanded advisory role Davis, who has a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, will continue consulting for Si2 in the areas of system-level power modeling and compact modeling. He has been instrumental in prototyping early-stage implementation of the newly created Unified Power Model now being standardized by Si2 within IEEE.  In the Si2 Compact Model Coalition, Davis has helped the Open Model Interface Working Group rearchitect the TSMC-contributed interface, which allows users to modify model parameters during circuit simulation.

Davis will also support the five university members of the OpenAccess Coalition: North Carolina State, University of Florida, State University of New York, Stanford University and Einhoven University of Technology (Netherlands.)  University members have direct use of the OpenAccess database, which streamlines the path to developing design production tools.

Dr. Davis joined North Carolina State University in 2002 as an assistant professor and became professor in 2008. He received the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award in 2007 and the Si2 Distinguished Service Award in 2012 development of standards for electronic design automation, and the FreePDK open-source, predictive process design kit.

He has been an IEEE member since 1993 and became a senior member in 2011. He has published over 50 scholarly journal and conference articles

Dr. Davis’ research is centered on developing methodologies, CAD tools, and circuits for systems-on-chip in emerging technologies. His interests include 3DIC design and low-power and high-performance circuit design for digital signal-processing and embedded systems.

About Si2

Founded in 1988, Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools. Its activities include support of OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used standard API and reference database for integrated circuit design. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of the The National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws

Si2 Welcomes New Members: Mythic and Thrace Systems

Si2 welcomes its newest members

OpenAccess Coalition — Mythic
www.mythic-ai.com

 

 

OpenStandards Coalition — Thrace Systems
www.thracesystems.com

Qualcomm, Samsung Name New Si2 Board Members

AUSTIN, Texas—Qualcomm Incorporated and Samsung Electronics have named two executives to join the Silicon Integration Initiative board of directors.  Si2 is a global research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools.

Udi Landen is Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  In his current role, Landen provides technical, management and business leadership for engineering teams at various international sites that focus on mobile and computing design enablement and CAD methodology automation roadmaps.  Prior to joining Qualcomm in 2013, Landen held executive and leadership roles at Altera Corp., Mercury Interactive and Cadence Design Systems.  He is a graduate of the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.

Seungbum Ko is vice president of the Samsung Electronics Design Technology Team.  He is responsible for all memory design methodology activities for the Samsung memory division, and also manages the relationships between memory division and EDA vendors. A 21-year veteran at Samsung, Ko’s expertise includes development of SDRAM, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, LPDD2, LPDDR3 and LPDDR4 devices. His internal honors include the Proud Samsung Award, the Jang Young-sil Award, and the Memory Award.

Landen and Ko were approved by a vote of the Si2 board, which represents leading semiconductor manufacturers and foundries, fabless companies, and EDA software providers.

Qualcomm and Samsung are active members of the Si2 OpenAccess and Compact Model Coalitions. OpenAccess is a standard application programming interface and reference source code for the design database used by all major chip design software suppliers. It provides end-user chip designers with inter-tool interoperability. Si2 standard, compact SPICE simulation models selected and supported by the Compact Model Coalition are used by every major circuit simulator in the semiconductor industry.

About Si2

Founded in 1988, Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools. Its activities include support of OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used standard API and reference database for integrated circuit design. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of the The National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws

Qualcomm, Samsung Name New Si2 Board Members

AUSTIN, Texas—Qualcomm Incorporated and Samsung Electronics have named two executives to join the Silicon Integration Initiative board of directors.  Si2 is a global research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools.

Udi Landen is Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  In his current role, Landen provides technical, management and business leadership for engineering teams at various international sites that focus on mobile and computing design enablement and CAD methodology automation roadmaps.  Prior to joining Qualcomm in 2013, Landen held executive and leadership roles at Altera Corp., Mercury Interactive and Cadence Design Systems.  He is a graduate of the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.

 

Seungbum Ko is vice president of the Samsung Electronics Design Technology Team.  He is responsible for all memory design methodology activities for the Samsung memory division, and also manages the relationships between memory division and EDA vendors. A 21-year veteran at Samsung, Ko’s expertise includes development of SDRAM, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, LPDD2, LPDDR3 and LPDDR4 devices. His internal honors include the Proud Samsung Award, the Jang Young-sil Award, and the Memory Award.

 

Landen and Ko were approved by a vote of the Si2 board, which represents leading semiconductor manufacturers and foundries, fabless companies, and EDA software providers.

Qualcomm and Samsung are active members of the Si2 OpenAccess and Compact Model Coalitions. OpenAccess is a standard application programming interface and reference source code for the design database used by all major chip design software suppliers. It provides end-user chip designers with inter-tool interoperability. Si2 standard, compact SPICE simulation models selected and supported by the Compact Model Coalition are used by every major circuit simulator in the semiconductor industry.

About Si2

Founded in 1988, Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools. Its activities include support of OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used standard API and reference database for integrated circuit design. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of the The National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws.