Posts

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.

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.

 

What is Open about Si2 OpenAccess?

Marshall 200sq

 

 

 

 

By Marshall Tiner
Director of Production Standards
Si2

What is open about Si2 OpenAccess?

It seems these days everything is “open,” and the terms get confusing. Here is a short history of a few key areas to help clarify things. The label “open source” is credited to the free software movement of 1998. In February of that year, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded and the Open Source Definition adopted. OSI tried to trademark the term “open source,” in an effort to control its usage.

So, what does open source mean?

The term refers to a licensing methodology whereby the source code is made publicly available. Depending on the license terms, others may then download, modify, and publish their version (fork) back to the community. The Apache Software Foundation’s license has become a standard within the open source world.

Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) was born out of the 1988 CAD Framework Initiative (CFI), with a goal of enabling design tool interoperability. Cadence developed the OpenAccess API to standardize the design database, which resulted in interoperability between design databases from different tool suppliers. With the contribution of the OpenAccess API, the OpenAccess Coalition was formed within Si2. To the design tool user this meant a huge productivity increase when using tools from different suppliers.

Before the OpenAccess Coalition, designs, measurements, and results were passed back and forth between tools via time-consuming, error-prone, file transfers. OpenAccess in effect “opened” the design database so all coalition members could develop tools that shared the database. This removed the cost of the file transfer and allowed two tools to act upon the same data. While file transfer seems like a small thing, it can represent significant cost-of-engineering time on a large design. In addition, it enables the user to check-fix-check errors one at a time instead of several at a time, reducing long file transfer time. Ultimately it benefitted the entire industry enabling “best of “design flows, which are very common today.

So is OpenAccess open source software?

The answer is no. The difference is who the software is open to. OpenAccess is licensed much like open source software, though not open to the general public. The license requires Si2 membership which helps provide the resources required to keep the standard viable for use. There is a significant resource investment associated with OpenAccess. OpenAccess Coalition members have access to the source code and some of the derivative products (called Extensions) to use and even modify if necessary. Much like the Open Software Foundation works for the general public, Si2 and the OpenAccess Coalition provide a means of collaborative development for design product interaction/interoperability. The really great part is that the members realize a 1/N cost advantage developing the standard together rather than each doing it alone.

Is Si2 OpenAccess “open?”

Yes, OpenAccess is open to the OpenAccess Coalition membership, which consists of many electronic design automation tool development companies, and semiconductor companies, that’s pretty open.

Membership cost is based upon the company revenue to allow an easy entry point into the EDA business. A small company can quickly become compatible with the larger suppliers and “plug right into the design flow”. There is no better way to take a new EDA company into the market. Come join the OpenAccess Coalition and align the future with your company’s needs.

MediaTek Joins Si2 OpenAccess Coalition

Si2 welcomes MediaTek Inc. as the newest member of the OpenAccess Coalition. The OpenAccess Database is the world’s most widely used, open reference database for IC design, with a supporting standard API.  It was developed to create authentic interoperability between EDA companies and semiconductor designers and manufacturers. Its adoption has improved design flow efficiency across the industry.

MediaTek (TWSE: 2454) is a global fabless semiconductor company that enables 1.5 billion connected devices a year. They are a market leader in developing innovative systems-on-chip (SoC) for mobile device, home entertainment, connectivity and IoT products.

Advanced Track Pattern Modeling in Si2 OpenAccess

jamesmasters
JAMES D. MASTERS,
senior CAD engineer at Intel,
discusses advanced track
modeling in the
Si2 OpenAccess database.

Click here to see the video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OpenAccess Membership Documents

OpenAccess Membership Required Documents

First: For access to current OpenAccess and oaScript (and other extensions) source code, the member must join the OpenAccess Coalition.

OpenAccess  Membership agreement:   OAC_Generic_Membership_Agreement.pdf  

oac_generic_membership_agreement

Second:   Use of OpenAccess requires the OpenAccess–Internal Use and Distribution License V 4.0 Oct. 1, 2004. 

openaccessinternaluseanddistributionlic_v4_041001

Third:   Use of Si2 OpenAccess Scripting Interface requires the ESG (Extensions Steering Group) OpenAccess ESG License v2.0 (January 31, 2013)

si2_esg_license_v2_0_01-31-2013

 

 

Paul Stabler New Chairman of Si2 OpenAccess Board

paulstablerPaul Stabler, senior engineering manager in the IBM EDA organization, has been elected chairman of Si2 OpenAccess Coalition for 2017. He replaces Rudy Albachten of Intel, who assumes an advisory role as vice chairman.

The OAC board oversees operational decisions for OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used, open-reference database with its own supporting standard API.

A 35-year IBM veteran, Stabler currently manages clocking, design for manufacturing, and integration tools and methodology. He has been an OAC volunteer for five years.

Nicolas Williams of Mentor Graphics Joins Si2 Standards-Setting Group

nicolasNicolas Williams of Mentor Graphics has been elected to the Si2 Extensions Steering Group. The ESG determines which Si2 OpenAccess Coalition extensions become OAC working groups and move forward for possible industry standardization. At Mentor, Nicolas is responsible for specifying and leading product direction of Tanner tools for analog, RF and MEMS devices.  He also leads PDK conversions efforts for Tanner tools and works closely with customers to develop application specific EDA solutions.

Si2 is a research and development joint venture that provides collaborative research and development leading to accelerated interoperability solutions and standards for integrated circuit design.

 

Accelerating Analog Design and Migration at the Functional Level

ramyiskanderDR. RAMY ISKANDER,
CEO of Intento Design, discusses
the use of  Si2 OpenAccess
in an automated, analog design flow.

Click here to see the video.

–