Mark Waller, Pulsic Ltd.
2/11/2011 4:03 AM EST
As custom designs begin to target 45nm-and-below process technologies, they have become so large and so complex that manual design methodologies that have stood the test of decades are no longer sufficient. Even if a design team could create and validate accurately the function and interaction of the millions of components that make up today’s advanced custom designs using manual methods, the time required to create custom designs of this magnitude by hand makes the effort impractical in terms of time-to-market and engineering costs.
To address the need for a way to handle greater complexity and to enhance productivity, design automation technologies have been developed to streamline the custom design process. Many design teams adopting these automation technologies, such as automatic routing, have seen their time-to-market cut by up to 50 percent.
But there are many productivity gains still to be realized. The next step in custom-design productivity is to automate the transfer of data between these design tools, both in terms of actual design data and ancillary data that inform the design process. Standards have played a pivotal role in enabling the transfer of actual design data. However, some critical ancillary data – design constraints – are still managed by ad-hoc, manual or proprietary methods that leave a lot of productivity on the table.
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