SAN JOSE, Calif. Proclaiming its entry into the "electronic design collaboration" market, Novas Software is preparing to roll out nEwhere, an open-source tool that lets designers run debugging sessions over the Internet. The tool will be provided to users of Novas' Debussy debugging software free.
Debussy is a Verilog and VHDL debugging tool that works with simulation, formal verification and timing analysis. The product is integrated with tools from Axis Systems, Cadence Design Systems, Model Technology, Synopsys and Verplex.
The new nEwhere package is based on the Virtual Network Computing (VNC) open-source technology. Novas has enhanced this software to work more efficiently with Debussy, and will use it to allow real-time communication between engineers and design teams who may be in remote locations.
A logical extension
Scott Sandler, vice president of product marketing at Novas, said nEwhere represents a new corporat e direction that's a logical extension of Novas' work with Debussy. "We'll be introducing products later in the year that use this technology to enable new kinds of collaboration related to debugging and design understanding," he said.
The product can actually be used with any application, but is currently optimized to run most efficiently with Debussy, Sandler said.
System-on-chip design has created a compelling need for team-based collaboration, Sandler said. General-purpose conferencing software, like Web-Ex, is widely available, but it isn't aimed at electronic design data, he noted. Using general-purpose conferencing software, said Sandler, "you have to wait a long time for things to show up on the screen; nEwhere is a lot faster for our type of design data."
The original VNC software is distributed under the GNU public license (GPL). Sandler noted that it didn't contain any compression algorithms or ways of reducing the amount of design dat a. "We're still in the process of looking at all the ways we can minimize the amount of data," he said.
To use nEwhere, a host user initiates a session by publishing a URL and a password. Remote users join the session by entering the URL in their browser. The host can then share interactive applications, as the remote users view exactly what's on the host desktop.
The nEwhere package will be available for download.