SAN JOSE, Calif. Silicon Integration Initiative Inc. (Si2) will propose to RosettaNet that the two groups work together on a single standard for the online exchange of technical data about electronic components.
Officials from Si2 and RosettaNet, the latter formed to define e-commerce standards for companies in the information technology and component supply chain, said a decision on the groups' collaboration is expected before the end of the year.
The combined effort could simplify online component searches as well as communications between component buyers and sellers.
If Si2 (Austin, Texas) and RosettaNet (Santa Ana, Calif.) agree to collaborate, RosettaNet is likely to adopt the QuickData specification of Si2's Electronic Component Information Exchange (ECIX) project. The spec defines requests for technical data about components.
Eight semiconductor make rs and OEMs are working on the ECIX project two years ago to pin down specifications for the exchange of component data and for e-commerce transactions. The XML-based QuickData is intended to support interaction between component suppliers and customers.
If the two groups agree to work together, QuickData would become the basis for one of the XML-based Partner Interface Processes, or PIPs, that RosettaNet is creating for electronic communication and transactions related to electronic components. ECIX and RosettaNet would also combine forces to develop a full set of PIPs for the electronic component community.
Linda York, vice president of operations for RosettaNet, said adoption of QuickData would speed up some of the work of RosettaNet's electronic components board, which was formed last Spring to create models for component business processes. York did not say whether RosettaNet would adopt QuickData as is.
"QuickData is equivalent to a PIP we would develop for 'Request for Information' in the electronic component community," York said. "QuickData may offer us a quick way to meet the requirements of the PIP."
To make its decision on QuickData, York said RosettaNet will take "a serious look at the work ECIX has done, determine what the migration path would be, how [RosettaNet] can adopt it and how much do we have to create on top of it for the electronic component community."
Adoption of QuickData would allow RosettaNet to leverage Si2's expertise in designing standards for the creation, exchange and use of electronic component information, including ASIC cores. Si2 last month spearheaded an initiative to get silicon intellectual property providers to adopt the QuickData specification for tools and standards related to the sale of virtual components online.
Si2 hopes to see RosettaNet incorporate into its PIPs a registry ECIX has developed which would allow customers to broadcast requests for information to all compliant supp liers, said Don Cottrell, vice president of technology for Si2.
That feature would allow engineers to send one query to all registered suppliers with a set of criteria a component must meet. A supplier would respond only if its part met the criteria, Cottrell said.
ECIX and Si2 are familiar partners. Si2 was an early supporter of the ECIX effort, and the two have danced around the idea of collaborating on PIPs, Cottrell said.
"SI2 has been involved behind the scenes [at ECIX] for a while," said Robin Gray, executive vice president of the National Electronic Distributors Association (Alpharetta, Ga.). "They were an early coalition partner. Part of RosettaNet's modus operandi is to build on existing standards. Perhaps the biggest benefit of the link is that there will be less work for some parties and it might save some money."
Cottrell said that Si2 is "not prepared to say when we will unroll this [proposal], and we won't say RosettaNet PIP will turn into QuickData and QuickData won't turn i nto RosettaNet."
One fly in the ointment in merging ECIX's QuickData specification into RosettaNet is that it may change the migration path for semiconductor companies that have already adopted QuickData. But Cottrell said he expects any changes to QuickData to be minimal.
Rather than see RosettaNet create its own specification from scratch, Cottrell said it makes sense for the group to leverage ECIX's work. "In retrospect, it's a shame we didn't know each other two years ago," he said.