Oct 27 2010

Cadence EDA360 Highlights Mixed Signal as Key

Published by at 10:44 pm under Uncategorized

At the CDN Live San Jose event on 10/27, the morning was devoted to the new program called EDA360.  As one of the chief architects of the  plan program John Bruggeman, CMO for Cadence, evangelized about the program.  The overview of EDA360 is that is more than a company direction, it is a strategy of survival and  growth for the EDA industry.  Cadence, along with EDA leaders Synopsys and Mentor, have now all acknowledged that at 30+ years of age, the EDA industry has to change from just point tools and support services to being an integrated solution provider in the electronic products ecosystem.  The EDA360 concept relates to the interconnected nature of modern design where process technology through SOC design to full system and software creation are dependent on each other.

One of the pillars of the system is Silicon Realization.  This is now a collaborative effort with designer, IP providers, fabs, tools, models and service providers working together to provide a solution for an SOC creation.  Historically this was solely the task of the designer and  rest were just providers of information or “components”.  In the new scenario, there is a common solution end point identified, and the efforts to reach that endpoint are done by whoever has the available resources and capabilities, rather than the tasks being divided up by “roles” in the ecosystem.

An integral part of the Silicon Realization stage is the  acceptance that all SOCs are now mixed signal devices.  With high speed I/Os, display controls, memory interfaces,  PLLs, Power State Control and RF being part of most new systems, there is a requirement to have these parametrically defined  device level “analog” blocks  have to be verified in their “digital” context.  This now bring AMS and AMS modeling technologies to the forefront of SOC design.  Cadence has improved and enhanced their custom design tools and incorporated in-situ device and component awareness into their  ”digital” workflow tools.  This heavily leverages their deep market penetration in custom design and analog into the SOC marketplace.  The evidence of this success was shown with historic custom design customer Texas Instruments, presenting a advanced node ARM core implementation for the mobile compute space.

The EDA360 model is based on the Android OS deployment and “app” ecosystem model.  It is supposed to be an open collaborative environment dominated by partner relationships rather than customer/vendor relationships.  This is new for the EDA industry which traditionally followed a predatory and somewhat adversarial vendor / client relationship model.   To help promote this ecosystem, John B indicated that Cadence would be launching a new version of a program that features open solutions integration and third party tool integration as a replacement for the Connections Program that was terminated a few years back.  A launch date, structure and name for the new program have not been announced as yet, but the plans for the program are in progress.


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