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Not me. Who owns IP quality?

Not me. Who owns IP quality?
by Paul McLellan on 03-05-2012 at 4:32 pm

 Now that the dominant approach to building an SoC is to get IP from a number of sources and assemble it into a chip, the issue of IP quality is more and more critical. A chip won’t work if the IP doesn’t work, but it is quite difficult to verify this because the SoC design team is not intimately familiar with the IP blocks since nobody on the team designed them.

At DATE next week in Dresden there is a panel session on just this topic, moderated by Gary Smith. It takes place from 13:15 to 14:15 (or 1.15pm to 2.15pm for Americans) in the Exhibition Theater.

Participating on the panel are:

  • Fahim Rahim, director of engineering at Atrenta in Grenoble
  • Simon Butler, CEO of Methodics in San Francisco
  • Gabriele Saucier, president of D&R in Grenoble
  • Andreas Bruning, director of the technology office of ZDMI in Dresden
  • Gerd Teepe, director of design enablement for GlobalFoundries in Dresden

 While there are many tools available to help verify, debug, assemble and otherwise manipulate IP, there’s a distinct lack of a solid design data management system to address the specific needs of SoC designers. As a result, IP often suffers from a bad rap regarding quality. Users blame providers, and tool vendors and CAD managers are often caught in the middle, trying to put together solutions that track changes, use models and offer some degree of version control. Complicating matters is that the term “IP quality” has different meanings to different people – is it 1) the functional correctness of the IP – does it work they way it is supposed to (i.e. bug free); 2) or defined by its ability to do what is expected with respect to design parameters – power, timing, area, etc?

The panel will discuss what needs to be done to improve the design environment from the perspective of all the players

 And if you are at DATE in Dresden, there is an interesting piece of “design re-use” that is worth a visit, the Frauenkirche, destroyed by bombing in 1945. The first time I went to Dresden was still a ruin, but it has been completely rebuilt. The original was built in 1726-43 and has been rebuilt using the original plans, many of the original stones (you can tell the old from the new because they are charred). In 2003 it was half built when I took the second photo. It reopened in 2005, 60 years after it collapsed. Wikipedia page here.

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