I had the opportunity to attend a ClioSoft webinar recently on the topic of IP traceability. ClioSoft provides a broad range of tools for design data management and IP reuse. Entitled The New Trend in IP Traceability that IP Developers and Design Managers Rely On, the webinar was presented by Karim Khalfan, director of applications engineering at ClioSoft. Karim has been at ClioSoft for almost 17 years, so he knows a lot about the company’s products and how they are used.
I’ve attended and produced many webinars over the years. There have been a lot more opportunities to do so in recent times. After a while, you identify the winning formula for that special medium of streaming delivery. Focus, clarity, clear examples and above all, brevity are all ingredients that work. I can say that this ClioSoft webinar did everything right. Learning the complexity of IP tracing, along with a clear demonstration of how to address those perils from the perspective of three different users, all in under 30 minutes with a Q&A session as well is impressive. Karim hit all the highlights perfectly.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend the event, don’t despair. There is a replay link coming in a bit. Before we get to that, I’ll give you some highlights of Karim’s presentation.
First of all, why is IP traceability important? There are lots of intuitive responses to this question. Here are three concrete points to consider:
- Increase visibility: whether it’s a third-party or internally developed piece of IP, knowing where it’s been used and with what kind of success it has seen are important
- Improve quality: through tacking what projects are using the IP and how they’re using it
- Reduce risk: by knowing if you’re using the right version and knowing how it works
Beyond the commonsense reasons for IP traceability, very clear and well documented IP tracing is the price of admission for standards-driven design projects such as those required by ISO26262 and MIL-STD-882.
With some motivation as to why IP traceability is important, Karim discussed the various stakeholders that would be involved in his live demonstration. There are three:
- IP Owner: Reviews Jira tickets, modifies IP, releases new versions
- IP Consumer: Selects the right IP, updates it as needed and integrates the IP into the design project
- Design Manager: Reviews all aspects of IP updates to ensure the correct IP is being used, analyzes and addresses any conflicts, approves the design and propagates results
So, what could go wrong in the lives of these folks on a real project without the right methodology and tools? Lack of proper notification of IP changes to all the teams and projects that use the IP, inability to find and review all the changes made (especially for binary representations) and incomplete propagation of required changes to all those using the IP are just a few of the headaches one could face.
Karim then ran a series of live demos on a real IP update example from the point of view of the IP owner, IP consumer and design manager. ClioSoft’s SOS7 design management platform formed the backbone of the demo, along with integrations to other key tools like the Jira issue tracking system and the Cadence Virtuoso layout editing platform.
The demo began with the IP owner logging into Jira to find that an important IP enhancement was needed – reduce the finger count on a precision op amp. Logging into the ClioSoft SOS environment allowed the IP owner to find the IP and see all the design teams and projects that were using the IP. The IP owner then made the required changes in Virtuoso, which is integrated into the SOS environment. A new version of the IP was then checked back into SOS and the users of the IP were notified.
The IP consumer had many paths of notification for this change – it was actually hard to miss. This person then used additional analysis tools provided in SOS to examine the changes in the new version to make sure it was appropriate to update the instances. The changes were then reviewed by the design manager who identified an inconsistency in the use of ATPG in two blocks of the design. This was remedied with a quick query regarding available versions.
That’s a very short overview of the demo. I highly recommend you watch the live version; it shows a lot more details about the capabilities available to all stakeholders in the ClioSoft tools. You can access the webinar replay here. While you’re on the ClioSoft website, you can check out all of their products to support design data management and IP reuse. At my prior company, eSilicon, we were a ClioSoft customer and found their tools to work well and their customer support to be excellent.
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