To keep track of my business and personal finances I use software from Quicken, but for an SoC with hundreds of IP blocks how do you keep track of everything? The answer is found in the growing field of EDA tools for IP management, and at DACearlier this month I sat down with Neil Handof Methodics to get an update on what the industry trends are.
Q: What’s new in the past year?
In 2014 we’ve had more adoption of projectic, which is more of an IP management tool. We’re open and allow customers to choose us with their own methodology, not a forced methodology. We are open, and let you use your own tools like: Perforce, Subversion, Git. This IC design data already exists, so we just let you manage it all together as meta-data, linked to your own platforms.
Q: Does everyone on the SoC design team have to use your projectic tool?
The IC design data can be shared across multiple groups, without being controlled by projectic.
Large companies can have their own bug trackers, and a second group working with Methodics tools, then both teams can work together with Methodics. Each group can adopt Methodics as needed, so it’s quite flexible instead of being disruptive.
Q: Can you talk about your market share in this EDA segment at all?
EDAC doesn’t really track design data management tool sales, so market share is tough to accurately know. Our business is healthy, we are growing in headcount, and have hired people in US and Europe.
Q: How is Methodics doing against competition?
Our first product was Versic and is used by analog IC design teams. Design teams that wrote their own data management tools then look at Methodics and choose that, so they can focus on design competence. We’re replacing seats at IC Manage, Cliosoft and Dassault. Although we can co-exist with other tools as well, making us unique.
Q: What conferences and trade shows do you attend each year?
DAC is our main show each year, and we also go to the Cadence Live events worldwide to show versic integrated with Virtuoso, plus projectic. DATE is another show for us in Europe.
Q: With data management there are workspaces, and they can be slow to use. What can speed that process up?
To eliminate the wait to build a new workspace, we can create huge workspaces almost instantly using a NetApp box. You can also use a software-only approach using our built-in workspace management (IP caching), so that design teams working on the same chip get checked out while the rest of the IP is centralized. To copy the entire workspace you can do that in seconds with the NetApp box.
Q: What events is Methodics involved with at DAC this year?
There was an IP panel yesterday with Ed Sperling, Google, Duolog (ARM) and Codasip. In the Cadence theatre today. Wednesday there’s an IP talk at the ChipEstimate theatre.
Q: Who are your typical customers?
Our customers are fabless semiconductor companies, like an American memory company, tier one customers. For projectic we see fabless semi companies needing to manage their IP portfolios while doing projects.
Q: How long does it take for an IC team to evaluate Methodics tools?
Evaluations can take typically about 6 weeks from first meeting to proof. They can evaluate using a VPN into Methodics for basic learning, they can receive a box pre-configured to their own site, finally we can install software on their site. There’s an evaluation checklist that new customers can look at and consider.
Q: How is Methodics working with other EDA companies?
We are part of the Cadence Connections program, and also have some common Synopsys customers but not a formal program, and with Mentor no partner program is really needed. Versic was tightly integrated into Virtuoso.
Q: How can engineers learn more about what you have to offer for IP management?
Webinars will be coming up soon, so expect the DAC experience to be ready online and recorded where you can just register and view the demo.
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