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Synopsys expands open-source offerings

Posted: 17 Oct 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:eda? OpenVera language? simulators? saif? verilog?

Synopsys Inc. has released an open-source version of a switching power exchange format at its semiannual EDA Interoperability Developer's Forum. Synopsys also announced an open-source parser for the OpenVera language, and the availability of noise modeling for its Liberty open library standard.

The Switching Activity Interchange Format (SAIF) and OpenVera parser join other open-source offerings from Synopsys, including the Liberty library format, OpenVera itself, and the Synopsys Design Constraint format. But Synopsys has also taken some criticism for releasing standards on its own, rather than working through neutral standards bodies.

Synopsys' SAIF takes toggle information from simulators and makes it available to static and dynamic power analysis tools. While simulators from Synopsys, Cadence Design Systems Inc., and Model Technology currently output SAIF, according to Rich Goldman, VP of strategic market development at Synopsys, only Synopsys' power analysis tools can read it as input at present.

"SAIF boils down to how many times each node toggles," Goldman said. "You can get all that from VCD [Verilog change dump format] but it is a mess. You have to trace every single change in the design."

Now that SAIF is open, he said, other EDA developers can freely make use of it without having to work individually with Synopsys, as did Cadence and Model Technology. The SAIF format, along with a VCD-to-SAIF translator, is available from Synopsys' Technology Access Program Web site.

Commenting on Synopsys' announcement of an open-source OpenVera parser, Goldman said the OpenVera hardware verification language itself was open previously, but that any users would have had to develop their own parser. The open-source parser will be available at the OpenVera web site next month.

Like other Synopsys offerings, SAIF and the new parser are "pure open source," Goldman said. They are available to anyone, and users are free to make changes, he said. There is a click-through license, but Goldman said it is more flexible than the GNU Public License (GPL), which puts some restrictions on commercial activity.

While Synopsys is not specifically donating these new offerings to standards bodies, any standards body could make use of them, said Karen Bartleson, Synopsys' director of quality and interoperability. "With open source, there is no need to donate anything because it is already there," she said.

Synopsys this week is also announcing the addition of crosstalk noise modeling to Liberty, which includes the ".lib" library format. This modeling, considered crucial for sub-100nm designs, had been missing before - a point made by backers of the emerging Advanced Library Format (ALF) standard, which already has noise modeling.

"We are pleased that Synopsys recognizes the importance of noise modeling by enhancing the .lib format in a way which is semantically compatible with Accellera's ALF," said Dennis Brophy, chairman of the Accellera standards organization.

- Richard Goering

EE Times

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