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Consultant begins work on EDA 'encyclopedia'

Posted: 19 Apr 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:eda? ic? kluwer academic publisher? synopsis? chrysalis?

Seeking to write the definitive book about EDA, consultant and EDA veteran Tom Jackson is working with Kluwer Academic Publishers to compile what he calls an EDA "encyclopedia. " Jackson is seeking industry input for his ambitious project, which aims at providing a single reference source that covers the entire EDA industry.

The encyclopedia will initially be a hardcover book, or set of books, that provides an introduction to the EDA industry, defines terms, and shows how terms apply to IC and systems design. It will be followed up by online updates. As of now the first book is probably about a year away, Jackson said.

"Our industry is essential to the economy and livelihood of many people, but there's never been a single source of what EDA is," Jackson said. "There are different works on various subjects, but nobody has integrated the entire industry."

Jackson said the project's goal is to provide a resource that can be used by students, engineers, EDA providers, and other interested parties such as analysts. It won't be a textbook with exercises, and it won't be a marketing tome, he said. "It will be highly technical and focused on various aspects of EDA, for instance place and route and where it fits into the flow." Topics in that area might include routing algorithms, placement-based design, timing closure, design for yield, and design for test, he noted.

Jackson has some background that will help him tell the story. He's been in and around the EDA industry since 1983, when he started working for Zycad. Since then he held marketing positions at Aida, Cadence, Chrysalis, Synopsys, and HPL Technologies. Jackson is now an independent consultant, and he said that Kluwer, which publishes a number of technology-oriented books, approached him with the idea.

One of Jackson's first tasks is to form a technical advisory board consisting of technologists from industry, academia, and EDA companies. Members of the board will supply and review content. Meanwhile, Jackson is working with Michael Hackett, senior editor at Kluwer, and Carl Harris, publishing director at Kluwer.

In addition to defining the EDA flow, the encyclopedia may have appendices that describe the history of EDA, list acronyms, and peer into the future of EDA. Online updates may include animations and other multimedia, Jackson said. "It's going to be a project that should live on for some time," he noted.

It's a daunting task, Jackson acknowledges. "I'm kind of questioning my sanity, but I think it will be all right once we get it kicked off," he said.

"Once we get some momentum, then it's a matter of execution, of pulling the material together and then launching it," Jackson said. "It's something the industry needs. The more people we can get to contribute and be on the board, the better."

- Richard Goering

EE Times

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