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Data-management platform enables scalable, collaborative IC design

Posted: 24 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Global Design Platform? multisite data management? data-management platform?

IC Manage has announced Global Design Platform (GDP), said to be the first data-management solution to offer design assembly, derivative management and real-time worldwide delivery. Using the Perforce engine, GDP also includes IT integration for hot backup, high availability and disaster recovery for 24 x 7 enterprise availability, and extends IC Manage's existing high-performance revision control, configuration management and multisite collaboration capabilities.

IC Manage claims its GDP solution is the only IC design management system that offers transaction-based approach for real-time worldwide delivery, message queuing architecture with atomic transactions for performance and data reliability, and streaming TCP/IP for performance approaching wire speed across long latency networks.

The GDP solution enables companies to efficiently manage, locate, assemble and reuse design data and IP across the enterprise during all design phases. Its next-generation architecture delivers advance performance, reliability and scalability compared to traditional data-management systems based on the RCS technology from the 1980s. IC Manage's relational database and server side meta-data model provide a query-based solution to eliminate the problem of gathering and reporting information stored in globally dispersed client workspaces.

"A design team's ability to collaborate efficiently across a global network throughout the design process is vital to meeting their project goals," said Dean Drako, president and CEO, IC Manage. "With today's dramatic increase in data volume, only a transaction-based approach with derivative tracking will let companies achieve around-the-clock, high reliability, design collaboration efficiencies."

Design hurdles
Due to the increase in data set sizes across multiple sites, IC designs now require more infrastructure than what conventional data-management systems can provide. Project management can be expected to make up 20 to 25 percent of design costs at 65nm, almost double the costs at 90nm.

With current methods, designers and design groups face lengthy tagging times, protracted check-in and check-out times and are unable to easily assemble and reuse existing components without complex scripting. Teams also encounter corruption from glitches during data transfers over global networks, caused by file-by-file transfer operations and experience challenges in sharing collateral when they use separate configuration management systems for HW/SW development.

From a global design perspective, designs groups in different geographic regions face different problems. These include the inability to handle large binary objects quickly and the inability to efficiently combine data from multiple sites. Designers (worldwide) can also be locked out during back-ups and face the difficulty in implementing disaster recovery plan.

Scalable, multisite design
The GDP solution is a reliable, scalable, high performance, multisite design management system. It contains the following key capabilities:

Global Design Platform is a reliable, scalable, high performance, multisite design management system.

  • Derivative management. The GDP solution allows design managers to track component usage across both revision space and derivative space. When creating new derivatives, GDP tracks the bidirectional relationships between 'parent and child'. Both sources and targets are recorded, and changes can automatically be propagated in either direction by using meta-data records. In contrast, with conventional RCS-style branching, the designers must re-work the same block changes in multiple places.

  • Design assembly. IC Manage facilitates a powerful component-based model that enables project managers to easily mix, match and reuse components and IP blocks developed at any site in the enterprise with no scripting.

  • Cross-coupled defect tracking. GDP records defect and data state together. This cross-coupling feature eliminates uncertainty caused by designers guessing the design state when they try to replicate a bug. Instead, they can synchronize their workspace to the exact state when the bug was reported, fixed or verified, making validation and testing faster and more efficient.

  • Multisite content delivery. IC Manage GDP offers a unique real-time content delivery mechanism as part of its multisite design collaboration support. Design teams can push or pull common data, such as process design kits (PDKs) and internal and external IP to any site with no delay. The content delivery architecture minimizes bandwidth usage by ensuring that only one copy of a particular version is sent over the WAN. The GDP's stateless caching mechanism prevents incorrect data from being delivered to the remote site during network disconnects or other related errors. Since the GDP solution is entirely change-driven, it can automatically detect and propagate the appropriate content for any workspace in a reliable and maintenance-free manner.

The above capabilities of IC Manage GDP add to IC Manage's existing ultraperformance release management, revision control and multisite collaboration capabilities. With the company's release management, release states are implicit for all versions in the change-based architecture and are fully incremental, compared to the explicit, tag-based approaches. And because IC Manage GDP is built on Perforce, an industry-standard SCM, both hardware and software developers can use the same unified configuration management system to develop and reuse collateral.

Non-stop data replication
IC Manage's GDP includes IT integration for hot backup, high availability and disaster recovery, offering global design teams data availability on demand and near real-time replication for the true non-stop enterprise availability mandated for today's around-the-clock design efforts. The device offers the following key capabilities for these:

  • Global scalability. IC Manage GDP ensures that data is available in all locations on demand.

  • Storage Management. IC Manage GDP allows managers to reduce costs through a tiered storage mechanism.

  • Disaster recovery. GDP supports redundant configurations are supported with multiple peers in different regions across the WAN. In the event of a total loss scenario in the local data center, the remote data center can immediately take over operation without the need for recovery from tape or other archive.

  • High availability. Automatic failover or high availability, via peer-to-peer redundant configurations, allows one server to automatically take over from the other in the event of hardware or other failures.

  • Back-up integration. With hot backup, the design database is not required to be in a quiescent state for it to be backed up, providing non-stop availability of the repository across multiple time zones without purchasing special hardware or software.

The design platform is available today on Linux, Solaris and Windows. At present, companies such as AMD, Cambridge Silicon Radio, National Semiconductor, NVIDIA, Rambus and SanDisk use the GDP solution.

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