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Ciranova plans to donate p-cell tech to Si2

Posted: 06 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:persistent parameterized cells? p-cells? analog IC layout?

Startup Ciranova Inc. is planning to donate caching technology for persistent parameterized cells (p-cells) to the Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) Open Access Coalition to allow tools from different vendors to read cached p-cells from each other's tools.

P-cells are the foundation of analog IC layout, and the startup has been working actively towards p-cell interoperability. Since early last year the company has been offering free downloads of PyCell Studio, which can be used to create new OpenAccess p-cells. Ciranova also has a paid product, PyCell Extreme, which lets users migrate legacy p-cells created with Cadence Design System's Skill language. This is accomplished through a caching scheme that pulls p-cells directly into the OpenAccess database.

According to Dave Millman, VP of marketing at Ciranova, only users of PyCell Extreme or those who have commercial support for PyCell Studio have access to persistent, or cached, p-cells. Otherwise, p-cells disappear as soon as an application is closed. Cached p-cells have some advantages, he said. One is that they can be read much more quickly, and another is that they can work more easily in tools from multiple vendors.

"If there's a unified sub-master caching scheme, then tools from different vendors will be able to read everybody else's cached p-cells, and that becomes very interesting," Millman said. "If we make this donation, which seems highly likely, then end users could see a variety of tools providing a persistent p-cell capability, with different tools being able to read each other's cached p-cells." The end result, he said, will be more interoperability, flexibility and productivity in the analog design flow.

While it's not a done deal yet, Millman said Ciranova expects to donate the source code for its caching technology to the OpenAccess Coalition within the next few weeks. It will be a "non-core" contribution made to the new Contributions Process Working Group of the OpenAccess Coalition.

"Si2 looks forward to Ciranova's p-cell caching contribution, which will help OpenAccess on the road to interoperable design flows," said Sumit DasGupta, senior VP of engineering at Si2. "With a unified p-cell sub-master caching scheme, it will be possible for tools from different sources to read all sub-master caches."

- Richard Goering
EE Times

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