Get email delivery of the Cadence blog featured here
Looks like the schematic had some ECOs. What changed?
Is the layout for this design DRC/LVS clean?
Which rev of the schematic was the layout created for?
Is this the correct version of the IP that should be used?
Is the verification team using the correct design version?
Sound familiar? These are certainly well-known questions to Karim Khalfan, director of application engineering at ClioSoft. Headquartered in Fremont, Calif., ClioSoft develops SoC design data and IP management solutions for the semiconductor design industry.
In his role at the company, Khalfan hears these kinds of questions often from customers. Fortunately, he has some answers. Khalfan presented a talk called “Improving Collaboration Within a Mixed-Signal Design Team” in the Cadence Theater earlier this summer at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) in San Francisco.
“One of the goals of this presentation is to show you how we can help you improve collaboration, especially with a mixed-signal flow,” said Khalfan. “We can put a flow in place to help customers move data from engineer to engineer, and put a process in place so managers know what engineers are working on.”
Without a good collaboration flow, said Khalfan, engineers tend to rely on emails or hallway conversations. There’s the potential for miscommunication between multi-site design teams. ECO requests might get overlooked. Explained Khalfan: “We want to help improve that communication, especially between the schematic and layout engineer. We want to provide the metrics and status reports of what stage the project is in, and also help you record the milestones you’re in. The most important thing is, we want to keep it simple. Otherwise, engineers won’t use the data management system.”
ClioSoft’s SOS design data management platform, which integrates with Cadence Virtuoso analog and mixed-signal design tools, is the foundation of the flow that Khalfan discussed. Flow features that help enhance collaboration, according to Khalfan, include:
“The flow is simple, it’s non-intrusive, it’s not going to tell the engineers they need to do 10 steps before [their design] is ready for tapeout,” said Khalfan. “We use tags and attributes to help us establish that relationship of handshaking between engineers, regardless of where they are located. The audit trail will basically tell the engineers what changes have been done and what they need to work on next.”
To see a diagram of ClioSoft’s collaboration flow and to hear Khalfan’s talk, go to Cadence’s DAC microsite. Find Cliosoft at Session 40, 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10. You can also access on this site the presentations from the other 50 Cadence customers who shared their experiences, lessons learned, and best practices at DAC.