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The EDA360 vision paper was published by Cadence one year ago this week. Since that time, EDA360 has been widely discussed throughout the industry - by partners and competitors alike - whether or not they actually use the term "EDA360" or just talk about the ideas behind it. Over the past year Cadence has made a number of technology announcements that deliver on the EDA360 vision, and has seen customer adoption, as chronicled in a recent EDA360 Insider blog post by Steve Leibson.
But what, exactly, is EDA360? In brief, it is an expanded vision of EDA that goes far beyond silicon to encompass systems-on-chip (SoCs) and hardware/software systems -- while greatly improving the way silicon is designed. As I wrote earlier this week, it also extends to IC packages and boards. One year ago, with the introduction of EDA360, I wrote a blog post entitled "Ten Key Ideas Behind EDA360." Here is an updated listing that will give you a quick summary of the key ideas behind EDA360.
1. Systems companies are finding differentiation and value primarily through the creative, innovative applications or "apps" that end consumers are demanding. These applications represent a new business model that provides a continuous revenue stream. Applications take center stage not only in the mobile handset world, where iPhone and Android are obvious examples, but anywhere there's a processor.
2. Systems companies are demanding that their semiconductor suppliers provide not just silicon but application-ready hardware/software platforms. Semiconductor makers, meanwhile, are facing projected SoC development costs of $100 million at 32 nm and below. One result of these pressures is that fewer companies will be design creators and more will become integrators who make heavy use of pre-designed IP, including both hardware and software.
3. The needs of integrators are different from those of creators. Thus far EDA has focused almost exclusively on creators. While EDA360 continues to serve creators, it also brings new tools and methodologies to integrators.
4. Creators are most concerned about a productivity gap. EDA360 will help close that gap through better design, verification, and implementation approaches. Integrators are more concerned about a lesser-known profitability gap. EDA360 will help close that gap by enabling integration-optimized intellectual property (IP) creation and selection, IP integration into SoCs and systems, and system cost optimization.
5. EDA360 includes System Realization, the development of a complete hardware/software platform ready for applications development; SoC Realization, the creation of a single SoC; and Silicon Realization, which provides unified flows for complex digital, analog, and mixed-signal hardware designs.
6. The traditional approach to system development starts with the hardware, and appends the software and the applications later. With System Realization, designers start by envisioning the applications that will run on the system, define requirements, and then work their way down to hardware and software IP creation and integration. System Realization requires early, concurrent hardware/software development.
7. System Realization requires project management. EDA360 will reach beyond engineering tools to help customers meet project and business objectives.
8. SoC Realization includes design IP, design services, and chip planning and IP management. It requires a reliable source of reusable processor IP, interface IP, and memory and storage control IP.
9. Silicon Realization meets tough design challenges challenges such as low power, mixed-signal, advanced node giga-gate/giga-hertz, system-on-chip, and 3D ICs. Rather than point tools, it emphasizes end-to-end flows that cut across traditional boundaries such as "analog" and "digital." Silicon Realization calls for a unified representation of design intent, the appropriate use of abstraction, and convergence into a final packaged product that can be manufactured in a cost-effective way.
10. No one company or type of company can provide all the capabilities needed for the next era of design. EDA360 requires a collaborative ecosystem including EDA vendors, embedded software providers, IP providers, foundries, and customers. Cadence is committed to building and participating in that ecosystem.