Finally, sanity.  Concerned about the level of electronic waste created by discarded phone chargers, the European Commission has told mobile phone manufacturers that they must adopt a standard.  This will hopefully have the additional advantage of reducing blood pressures if we no longer need to rummage in our desk drawers frantically searching for the right charger. 

I wonder whether manufacturers would have voluntarily adopted a standard without external influence.  The choice of how to wire our "wireless" appliances seems to offer so little differentiation, and standards are so freely available that I am surprised that this hasn't happened sooner. 

Unfortunately, there are few parallels in the EDA/manufacturability world.  EDA products derive a significant part of their differentiation from the range and types of data that they can connect to, particularly in the case of enabling information such as library and technology files. 

The good news is that technology file standards are becoming available that could replace what were once proprietary formats, and there is motivation to adopt the standards because our foundry partners (as well as our customers) evidently recognize the value of common formats.  Whether the foundries can agree among themselves on common formats remains to be seen.