The chip design team and the restaurant kitchen staff have a lot in common

2021-11-22 10:13:46 By : Mr. Yep yang

It is easier to find the IP that the team wants to reuse.

Believe it or not, the electronic equipment and system design team has a lot in common with the kitchen staff of a large commercial restaurant: they both use many different tools and resources to produce quality products for demanding audiences in a high-pressure environment. Now, not tomorrow. .

Unfortunately, the design team's ability to complete the project is usually not as good as the kitchen staff. In a well-functioning kitchen, the staff know exactly where each knife, fork, pot, pot, ingredient and utensil are, and they know its shape. In design engineering, it is usually not so orderly.

In recent years, as the use of IP modules has proliferated to speed up design, keep costs low, and give teams the opportunity to focus on the core values ​​of their devices and achieve their first success on the chip, this challenge has increased in recent years. From the most basic building blocks (such as matrix multipliers and DSP) to larger subsystems (such as memory or computing subsystems), reusability is always kept in mind during the design and implementation process. The challenge is coming, because these data blocks may be scattered everywhere and built by different teams, which are separated by regions and business departments and use different infrastructures for management. It's as if knives are stored in the refrigerator. Pots and pans are sometimes hung on hooks in the kitchen and sometimes tucked under the bathroom sink.

Most engineering teams are aware of this challenge, but are often so busy designing projects that they don't have time to organize their IP management.

In the past two decades, design management systems have become an indispensable part of the design process. A little-known value of tool chains is that they provide a solid backbone for assembly design and provide a collaborative environment for engineers to piece projects together.

These data management (DM) systems provide version control, workspace management, and release management, and are no longer considered the best, but are designed to be an important part of the tapeout process. The design management system includes all hooks to provide collaboration when projects are independent and have little interdependence. But as SoC designs become more and more complex, these projects now integrate reusable components from many other projects. They include IPs that may have complex hierarchical relationships. IP components may come from different projects. It would be convenient to have a tool that provides a high-level view of the project—as design and IP blocks, not files and directories. Data files may come from different sources managed in different data management systems. The end user does not need to know the source of each component or the DM system that manages them.

In this case, the first step in IP reuse in the design is obviously to easily find the IP that can be used in the design. (In other words, the knives should be placed in a drawer near the cutting board).

Reusable blocks exist in the IP repository-either stored on a network disk or managed in Cliosoft's SOS, Subversion (SVN), GIT and other design management systems. In smaller companies, they may all exist under one design management system. In larger companies, different teams and business units are added through acquisitions, and IP may exist in multiple design management systems.

Within a company, there may be multiple IPs that provide similar functions but have different parameters. For example, they may target different process nodes or may have different power supply modes. By matching the parameters required by the current project, you can easily find a suitable IP.

The IP may be built in-house or obtained from a third-party vendor. For third-party IP, you may need to pay attention to licensing restrictions before using the IP in the project. For different IPs, different levels of approval may be required to ensure compliance with IP usage.

Cliosoft HUB provides all these functions in a catalog that is easy to browse and search. IP metadata is tracked in properties and documents, which can be configured according to the different types of IP available in the company. The IP data itself can be saved on the design management system or on a disk. HUB Tracking provides users who have been approved to use IP in their projects with the data location fields needed to access the IP.

HUB provides a project page so that users can track the IP they use in the project. The IP can be managed in different design management systems. These systems are registered with the HUB, so the HUB knows the exact set of commands to run to publish and download data. There are some hooks that allow HUB administrators to easily insert a new proprietary DM system to use HUB to access data.

Large and medium-sized companies may use multiple systems for design and development. If the team is increased through acquisitions, they may use different products in their tool chain. For example, each team that makes IP may use a different design management system to manage IP. Since IP comes from different sources, do engineers engaged in design now learn a lot of commands to interact with different DM systems? Wouldn't it be much easier if there was a unified set of commands for users to interact with projects and IPs in the workspace?

HUB can make this assembly easier for users working on the project. Registering various design management systems allows HUB to create wrappers around various data management operations. As the HUB understands the DM system and IP data location of the management project, users can now use the HUB to:

Restaurant customers who have to wait for a meal because the chef cannot find the key pan may not come back next time. Similarly, a design team that stalls due to the problem of finding the right latest IP may lose out to a faster and more efficient competitor. Cliosoft's HUB and other design management systems free the important work of IP management in the fast-moving engineering department from the minds and hands of the team, and make innovation easier, faster and more cost-effective.

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