Hoping to prove that two isn’t necessarily better than one, the EDA standards bodies Accellera and the SPIRIT Consortium have agreed to combine into a single organization. The combined entity, which will go forward as Accellera (with IP standards branded as SPIRIT IP-XACT), will seek to exploit synergies, and possible new opportunities, in the development of design and verification language-based and IP standards.
The boards of both organizations have already approved the merger and, according to Accellera chairman Shrenik Mehta of Sun Microsystems, both are looking forward to increased efficiency and effectiveness. “We will take a more system-level view of the design process,” says Mehta.
Ralph von Vignau, president of the SPIRIT Consortium, adds that the merger is a natural outgrowth of the industry’s broad move toward a system-level design paradigm. “We see more and more of the industry looking at design from a higher level,” says von Vignau, also noting that some of the synergies between the organizations are rather obvious while others are yet to emerge.
“For example, Accellera has been working to define power management. But for that to work, each piece of IP has to be ‘power aware.’ Using the SPIRIT Consortium’s IP-XACT standard for the description and packaging of IP, you can express each block’s power-aware capabilities. So there may be opportunities for us to work together on the synergies between IP-XACT and Accellera’s power-management efforts,” says von Vignau.
Both organizations enjoy strong industry support across the EDA, IP, and semiconductor and systems sectors. A cursory look at the groups’ board members shows industry heavyweights such as ARM, Cadence, Denali, Freescale, Intel, LSI, Mentor Graphics, Nokia, NXP, SpringSoft, STMicroelectronics, Sun, Synopsys, and Texas Instruments. “Certainly, our common membership helped facilitate this merger,” says Mehta.
As to the future directions for the new standards powerhouse, it’s still somewhat early. Between now and the 46th Design Automation Conference during the final week of July, it’s hoped that many details will be settled, from technical subcommittee lineups to organizational leadership. Today, the two organizations have eight standardization subcommittees in operation:
• SystemRDL (Register Description Language)
• Interface Technical Committee (ITC)
• Open Verification Library (OVL)
• Unified Coverage Interoperability (UCI)
• Verilog Analog/Mixed Signal (AMS)
• Verification IP (VIP)
The SPIRIT Consortium