Wireless Systems Design

Schema Is Devised For SoC Design And IP Reuse

Wireless devices are truly embedded wonders. The embedded systems within handsets and other devices propel these devices toward a smaller, more feature-rich future. To the engineers working on embedded design projects, however, their tasks don't always seem so glorious. Traditionally, it has been difficult for a team to document a project's progress. Behind this problem looms the fact that each engineer uses distinct design languages to get his or her part of the job done. Software engineers, for instance, are known to prefer working in C, while hardware engineers prefer RTL code. Other types of engineering and their corresponding languages also play into the mix.

Aside from being annoying for the design team, this issue can affect a project's time and cost. Thankfully, Beach Solutions is collaborating with Cadence Design Systems, Inc. to enable system-on-a-chip (SoC) design and intellectual-property (IP) management interoperability. To accomplish this goal, they will rely upon the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and new schema technology.

The companies are targeting customers developing embedded processor designs and peripheral blocks. Their intention is to help accelerate these companies' time to market, while improving their return on investment. To date, Beach and Cadence are working with strategic customers and other parties on an advanced schema definition. A formal release of that definition is expected in the second half of the year.

Schema technology is based on the widely accepted XML database format. It describes parameters, as well as the design and verification data that is commonly associated with those parameters. This data is required by the various engineering disciplines involved in IP and SoC projects (see figure). For those companies establishing platform-based designs, the schema also provides data consistency, tool interoperability, and IP reuse.

For Beach Solutions, this project was an obvious fit. During the last four years, the company created a schema and its associated tools. The result is an approach that allows IP blocks to be developed and maintained independently from any target SoC implementation. The associated EASI-TOOLS capture and check the interface specification of any IP block. At the same time, they generate views of the interfaces needed by the engineers developing SoCs.

That product family is now in its third inception. With Beach's schema experience and Cadence's heritage of expertise, it seems that SoC design and IP reuse may soon be easily attainable. For more information on either company, please visit www.beachsolutions.com or www.cadence.com.

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