This year, the Design Automation Conference (DAC) will host the fifth and most likely final Workshop on Interoperability on Monday, June 7 from noon to 5 p.m. Interoperability is a subject of perpetual and passionate interest. Historically, the discussion has centered on “standard” file formats. More recently, though, the focus has shifted to sharing design data in memory.
The first Interoperability Workshop was held at DAC in 2000. Speakers from the industry called for a standard data model with a standard program interface. Most people were just beginning to appreciate the problem, and all were skeptical that EDA vendors would ever agree to such a proposal involving access to their proprietary databases.
Fast-forward to 2004 and we see remarkable progress. Today, the OpenAccess Coalition of 22 companies is promoting an open-standard application programming interface (API) and open database implementation, based on technology from Cadence. Synopsys established an API for accessing its Milkyway data model. And, a GoldenGate project is developing a bridge between the two models.
The scope of the movement has widened to include data management, design constraints, and even mask development. The prospect of designers and mask fabricators being able to examine the same data concurrently opens up a new class of applications that could dramatically improve overall productivity and product quality.
Representatives from IBM, Intel, HP, and LSI Logic organized the 2004 Interoperability Workshop. It will begin with an update on the Synopsys Milkyway program and the OpenAccess Coalition. Speakers from industry-leading semiconductor, system, and EDA companies will describe their experiences and how these efforts address interoperability challenges. The workshop will close with a panel discussion to field questions and determine if key issues in interoperability were addressed. This Q&A session will help determine if it’s truly the final Interoperability Workshop.
The workshop is open to anyone interested in tool interoperability. The registration fee is $50 for IEEE/ACM members and $75 for nonmembers.