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Verification and the Need for Collaboration

Comments(0)Filed under: Functional Verification, EDA, AMIQ, uvm, EDA360, Duolog, NextOp, Zocalo, UCIS, verification alliance, VA, partnerships, collaboration, standards, ARM TechConEarlier this week I was at the ARM TechCon in Santa Clara, a show that gets better and busier every year. I was walking around the expo floor, checking out the new vendors and saying hello to old friends, when I got into a conversation with one of our more active partners. He thanked me for supporting the various activities that we have done together and said that he felt we were much more open to EDA partnerships that the "Cadence of old" (his term). He asked whether that was specific to the functional verification space or was true in general.

We chatted about that a bit, and I gave it some thought afterwards. I've been an employee, an EDA partner, or a customer of Cadence for 20 years nonstop, ever since the acquisition of Valid Logic way back in 1991. Looking back over that time span, it does seem to me that there have been ebbs and flows in the company's eagerness for partnerships. From the outside looking in, sometimes it seemed as if Cadence, then the largest EDA supplier by far, wanted to do everything themselves with minimal collaboration.

Well, that's certainly not the Cadence I've known for the past five years as an employee. We work every day with partners of all shapes and sizes: EDA, VIP, design IP, consulting, and training companies. We commit a big chunk of resources to standards activities, another vital form of partnership. The strong progress that Accellera has made on the Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) and the Unified Coverage Interoperability Standard (UCIS) would never have happened if we stuck our heads in the sand and refused to cooperate with competitors.

If you look at the Cadence Web site you'll see that we have a wide range of alliance programs that cover just about everyone in the industry. As we say on the site, "No one company can do it alone." I strongly believe this and in fact I devote a significant portion of my time to leading the Verification Alliance (VA) program and participating in other partnership and standards programs. My colleagues and I actively engage in joint marketing activities with many partners; AMIQ, Duolog, NextOp, and Zocalo are just a few recent examples.

This brings me back around to the question from my partner at DAC, and (finally!) to the title of this blog post. Indeed, I do believe that partnerships and collaboration are particularly important in the realm of functional verification. As I've said before, there is no silver bullet for verification. Chips are only getting bigger and more complex, the verification problem is only getting harder, and EDA360 requires much more soffware verification. It takes a combination of technologies and techniques all operating on a base of industry standards to provide efficient and effective solutions.

No one company can do it alone. Cadence has the broadest verification offerings in the industry, but we know that's not always enough. We will continue to drive standards, partner with companies offering complementary technologies, and work with competitors to support our mutual customers. If you see interesting new technology outside of Cadence, please let us know, and we will find an appropriate relationship to work together. Functional verification is a very tough nut to crack, and we're open to any novel kinds of hammers that may come along.

Tom A.

The truth is out there...sometimes it's in a blog.

 

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