As CDNLive! Silicon Valley opens this morning (Tuesday, Oct. 26), Silicon Realization will be a major theme. So what is Silicon Realization, and how does it differ from EDA as we've known it thus far? Here's a very quick overview, followed by a link to a new whitepaper for those who would like to learn more.
Traditional EDA reminds me of the old adage about not being able to see the forest for the trees. EDA vendors primarily focus on the "trees" (better/faster point tools) and lose sight of the "forest" (the end-to-end flow that results in working, predictable silicon). In this analogy, Silicon Realization focuses on the forest as well as the trees. According to the EDA360 vision paper, Silicon Realization is about "everything it takes to get a design into silicon." Everything certainly includes individual tools, but it also includes tool integration, methodology, IP, standards, services, and much more.
Instead of isolated point tools in a sequential, iterative flow, Silicon Realization calls for an integrated, deterministic, end-to-end flow. This flow is based on three concepts:
- A consistent representation of design and verification intent
- The appropriate use of higher levels of abstraction
- The convergence of late-stage design and manufacturing data into the early phases of the design process
By meeting these requirements, Silicon Realization promises to fulfill three goals: productivity, predictability, and profitability. Cadence is applying Silicon Realization to several key areas, including the following:
- Mixed-signal design and verification
- Low power design
- Giga-gates/Gigahertz design
- Metric-driven verification
- System-in-package (SiP) and IC co-design
- Global productivity and metrics
Good point tools are, of course, vital parts of any flow, and you will see continual improvement from Cadence and other EDA vendors. But some of the ongoing "news" around Silicon Realization will also provide better ways to represent intent, use abstraction, and facilitate convergence. Such capabilities may or may not come in the form of an individual "tool." It's time to look after the forest as well as the trees.
To read the new Silicon Realization whitepaper, click here.