Chitlesh Goorah (Free Electronic Lab)
Chitlesh Goorah holds a Master degree in Micro-Nano Electronics engineering. He then specialized in digital design at ON Semiconductor in Belgium. He explores different opensource methodologies which can benefit the EDA industry. Ultimately, he founded Fedora Electronic Lab, an opensource design … More »
FEL: Improving collaborative hardware development experience
June 11th, 2009 by Chitlesh Goorah (Free Electronic Lab)
One of the many faces of digital hardware design entails tracking many files to be fed to multiple EDA tools. The eventual reports or netlists are carefully analysed and logged as part of the sign-off methodology. Each company tracks these project dependent files under a certain directory structure and under a certain revision controlled system of their choice.
The development cycle Fedora Electronic Lab 12 has started. One key feature for the next Fedora 12 release will be improving “collaborative hardware development experience” on Fedora. As a test-case scenario, let’s imagine 4 persons (from 4 different continents) have encountered each other using a particular social networking medium and want to engage into the development of a FPGA project.
While Fedora Electronic Lab already includes the respective simulators for digital design (VHDL/Verilog), waveforms viewers, schematic editors, PCB layout editor and Fedora’s different webserver and security solutions, these 4 persons (test-case scenario) should not have any issue with the latest Fedora 11 release.
For Fedora 12, we want to ensure that these persons have adequate tools to set up a webserver dedicated for hardware design and help them improve their sign-off and code review methodologies. Hardware code review for small inexperienced companies is often misguided and ends up wasting work hours in unnecessary meetings. Designers often have mixed feelings about code reviews. Sometimes when the code review is outsourced to a third party, source codes are sent in the form of tarballs and tracked as tarballs instead of files, which this is no means an efficient way.
We are currently including an efficient and reliable code review solution into the Fedora collection. This free and opensource solution will also help create links and seamless references between bugs, tasks, changesets and files. Project coordinators will have a more realistic the overview of the on-going project and track the progress very easy with respect to different milestones and deadlines.
Coupled with Fedora’s commitment in Virtualization and SELinux, hardware designers will benefit with a free and robust platform which can easily be deployed.
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