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Ed Lee
Ed Lee
Ed Lee has been around EDA since before it was called EDA. He cut his teeth doing Public Relations with Valid, Cadence, Mentor, ECAD, VLSI, AMI and a host of others. And he has introduced more than three dozen EDA startups, ranging from the first commercial IP company to the latest statistical … More »

Stale IP – what do we do about it?

 
November 12th, 2012 by Ed Lee

Stale IP is beginning to rear its ugly head.  It’s like having too many books on your bookshelf – always an issue in my house.  Where do you put the new ones?  Which ones do you keep?  What do you do with the ones you don’t want to keep?

I (Liz Massingill) recently polled some experts in the industry to get their stance on stale IP.  Over the next few weeks I’ll share their views with you.

I’ll start with Harrison Beasley, Manager of the Technical Working Groups at Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA).  Here’s what he had to say:

Liz: Stale IP – what is it?

Harrison: IP becomes stale when the underlying code is out of date.  This could be due to changes in a specification, errors found in use, soft IP not being updated, etc.  My assumption is that stale IP will not perform the task for which it was created.

Liz: What’s so bad about it?

Harrison:  Using stale IP could lead to non-functional silicon, tape out delays, end product failures, etc.

Liz: How do we prevent it from being stale?

Harrison: For internal IP, code checks before layout, during timing analysis, during verification, and before final tape-out help ensure the latest IP version is used.  For third party IP, similar rules apply, but the user must coordinate with the IP Supplier to ensure changes are promulgated to the user.

Liz: What are you supposed to do with it?

Harrison:  Depends on the severity; is the IP now useless?  Does it have to be replaced or can the code be modified?  If the specification changes, obsoleting an IP block, then it should be removed from the library.  If code changes are made, IP must have version control.  Design process must include checks to ensure latest IP is used.

Liz: Why can’t you just leave it in your library?

Harrison:  Use of stale IP could lead to tape-out delays, or worse, end product failures.

Harrison Beasley

More next week…..

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