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Graham Bell
Graham Bell
Graham is Sr. Director of Marketing at Real Intent. He has over 20 years experience in the design automation industry. Occasionally he writes blogs for the Dominion of Design. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are his alone and not those of his employer.

Letter from the Chairman of Si2 and Member Report 2010

January 21st, 2011 by Graham Bell


Prabhakaran Krishnamurthy – LSI
Senior Director, Design Tools &
Si2 Board of Directors Chair

As we turn the leaf on another successful year of collaboration at Si2, it is time to reflect on our collective accomplishments for 2010. Si2 started off the year approving the formation of a new coalition, “OpenPDK”, with the goal of improving efficiency and interoperability for the creation of process design kits (PDKs), which are used universally across our industry. We are extremely pleased with the excitement that this new coalition has created, and we now have 15 member companies who are actively contributing to support the broad technical scope of OpenPDK. This scope includes an open process specification with reference implementation and plug-ins; enhanced, standardized symbols and parameters; CDF parameter and callback standards; PDK targeting support added to the OpenDFM standard; standard Pcell parameters; OpenAccess technology file enhancements; and a standardized SPICE socket.

2010 was also a strong year of progress for Si2’s other coalitions. The OpenAccess Coalition released support for 32nm constraints and introduced multi-threading to the reference implementation. The OAC also initiated a new Extension Steering Group to approve community-based additions to the OpenAccess schema, use models, or software that do not require changes to the base standard. The DFM Coalition released the much-anticipated OpenDFM 1.0 standard to industry, complete with a reference implementation parser, plug-in generators, and suite of test cases to verify compatibility. Not only does OpenDFM standardize leading-edge DFM parameter checks, but testing by members has found it to be as much as 20x more efficient than existing DRC formats. The Low-Power Coalition published a best-practices Interoperability Guide for design teams using both CPF and UPF-1801 formats, completed work on CPF 2.0, and released a requirements document for enhanced power modeling standards. The Open Modeling TAB delivered extensions to Liberty to enable more consistent characterization and validation of macro-cell libraries.

This was also a milestone year for membership, with Si2 expanding its representation across the supply chain. As the representative of a large fabless corporation (LSI) to Si2’s Board of Directors, I am very pleased that the Board now includes a leading foundry (GLOBALFOUNDRIES) among its elected members. The OpenAccess Coalition reached a new record high of 46 member companies in 2010, with the help of semiconductor market leaders such as Samsung, and Texas Instruments. Founding membership in the OpenPDK Coalition included all major EDA vendors.

Because of an enduring value proposition to industry, Si2 has maintained financial stability even during difficult times in our global economy. Si2 managed finances well, maintaining it’s strong 2009 fund balance and achieving a 10% increase in revenues versus 2009. This provides a solid foundation to support the tremendous amount of coalition deliverables work that has been planned for 2011.

Going into 2011, Si2’s focus will be on delivering tangible return on investment value to our membership and to the industry at large, not only with newer efforts such as OpenPDK, OpenDFM, and Open3D, but also established efforts that also require ongoing innovations in OpenAccess, low power flows, and open modeling. I am proud to serve as Chairman of this fine organization, and I call for your continued support to work alongside industry leaders to improve design flow integration and interoperability for us all. Through increased membership and participation, we can remove more barriers to reduce costs and further open market opportunity.

See the entire Si2 Member Report here.

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