Cooley - Cadence can't do digital design, but you guys can?
Chilton - It would be more interesting if SKIL and PCells were open, then the last citadel would be gone.
Vucurevich - To put it bluntly, that's not going to happen. We have to differentiate between what is a competitive line. There were many people in management who said it was nuts to do anything like this at all, but we said here's a chance to do something in an open forum. Opening a data model like Open Access is a big deal. But at the same time, from a competitive point of view, to say here's a free ride for coming in and taking accounts doesn't make sense.
Cooley - That makes sense. I don't see Synopsys or Magma enabling the competition.
Mike Santarini [from the floor] - But wasn't opening SKIL the FTC requirement?
Vucurevich - There's a lot of obfuscation about what progression happened. To set the time line - in 1991, Cadence opened the Connections Program to allow customers who had other vendor tools to have a method to provide some form of interoperability. Since '91, that has grown to over 130 companies driven by customers who want to interoperate between vendors. In 1997, we acquired the Cooper & Chen technology, and due diligence from the FTC said that to do routing technology Cadence must agree to a consent decree.
Santarini - But the FTC specifically called out SKIL.
Vucurevich - For the purposes of routing. There was a part of the Connections Program which had the ability for SKIL and through a challenge to the FTC of that review, it was concluded that Cadence has been very consistent in supporting routing technology. That's what the consent agree said, and it's about to expire.
Cooley - Yeah? Is the Connections Program going away?
Vucurevich - No, not at all. It will continue because it's our intention to have good integration of technology across companies. It's a bit complicated because there's been a lot of FUD.
Cooley - Synopsys? Why hire lawyers when you're losing a tech fight? Nassda? Magma? Is Sierra next?
Chilton - We don't bring out the lawyers, and hopefully we're forcing the end of questions like that at this panel. This is an industry built on figuring out customer problems and developing solutions. But you have a fiduciary responsibility to protect your IP. That's no more so in our industry than any other. It's an unfortunate part of business. People are forced from fiduciary responsibility to protect their IP. It's in the hands of the capable courts now and we'll see.
Cooley - Rajeev?
Madhavan - There is one answer for multiple questions. This industry has to show to its shareholders that we prefer not to confuse our customers as much as we can. To compete on our technical strengths. We have not done that as an industry
Cooley - Are you two kissing and making up?
Madhavan - We look forward, like John said, to winding down. It takes two to tango, and we're happy with the progress in the courts.
Chilton - The technical battle is completely orthogonal to what's going on in the lawsuit. We're very happy with our position in P&R, synthesis, static timing, test, and so on. We're solving the toughest problems and we're as strong as ever. We're recognized as high end and that doesn't change. Law suits for some are a smoke screen. It may be realized that every 3 years, there are lawsuits.
Madhavan - Let's not waste money in the industry. We are bickering [but] if technology is all that matters, then let's fight on the technology.
Cooley - You guys are practically singing Kumbaya to each other. Your lawyers must have briefed you to be good.
Cooley - Kissy, kissy? I'm happy for all of you!
Cooley - Brett, we're still hearing that every year will be the year of SystemC. So will next year be the year of SystemC?
Cline - Last year was the year of SystemC.
Cooley - So it's already passed? It's on the decline now?
Cline - Last year was the first year SystemC was being used in wide deployment. I get asked a lot if the first year of SystemC is the same year that VHDL and Verilog die, but things don't work that way. Things stick around. SystemC and SystemC synthesis are like that. The HDLs won't go away.
Cooley - It takes 6 months for C++ training. [reading a question] Why take a great Verilog engineer and make him a mediocre SystemC programmer?
Cline - If you're a hardware designer, you'll be a good hardware designer no matter the language. We benchmarked this by taking a young, hot stud C++ designer and putting him up against a Verilog guy working in SystemC. The Verilog guy kicked his butt because he knew how to make hardware work.
Cooley - Mentor? What are you doing in SystemC?
Chern - We started with some companies and customers in Europe. Then we started to broadly engage other companies. We're doing very well in Japan and the U.S with 63 customers.
Cooley - 63 sites or 63 customers?
Chern - 63 customers. We're very confident about the adoption. The biggest focus is not about competing between C and ANSI C. We're focused on design starts and adoption.
Cooley - Synopsys, why isn't SystemC taking over the world?
Chilton - We find that hardware engineers like Verilog and SystemVerilog. We're huge supporters of SystemC and find great utility for SystemC for virtual platforms, especially for mobile companies. We like that the software can be up and running before the hardware is available. EDA is a little overboard on interoperability, but we just donated some technology to OSCI. I just don't think, looking at our services and our IP, that coding up the RTL is really the hard part of the design. Changing that from Verilog to SystemVerilog is great because you can lose down to one third to one tenth of the lines of code. But we haven't really seen great SystemC implementation there.
Cooley - Then why are Mentor and Forte making money?
Chilton - You can make a little bit of money in small markets. We just don't think it's mainstream.
Cooley - Ted, what about SystemC at Cadence?
Vucurevich - We believe in the technology, plus we contributed to the SystemC standards and constructs. We've followed that on the verification side. The applications of the high-level languages for synthesis are being explored by Forte and [Mentor's] Catapult, but we said the big opportunities for implementation are the TLMs.
Cooley - So synthesis is not worth it?
Vucurevich - We don't say that at all, contrary to Synopsys. We believe in the applicability of SystemC. Watch this space!