June 21, 2004
EDA & PLM?
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| by Jack Horgan - Contributing Editor
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For a variety of reasons Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) has been largely the providence of Mechanical CAD industry. This may change with recent actions taken by MatrixOne. During this months' Design Automation Conference MatrixOne announced a definitive agreement to acquire Synchronicity Software, Inc., for approximately $18 million mostly in stock. The acquisition is expected to be completed in early August. Synchronicity is a provider in electronic design management, team collaboration and intellectual property reuse solutions for the global electronics industry. Synchronicity has more than 120 electronics industry customers, including 13 of the top 15 semiconductor companies.
The company is private and has raised $31.5 million to date. In addition to venture capital investors Intel Capital, Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys are strategic investors. In its last fiscal year Synchronicity generate $12 million in revenue with a 60/40 split between software licensing and maintenance/service. The user base has around 25,000 seats. The purchase price is 1.5 times revenue but less than the cumulative outside investment.
Mark O'Connell, President and Chief Executive Officer of MatrixOne. said "Our customers come from many industries including automotive, aerospace, consumer, machinery, medical device and hi-tech. They are being confronted with new design, manufacturing and quality challenges as electronics content in their products increase and new product development cycle times compress. To deal with these challenges our customers have asked us to provide an integrated development environment that will enable them to effectively manage not only the mechanical design aspect of their products, but also the electronics and software components.”
Last October MatrixOne and Cadence signed an exclusive agreement. According to this arrangement Cadence will embed MatrixOne technology into advanced PLM solutions that will be marketed and supported directly by Cadence. These new offerings will enable engineering teams to collaborate on the development of PCB designs. These new products will provide PCB design customers with new capabilities to help shorten design cycles, reduce design spins and lower overall design costs. On June 16th Cadence announced the release of the Allegro Design Workbench software suite, a new family of products for the Allegro system interconnect design platform that utilize advanced MatrixOne PLM technology.
The program suite is composed of three products - PCB Workbench, Collaboration Workbench, and Library Workbench.
On May 24th IC Manage, Inc. announced its official company launch. IC Manage is the commercial evolution of cdsp4, a successful Open Source integration developed in 1998 between the Perforce Fast Software Configuration Management (SCM) System and the Cadence Design Framework II tools. IC Manage is currently undergoing beta testing at a major semiconductor company and general availability is scheduled for early summer.
Agile, a MatrixOne competitor, lists Solectron, Flectronix, AMD, Phillips, Altera and Dell among its customers.
Just what is Product Lifecycle Management?
PLM is a combination of CAX (CAD, CAM, CAE, Analysis), product data management, collaboration, product and project management. CIMdata coined the phrase collaborative Product Data Management (cPDm) for the non-CAX portion.
A cPDm system would have a data repository or vault for all the information related to product designs. This would include requirements, CAD models, drawings, schematics, scripts, specifications, analysis and test results and so forth. In general the data would be generated by application programs in the form of one or more files. There would also be metadata or data-about-data. This would include critical dates, ownership, status and so forth. Access rights (read, write, copy, delete) to the data would be based upon a combination of roles and projects. The system would understand the relationship between the files, i.e. this collection of files refers to the same entity, and be aware
of the programs that create and modify them. The system would also understand and manage hierarchical relationships among entities. This would manifest itself in the ability to generate a Bill of Material (BOM) report and its inverse a where-used report. A particular product may have multiple variations or configurations, i.e. same-as-but. This might be due to optional features or add-ons, to the same feature from multiple manufacturers or to different choices of a feature, for example tire size and wheel covers for a specific car model. Further complicating matters individual elements may undergo design changes. Each change results in a new version of the element. This has a
rippling effect on assemblies and subassemblies containing that component. Those elements higher in the hierarchy may or may not be updated to include the new version of the component. If they are so updated, then they too will have a new version. The data management system must keep track of this and ensure that no one rewrites history. Only the latest versions can be modified.
In addition to managing the data cPDm systems must also manage the process by which the data is created, modified, archived, retrieved and distributed. A designer or engineer checks-in a newly created component. The same or different person may later check-out the component for edit or for use. If the component is modifed, the designer checks-in the new version. The overall engineering change process is formalized. Someone requests an engineering change which is either rejected or approved. If the request is approved the work is assigned to one or more persons. They check-out whatever components need to be modified, perform the redesign and check-in their work. This is reviewed.
When all the necessary changes have been received and approved, the change is accepted and released. The entire workflow process is managed by the system often piggybacking the in-house email system to communicate assignments and status. The process is event driven using trigger to initiate actions such as notification or retesting. The system needs to maintain the revision history. For some applications there are additional requirements. For example the US Food and Drug Administration's 21CFR Part 11regulation requires an audit trail, electronic signatures and enhanced user and password management.
A further complexity arises when different groups involved in a design employ different authoring tools, e.g. CAD systems, for the same task. One must now translate data between the systems. A similar issue arises when data is moved from task to task, if there is not an integrated system responsible for both tasks. Gateways also need to be provided between applications including non-PLM applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM).
The description thus far assumed that there was a single central data repository for a company. For a large global company there may be multiple repositories with varying degrees of data sharing. The firm must decide what portion of the data can be shared and whether and how often to replicate that data rather than providing it on a demand basis.
Initially cPDm systems were designed to run in a LAN environment. With geographically dispersed design teams, with increasing use of outsourcing and with a need to involve the extended enterprise in design decisions these systems now exploit the Internet. Those with appropriate access rights can search the data repository for the desired content, generate reports, check status, perform check-in and check-out functions and so forth as if they were directly connected to the system. When third parties are involved, companies often set up portals with restricted access where they can publish data or receive data from the outside. Information is often sent in compressed formats to minimize
If a single individual generated the entire design, there would be little need for cPDm systems. A modicum of personal organization would suffice. Even a small collocated team might reasonably operate without such a formal system. One can conceive of establishing multiple directories to represent different stages of a design and libraries and simply moving files from directory to directory as the design progresses. Some firms have adapted and customized commercial and shareware source code control systems (SCCS) from the software development arena for design data management in the hardware world.
However, when the complexity of designs increases in terms of number of components, number of suppliers, the size of the design and manufacturing team and so forth, the desirability and outright need for such a system grows accordingly. When the people involved in the process are geographical dispersed across multiple time zones, the need increases dramatically.
This is precisely what is happening in the EDA world. SoCs are more and more complex across multiple dimensions. Design team size is increasing. Outsourcing of both manufacturing and design is increasing. The use of third party Intellectual Property (IP) is on the rise. Further, most end user products are in reality electromechanical or as the Japanese say mechatronic.
Some like automobiles and planes may be seen as mostly mechanical and some like computers as mostly electronic. For many products there is also a significant software component. This drives the need for more comprehensive data and process management.
Synchronicity's Publisher Suite bundles the IP Gear Catalog and the IP Gear Helpdesk. The IP Gear Catalog provides the entire IP "storefront" including storage, display, distribution and tracking functions that could be used by IC design organizations, IP providers, library providers and so forth. The IP consumer can find, learn about, inspect and acquire IP components through their web browser. They can downloading the IP deliverables as a compressed file through their browser or copy them to their workspace with Synchronicity Developer Suite. The IP Gear Helpdesk provides a knowledge base about the IP for the consumer and common functions for supporting a customer service or
helpdesk operation such as ticket assignment and issue escalation. IP Librarians can send out 'IP News' to the IP consumers who have subscribed to or downloaded specific components. The Consumer Suite is a server at a customer delivery site where externally supplied IP is automatically delivered, providing fast local access and efficient local management.
Synchronicity's Developer Suite consist of the DesignSync and ProjectSync tools. DesignSync is a server-based application with a light client that supports parallel development, managed workspaces, multi-site version control, secure data transfer and fine-grained access control. ProjectSync is a web based design collaboration and project management solution that enables a distributed team to share ideas, bug reports, engineering change information and so on. ProjectSynch employs an event trigger mechanism to among other things notify appropriate personnel when a design change might impact them.
CleoSoft based in Fremont, CA was founded in 1997. Cleosoft's SOS (Source Code Management System) is a design data management product for hardware design teams. It provides version control, work-area management, release management, and project control, without forcing designers to change their existing design environment. SOS manages all types of design data including Cadence DFII design libraries.
Its client-server architecture allows teams dispersed over multiple sites to collaborate on the same project. Features like “visibility-on-demand” also facilitate team collaboration and increase productivity.
I spoke with Hans-Ulrich Heidbrink, Director of marketing and Product Marketing for Mentor Graphics Integrated System Design Division. He sees the main target area for data management in the printed circuit board arena to be the libraries that are shared by all design teams. These libraries contain both technical information on the functionality and behavior of component and purchasing data like price, lead-time and manufacturer. The libraries may be segmented by application area such as medical or defense. He pointed out there is considerable benefit and need for workflow management even though design teams are relatively small. The team typically consists of a logic designer,
a physical designer and perhaps a specialist, e.g. emi. Also the design responsibility may shift as it goes from concept stage to prototype to production. He pointed out the difference between data sharing of a minor version and the formal release procedures for a major version. The design and BOM mature throughout the process. He sees DMS as complementing rather than competing with cPDm products like Enovia and Windchill. It is the difference between a departmental solution and a corporate or enterprise system.
Mentor Graphics' DMS (Data Management System) can trace its root to the acquisition of Germany-based Descon Informationssysteme GmbH in May 2000. It has taken considerable time to fully integrate Menotor's tool set and for DMS to succeed the Library Management System (LMS). Descon's product suite included component-supplier information management, EDA library management and Front-End Product Data Management (FPDM). The current DMS offering is based upon DataFusion, which provides an object-oriented layer on a relational database. It utilizes among other things CORBA technology to provide a platform independent and Internet compatible architecture. Data Fusion functionality includes
parametric search capabilities, version and release management, lifecycle management, vault management and access control and user management. Specific configurations are provided for the designer, component engineer, librarian, administrator and procurement.
I spoke with Mark Lefevre, Synopsys' Map-In Program Manager. He described Milkyway as a common persistent binary data base supporting the entire Galaxy platform. From the website: Milkyway is file-based containing multiple data views, each stored in a single file. The views include logical, frame, cell, parasitic, and library, for example. These views are grouped into a directory called a library (designers think of this as the design). Each library may comprise a complete integrated circuit, a module within an integrated circuit, or a standard cell library. When a library (i.e., design) is used within another library, it is specified as a reference library; typical reference
include standard-cell libraries, I/O libraries and macro libraries. Simple interoperability between Milkyway based tools and non-Milkyway based tools is provided by robust readers and writers for common ASCII interchange formats such as Verilog, GDSII, and LEF. Milkyway provides both Scheme and C-language APIs. Mark said that Milkway provides some basic versioning capabilities and access control. The multiple data views enable multiple persons to be working on a SoC design simultaneously. If customers want a more complete data management system, they can develop a manual configuration management system, employ a home grown system perhaps based upon shareware packages like RCS and CVS
or purchase third party programs from Synchronicity, IC Manage or ClioSoft.
I spoke with Michael Sanie, the Group Director of Industry Initiatives for Cadence. He pointed out that many of the larger design firms had internally developed design data management solutions before Synchronicity, Cliosoft and IC Mange appeared. These solutions are highly customized for each firm's specific methodology. It is very difficult to develop an industry standard DDM when there is no industry standard methodology. Unless and until these firm experience pain, i.e. the cost or the ability of internally developed and maintained systems, beyond some threshold they are unlikely to embrace a commercial solution.
Cadence offers OpenAccess as an application programming interface and reference database created as an interoperability platform for complex digital, analog, and mixed-signal IC design. Cadence has donated the underlying technology to the OpenAccess community to provide true interoperability versus data exchange among IC design tools. Firms like Synchronicity can and have fully integrated their DDM products through the API. The next version of OpenAccess due in August will make this integration even easier.
In the seventies the early CAD industry leaders such as ComputerVision, Calma, Applicon and Cadam had both mechanical and printed circuit board design product lines. Applicon and Calma also offered mask generation products for Integrated Circuits. All but CADAM oem'ed hardware to varying degrees. Three of the early leaders were spin outs from aerospace companies using internally developed software, i.e. CADAM from Lockheed, CATIA from Dassault Aviation and McAuto now UGS, from McDonnell Douglas. Elementary wiring diagrams were an important application for these companies. These firms gravitated toward the mechanical market segment which accounted for over 50% of total revenue versus 30%
for EDA and 20% for AEC. The early CADD (Computer Aided Design Drafting) systems could be used for virtually any mechanical product, while the electrical cad market was split between PCB and IC technologies and the AEC market was split between plant design and housing and small buildings. These firms never responded to the Daisy, Mentor and Valid revolution in electrical CAE. The auto companies also developed their own CAD tools but did not turn them into commercial ventures. SDRC, the major mechanical CAE pioneer, began as a consulting firm to the automotive industry.
The two major industry segments for mechanical CAX are automotive and aerospace. The end products of these industries are extremely complex in many dimensions. In particular the number of components which must be individually manufactured or purchased is enormous. These industries put pressure on their CAX providers to develop sophisticated PDM capabilities. These capabilities included digital mockup functions to display 3D representations interactively (pan, zoom, rotate, explode). To achieve reasonable performance on an engineering workstation requires an alternate display model to the detailed CAD model.
cPDm Market Size
According to CIMdata, industry analyst firm tracking the industry, cPDm reached $4.5 billion in 2003 an increase of 8% over 2002. EDS was the industry leader in total cPDm related revenue at ~$800 million (about $560 million in service) with IBM + Dassault Systemes a strong second at over $500 million in total revenue (~$320 million in service) and SAP coming in third at $350 million in total revenue but leading in terms of software license and maintenance revenue at around $275 million. This does not count revenue from system integrators related to these product offerings.
CIMdata predicts that cPDm will exceed $5 billion in 2004 and $9 billion in 2008 or a CAGR of 15%. Software and software maintenance were under $2 billion in 2003 but should reach that figure in 2004. In 2008 this should account for around $3.5 billion. Service revenue already accounts for over 50% and in 2008 will be 60%. Of course this service component is the hardest to measure.
The ways in which the vendors report their cPDm revenues makes it difficult to make a meaningful comparison. Service revenues from IBM, EDS, SAP and System Integrators such as Accenture and CapGemini do not appear in financial statements. Verbal statements from marketers regarding service revenue from other divisions or even other companies are not verifiable. SAP reports only software license revenue for its PLM sector. PTC has sold its PLM solutions directly, while Dassault Systemes has sold its solutions indirectly, mostly through IBM and IBM Business Partners. Only MatrixOne and Agile Software are pure cPDm vendors. UGS PLM Solutions, the industry leader, provides no data on its
Figure 1 - PLM Vendor Reported quarterly revenue 2001 - 2003
Table 1 Recent cPDm Vendor Financial Performance
The downturn from the previous quarter is due to the strong seasonality that Dassault and mySAP PLM experience.
Background on PLM Vendors
In 1983 MatrixOne began as Adra Systems, a CAD/CAM firm. Adra subsequently acquired PDM technology developed internally by a large end user. When introduced by Adra to the general market, this PDM technology sported a novel user interface well ahead of then-available commercial PDM products like Sherpa and Metaphase. The first commercial version of Adra's business collaboration software shipped in November 1993.
Adra management renamed the company MatrixOne in October 1997 and in May 1998 sold off its legacy CAD business. In June 1999 MatrixOne introduced the eMatrix product line. In March 2000 the company completed a successful initial public offering with net proceeds of $132 million. MatrixOne revenues climbed until September 2001, when license revenue suddenly fell by two thirds to $6.9 million in the quarter. While license revenue results rebounded in subsequent quarters, they never regained pre 9/11 levels. Service and maintenance revenue has been relatively constant at around $17 million per quarter.
Since 9/11/01, the firm has endured a constant stream of red ink for a cumulative loss of over $60 million, leading to several rounds of personnel layoffs.
MatrixOne heavily leverages partnerships with System Integrators such as Accenture, CGEY, Bearing Point, and Fujitsu. IBM Global Services is also a partner. On October 22, 2003 MatrixOne announced an OEM agreement with Cadence, a leading EDA vendor. Under this exclusive agreement, Cadence will embed MatrixOne technology into advanced PLM solutions that will be marketed and supported directly by Cadence. It is too soon to tell if this relationship will make a significant contribution to either company.
Agile Software was founded in March 1995. Agile netted $67 million in its IPO in August 1999 and another $275 million in a secondary offering in December 1999. At the height of the dot.com boom, Ariba offered to acquire Agile for $2.55 billion. The deal was called off when Ariba's stock plummeted and the value of the offer was reduced to $414 million.
As shown in Table 3, Agile has consistently lost money (but it still has $195 million in current assets).
Table 3 -- Agile Software Financial Results 1999 - 2003
*F2001 included a one time $55 million impairment charge and $36 million in goodwill amortization.
On August 11, 2003 Agile completed the acquisition of Eigner for ~$20 million ($2.85 million in cash). Back in November 2001 venture capitalists had invested $17 million in Eigner & Partner, a German PDM firm. The company's name was changed to Eigner and its HQ relocated to Massachusetts. A new management team was recruited with the then-likely intention to take the company public in the US market. Eigner had ~250 customers (800 deployments and 250,000 seats) to complement Agile's 850 customers. Agile said the combined annual revenues of the two companies would be approximately $100 million.
Headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, SAP is the world's third-largest independent software supplier overall. For 2003 SAP had total revenue of £7.25 billion, software license revenue of £2.15 billion, and net income of £1.1 billion. SAP reports 12 million users, 20,500 customers, and 67,500 Installations. SAP has been the unquestioned ERP leader for years.
SAP has been very successful in leveraging its huge ERP customer installed base to branch out into CRM, SCM, SRM and most recently PLM markets. SAP Introduced SAP PLM in February 2000 built upon existing PDM and Project Management modules. SAP divides its mySAP PLM offerings into the following categories:
|Life-Cycle Data Management
|Program and Project Management
|Life-Cycle Collaboration and Analytics
|Asset Life-Cycle Management
|Environment, Health & Safety
While the first two categories form the core of most PDM product suites, the last four are unusual. The company claims 3,200 businesses are using mySAP PLM.
SAP reports software license revenue on a product segment basis. Software maintenance revenue is only reported on an aggregate basis across all product lines. The latter has been slightly greater than software license revenue on an annual basis. mySAP PLM accounts for 12% of SAP software revenue, about half that of the CRM and SCM sectors and a quarter of ERP sector. Note the large fourth quarter spikes in revenue.
Table 4 -- mySAP PLM Quarterly Software Revenue 2001 - 2003
PTC was founded as Parametric Technology in 1985. PTC revolutionized the CAD industry by providing inexpensive, interactive variational solid modeling on early computer workstations in its Pro/E product line. Based on a two year lead in technology and extremely aggressive sales tactics, PTC “zoomed” over some 13 years to nearly a $1 billion in annual revenue.
Despite this success, PTC management concluded by the late 90's that CAD was no longer a high growth industry. PTC turned to product data management where it saw great potential for professional services revenues. In June of 1998 PTC introduced a product suite using acquired systems from Windchill Technology. In its subsequent quarterly earnings releases and conference calls PTC began reporting the figures and touting the successes of Windchill even when Windchill accounted for less than 10% of total PTC revenue.
In 2000 PTC formed two major business units: “Windchill Solutions” and “MCAD Solutions”, to be better able to focus on the Windchill side. PTC's Windchill revenue did in fact increase dramatically from $13 million in 1998 to $214 million in 2001. Unfortunately for PTC, MCAD revenue decreased by an even greater amount. By diverting resources from the MCAD side, PTC arguably lost MCAD technical ad
vantage, customer loyalty and market share. Sadly, during the last three years, PTC revenues have slid in both sides of the business.
Table 5 -- PTC Quarterly Revenue by Application 2001 - 2003
Many of the 33,000 Pro/E customers are relative small and so their data management needs are sufficiently handled by the popular Pro/Intralink offering, which is less expensive than Windchill. In order to help boost Windchill sales, PTC repackaged the offering. PTC introduced Windchill Link solutions such as ProjectLINK. This consists of pre-configured, integrated products designed to address specific business-critical manufacturing functions that can be implemented with reduced configuration effort in as few as several weeks in accordance with a pre-defined implementation methodology. In the second quarter of 2003, PTC began selling “Flex 3C”. “3C” means Create,
Collaborate and Control.
This includes Pro/E Wildfire with advanced engineering modules, Windchill ProjectLink, and Windchill PDMLink as a data management option. Cumulative seats of Windchill now stands at 262,300 with 8,000 in the last quarter. There are a total of 1,092 Windchill customers and another 1,000 who acquired Windchill through purchase of Flex3c.
PTC has tried to reverse the downtrend in its MCAD revenue through the introduction of its next generation Wildfire product. It was announced in June 2002 with considerable fanfare and finally released in first quarter of 2003. The jury is still out on how successful this effort will be.
Dassault Systemes has two PDM product lines: Enovia, a high-end enterprise offering, and SmarTeam, a less expensive and narrower offering for SMBs and engineering departments. The Enovia product line dates back to IBM's Product Manager, acquired by DS in early 1998. SmarTeam is an Israeli company, in which DS acquired a majority interest in June 1997.
Enovia products are sold exclusively by IBM and IBM business partners with DS receiving 50% royalty payment. Enovia has been most successful with very large CATIA users in the aerospace and automotive sectors. SmarTeam is sold through the IBM channel and a VAR reseller channel. In July 2003 SmarTeam announced a distribution agreement with Avatech Solutions, one the largest integrators of Autodesk software with 18,000 clients. SmarTeam claims 2,800 customers. In July IBM introduced PLM Express that bundles SmarTeam, CATIA, WebSphere and IBM hardware for medium sized businesses.
Table 6 -- Dassault Systemes reported quarterly PDM revenue 2001 - 2003
UGS PLM Solutions:
UGS PLM Solutions, formerly EDS PLM Solutions, is the result of EDS's acquisition of Unigraphics from McDonnell Douglas in 1991 and ten years later, its acquisition of SDRC (Structural Dynamics Research Corporation) in August 2001. The latest acquisition and the subsequent purchase of outstanding public shares of Unigraphics cost EDS approximately $1 billion.
In the last quarter before its acquisition SDRC reported total revenue of $121 million and Metaphase PDM related revenue of $47 million, a rise of 22% year-over-year. Metaphase accounted for 38% of total SDRC revenue. At that time there were 400,000 seats of Metaphase, growing at about 40,000 per quarter. Metaphase had originally been a joint venture between SDRC and CDC.
SDRC bought out CDC and in early 2000 acquired Sherpa Systems, the early PDM industry leader with an installed base of around 90,000.
Unigraphics Solutions (UGS) had revenues of $526 million in 2000. UGS reported in its 10K filing that iMAN accounted for 12% of total revenue for all of 2000 or $67 million. On October 23, 2000 UGS acquired Engineering Animation, Inc (EAI) for $178 million net of cash received. EAI offered Internet-enabled solutions for visual product collaboration and digital mockup.
EDS has committed to continuing support and enhancement of the product lines of both Unigraphics and SDRC. EDS re-branded the product lines of the two companies. SDRC's Metaphase became Teamcenter Enterprise and UGS's iMAN became Teamcenter Engineer. EDS embarked on a program to provide interoperability between the product suites for the two companies.
On March 14th a private equity group of Bain Capital, Silver Lake Partners and Warburg Pincus announced it had reached a definitive agreement with EDS to purchase UGS PLM Solutions, EDS' product lifecycle management subsidiary, for $2.05 billion in cash. The transaction, in which each private equity firm is an equal investor, represents the largest private equity investment
ever made in a technology company.
Autodesk has a number of third party partners in the area of data management such as SmarTeam and Cyco. At one time there was an Autodesk WorkCenter PDM offering. Autodesk had also been a minority investor in Motiva, a mid-raage PDM vendor that went bankrupt. On August 28, 2003 Autodesk introduced Vault, a new data vault to bring workgroup management capabilities to Autodesk Inventor customers. Vault is integrated with the Autodesk Streamline online collaboration service. On October 7, 2003 Autodesk announced a strategic alliance with Microsoft Corporation whereby the software leaders will integrate Autodesk's engineering data management (EDM) software with Microsoft Business Solutions
(MBS) enterprise resource planning (ERP). Despite these developments, Autodesk does not normally present itself as being in the PLM marketplace.
Another player who has recently stepped onto the PLM stage is Oracle, the global #2 ERP vendor. In its most recent quarter Oracle posted revenues of $2.1 billion and net income of $440 million. One can not ignore the entry of such a major software vendor into this marketplace. Oracle's PLM offering is more similar to SAP than to DS, PTC or UGS. The core module is the Advanced Product Catalog that centralizes all product and component information in one catalog or central repository for access by other PLM applications, Oracle applications, and authorized external parties. Other Oracle PLM products include CADView 3D for design viewing and markup, Project Management for tracking and
forecasting, Project Collaboration for project status reporting and design change management, Sourcing for supplier contract management, and Configurator for managing configuration rules for complex products.
From a high level a reasonably compelling argument can be advanced that there is a need and in fact a growing need for better design data and design process management in EDA. One can point to the sizable market for such tools in the parallel mechanical market. However, to date there have only a few, not terribly successful, commercial efforts in this area for EDA. A plane, train, automotive vehicle or major piece of machinery has thousands of individual parts or subassemblies that must be manufacture or purchased from a multitude of potential suppliers. SoCs may include a number of third party IPs but not in such large numbers. With interactive 3D images one can readily and quickly
communicate design issues in mechanical products even to non-technical personnel. This is not the case for IC design data.
Perhaps, this is simply a missionary sale with much education required in the end user community as to what cPDm is and what are its benefits. So far the pcb segment seems more receptive. This could be because it is more closely connected to the mechanical world.
A fundamental law of salesmanship says no pain, no sale. However attractive a vision of better data and process management, of collaboration across the extended enterprise and so forth, if there is not a significant pain to alleviate or eliminate, it will be difficult to capture budget or even mindshare for cPDm tools. As long as the cost to maintain and operate home grown tools is tolerable and as longs as their limitations are not seen as having a significant impact on costs and TTM, cPDm will remain a difficult sales.
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- October 09, 2008
Reviewed by 'Chandan Agarwala'
Is there a way to merge/compare PLM practices for EDA and MCAD! Is it likely that other MCAD PLM vendors will following MatrixOne, to offer PLM services in this space. If this skills is totally different from MCAD skills, then they are better off flanking this space. Nobody can offer applications to manage products, across all domains. The major theme that set apart EDA is "IP protection".
2 of 2 found this review helpful.