IP-Centric Design
May 27, 2021

Unleashing Siloed Design Into IPs

IP Lifecycle Management

Many IP and data management tools provide a project-centric view of the design process, creating what are known as design silos. While this makes some sense, as most designers tend to think of themselves as working on a project at time, and other items within the company are tracked on a project basis (such as cost, resources, and timelines), this approach is not without its drawbacks.

As projects are isolated from one another in design silos, this adds complexity to the scalability of the enterprise and hampers collaboration. Traceability erodes due to a lack of a common centralized platform to track all activity around design.

By breaking down these monolithic, siloed projects, unleashing designs as IP and managing everything at the IP level, teams can ensure that they do not run into these issues.

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IP-Centric Management for Scalability, Collaboration, and Traceability

Though project-centric management provides an easy way for small teams to quickly get started, it leads to nasty management headaches for larger organizations.

When dealing with data management and design data, project proliferation can be a significant drain on resources and productivity. The large volume of data in the DM tools — coupled with the sensitive nature of the data — is a huge impediment when confined to project silos. Design files begin to number in the millions, workspaces surpass 10s or 100s of GB, and permissions and dependencies become complex.

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From Design Silos to IP-Centric Design

Right from the start, IPs are treated as the building blocks in the system. Projects are merely IPs in the system that have dependency (resources) on other IPs. Each IP can be configured to have its own permissions and its own data management backend if needed.

This information is part of the IP metadata. So, anyone who needs to use the IP — whether the main project it is being designed for or other projects that want to reuse it — have a comprehensive bundle of information to enable the usage.

The system can also pull in dependencies from other tools at the IP such as bugs or requirements. This allows for the impact of bugs to be seamlessly visible, since the user simply needs to track the usage of the IP across this central system.

Transition to IP-Centric Design and Get to Market Faster

Our free Benefits of IP-Centric Design white paper details how to shift from project-based design to IP-centric design, enabling IP reuse, cost savings, and greater efficiency. 

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Building a Scalable System

By decomposing the design space into a collection of hierarchically dependent IPs, Helix IPLM (formerly Methodics IPLM) can scale horizontally to accommodate growth as the number of IPs increases. There is no server proliferation with independent management needs. A central server can be updated and kept patched more easily.

A zero downtime upgrade policy can further assist in making true scalability a reality. Sometimes, critical projects cannot handle any downtime. In large enterprises, there are always critical projects ongoing in some location or the other. Having a central server managing designs as a collection of IPs allows the admins to seamlessly upgrade and patch the running server and never incur downtime.

Connecting Project-Specific Instances to the IP Management System

In addition to a central, IP-centric design management platform, all the other tools that are used in the design flow can be connected together even if they are not IP-centric. Project-centric instances can be associated with specific IPs in the central system. Each IP can then gather its metadata from these specific project instances on demand — and present it in context.

For example, if a bug is found on an IP that is being developed in the context of project A (even though project A itself is just another IP in the system), the user would naturally file the bug in the project A specific instance of the bug tracker.

In addition to filing the bug, the version of the IP is also noted in the bug. If project B now decides to use this IP, then all the bugs filed against the IP can be made visible in the context of project B as an API fetch from the bug tracker instance of project A.

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Breaking Design Silos With Helix IPLM

While project-centric management provides an easy way to get started, the use of such a solution is not merited even in the short term.

IP lifecycle management systems with full traceability, simpler collaboration, and scalability across the enterprise — like Helix IPLM — are readily available and just as quick to deploy.

That’s why Helix IPLM is trusted by 9 of the 10 top semiconductor companies

Talk with one of our IP experts to learn more about how Helix IPLM can help you avoid the hurdles imposed by project-centric management.

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