semiconductor design
April 22, 2021

Looking Ahead in the Semiconductor Industry With Methodics & Perforce

IP Lifecycle Management
Design

Synergies in the semiconductor industry are an everyday occurrence and have become a part of the ever-changing landscape. One recent joint solution that made perfect sense was that of Perforce and Methodics, as the partnership existed before Perforce acquired Methodics in late 2020.

This brings the leading solutions in the version control space and IPLM space under the same umbrella as a single, unified product is part of the reason why 9 out of the top 10 semiconductor companies use this joint solution.

This relationship, and what it means for the future of semiconductor design, is discussed in a recent podcast with Semiwiki. A couple of key questions from that conversation are expanded on below.

How do you see collaboration between software teams and hardware teams affecting IP reuse and component-based design?

Hardware and software were silos for the longest time in development flows. As time went on, it became clear that the only way to meet time-to-market demands was to have the software team start to develop software earlier in the process. It used to be serial: hardware would get done, followed by software. With the ever shortening market development window driven by the need for rapid introduction on new consumer devices, there was no way to meet time-to-market demands.

This created a need to start doing things earlier. This required better collaboration between hardware and software teams because hardware teams needed to deliver key design information, such as register mapping and definitions, earlier to the software teams so they could start their development earlier. There was also a need for environments where hardware and software could be co-verified at the same time.

This is the way development has been for the last 15-20 years. The issue now is that since hardware System on Chip (SoC) development is so complex, with more integration and features on a single die, the software development scope is growing exponentially both in terms of complexity and features needed. Now you have to start worrying about configuration issues between hardware and software as you keep track of variants in a platform of designs.

Because of that, teams need to work even more closely together and ensure that the configuration systems on both sides are closer (if not the same) so you can look for resource sharing and conflict management across the domains from hardware to software. This must then be traced through the lifecycle of the products, so you know that if there are patches needed later on, which patches can be applied to which variants of hardware. Companies have lost out on being able to deliver products on time, or have lost millions of dollars due to incompatible software releases across platforms of products.

This larger configuration management issue has caused the delineation of silos to become very blurred. While there is still a notion of hardware and software, the teams need to work more as a single, unified team. We dive deeper into this topic in our blog How to Stop Hardware and Software Configuration Issues From Impacting Your Business.

How has the change to remote work during COVID affected IP security?

Every company has a notion of protected IP. It goes by many names — “secure IP,” “redbook branded IP,” and other terminologies — but regardless of the name, it signifies where IP can be shared, how it can be viewed, or how it can be integrated throughout the development process.

Now that (almost) everybody is working remotely, two things have happened.

First, a relaxation of IP security was needed to enable remote access to IP that used to only be able to be worked on within the confines of company property. Even secure IP needed to be able to be downloaded onto remote workstations.

Second, new security infrastructure was needed for these relaxed environments to ensure that people were only accessing the IP they needed to work on or integrate to. A new level of IP security had to be developed and tracked as part of the process. You also had to be much more careful if remote workers were stationed in a part of the world where IP couldn’t be exported to.

This created a need for geofencing –even though the individual has access to the IP, they are prevented from accessing it due to their location. We discuss this more in our blog Why Traceability Is Important.

Semiconductor Design With Methodics and Perforce

Methodics IPLM and Perforce creates the perfect synergy of IP lifecycle management and version control in a single, unified product. Methodics manages the complex file relationships found in semiconductor designs, while Helix Core handles the large binary files and millions of files that are common in EDA tools. Together, these tools provide a powerful solution to integrate and unify your IP-centric design with your data management system.

Curious about the Methodics IPLM and Perforce partnership and how it brings you the best of both worlds? Check out our webinar covering: 

  • Streamlines SoC development by automating the planning process
  • Improves IP security with geofencing and blockchain.
  • Improves SoC product management with analytics.
  • Accelerates design collaboration.

 

Want to speak to a Methodics expert? Get in touch with us today and we’ll provide guidance on how Methodics IPLM will help your business. 

Talk to an Expert