plm for semiconductors
July 30, 2021

What Is Product Lifecycle Management For Semiconductors?

IP Lifecycle Management
Product Lifecycle Management

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is critical for any business. But there are unique product lifecycle management challenges for enterprise semiconductor organizations.

We explore these challenges and how to address them below. Read along or jump ahead to the section that interests you most:

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What Is Product Lifecycle Management?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is the process of managing a product from design through retirement. PLM is a critical form of lifecycle management. Depending on your industry, there are different challenges you’ll face with PLM. 

PLM systems are used by the automobile industry, aerospace industry, industrial equipment segment, and consumer product companies. And they have been recently adopted by other industries — like fashion, retail, and financial services.

PLM systems help businesses run their entire operation, by creating an environment where all product data and metadata can be organized, accessed, and analyzed. The collaborative platform helps to improve product execution by tying all this information together and allowing other business systems to access the most current and relevant data.

Traditionally, decisions in many companies are made off of non-current data — whether it be minutes, hours, days, or weeks old. PLM systems allows information to be made available immediately and consumed in formats that make sense for each stakeholder.

When it comes to semiconductor design and development, there are unique challenges you’ll face in product lifecycle management.

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Challenges in Semiconductor Product Lifecycle Management

The complexity of today’s semiconductor devices rivals the complexities of systems design in other industries. This leads to major challenges in semiconductor product lifecycle management.

Pace of Innovation

Semiconductors are designed in a fast-paced environment. Thousands of design files are checked out and in daily. Because of this, you need to raise the level of abstraction from files to that of IP to effectively manage your designs.

By managing at the IP level, complex hierarchical relationships can easily be managed as single IPs. Likewise, dependencies can be managed, simplifying the order of managing the files that make up the IPs.

Accelerated Lifecycles

Consumers have an insatiable need for the latest technology. It is not unusual for consumers to change their mobile phones every year, or even quicker. Because of this, semiconductor companies have accelerated time to market demands to keep up with consumer’s needs.

You cannot start a design from scratch anymore, making IP reuse and derivative designs the norm. This requires an effective lifecycle management system be put in place to manage the semiconductor IP.

This system needs to keep pace with the rapid pace of change, but also keep track of all the meta data associated with IP, the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How that describes the current state of all IP in a company and all IP being used in current designs.

Information Siloes

To keep up with the rapid design environment, and the shrinking time to market demands, it is important make sure that all IP is available and accessible to design teams.

Unfortunately, many companies' IP is hidden in design team siloes, whether because of structure or acquisition. It is important to be able to federate this IP and make sure it is generally available to all design teams to help them be as efficient as possible.

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How to Integrate Enterprise PLM With IPLM

The best way to solve these challenges is to integrate enterprise product lifecycle management with IP lifecycle management (IPLM).

Integrating these two solutions leads to streamlined and cost-efficient business processes and optimized semiconductor design due to:

  • All aspects of the product lifecycle can be planned.
  • Decision makers have improved visibility for decision support.
  • All stakeholders can be prepared to execute their part of the process with minimized wait time.

In this joint solution, the IPLM tool keeps track of the IP bill of information (BOI), which contains all IP in a given design. This BOI can be fed forward into the PLM system, ultimately to tie the engineering bill of materials (BOM) and manufacturing BOM to the semiconductor design process.

In this way, manufacturing, legal, contracts, compliance, sales, and support have a view into what happened during design — and the other processes used by various departments always have the latest information.

Integrate PLM With Lifecycle Management

Read our white paper to learn how integrating PLM with lifecycle management can reduce engineering costs, accelerate time-to-market and increase IP security. 

Download White Paper

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Why Choose Methodics IPLM For the Enterprise?

Helix IPLM (formerly Methodics IPLM) is the best IP lifecycle management platform for semiconductor organizations. It integrates seamlessly with industry-standard data management solutions like Helix Core, along with digital and analog design environments.

Plus, Helix IPLM:

  • Connects IP producers to IP consumers.
  • Ensures fully transparent IP lifecycle management.
  • Provides native clients and restful APIs.
  • Enables hierarchical IP management.
  • Supports third party IP generators.
  • Provides a rich IP catalog.

Learn more about why you should integrate Helix IPLM with your PLM system to accelerate time-to-market. Connect with one of our experts to learn more about features and capabilities of our semiconductor product lifecycle management solution, get pricing information, or schedule a live demo.

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