electronic design automation
November 30, 2021

What Is EDA?

Design
IP Lifecycle Management

Semiconductor design depends on certain foundational elements to enable work, and multiple tools collaborating in a workflow to take chips semiconductor chips through their lifecycle from planning, designing, building, and testing. That’s where EDA software comes into play.

Read along in this blog as we define EDA, discuss the challenges with EDA infrastructure software, and detail how the Perforce portfolio provides solutions to these challenges.

What Is EDA (Electronic Design Automation)?

EDA, or Electronic Design Automation, refers to a category of software tools used in a workflow to design electronic systems such as semiconductors, integrated circuits, and printed circuit boards. These EDA tools take chips from the planning and requirements stage, through to designing and building, into testing and verification, and ultimately manufacturing.

Collectively, these tools make up EDA infrastructure. For a typical workflow in semiconductor design to be successful, certain foundational elements must be present:

  • Today’s designs are component-based and those components need a release methodology and lifecycle management as the project moves through the various levels of maturity.

  • Reuse of the enterprise IP assets is key to maintaining margins in today’s commoditized semiconductor business.

  • Implementation tools create and modify design files, which must be versioned and configured, and delivered to user workspaces

  • Projects need requirements and resource planning to qualify and plan market opportunities.

  • Increasingly, designs are required to comply to standards and committed levels of quality.

Challenges of EDA Infrastructure

As time goes on and the semiconductor industry grows, the challenges to EDA infrastructure software grow greater.

As mentioned in our blog about the Future of Semiconductors, chip designs are getting larger and more complex. Managing the amount of data during the lifecycle of a project is becoming a greater challenge.

As the semiconductor industry consolidates and design teams are getting larger and often (usually) collaborate across multiple geographies, managing the design environment and collateral becomes a challenge. IP security assurance through geofencing becomes a must to prevent IP leakage.

In order to maintain margins and stay ahead of the competition, reuse of the enterprise’s IP asset has become key to accelerate time-to-market.

Additionally, traceability is becoming a key requirement as design data is spread across disparate centers and environments. We go into further detail in our blog Why Traceability Is Important.

How Perforce Supports EDA Infrastructure

The best way to solve these challenges is with a comprehensive solution like the industry-leading EDA infrastructure software at Perforce.

In fact, 9 of the top 10 semiconductor companies depend on Perforce for their EDA tools. That’s because:

  • Perforce has a long-standing pedigree of large-scale asset management in other industries — Perforce is the de facto standard asset management platform for the gaming and digital animation space, with massive databases under management, both in terms of file count and size.

  • Perforce created the IP Lifecycle Management (IPLM) space, with lifecycle management focused on design-side components and planning, prior to manufacturing.

  • Perforce has the best-in-class collaboration system for large distributed teams.

  • Perforce’s Edge server-based replication system enables a secure multi-site configuration management system.

Perforce enables world-class development at enterprise scale with a suite of products to support your needs, including:

Want to learn more? Get in touch with one of our semiconductor design experts to discuss your needs today.

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