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Leading companies from the EDA, IP, system and semiconductor industries have formed a consortium to develop industry standards that will enable easier integration of semiconductor intellectual property (IP) and IP tools.
The consortium, named SPIRIT (structure for packaging, integrating and re-using IP within tool-flows), will focus on developing standards for describing and packaging IP in order to cut costs, increase ease of use and enable greater flexibility in selecting and integrating IP.
The founding consortium members are ARM, Beach Solutions, Cadence Design Systems, Mentor Graphics, Royal Philips Electronics, STMicroelectronics and Synopsys.
"SPIRIT will address a key issue dominating the semiconductor industry today: the complexity of IP integration", said Ralph von Vignau, SPIRIT Consortium Chairman.
"By combining our technological strengths, the SPIRIT consortium members will create standards that will help express complex IP and deliver greater flexibility and efficiency to the SoC design process".
Designers today need a mechanism to express IP integration requirements, performance and configuration capabilities.
SPIRIT strives to enable automated IP integration through the development of a standard mechanism for importing complex IP bundles into SoC design tool sets.
SPIRIT intends to create two proposed standards: an IP meta-data description and an IP tool integration API.
The meta-data standard will create a common way of describing IP so that it is compatible with automated integration techniques.
It will enable integrators to use IP from multiple sources with SPIRIT-compliant tools.
The tool integration API aims to provide a standard method for linking tools into an IP framework, enabling a more flexible, optimised development environment.
SPIRIT-compliant tools will be capable of interpreting, configuring, integrating and manipulating IP blocks that comply with proposed SPIRIT standards.
The EDA and IP vendors participating in SPIRIT are committed to making their IP and IP tools interoperable through the proposed SPIRIT standards.