ADS is the market leader for design of very high frequency stuff such as RF and Microwave and the fastest digital. It is not just IC design since at those frequencies everything interacts with everything else and so a design may consist of a circuit board with a module containing several chips in different technologies, all of which needs to be analyzed together. Ten years ago designs were a few transistors and some matching networks and data management wasn't a challenge. Now designs are much more complex, groups are globally distributed and so data management needs to be tightly integrated into the design system itself, which is what Agilent and ClioSoft have done.
It turns out that like me, Greg actually worked in this area himself in a past life. He was at EDA Systems that tried to do universal data management but without being integrated into all the design systems it was an uphill struggle and eventually the company was folded into Digital Equipment. They were one of the people who pushed the CAD Framework Initiative (CFI) to try and get some standardization into the way tools accessed data. At the time it didn't really go anywhere much and CFI eventually morphed into SI2.
There is a perception that this sort of data management is just for large teams but in fact, since engineering is an experimental discipline, even small teams (or just an individual) need to be able to keep track of different versions and roll back designs to something that was working.
ClioSoft’s SOS viaADS product provides users of ADS 2012.08 or later with seamlessly integrated design management. Users have easy right-click menu access to version control capabilities within the standard ADS user interface. Design management features include:
- Version control of libraries, cells and views
- Auto check-out and check-in when a view is edited
- Check-out locks to prevent concurrent changes
- Easy rollback to previous revisions
- Data management operations for an entire design hierarchy
- Release and derivative management
- External reference and reuse
- Multi-site global collaboration
The product page for the integration is here.
Here is a video showing the product in use (11 minutes).