System-on-chips (SoCs) are now everywhere, whether they are processors, microcontrollers or FPGAs, and what matters more these days is how quickly these large and complex chips adapt to the specific needs of the OEM application or the "system." So time-to-market window is shrinking, and conversely, the use of IP tools is increasing in order to efficiently manage the rising complexity and time-to-market requirements of SoC designs.
One of these IP tools is ClioSoft Inc.'s SOS, a design data management solution for analog, RF, digital and mixed-signal designs. The ClioSoft SOS design collaboration platform—which has an 18-year history of being tightly integrated with traditional EDA flows—allows chip engineers to use tools from different vendors to design digital, analog and RF design modules.
Now ClioSoft has released version 7 of its SOS design collaboration tool, which it claims is faster, smarter and stronger. The SOS v7.0 is upward compatible with earlier SOS versions and provides SoC designers with all the features of previous versions of the design data management tool.
In SOS v7.0, ClioSoft has added the bandwidth spice to its multi-site architecture. That's a significant improvement because managing progress at each design site is crucial in getting the chip to the market in time. The speed factor enhances the ability of SOS data management tool to manage design data from concept through GDSII and mitigate the possibility of design re-spins because of incorrect configurations.
ClioSoft has over 150 customers—ranging from large foundries to small design shops—that use the SOS configurable IP platform. So how does SOS v7.0 differ from previous versions? Below is the recap of the three salient features of the SOS v7.0 design data and enterprise IP management platform.
Faster Data Management
ClioSoft claims that SOS7 is up to 30 times faster than previous versions of its SoC design collaboration platform. The data management tool supplier is using hyper streaming data transport (HSDT) technology to enable faster queries and caching operations.
The use of HSDT technology allows SOS7 to ensure data compactness and thus create smaller repositories. Moreover, remote design centers can efficiently keep synch with each other and to the central repository by making use of the faster and more efficient communications links.
Smarter Data Management
Remote design centers are becoming a mainstay in the SoC design environment because design tasks are now divided among several subsets of a large design team. That allows several tasks to be completed simultaneously and thus reduce the time it takes to transition into the physical design stage and tapeout.
So the new version of SOS accommodates more remote sites through greater scalability and thus supports more users and data traffic. ClioSoft has managed to enhance the scalability by allowing SoC design teams to create work areas more quickly. Moreover, SOS7 boasts a better reporting infrastructure to streamline design workflow.
More Reliable Data Management
As mentioned earlier, the SoC designs are increasingly becoming complex, so they require appropriate levels of error resilience and security. ClioSoft's SOS7 version further improves reliability with new features such as repository hot backup and balancing of the load to accommodate more users.
That's on top of the existing SOS features like release and derivative management, integrated revision control, and issue tracking interfaces to commonly-used bug tracking systems. ClioSoft claims that SOS is the only design management platform that supports all types of designs: digital, analog, RF and mixed-signal.
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