2012 was a tumultuous year for our industry. The PC segment was overshadowed by the rise of tablets and smartphones, affecting a wave of change in architectures, processors, operating systems, and suppliers. Numerous re-organizations and management shifts rippled through industry as a result. While some IDMs struggled, other fabless leaders gained ground, and foundries performed well but unevenly. EDA experienced a large consolidation wave, with leading EDA suppliers outperforming, as customers began re-tooling for advanced process nodes. The semiconductor industry declined about 2.7% year-over-year. I’d like to use this blog post to share a summary of how the year turned out for Si2, the largest and oldest of the “design-flow” standards bodies.
Si2 -- thanks to its dedicated members -- delivered excellent engineering progress as per 2012 plans, spanning five ongoing standardization projects. In addition, we created a new unplanned standard (the “Unified Layer Model”), now jointly used across three coalitions for consistency in layer operations. Another unplanned addition was a detailed quality testing sub-project for OpenDFM. This project successfully ensured that advanced process rules defined in OpenDFM produced identical results across all major EDA toolsets, using vendor-provided OpenDFM plug-ins in conjunction with major foundry partners.
I am pleased to note that 2012 saw an expansion of Si2’s Board of Directors, reflecting our increasing importance to industry. The Board approved a 3rd seat reserved for EDA suppliers, filled by Mentor Graphics, for a total of 12 seats. Four Board representatives also changed in 2012, reflecting the broader industry wave of change. Si2 gained several new large members, now representing 8 of the top 10 2012 semiconductor leaders.
2012 was cause for celebration, as we recognized the 10th year of OpenAccess -- a truly game-changing standard and the most complex of its type in EDA’s history. Special events and awards at DAC and Si2Con helped make this special, and brought highly-respected new and old faces together again.
Besides architecting solutions to long-standing design flow quality / efficiency problems, we also try to address critical emerging interoperability needs -- such as three upcoming standards from our Open3D TAB that ramped in 2012 to support 2.5D / 3D design. At the end of 2012, Si2 added a sixth project to enable interoperable co-design of silicon photonics with electronics (more on that later). All in all, it was a highly productive year, and I want to thank our members for making it possible.
Steve Schulz is president and CEO of Si2
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