SANTA CLARA, Calif. Attempting to jump-start adoption of its system-on-a-chip specifications, the Virtual Socket Interface Alliance (VSIA) will officially launch its Registered VSIA Adopter (RVA) program today (Feb. 1) at DesignCon99.
Howard Sachs, president of the VSIA and vice president of worldwide system LSI technologies at Fujitsu Microelectronics, said the organization created the program to encourage industry use of the five documents/specifications it has released and the eight it expects to release this year.
"It is great to have all the specifications, but until people start using them, we haven't really achieved our goal," said Sachs. "We had to figure out a way to get people to use the specifications and this is why we launched RVA."
He said the VSIA will support its RVA members through joint marketing activities and allow those companies to use the RVA logo for marketing purposes.
VSI Alliance member companies that have joined the program include ARM, Cadence Design Systems, BOPS, Escalade, Fujitsu Ltd., Mentor Graphics, Palmchip and Philips.
The VSIA has released these five documents: the VSIA architecture document, the on-chip bus attributes specification, the analog/mixed-signal VSI extension specification, the VSI system-level design model taxonomy document, and the structural net-list and hard VC physical data types specification.
This year, the VSIA expects to release the AMS modeling specification; the I/V specification for RTL source, design constraints, library and performance models; the implementation/verification for soft and hard VC functional models, SOC verification and firm VC physical models; the on-chip BusVC Interface and transactions specification; the manufacturing-related TEST that includes data interchange formats, DFT rules, etc.; the manufacturing-related TEST that includes VC integrator extensions; the IP protection guidelines and decision matrix document; and the virtual component transfer (VCT) documentation.
"We are calling 1999 'the year of adoption,' " said Sachs. "We want to get people to adopt these specifications and the more people we get using the specs, the sooner this will happen. Our ultimate goal of course is to make the mixing and matching of IP a practical reality and do so in my lifetime."
Sachs said all VSIA member companies that are using or have shown considerable interest in using VSI specifications, guidelines and recommendations are eligible to join the RVA program for an annual licensing fee of $5,000.
Jauher Zaidi, president of core vendor Palmchip, said his company is actively using several of the specifications like the on-chip bus test specification. He said, as a company that has actively participated in several Development Working Groups at the VSIA, Palmchip has been able to become an early adopter of the specifications. Being a member of the RVA program, Zaidi said, offers his company another way to show a return on its investment in working with the VSIA.
Several RVA companies will share their experiences in using VSI specifications during a free lunch-hour technology symposium on February 2 at DesignCon99 in the Santa Clara Convention Center. Details and registration forms for the event can be accessed online.