SANTA CRUZ, Calif. Hoping to make peace between two separate initiatives to define a standard power description format, the Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) and Accellera standards organizations are hosting a one-day workshop on low-power design in Silicon Valley Oct. 5, 2006.
Much of the workshop will be devoted to bringing forth user requirements with respect to low-power design flows. But organizers also hope to pull the Power Forward Initiative, launched by Cadence Design Systems, together with a more recent effort launched at the July 2006 Design Automation Conference (DAC) and spearheaded by Texas Instruments and Nokia.
Power Forward, launched in May, consists of Cadence and seven user companies. It plans to develop the Common Power Format (CPF) for expressing power constraints. Cadence's EDA competitors, however, felt left out, as did some large user companies. Some of these companies met at DAC to launch an "open, inclusive and fast" low-power standards effort, with a much more ambitious timetable than Power Forward.
Sumit DasGupta, senior vice president of engineering at Si2, said that the October workshop is a follow-up to that DAC meeting. "It's a topic that's resonating with a number of our members," DasGupta said. "Si2 and Accellera want to gather requirements from as many sources as possible, and we want to hear from end users what the requirements are."
A long-term goal, DasGupta said, is to converge the two low-power standards efforts into one. "We hope and expect Cadence will participate in the meeting," he said. "They're one of the leading members of Si2."
Cadence appears to be favorably inclined. "This workshop is but one of many steps required to achieve industry-wide standards," said Pankaj Mayor, group director of business development for industry alliances at Cadence. "Since this workshop is being sponsored by Si2 and Accellera, we fully expect it to be truly open and inclusive of all low power approaches, including the Power Forward initiative's Common Power Format."
Shrenik Mehta, Accellera chairman, said the workshop is intended to be "an open, inclusive forum" where participants can talk about what standards are needed for low-power design. The biggest hope, he said, is that "everyone will be on the same page in the standardization effort. If we achieve that, the technical work can start."
But the October workshop leaves little room for vendor politics. The first five hours, in fact, are devoted to user presentations only. "We want EDA companies to be on the listening side," DasGupta said.
During the last three hours, Si2 and Accellera will provide a "straw man" outline of the standard low-power flow. Participants will discuss the planned standards development process, agree on early target dates, and list initial leaders and participants. The workshop begins 9:00 am Thursday morning, Oct. 5, at SEMI headquarters in San Jose, Calif.
Registration for the workshop is available through Si2.
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