SANTA CRUZ, Calif. The Accellera standards organization has called a meeting for Wednesday, Sept. 13 to discuss a proposed Unified Power Format (UPF) technical subcommittee, EE Times has learned. But the new Accellera effort is taking a different path than the Cadence Design Systems backed Power Forward Initiative (PFI), which earlier this week announced its intent to pursue standardization through the IEEE.
Accellera members including Cadence have been invited to the meeting, which is intended to assess the available technology and organization of the proposed UPF committee as well as provide an update on the upcoming Low Power Workshop to be held by Accellera and the Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) October 5. The Sept. 13 meeting will be held at the Sun Microsystems conference center in Santa Clara, Calif.
PFI, launched by Cadence and seven user companies in May,
announced Monday that it is submitting a project authorization request (PAR) to the IEEE in hopes of setting up a working group by the end of the year. PFI also announced that three EDA companies other than Cadence Sequence Design, Calypto Design Systems, and Golden Gate Technology have joined the initiative's advisory board.
The Accellera meeting, meanwhile, follows a meeting at the July Design Automation Conference to launch an alternative low power standards effort that its participants described as "open, fast and inclusive." Participants at that meeting, initiated by Nokia and Texas Instruments, decided they wanted to pursue a standards effort through Accellera and Si2.
Companies including Synopsys and Mentor Graphics, Cadence's leading competitors, have been critical of what they regard as restricted access to the Common Power Format (CPF) developed by Cadence. That criticism persisted even after Cadence's Monday announcement.
"The CPF remains closed and is open only to those who sign the
Cadence/PFI contracts," said Dennis Brophy, director of strategic business development at Mentor Graphics and former Accellera chair. "There is no IEEE group that can consider the Cadence CPF work at this time, since it violates the IEEE's openness rules."
Not a problem, said Victor Berman, group director of industry alliances at Cadence. "Cadence will contribute CPF to the IEEE in full compliance with all IEEE rules," he said.
There's also disagreement about which route to take to standards. "CPF has really passed the Accellera stage of a call for donations," said Jan Willis, senior vice president of industry alliances at Cadence, following the Monday announcement. "CPF is ready for the IEEE process now, and it makes no sense to take a big step backwards and go back to the drawing boards."
Willis said Cadence won't comment on the Sept. 13 Accellera meeting at this time, since there is no further information beyond a meeting notice. "We will participate in complementary standards efforts to CPF whether it be through Si2 or Accellera or directly with the IEEE," she said.
Si2 is participating in the Sept. 13 meeting, but is not favoring one standards effort over another, said an Si2 spokesman. "We want to reach a unified industry solution," he said.
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