SAN JOSE -- The two largest EDA vendors have joined forces with major EDA industry standards groups to move tool interoperability to the next level, as Cadence Design Systems Inc. and Synopsys Inc. announced this week that Cadence has licensed its Library Exchange Format (LEF) and Design Exchange Format (DEF) to Synopsys.
In addition, the EDA Consortium announced that Synopsys and Cadence have completed the EDASpine tool-interoperability initiative and have opened the doors for any and all EDA vendors.
Synopsys, based in Mountain View, Calif., and the rest of the EDA industry has been waiting since 1998 for Cadence to release LEF and DEF, which are de facto standards for transferring data to physical design tools.
At the 1998 Design Automation Conference, Cadence's then-president and CEO, Joseph Costello, announced that Cadence would release LEF and DEF. But not until this week, and after much industry prodding, did Cadence license its formats to Synopsys, which over the last year has jumped into the physical design space to become a direct competitor to Cadence.
Karen Bartleson, director of interoperability at Synopsys, said her company will use the LEF and DEF formats for its Physical Compiler and Physical Synthesis tools, and in Spine, an effort of the EDA Consortium to further the interoperability of EDA tools.
"We are very excited that Cadence has licensed the formats to us," Bartleson said. "It shows that we are maturing as an industry."
Cadence officials were unavailable for comment, so it is unclearwhether Cadence will license the LEF and DEF formats to other EDA vendors. Last November, Cadence released LEF to Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2), an industry standards group, but Si2 hasn't announced that the LEF format would be made public.