WILSONVILLE, Ore. Proclaiming a major corporate initiative, Mentor Graphics entered the design data management (DDM) market Tuesday (July 31). Its first two DDM offerings, Data Management System (DMS) Workgroup and Enterprise, are based on products developed by Descon, a German company that Mentor acquired in May 2000.
DMS Workgroup and DMS Enterprise, both members of the DMS 2000.5 family, are aimed at pc-board designers. The products support pc-board layout software from Mentor, Cadence Design Systems and Zuken. They provide component information management, quality and supply information, bill-of-materials (BOM) release control, and footprint and symbol library management.
Mentor decided to enter the DDM market because of growing product complexity and the increasing need for supply chain integration, said Bob Potock, director of data systems marketing for Mentor. "Given these two elements, there's a clear need for a DDM capability focused on the electronic design process," he said.
Potock said Mentor's DMS products provide an "infrastructure approach" to DDM. Such an approach has three components, he said. First is scalability to support a global design enterprise, with data shared among teams located throughout the world. Second is support for multivendor tools. And third is a "clear integration point" into external processes, such as enterprise-resource-planning systems.
The technology underlying the DMS products is Data Fusion, described by Potock as an object-oriented layer that resides on top of the Oracle relational database. Data Fusion is part of the technology acquired from Descon.
That company also sold a DDM system under the DMS name, but Descon's solution was customized for each customer, Potock said. "We've taken the technology and packaged it into a standard product form," he said.
DMS Workgroup, designed for a midsized team, is a client/server configuration that provides component information, quality and supply management, BOM release control, and supply chain integration. DMS Workshop can optionally support global replication, in which information can be replicated across sites, and product data management integration. DMS Enterprise, aimed at larger teams, allows more scalability and full customization of the data model.
Potock said the products are able to consolidate multiple libraries and BOMs into a single database. He noted that many customers are managing different libraries and BOMs because they have come to acquire, over time, pc-board design systems from different vendors.
While the DMS products provide component information management, Mentor is not providing the component information itself. That's currently a manual creation process, but Potock said Mentor is moving toward a Web-based approach to adding component information. For that reason, he said, Mentor has joined the RosettaNet standardization effort and is working on technology to convert imported XML data into footprints and schematic symbols.
Potock said that Mentor is committed to a "vendor-neutral" solution and that it may add other vendors according to customer demand. For now, the DMS products are focused specifically on pc-board design, although nothing precludes bringing the technology into the chip design world, Potock said.
The DMS 2000.5 products will ship in the fourth quarter starting at $200,000 for a 10-user DMS Workgroup configuration.