Upgrading its IC design data management system for a global marketplace, IC Manage this week (April 23) is introducing its Global Design Platform (GDP). It offers improvements aimed at bringing engineering data into a company's global IT infrastructure.
IC Manage was launched in 2004 to commercialize an open-source software package, cdsp4, that linked Cadence Design Systems' Design Framework II (DFII) database to the Perforce configuration management and revision control system. IC Manage still uses Perforce Software Configuration Management (SCM) as its underlying data management system. But the improvements in GDP, said Dean Drako, IC Manage president and CEO, come from technology developed by IC Manage.
Thus far, said Drako, most engineering organizations have managed their own IT. "It's been kind of a rogue organization with a bunch of engineers doing whatever they need to do to get the project done," he said. But now, Drako said, IC Manage's customers are being told by their central management that they really need a design data management system that works with the corporate IT infrastructure.
"This trend required us to do some significant enhancements and technology development in order to make IC Manage work in these environments with little overhead, and also provide the performance customers need for IC design," he said.
Five features are necessary to fit into a global IT infrastructure, Drako said, and GDP provides all of them. They include backup, high availability, disaster recovery, storage management, and global scalability. Improved performance is key to the latter requirement, he said. "You need a global IT infrastructure for guys in India, China, Japan, and the U.S., without having them have to wait for data to get from here to there," he said. "That is particularly hard for IC designers because files can get really big."
Thus, Drako said, IC Manage developed caching technology to boost data management performance. Things aren't much different with GDP if you're just using a local server and a local team of engineers, he said, but the ability to push data to a remote design center can be 1,000 times faster.
IC Manage GDP offers an enhanced message queuing architecture that improves performance and latency over WANs, Drako said. The new release also enhances IC Manage's transaction-based capability, and makes use of streaming TCP for performance "approaching wire speed," the company claims.
Other features of GDP include derivative management, allowing designers to track component usage across both revision space and derivative space; design assembly, which lets users assemble designs from components that may be scattered throughout the world; cross-coupled defect tracking, which binds defect and data state together; and multi-site content delivery, which lets users push or pull common data such as process design kits (PDKs) to any site without delays.
GDP replaces the company's previous IC Manage design data management system, and is in production use at AMD, Cambridge Silicon Radio, National Semiconductor, NVidia, Rambus, and Sandisk, IC Manage claims. It works with Design Framework II, OpenAccess, and Milkyway databases. Pricing ranges from $1,800 to $3,000 per seat.