The folks at Satin Technologies have a painful problem (and it's not one you can make go away by rubbing cream on it). The problem is that they have developed the most amazingly useful technology to help ensure the quality and fidelity of any design and design flow – but not enough people know about it or understand just how powerful it is.
So, before we plunge into today's announcement, let's take a moment for me to very briefly set the scene. Suppose that you have an existing design flow that includes a bunch of design and verification tools. This could be a chip design flow, or a board design flow, or an embedded system flow, or ... any flow whatsoever. The question is, how are you going to ensure the quality and fidelity of your design?
On the one hand, you are going to have certain design criteria, like maximum latency, or maximum signal paths, or maximum power consumption. In fact you may have all sorts of criteria too numerous to mention here (just think of a few of the things you typically want to check as part of your own designs). These criteria may be defined at function, block, module, board, and system levels.
On the other hand you are going to have a bunch of automatic design capture, implementation verification, and analysis tools, each of which is going to be generating reams and reams of data.
The traditional approach is to create numerous spreadsheets by hand and to then plow through the outputs generated by the various tools gleaning the required information and comparing it to the requirements stored in the spreadsheet. Every time someone makes a change to the design and reruns one or more of the tools, you have to wade your way through the outputs all over again.
By comparison, Satin's approach is to create automatic checks that can interrogate the outputs from all of the tools for you, compare these outputs to your specified criteria, and present the latest-and-greatest "state-of-play" to you in the form of Dashboards. (If you want to get a better grasp of this, check out my column How to achieve quality assurance for your electronic designs.)
All this leads us to the fact that I just heard from the folks at Satin Technologies that they are going to be introducing a new product at DAC 2012 – SatinTech MS.
Introducing SatinTech MS
SatinTech MS is a software solution that allows companies to create an automated monitoring environment for existing design and delivery practices and to make this environment available to designers for immediate productivity gains.
With SatinTech MS, methodologists and project leads can quickly build multiple checklists to reflect existing design processes, and then designers can run these checklists at any design step, in association with their current log files and other design flow artifacts. As a result, raw design data are turned into actionable information, and smart design decisions can be made with fact-based accountability. Extracting and presenting information in real time helps engineers to monitor issues before they impact the bottom line. Fast, easy collaboration based on a common set of facts not only fosters team communication but also reduces error and enables faster time to market.
Until recently, design teams have had to address their monitoring needs with home-made, ad hoc systems, generally based on Excel checklists that engineers fill in at every design stage. Home-made scripts can, in some cases, facilitate checklist updating, but overall the process remains largely manual. SatinTech MS is dedicated commercial software, more flexible and easier to keep current than solutions built upon spreadsheets and home-made scripts.
SatinTech MS enables designers to focus on developing reliable products with better productivity and collaboration rather than on the limitations of a given monitoring system. SatinTech MS is comprised of two components – Checklist Editor and Dashboard Composer.
More than just a dashboard, SatinTech MS can support any customer methodology, any design flow, and any delivery practice. Checklist Editor helps assemble checklists in minutes by gathering individual metrics and quality criteria for simultaneous assessment. If needed metrics do not exist, they can be created on the fly and made self-assessable, with defined verdict rules.
Dashboard Composer applies one or more checklists to a design project. A simple click on the “compute” button ensures that the dashboard is up to date. Dashboards can be composed and inspected in different views. Decision support features allow users to focus on their own business, anticipate potential issues and take corrective actions when needed.
Satin Technologies will be demonstrating SatinTech MS in booth #2210 at DAC 2012
in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, from June 4th to 6th.
Also visit www.satin-tech.com/products.html
for additional information.
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