PARIS -- A wish list of electronic design automation (EDA) tools needed to help Medea, the European design automation consortium, achieve the goals of its second project road map was enumerated by a panel at this week's Date 2000 Conference here. Tools ranging from system-level design to MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) to test will be needed to make IC design thrive, panelists said.
Medea already has several projects under way, including two in analog design, three in system-level design, one in RF design and three in deep-submicron design, said Anton Sauer, vice chairman of Medea. But the consortium may have its work cut out for it. Panelists Frank Ghenassia from STMicroelectronics, Irmtraud Rugen-Herzig of Infineon Technologies, Jean-Michael Karam of MEMScAP, Wolfgang Rosenstiel of FZI Karlsruhe, and Gunter Krample of Infineon Technologies together presented a giant list of tools, methodologies and training they would like to see Medea address.
Simulation speed, lack of viable architecture evaluation tools, as well as programming and debugging systems are large problem areas for the system-level design group at STMicroelectronics, Ghenassia said. He said he would like to see Medea develop a viable system-level system-on-a-chip flow that includes a set of guidelines based on C/C++ and that supports platform-based design.
Rugen-Herzig, speaking for the mixed-signal and RF design worlds, said she would like to see Medea develop a language-based, top-down design strategy that includes a formal system specification, top-down constraint propagation and reuse of analog blocks.
She would also like to see more analog intellectual property (IP) and a way to reuse it, she said. Rugen-Herzig requested the development of a library of topologies and better tool automation.
Jean-Michael Karam said MEMScAP, his MEMS design company, would benefit from the development of an analog and mixed-signal technologies that could be added to the MEMS tool flow.
Wolfgang Rosenstiel, the panel's representative from the ASIC design world, mentioned many tools his company would like to see in the near term and long term. Among those he would like to see inthe near future are fast system modeling tools that would allow his company to use one model for multiple levels of abstraction. He would also like to see a different input language for co-design, simulation, and synthesis, he said.
Among the tools on his long-term wish list, Rosenstiel said he would like to see a hardware/software co-debugging tool, an automated hardware/software partitioning tool, and an executable spec with synthesis for both hardware and software.
In the test area, Krample said he would like to see a Medea project that makes built-in self-test more feasible. He would also like to see efforts to encourage design-for-test planning on the IP design level, and new IP test standards.
Panelists also said they would like to see Medea help academia offer better training to engineering students to help them understand issues across the various design disciplines.