Si2 Announces 2020 Power of Partnerships Award Winners

AUSTIN, Texas – Semiconductor design experts from industry and academia are this year’s winners of the Silicon Integration Initiative’s Power of Partnerships Award, recognizing the Si2 team that has made the most significant contributions to the field of electronic design automation.

Led by Jerry Frenkil, Si2 director of OpenStandards, members of the Unified Power Model Working Group are being honored for developing Si2 UPM, a system-level power modeling standard which helps designers describe, analyze, and control power consumption, critical factors in reducing overall design costs and increasing chip performance.

Honorees from the UPM Working Group are:

  • Nagu Dhanwada, senior technical staff member, IBM, Working Group Chair
  • Allen Baker, lead software developer, Ansys
  • Daniel Cross, principal solutions engineer, Cadence Design Systems
  • Rhett Davis, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NC State University
  • David Ratchkov, founder and CEO, Thrace Systems

UPM was created under the auspices of the OpenStandards Coalition, a technology incubator developing critical enabling technologies for fast-track industry approval toward standardization. Frenkil said the working group “has pioneered new methods for power modeling and analysis, leading to increased power efficiency. This has created new opportunities for system architects, SoC designers, IP providers, and EDA developers to estimate and control power consumption, especially at the system level.”

UPM led directly to the creation of the IEEE Standard for Power Modeling to Enable System Level Analysis, or IEEE 2416-2019. This standard is based almost entirely on the efforts of the UPM working group.

Each Si2 coalition nominates one team for the annual Power of Partnerships award, which spotlights the essential role volunteers from Si2 member companies play in Si2’s continuing success and value to the industry. The Si2 board of directors selects the winners.

Runners up for 2020 are:

Compact Model Coalition, Open Model Interface Working Group
Chair, Colin Shaw, Silvaco

Contributed to Si2 initially by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, OMI is built around the TSMC Model Interface. OMI allows circuit designers to simulate and analyze such significant physical effects as self-heating and aging, and to perform extended design optimizations, including statistical modeling of process variations.

OpenAccess Coalition, Polygon Operators Working Group
Chair, James Masters, Intel

The Polygon Operators Working Group develops oaxPop, an API extension used with Si2 OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used open reference database for IC design. Originally contributed to Si2 by Intel, oaxPop brings the power of the popular Boost Polygon Library into the expanding OpenAccess design database ecosystem.

About Si2

Founded in 1988, Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of The National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws.

Executives from Siemens, Qualcomm and Samsung Join Si2 Board of Directors

AUSTIN, Texas—Silicon Integration Initiative, a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for semiconductor design tools, announced today the election of its 2020-2021 board of directors.

Joining the Si2 board this year are:

  • Juan C. Rey, vice president of Engineering, Mentor, a Siemens Business
  • Pankaj Kukkal, vice president, EDA, Emulation and Post-Silicon Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies
  • Jung Yun Choi, corporate vice president, Electronics Design Technology, Samsung Electronics

Re-elected board members are:

  • Vic Kulkarni, vice president and chief strategist, Ansys
  • Stanley Krolikoski, fellow, Ecosystems, Cadence Design Systems
  • Richard Trihy, vice president, Design Enablement, GLOBALFOUNDRIES
  • Roger Carpenter, hardware engineer, Google
  • Leon Stok, vice president, Electronic Design Automation Technologies, IBM
  • Rahul Goyal, vice president, Intel Corp., director, R&D Strategic Enablement
  • David DeMaria, corporate vice president, Strategic Initiatives and Market Intelligence, Synopsys
  • Keith Green, distinguished member of the technical staff, Texas Instruments

The Si2 board represents leading semiconductor manufacturers and foundries, fabless companies and EDA software providers.  Si2’s key programs include: OpenAccess—a standard application programming interface and reference source code for the design database used by all major chip design software suppliers; and the Compact Model Coalition, which selects and supports industry-standard SPICE simulation models.

About Si2

Founded in 1988, Si2 provides standard interoperability solutions for semiconductor design tools. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws.

 

Jeff Brubaker of Synopsys Joins Si2 OpenAccess Change Team

Jeff Brubaker, infrastructure architect for Custom Compiler at Synopsys, has been elected to the Si2 OpenAccess Change Team. OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used, open-reference database for IC design, creates authentic interoperability between EDA companies and semiconductor designers and manufacturers.

Jeff started working on custom design tools at Avanti in 2000 and joined Synopsys in 2002. In 2004, he was on the Synopsys team which started the product that eventually became Custom Compiler–the Synopsys design environment for full-custom analog, custom digital, and mixed-signal IC design. He has worked with OpenAccess since 2005 and currently manages the Synopsys team responsible for OpenAccess-related development and maintenance.

Si2 Launches Survey on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in EDA

Si2 has launched an industry-wide survey to identify planned usage and structural gaps for prioritizing and implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning in semiconductor electronic design automation.

The survey is organized by a recently formed Si2 Special Interest Group chaired by Joydip Das, senior engineer, Samsung Electronics, and co-chaired by Kerim Kalafala, senior technical staff member, EDA, and master inventor, IBM. The 18-member group will identify where industry collaboration will help eliminate deficiencies caused by a lack of common languages, data models, labels, and access to robust and categorized training data.

This SIG is open to all Si2 members. Current members include:

  • Advanced Micro Devices
  • ANSYS
  • Cadence Design Systems
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Intento Design
  • Keysight Technologies
  • Mentor, a Siemens Business
  • NC State University
  • PFD Solutions
  • Qualcomm
  • Samsung Electronics
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Silvaco
  • Synopsys
  • Thrace Systems
  • Texas Instruments

The survey is open April 15 – May 15.

The survey link is:  https://bit.ly/SI2_AI_ML_Survey

Leigh Anne Clevenger, Si2 senior data scientist, said that the survey results would help prioritize SIG activities and timelines. “The SIG will identify and develop requirements for standards that ensure data and software interoperability, enabling the most efficient design flows for production,” Clevenger said. “The ultimate goal is to remove duplicative work and the need for data model translators, and focus on opening avenues for breakthroughs from suppliers and users alike.”

“High manufacturing costs and the growing complexity of chip development are spurring disruptive technologies such as AI and ML,” Clevenger explained. “The Si2 platform provides a unique opportunity for semiconductor companies, EDA suppliers and IP providers to voice their needs and focus resources on common solutions, including enabling and leveraging university research.

Support for OpenAccess 22.50 Ends in June

Effective June 1, 2020, OpenAccess 22.50 (DM5) will no longer be supported and no further source code changes will be made.

What this means for OpenAccess Coalition Members

The present OA 22.50 releases will be available for the near future, although members should consider plans to migrate to the new OpenAccess 22.60 (DM6). The migration plan is well designed as your OA 22.50 database still works in 22.60.

Should you choose to use the new data model features of OA 22.60 your database will become a DM6 database and can only be read with 22.60.

Going forward, the focus will be on the new OA22.60 data model. This includes support for C++ 11. New oaPartitions classes enable performance and portability enhancements to your applications, including parallel execution with partial loading of data.

The 4G limits have been relaxed on polygon point data and certain types of application defined data. In most cases, databases written by OA 22.60 will remain DM5/OA 22.50 compatible. OA 22.60 will only write a DM6 database if:

  • more than 4G of oaAppProp or oaPointArray data is used or,
  • oaPartitions are created

For more information contact Marshall Tiner, director of Production Standards, mtiner@si2.org.

Si2 Compact Model Coalition to Support CEA-Leti SPICE Simulation Model

The Si2 Compact Model Coalition has announced the approval and financial support of L-UTSOI, a new ultra-thin, silicon-on-insulator transistor simulation model developed by CEA-Leti, a France-based research institute for electronics and information technologies.

L-UTSOI was selected for support by CMC, a coalition of 30 semiconductor companies that standardizes semiconductor models used in a class of circuit simulation tools called SPICE, or Simulation Program with Integration Circuit Emphasis. Manufacturers save time and money by simulating the performance of new or enhanced integrated circuit designs before the ICs are manufactured. The CMC funds leading universities and research institutions to develop, refine and maintain SPICE models, which are incorporated into widely used semiconductor design tools.

Silicon-on-insulator uses a thin layer of insulating oxide that semiconductor manufacturers insert between a silicon substrate and the top silicon layer. That insulating layer improves power efficiency and reliability. When compared with conventional bulk-silicon CMOS devices, SOI designs are well-suited for low-cost, low-power applications, such as automotive and the Internet of Things.

“CEA-Leti’s compact model boasts physically based model parameters,” said Harrison Lee, chair of the L-UTSOI Working Group and principal engineer of the Foundry Design Enablement Team at Samsung Electronics. “We can utilize predictive analysis of a process technology to optimize a transistor’s design implementation for a specific end-use. With a capability to 10 nanometers and below and the ability to simulate a wide range of voltages and body biases, we can easily research a wide variety of analog and digital applications.”

André Juge, working group co-chair and fellow member of technical staff at STMicroelectronics, stated, “L-UTSOI features accurate modeling of ultra-thin body and box fully-depleted SOI devices, combined with high predictiveness and numerical performance for simulation of circuits operating in a wide range of applications. For several years, starting at the 28-nanometer technology node and below, L-UTSOI has been a key enabler for design technology co-optimization.”

“CMC provides a rare opportunity to work in tandem with the simulator suppliers that are implementing our code, and the end-users which create the designs,” said Thierry Poiroux, head of the Simulation and Compact Modeling Laboratory at CEA-Leti. “Regular CMC meetings ensure a quick response to feature and bug-fix requests. We look forward to this same support from the CMC stakeholders implementing and using the L-UTSOI model.”

“As a member-driven organization, the CMC strives to provide value for its members and the semiconductor supply chain,” said Peter Lee, CMC chair. “With 15 models now available, CMC members have a distinct competitive advantage with early access to new features and bug fixes, and an 18-month lead on standard models released to the public. Adding L-UTSOI to the mix of models was a direct response to our customer request for model support, as we continue to add value to their membership. ”

Samsung Executive Joins Si2 Board of Directors

Jung Yun Choi, corporate vice president for the Samsung Electronics Design Technology team, has been elected to the Silicon Integration Initiative board of directors.

A 17-year Samsung veteran, Choi leads the team responsible for developing all design tools and methodologies for Samsung memory products: technologies and environments impacting product values, new process and package technologies, new applications and new working environments such as the Cloud.

Since joining Samsung, he has contributed to the development of low-power design methodologies for mobile devices, RTL-to-GDS implementation and sign-off methodologies.

Choi joined Samsung Electronics in 2003 after receiving his doctorate in electrical engineering at the Pohang University of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University in 2012.

John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO, said, “Doctor Choi brings a unique, IDM and foundry perspective to Si2. His in-depth understanding of fundamental semiconductor principles, along with his hands-on experience in product development, including our current thrust in system-level power modeling for low-power design, will be extremely valuable as we develop our direction for the future.”

SI2 Launches Special Interest Group For AI and ML in Electronic Design Automation

SIG Will Fill Industry Gaps to Enable Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in EDA

Silicon Integration Initiative has launched a special interest group to focus on the growing needs and opportunities in artificial intelligence and machine learning for electronic design automation.

The group will identify current solutions and technology gaps in AI and ML strategies for EDA digital design. “AI and ML are changing semiconductor design and improving performance and time to market,” said Leigh Anne Clevenger, Si2 design automation data scientist.  “Based on member company interest, we expect the SIG to propose prototype projects to accelerate the development of standards in areas such as machine learning training, and data handling and sharing.

“High manufacturing costs and the growing complexity of chip development are spurring disruptive technologies such as AI and ML,” Clevenger explained. “Si2 provides a unique opportunity for semiconductor companies, EDA suppliers and IP providers to voice their needs and focus resources on common solutions, including leveraging university research.”

The SIG is open to all Si2 members and is chaired by Joydip Das, Senior Engineer I, Samsung Austin R&D Center, and co-chaired by Kerim Kalafala, senior technical staff member, EDA, IBM.

“In recent years, the EDA industry has significantly expanded the use of AI/ML technology and techniques in its design tools,” said Das. “We’ve identified the need for a common industry-wide infrastructure to help share this information. This will help eliminate duplicative work and open up avenues for new breakthroughs.”

Other Si2 members participating in the SIG include: Advanced Micro Devices, ANSYS, Cadence Design Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Intento Design, NC State University, PDF Solutions, Sandia Labs, Synopsys and the University of California, Berkeley.

About Si2

Founded in 1988, Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools. Its activities include support of OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used standard API and reference database for integrated circuit design. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of The National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws.

New Version of Si2 oaScript Expands IC Design Capabilities into the Cloud and AI

Design partitioning and multi-threaded parallel execution are key features of the updated scripting interface to OpenAccess, the industry’s most widely used IC design database. oaScript Version 4.0—developed by programming experts in the Silicon Integration Initiative oaScript Working Group—leverages the powerful enhancements available to OpenAccess in its most recent Data Model 6 upgrade.

“Our oaScript Working Group spent considerable time working through implementation details for optimal use in each supported scripting language”

“oaPartitions allows an application to rapidly load design instances, shapes, or vias from a given partition without loading an entire design. An application can define partitions by any criteria the developer prefers—by geography, by layer, or even alphabetically. In addition to creating partitions, applications now have access to all of the OpenAccess classes needed to work with partitions, including the partition array class,” Tiner explained.

Flexible partitions can enhance multi-threading capabilities, helping avoid collisions between design-segregated threads. For example, an application could explicitly assign a dedicated thread to each design layer, virtually guaranteeing no thread collisions. “This is very significant for applications utilizing parallel execution techniques,” Tiner added.

“Our oaScript Working Group spent considerable time working through implementation details for optimal use in each supported scripting language,” Tiner said. “As this group is made up of top EDA developers in the industry, each from unique and sometimes competing companies, their ability to collaborate is a stellar example of the value our members bring to Si2, and the strengths Si2 brings to its members.”

Rudy Albachten of Intel, chair of the oaScript Working Group, said, “With improved support for the latest versions of Python and Ruby, along with continued support for perl and tcl, oaScript 4.0 gives developers easy access to the full capabilities of the OpenAccess database. I am very proud of the hard work from the multi-company collaborative working group, and excited to see interest in using oaScript for diverse applications—including AI with Tensor Flow, using oaScript in the Anaconda platform, and usage in virtual machine environments. OaScript continues to enable designers and developers to quickly prototype custom tools. Enabling the new partitioning and multi-tasking capabilities of OpenAccess is an exciting new capability.”

Qualcomm Executive Joins Si2 Board of Directors

Pankaj Kukkal, vice president of Engineering at Qualcomm Inc., has been elected to the Silicon Integration Initiative board of directors. Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools.

In his current role, Kukkal oversees all EDA, emulation and post-silicon engineering functions for mobile, compute, automotive, and artificial intelligence/machine learning business units. He joined Qualcomm in 2012. He has contributed to delivering over 50 leading-edge SoCs in various application domains.

Kukkal has more than 25 years of experience in EDA, silicon, systems, and software engineering. Before joining Qualcomm, he held various leadership positions at Intel, focusing on CAD, emulation and validation. He has led the creation of several industry-leading technologies for chip design, emulation and post-silicon debug and automation.

Kukkal has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the National Institutes of Technology, India, and a master’s degree in computer engineering from the University of South Carolina.

John Ellis, president and CEO, said Kukkal brings crucial experience and domain knowledge to the Si2 board.  “Pankaj has been in key, strategic roles at Qualcomm and Intel over his long career. The insights he has gained, along with his extensive network of contacts including former associates, customers and suppliers in the semiconductor industry, will be invaluable as Si2 and its board maps out where the industry is going, and what Si2 members need from us to help propel them there most efficiently.”

About Si2

Founded in 1988, Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of The National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws.