Ansys Engineer Recognized for Efforts to Develop Secure API for EDA AI/ML Data

Akhilesh Kumar, principal research and development engineer at Ansys, has received the quarterly Silicon Integration Initiative Pinnacle Award, which recognizes volunteers for their contributions to Si2’s success as a research and development joint venture for semiconductor design automation software.

Kumar was honored for his contributions to advancing a standard application programming interface for accessing processed data from EDA tools and databases. This interface, known as the Secure ProcEssEd Data (SPEED) API, will help enable secure and uniform access to data needed to develop, train, and implement artificial intelligence and machine learning engines that accelerate chip design processes.

“EDA tools typically offer access to their design data via our OpenAccess database and API,” said Leigh Anne Clevenger, Si2 vice president of technology. “However, until now, there has not been a standard API for the processed data these tools output. As a result, users often need to create various extraction and translation scripts to convert the data into a suitable format for AI/ML training. This process is often time-consuming and error-prone, as any changes to the output file parameters or formats can break translation scripts and disrupt access to legacy training data.”

Si2’s AI/ML Special Interest Group conducted a survey identifying key obstacles to using AI/ML for advanced electronic design. The results indicated a need for a standard API for processed data and that the limited availability of training data for AI/ML models hindered significant progress in this field.

John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO, stated, “The electronics industry is facing a number of challenges, including a rapid increase in design complexity and a growing shortage of skilled talent for next-generation system design. To overcome these issues, we need to optimize current design processes and create new AI-powered tools to help navigate the complex tradeoffs necessary for optimizing system-level designs. These tools are essential to helping us understand and address the increasing complexity of designing advanced electronic systems. SPEED API is a key missing building block and its adoption will help accelerate the development of AI/ML-enhanced design flows.”

Ellis also praised Kumar’s contributions to the SPEED API project, stating, “Akhilesh has been a great catalyst for driving the SPEED API effort forward. He brings a wealth of industry experience and encourages new ideas and strategies, fostering a sense of ownership among group members. His award is well-deserved, and I’m excited to see the impact of the SPEED API under his leadership.”

Kumar’s R&D focus at Ansys is on EDA reliability solutions, including electrothermal, thermal, electrostatic discharge, and substrate noise analysis applications. His research interests are ML and algorithmic techniques for EDA solutions. He has published papers in top conferences and journals within the broad area of EDA and worked on several AI/ML projects involving multiple EDA tools with complex data interfaces and models.

Kumar previously served as a design engineer at STMicroelectronics, working on behavioral, timing, and power models for memories and memory controllers. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Technology in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.

Geoffrey Coram of Analog Devices Wins Si2 Pinnacle Award

Geoffrey Coram, staff CAD engineer at Analog Devices, has received the quarterly Silicon Integration Initiative Pinnacle Award, recognizing volunteers for their exceptional contributions to Si2’s success as a leading semiconductor research and development joint venture.

Coram serves as chair of three working groups within the Si2 Compact Model Coalition, which pools industry resources to fund the development of standard compact SPICE models and interfaces promoting simulation tool interoperability. In 2016, he was named CMC Technical Advisor for Verilog-A Code Quality. Coram has a long history with Verilog-A, having led the Accellera Verilog-AMS subcommittee’s work for adding compact modeling extensions in Language Reference Manual version 2.2, released in 2004.

He recently developed and released an open-source tool for checking Verilog-A models for common errors and performance issues in 2020. The tool, known as the Verilog-A Model Pythonic Rule Enforcer, or VAMPyRE, has seen rapid industry adoption since its launch. He also has reviewed the Verilog-A implementation of every CMC standard model. In 2020, Coram was recognized by the University of California at Berkeley’s BSIM model team as “Guardian of Verilog-A Compact Models for the Global Semiconductor Industry.”

“Geoffrey is an innovative voice within the CMC and has an excellent critical eye,” said John Ellis, president and CEO of Si2. “His work with VAMPyRE illustrates his longstanding commitment to efficiency and interoperability. We are fortunate to have him in leadership.”

Coram joined Analog Devices in 2000 and focuses on its internal circuit simulator and other internal CAD tools. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a thesis on thermodynamics and noise modeling in circuits.

Mark Rossman Elected Architect of SI2 OpenAccess Change Team

Mark Rossman, software engineering group director at Cadence Design Systems, is the new architect of the Si2 OpenAccess Change Team, the approving body for changes to the OpenAccess API and reference database implementation. He replaces Michaela Guiney, also from Cadence, who retired in December.

Rossman has spent over 40 years in electronic design automation, developing software algorithms for automatic routing and layout migration capabilities. During the past 20 years at Cadence, he developed routing flows and solution integration for the Virtuoso Platform and organized collaboration between internal groups and key external development partners.

Before the Virtuoso Platform development, he worked on the CCT Cadence Chip Assembly Router routing tools and Catena’s Space Based Routing Technologies. He has five patents granted for routing and layout migration algorithms.

Marshall Tiner, Si2 senior director of OpenAccess, said Rossman “brings extensive experience in routing, layout, and design rule technologies as well as large scale multi-threaded development and collaborative integration. His on-the-job experience with OpenAccess, brings an important perspective to the OpenAccess Coalition.”

About the Silicon Integration Initiative

Si2 is a leading R&D joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for IC design tools. Its primary programs include CMC and OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used open reference database for IC design, with a supporting standard APA. 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.

Colin Shaw of Silvaco Named Si2 Pinnacle Award Winner

Colin Shaw, senior corporate applications engineer at Silvaco, has received the quarterly Silicon Integration Initiative Pinnacle Award, recognizing volunteers for their exceptional contributions to Si2’s success as a leading semiconductor research and development joint venture.

A chartered engineer with over 30 years of semiconductor industry experience, Shaw serves as chair of six Si2 Compact Model Coalition working groups and vice-chair of three others. His expertise includes the production and development of device processes for silicon and II-V compounds, as well as device and circuit design covering test structures, SRAM, IGBT and SAW filters.

For 25 years, CMC has offered semiconductor manufacturers, designers, and simulation tool providers an avenue to collectively fund, develop and optimize standard compact SPICE models and interfaces to promote simulation tool interoperability. CMC funds and supports select university and national laboratory compact model developers to achieve these goals.

“Colin has been a driving force within CMC since its integration with Si2 in 2013,” said John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO. “From leading the working group that created an open, industry-standard model simulator interface, to chairing our two recent gallium nitride and silicon carbide efforts, he has been a consistent coalition leader and team player. This combination of vision and commitment makes Colin truly deserving of the Si2 Pinnacle Award.”

Shaw will present at the quarterly CMC meetings scheduled for December 7-10.

About the Silicon Integration Initiative

Si2 is a leading R&D joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for IC design tools. Its primary programs include CMC and OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used open reference database for IC design, with a supporting standard APA. 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.

Hongmei Li Named IBM Representative to Si2 OpenAccess Coalition

Hongmei Li is the new IBM representative to the Si2 OpenAccess Coalition.  Li currently manages the Product Design Enablement Group in the IBM electronic design automation organization. She replaces Paul Stabler, a long-time supporter of OpenAccess activities, who is retiring from IBM.

Over her 17-year IBM career, Li has worked on radio-frequency MOSFET and passive device models, gate resistance characterization, de-embedding methodology for RF measurement, FET local layout effect, 3D through-silicon-via stress modeling, test site macro design and test site coordination. Starting August 1, she will manage the EDA Technology Enablement & ChipBench Group.

Li received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 2004.

Si2 OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used, open-reference database for IC design, creates authentic interoperability between EDA companies and semiconductor designers and manufacturers.

Views from the Cloud: Si2 Annual Technology Forum

The growing impact and productivity gains of designing semiconductors in the cloud comprise the focus the Si2 Annual Technology Forum, an online event scheduled for Friday, August 6, from 8:00 a.m. – to 10:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Registration is free. For details click here.

Silicon Integration Initiative is an R&D joint venture providing standard interoperability solutions for semiconductor design tools. 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.

AGENDA

Keynote PresentationSilicon-to-System – Addressing Design, Verification, and Implementation Challenges with Cloud-Based Engineering

David Pellerin
Head of Worldwide Business Development
Hitech/Semiconductor
Amazon Web Services


Executive Panel Discussion:
EDA-in-the-Cloud Challenges are Already Solved by Providers

Kerim Kalafala
Senior Technical Staff Member
IBM

Ramond Rodriguez
Senior Director of Strategic CAD Capabilities
Intel

Dr. Rhett Davis
Professor of Computer and Electrical Engineering
NC State University

Rajeev Jain
Senior Director of Technology
Qualcomm


Si2 Technical Coalition Updates

OpenAccess, oaScript Extensions
Marshall Tiner
Si2 Director of Production Standards

Standard Compact Models
John Ellis
Si2 President and CEO

AI/ML, Unified Power Models
Dr. Leigh Anne Clevenger
Si2 Director of OpenStandards

Special Announcement

Learn about a new Si2 industry initiative focusing on silicon-to-system design interoperability

Vic Kulkarni
Si2 Chief Strategy Officer


Annual Power of Partnerships Award

Presented to the Si2 team that has made the most significant contributions to the field of electronic design automation

 

Executives from Cadence, SK Hynix Join Si2 Board of Directors

AUSTIN, Texas—Silicon Integration Initiative, a leading research and development joint venture providing standard interoperability solutions for semiconductor design tools, announced today the election of its board of directors for 2021-2022.

Joining the Si2 board for their first full terms are:

  • Aparna Dey, Senior Product Marketing Group Director, Cadence Design Systems
  • Do Chang-Ho, Vice President, Computer Aided Engineering Division, SK Hynix

Re-elected board members are:

  • 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
  • Pankaj Kukkal, vice president, EDA, Emulation and Post-Silicon Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies
  • Jung Yun Choi, corporate vice president, Electronics Design Technology, Samsung Electronics
  • Juan C. Rey, vice president of engineering, Calibre, Siemens EDA
  • David DeMaria, corporate vice president, Strategic Initiatives and Market Intelligence, Synopsys
  • Keith Green, distinguished member of the technical staff, Texas Instruments

The board elected prior board member, John Lee, general manager and vice-president, Ansys, as an ex-officio board member. Lee will advise the board with regards to Si2’s long-term strategy for design-in-the-cloud, as well as for artificial intelligence and machine learning-enabled design.

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.

 

Johannes Grad of Cadence First Si2 Pinnacle Award Winner

Johannes Grad, product engineer at Cadence Design Systems, is the winner of the first quarterly Pinnacle Award, presented to volunteers for exceptional contributions to Si2’s success as an R&D joint venture.

A member of the Cadence Custom IC and PCS Group, Johannes focuses on OpenAccess development, supporting advanced process nodes, and software infrastructure for physical design. He is a moderator for the Si2 OpenAccess Issue Tracking System and Discussion Forum and a member of the Si2 OA Debug Working Group. Johannes has Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Marshall Tiner, director of Production Standards, said that “Johannes’ behind-the-scenes efforts are uniquely representative of the great work done by volunteers to assure OpenAccess remains the industry’s leading design databaseAs an essential member of the Discussion Forum, whether he’s responding to a user error or lack of product knowledge, Johannes handles every problem with professionalism and tact.  He has shown unwavering support for all members of the OpenAccess Coalition.” 

Ali Sadigh Joins Si2 Technical Team; Robert Hill Named Client Account Manager

Ali Sadigh

Ali Sadigh, a technical professional with more than 25 years of experience in computational electromagnetics, circuit simulation and industrial data acquisition and management, has joined Silicon Integration Initiative as a principal software design engineer. Si2 also announced that Robert Hill has been named client account manager

Before joining Si2, Sadigh worked with AVEVA Group as part of the Historian high-performance process database. His efforts focused on cloud-based data subscription and other applications based on service-oriented architecture for time-series data storage, retrieval and analytics.

Sadigh began his career at Compact Software, working on the Microwave Explorer simulator. He then joined the IBM EDA group where his contributions were focused on API-driven simulations for timing, noise and power methodologies used in IBM semiconductor design. He then held a position at Cadence Design Systems, performing research and development on the Spectre AMS Designer. Sadigh received a doctorate in electrical engineering from Syracuse University in 1994.

 

Robert Hill

Hill is a senior technology sales professional with over 20 years of solution-selling experience and is the recipient of numerous industry awards and commendations. He has worked as an account executive for Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM, helping customers modernize and transform IT operations. More recently, his focus centered on multi-cloud environments.

John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO, said, “Dr. Sadigh brings valuable industry experience in design and EDA to the table, and adds critical cloud-based application experience which will help Si2 address interoperability issues for silicon-on-cloud design. The addition of Robert, with his background in both technical sales and account management, provides our members with a central point of contact for updates and opportunities about Si2 programs and services.”

 

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. The Si2 international membership includes semiconductor foundries, fabless manufacturers, and EDA companies.

 

 

Intel, Microsoft, IBM Technologists Elected to Si2 OpenAccess Coalition Leadership Posts

Raymond Rodriguez, director of Strategic CAD Capabilities at Intel, has been elected to a one-year term as
chair of the Silicon Integration Initiative OpenAccess Coalition board of directors. Ben Bowers, principal
design engineer at Microsoft, was elected OAC vice-chair. Gregory Schaeffer, senior software engineer at IBM,
was reelected as the OpenAccess Change Team co-architect.

The board manages operational decisions for OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used open reference
database for IC design. The Change Team manages OpenAccess API modifications and database implementation.

Marshall Tiner, Si2 director of Production Standards, said “Continuing engagement of industry leaders Intel,
Microsoft and IBM bodes well for the coalition’s ongoing role in advancing semiconductor design.
Ray, Ben, and Gregory each bring years of experience and expertise to the OpenAccess board and Change Team.”

Raymond Rodriguez

A 20-year Intel veteran, Rodriguez directs a team that oversees electronic design automation,
intellectual property, test and measurement, and security assurance supplier engagements.
He has been an OAC board member since 2012. His volunteer industry experience includes
general chair of the IEEE Electronic Design Process Symposium (2019-2021) and executive
committee member of the Design Automation Conference (2015-2017). Rodriguez has a BSEE
from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MBA, Executive Program, from the
W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.

 

Ben Bowers

Bowers joined Microsoft in 2018 after 11 years at Qualcomm. He is a technical lead on a
Microsoft custom circuit CAD team that focuses on all aspects of the design flow, including
PDKs, circuit design, and simulation to physical design. He earned a BSEE from Louisiana
State University and an MSEE from Mississippi State University. He also holds 25 patents
in circuit design and methodology.

 

 

Gregory Schaeffer

In his time at IBM, Schaeffer has held various development and leadership roles in
timing/noise/electrical analysis and physical design tools and holds 21 patents in
these areas. He is the architect of IBM’s Microprocessor back-end construction methodology
and has been involved with Si2 initiatives since 2009. Schaeffer earned a BS and
MS in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University in 2002.

 

 

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. The Si2 international membership includes semiconductor foundries, fabless
manufacturers, and EDA companies.