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.

Rahul Goyal of Intel Re-elected Board Chair of Silicon Integration Initiative

AUSTIN, Texas — Rahul Goyal, vice president and director of R&D strategic enablement at Intel, has been re-elected to a one-year term as chairman of the board of directors of Silicon Integration Initiative, a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools.

Besides Intel, other companies represented on the Si2 board are: Ansys, Cadence Design Systems, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Google, IBM, Mentor-a Siemens Business, Qualcomm Technologies, Samsung, Synopsys and Texas Instruments.

John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO, said Goyal’s re-election “provides sustained leadership as we continue to advance with our members into artificial intelligence and machine learning, 5G, and autonomous vehicles, as well as assure continuity and stability during the disruption that COVID has inflicted on our industry.”

Goyal has global responsibility at Intel for strategic sourcing, supply chain strategy, strategic collaborations, ecosystem enablement, data analytics, and capacity management related to product development across Intel’s broad product portfolio. This includes software, system and semiconductor intellectual property, product development outsourcing services, electronic measurement solutions, electronic design automation software, prototyping and verification products used in all aspects of product design, validation and technology development.

Goyal joined Intel in 1989 and has held various technical and management positions in software engineering and technology development. His previous roles there include engineering director in the Design and Technology Solutions Group, director of the integrated silicon technology roadmap development in the Microprocessor Products Group, and senior engineering manager of mask operations. Goyal holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India, and a master’s degree in computer engineering from Syracuse University in New York.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Microsoft, GLOBALFOUNDRIES Join Si2 OpenAccess Coalition

Growing Membership Shows Ongoing Vertical Integration in IC Design

Austin, Texas—Microsoft Corporation and GLOBALFOUNDRIES have joined Silicon Integration Initiative’s OpenAccess Coalition, a diverse group of international semiconductor companies that support the OpenAccess design database application programming interface.

OpenAccess, which was introduced in 2002, is the most widely used IC design database and is currently supported by its 43 members, representing semiconductors manufacturers and foundries, fabless companies, EDA software providers and systems houses. The OpenAccess database provides EDA software tools with immediate design flow interoperability, saving members time and money.

John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO, said that the recent addition of Microsoft—and Google last year—illustrates the continuing trend of IC design vertical integration. He cited a recent Si2 industry survey which showed “that more than 80 percent of end users develop specialized, internal design tools. OpenAccess allows these home-grown tools to fit into the company’s own, optimized design flow, integrating the best-in-class EDA tools without sacrificing interoperability or performance.

“These end-users are often most interested in the OpenAccess scripting-language interface, which gives engineers direct access into their OA-based design through, for example, the Python programming language,” Ellis said. “This makes their design directly accessible from the console, or rapidly prototyped scripts. Python is well-known and widely adopted by programmers, and has many libraries and tools available, including popular AI development toolkits. The new code release supports these and provides a path toward developing machine-learning-based EDA tools which can make use of the OA database for training.”

Si2 recently introduced OpenAccess Data Model 6, the first major code revision since 2014. DM6 features oaPartitions, a new addition which allows multiprocessing capability to be applied simultaneously to smaller, partitioned regions in large chip designs. Early-stage performance benchmarking by Dr. Rhett Davis from N.C. State University, which was presented at the recent Design Automation Conference, showed under certain circumstances a more than 10x processing speed improvement over the prior version of OpenAccess. DM6 provides a path to higher-efficiency design. Its multiprocessing capability enables cloud-centric design flows for EDA tools which are based on the OpenAccess database.