Global Design Management Report 2012

Shiv Sikand, IC Manage

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Abstract

This is the fourth annual Global Design Management report, based on an independent worldwide survey.  The blind, anonymous survey was emailed to thousands of SoC and IC design professionals worldwide by an independent consultancy during April 2012. A total of 524 engineers and engineering managers completed the survey online.

The report scope includes: trends in design data management driving forces from 2009 to 2012; design management system adoption trends; missing functionality from open source systems; critical features for IP reuse and logistics management; file management challenges, including application slowdown due to network storage bottlenecks; and drawbacks with using symbolic links.

Through this comprehensive feedback and the trends identified, semiconductor companies can better anticipate the driving technology forces to better ensure efficient design team collaboration across the enterprise.

The topics covered in this report are:

  1. IP reuse / Logistics management critical features
  2. Driving reasons to use a design management System: 2009 – 2012
  3. Design Management system adoption
  4. Application slowdown due to network storage bottlenecks
  5. File management Issues
  6. Open source design management missing functions
  7. Top Issues with symbolic links for disk space management
  8. Summary

I. Driving reasons to use a Design Management System: 2009 – 2012

The top three driving reasons for using Design Management system are:  Easier to trace & fix bugs (53%), Easier team collaboration (49%) and IP Reuse/Logistics Management (43%). The next tier was a 3-way tie between:  Reduced project delays and/or respins; easier access to prior working configurations; and improved designer efficiency, all at 32 percent. These items were followed by better product quality (27%) and better derivative design management (24%).

IP Reuse moved from a #7 ranking to this year’s #3 ranking, doubling in importance to engineering teams over the past four years – moving from 25 percent to 43 percent. In contrast, the top two items, Easier to trace & fix bugs and Easier team collaboration, have remained consistent over the same four year time period. Also of note is that there appears to be a trend from general drivers in 2010, such as ‘product quality’ and ‘improved designer efficiency’, to more specific functional needs, such as bug tracing and management, and IP reuse/logistics.

DDM Survey2012-1

II. IP Reuse / Logistics Management Critical Features

The most critical feature cited for IP reuse/logistics management is bug notification and tracing, at 50 percent. The two features that ran a close second place were integrating and assembling the IP in the design (48%) and efficiently making internal IP available for reuse (47%).

DDM Survey2012-2

III. Design Management System Adoption

63 percent of organizations use a design management system – commercial, open source, internal, or a combination of two or more of these. 41 percent of organizations use a commercial Design Management system in 2012, up from 30 percent that had deployed a commercial design management system in 2010. This is equivalent to an 18 percent annual growth over the past two years. The number of open source systems in 2012 is 44 percent.

DDM Survey2012-3

IV. Open source design management missing functions

Top 3 functions that the respondents cited as missing from open source systems were EDA tool integration (53%), bug dependency tracing across versions (40%), and IP reuse/logistics management (37%). This was followed closely by advanced branching and merging, with history.

DDM Survey2012-4

Designers’ biggest file management problem is that creating and/or updating remote workspaces with many files is slow, at 47 percent. The next tier of significant file management issues are:  Application slowdown due to network storage bottlenecks (37%); Creating and/or updating local workspaces with many files is slow (37%); and Storage capacity is not keeping up with expanding data volumes (33%).

DDM Survey2012-5

V. Application Slowdown due to Network Storage Bottlenecks

The design tools impacted by the network storage bottleneck mentioned above are broad reaching –place and route, functional verification, timing analysis, SPICE simulation and analysis, Physical verification and Custom Layout.

As is also shown below, network storage bottlenecks account for *30% of application iteration time*.

DDM Survey2012-6

DDM Survey2012-7

VII. Top Issues with Symbolic Links for Disk Space Management

75% of the engineers surveyed had experience with Symbolic links (also called soft links). Approximately three-quarters (73%) of those engineers using symlinks cited major issues with it for disk space management. Below is the ranking of the major drawbacks they cited.

The number one issue with symlinks, as specified by almost half of respondents (49%) is the lack of control when using mirrors due to automatic data push or out of sync mirrors. 32 percent stated workspace instability when versions removed from network cache to recover space. 28 percent mentioned security problems caused by difficulty managing directory permissions. Symlinks ‘require a high performance storage infrastructure’, and that ‘the network cache storage and number of versions must be managed manually’, were each cited by 25 percent of respondents.  23 percent had problems with symbolic link based solution not being available on the Microsoft Windows platform

DDM Survey2012-8

VIII. Summary

524 SoC and IC design professionals completed this online survey in April 2012. The top three driving reasons they gave for using a design management system are: easier to trace & fix bugs; easier team collaboration; and IP reuse/logistics management.  IP reuse/logistics doubled in importance over the past four years of this survey, while the top two items remained consistent over the same time period. The three most critical features cited for IP reuse/logistics management is bug notification and tracing, integrating and assembling the IP in the design, and efficiently making internal IP available for reuse.

41 percent of organizations have deployed a commercial DM system in 2012. The number of open source systems in 2012 was 44 percent. Top 3 functions missing from open source systems were EDA tool integration, bug dependency tracing across versions, and IP reuse/logistics management, followed closely by advance branching and merging with history.

Designers’ biggest file management problem is that creating and/or updating remote workspaces with many files is slow, followed by application slowdown due to network storage bottlenecks, creating and updating local workspaces with many files is slow, and storage capacity is not keeping up with expanding data volumes.

The design tools impacted by the network storage bottlenecks are broad reaching, and include place and route, functional verification, timing analysis, SPICE simulation and analysis, physical verification and custom Layout. The network storage bottlenecks account for 30% of iteration time for those applications.

Approximately three-quarters of engineers using symlinks cited major issues with it for disk space management.  The number one issue for respondents is the lack of control when using mirrors due to automatic data push or out of sync mirrors. This is followed by workspace instability when versions are removed from the network cache to recover space. 28 percent mentioned security problems caused by difficulty managing directory permissions.

About IC Manage

IC Manage provides high performance design and IP management solutions for companies to efficiently collaborate on single and multi-site designs. IC Manage lets designers dynamically track, control and distribute library, block-level and SOC design data, including configurations and properties.  Design teams can improve product quality, designer productivity, team collaboration, and bug tracking, plus maximize reuse of existing assets through swift derivations of existing IP.   IC Manage is headquartered at Suite 100, 15729 Los Gatos Blvd., Los Gatos, CA. For more information visit us at www.icmanage.com.

Shiv Sikand, Vice President of Engineering, IC Manage

Since co-founding IC Manage in 2003, Shiv has pioneered out-of-the box design data flows for full custom, mixed signal and digital design for more than 50 leading semiconductor companies, allowing them to reduce costs and increase quality and productivity. Shiv first started tackling the problems related to design data management at HAL Computer Systems during the SPARC v9 development program. It was while working on the MIPS processor families at SGI that he designed, implemented and deployed cdsp4, the Cadence-Perforce integration after extensive research. Prior to co-founding IC Manage, Shiv was at Matrix Semiconductor working on the world’s first three-dimensional memory chips. He did his postgraduate research on the design of asynchronous controllers at the University of Manchester, UK in collaboration with ARM Ltd, Philips Research Labs in Holland and IMEC in Belgium. Shiv received his BSc and MSc degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

2017-02-03T20:09:17+00:00