Requirements Management and Hardware Design

Vishal Moondhra | January 19, 2017

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Over the last two years, the semiconductor industry has seen an unprecedented wave of consolidations and M&A activity – deals worth $85B in 2015 and a whopping $115B in 2016! As a result of all of this consolidation, semiconductor companies are finding themselves having to integrate diverse teams, technologies and IP on an ongoing basis.

This consolidation is driven at least in part by the exponential rise in the cost of building chips at the newest nodes (16nm, 14nm, 10nm…). Semiconductor companies are trying to leverage their existing IP[1] – and the IP acquired through M&A – into more designs to control this rising cost. This leads to a greater emphasis on IP reuse than ever before.

In order to be successful in this new world order, many teams are beginning to adopt industry standard best-practices for managing their projects. One of the key components for the successful management of a distributed, complex and time-critical SoC (System on Chip) project is Requirements Management (RM). Having a full set of requirements, easily accessible and constantly updated for the project makes it much easier to bring transparency and tracking to the SoC.

Once requirements management is in place, it is also essential to be able to tie requirements back to the context of the IPs being used in the SoC. Since IP management and requirements management are two separate systems, being able to connect these two is critical.

Implementing a requirements management system like Jama with an IP Management system like ProjectIC allows fully traceable hierarchical SoC development during the IP Lifecycle Management process and closes the loop between system design requirements and IP implementation details. This represents one more step forward to reaching the important goal of implementing IP reuse strategies that reduce development costs, improve time-to-market, and keep semiconductor companies profitable in today’s highly competitive SOC marketplace.

To download Vishal’s whitepaper on this topic here.

[1] IP: In this context, IP or Intellectual Property is a self contained design block that can potentially be used in multiple projects.