IBM Launches on Demand Collaboration Environment to Verify Chip Designs

Israel's Technion University First to Gain Access to New Portal

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HAIFA, ISRAEL - 24 Jun 2003: IBM announced today a ground-breaking service for chip designers and verification engineers -- a Web portal that will provide access to select tools on an as-need basis.

Increasing the availability of a number of IBM design tools in a quick and easy way means engineers will no longer need to purchase, house or maintain the latest computer systems and software for chip design and formal verification. They can simply access these capabilities from IBM as a service.

By shifting focus away from IT infrastructure complexity and cost recovery, this new model enables organizations to rapidly respond to changing business needs with fewer resources, reducing capital investments and development costs, speeding time to market for new products.

"It could change the way engineers get their job done," said Pat Toole, general manager, IBM Engineering & Technology Services.

For the first time, it combines immediate access to some of the world's foremost verification expertise, a secure collaborative infrastructure, and a variable, affordable per user/per month license structure that can be added on demand to accommodate fluctuating hardware and software needs.

"This EDA portal is an excellent example of how IBM is providing new, innovative technology to customers and backing it up with immediate access to consultation and support whenever needed," added Dr. Michael Rodeh, director of the IBM Haifa Research Lab.

The offering, which the Lab helped create, is already benefiting students at Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Students at the university's VLSI (very large system integration) design lab can securely sign in and gain access to this IBM Web portal, and once inside the portal, hosted in New Jersey, access tools that help them with the design of the chip and formal verification, the process of mathematically proving that every circuit in the chip, no matter how complicated, works according to its specifications.

"By exposing our faculty and students to new ways of doing engineering, the Technion has become the first academic institute worldwide which educates students with this model," said Dr. Ran Ginosar, head of the institute's VLSI department.

The students are involved in a secure, real-time collaboration on actual devices with chip manufacturers and IBM's worldwide team of design and verification experts, not only in Haifa, but with other parts of IBM's worldwide organization, as well.

IBM's formal verification tools have long been recognized as leading edge, but they have not been accessible as a service to other companies in this way, on demand, via a Web portal, until now. Also, the availability of IBM's tools to engineers at large is now significantly eased by virtue of fact that these tools support the industry-standard language PSL for requirements specification, which is based on IBM's Sugar 2.0 language. PSL has been recently selected as an industry standard by the Accellera EDA standards organization.

This services gives engineers a choice, enabling them to collaborate from a Web browser on Unix, Linux, or a Windows platform. Using web conferencing, they can instantaneously design with other users to debug and fix design problems in real time. All communications between the client and server are completely secure and offer a robust high performance mechanism to protect sessions from network instability.

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