Data Management Platform and Modules Create Industry’s First Fully Integrated Global Design Collaboration Environment
San Francisco, Calif. – July 27, 2009 – At the Design Automation Conference (DAC) here
today, Methodics LLC, a leading developer of design data management (DM) tools for
integrated circuit (ICs), introduced the industry’s first tool suite to enable true global IC design
collaboration. The Methodics VersIC platform integrates standard software configuration
management (SCM) tools, such as the Perforce® and Subversion® version control systems (with
others under development), into the Cadence hardware design environment, along with “DM-
Driven” modules that leverage the platform to provide a higher, more efficient global design
The new VersIC 2.0 platform, the second generation of the popular Methodics VersIC
configuration management (CM) and revision control tool, is designed as an open, modular
platform whose capabilities can be expanded with plug-in application modules that solve specific
problems. The VersIC GUI provides all the standard SCM functionality, including
branching/tagging, release flows, user workspace CM, IP variant management, hierarchical DM
operations and full support of Cadence file types. The DM-Driven modules enable hardware
design methodologies in a version-controlled context, and represent a revolutionary way to
enable true global design collaboration.
In conjunction with the announcement of the new VersIC platform, Methodics also introduced
the first two add-in modules, the ReviewIC IC design review tool and the MergeIC visual diff
and merge toolbox. ReviewIC creates a sophisticated collaborative work environment that meets
the growing need for communication between multiple sites and design teams, and MergeIC
enables visual comparison and implementation of design changes.
“Software designers have traditionally enjoyed more sophisticated design management tools than
their colleagues in the hardware world, and tools and methodologies to automate such tasks as
revision control, SCM, continuous integration and code review are commonplace in software
development,” said Simon Butler, CEO of Methodics. “With the introduction of the VersIC 2.0
platform and DM-Driven modules, hardware designers can finally make use of these advanced
software methodologies, integrated seamlessly into their layout/circuit design environments.”
VersIC 2.0 – An Open Platform and a Modular Architecture
The VersIC 2.0 platform allows hardware designers to integrate their preferred choice of
configuration management tool for their design data management needs. Industry-standard
Subversion and Perforce are supported today, with others in development. VersIC 2.0 uses only
standard meta-data, and all design data is accessible using any of the standard SCM clients,
which can be used for project and IP management. Remote design teams are supported using the
replicated master/slave repository mechanisms that are standard to all of the supported SCMs
and globally adopted at most of the major software development houses.
The VersIC 2.0 platform uses a modular architecture that allows the addition of tools for
managing design data in a variety of ways. The tool modules available today are MergeIC and
ReviewIC. Modules for other uses are currently under development, and include a continuous
integration tool suite that can be used to automate verification runs as changes are committed to
The MergeIC DM-Driven module leverages the Visual Change Manager (VCM) that is a key
component of the VersIC 2.0 platform. It allows the designer to visually see the differences
between two versions of a schematic or layout, evaluate the differences, and merge the required
changes into a final release. Differences are compiled based on circuit topology, with functional
changes and engineering change orders (ECOs) shown in different views. With MergeIC,
different release branch candidates can be maintained and merged into the final production
release at tapeout.
ReviewIC applies the concept of software design reviews to the hardware paradigm.
Traditionally, hardware design reviews have involved designers being physically in the same
room and discussing the design. There has been no standard tool set to track issues that get
identified in the course of the review, or to track the required changes. The ReviewIC module is
the industry’s first tool to allow designers in remote locations to collaborate on a schematic or
layout and start conversational threads around various aspects of the design. Once the issues in
the design have been identified, ReviewIC can assign action items, which are then tracked
through the DM database. The originating reviewer can see when the changes have been
committed to the DM repository and, using the VCM tool, can examine the differences and
ensure that the changes were implemented correctly.
Methodics is showing its VersIC platform and modules in its booth (#1924) at the Design
Automation Conference (DAC) at Moscone Center in San Francisco, Calif. For more
information on the Conference, visit www.dac.com.
About Methodics LLC
Methodics is the leading provider of design data management (DM) tools for integrated circuits.
Methodics’ VersIC platform integrates industry-standard software configuration management
(SCM) tools, such as the Perforce® and Subversion® version control systems (with others under
development), into the hardware design environment, along with “DM-Driven” modules that
leverage the platform to provide a higher, more efficient global collaboration experience. The
privately held company has offices in the USA, Europe and Asia. For further information, visit
www.methodics-eda.com or call 415-354-5726.