Thought Leadership

Worlds Standards Day 2011

By Dennis Brophy

Creating Confidence Globally

Today, 14 October 2011, is the day the world celebrates standards.  The leadership of the IEC, ISO and ITU issued a message in support of it that clearly articulates the role standards play in safety, reliability, interoperability, their impact on business efficiency and more.

And from time-to-time, I have had the opportunity to join the celebration the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in the United States hosted when the international community for electronic design automation specialists would gather in Washington, D.C.  The highlight of the celebration in the United States is the presentation of the “Ronald Brown Standards Leadership Award” and the results from the Worlds Standards Day Paper Competition.

Ron Brown, Commerce Secretary in the United States until his untimely death in a plane crash in Croatia in 1996, is the namesake of the award.  He was an inspiration to promote the role of standardization to eliminate global barriers to trade.  ANSI honors this spirit annually, by naming their award after him.  When this year’s award recipient is announced, they will join a long list of other important people recognized as well.

The winner of the 2011 World Standards Day paper competition will also be announced.  This year, ANSI selected the theme of “Advancing Safety and Sustainability Standards.”  Past year winners and their papers can be found here.  One of my favorite papers was the 1999 paper,  The Yin and Yang of Standards Development. The paper juxtaposed formal standards development against that of consortia.

While I won’t say one is right or wrong, I can say I offer leadership to the international bodies, like IEC, the formal bodies, like the IEEE and consortia like Accellera.  If you have some take on this, I would be more than interested to hear.  For electronic design automation, a good example of respecting the value of each of these is offered by SystemVerilog.  We know that SystemVerilog started as donations from many sources that became an Accellera standard.  After a year of stabilization, it was transferred to the IEEE for further maintenance and updates.  And when the IEEE finished its work, it was offered to the IEC under the IEEE/IEC dual-logo program as an international standard.  At each phase of development, a new level of “confidence” was established for consumers and producers.

This brings me back to this year’s tag line of creating confidence globally.

I would like to see some finality from Accellera to complete its initial Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) commitments.  A large overhang exists given the fact the commitment to close on an update to Phasing remains unsatisfied and incomplete.  Maybe one thing to recognize is we can’t do everything at once and so a little is better than none right now.  Or, maybe even, keeping OVM’s phasing scheme is sufficient and add no phasing extensions.  The lack of finality does not engender nor instill confidence in the global market that UVM should be adopted now.  We need to be doing what we can to create the global confidence that sets the perception UVM is ready to use and adopt now.

While we celebrate Worlds Standards Day 2011, let us think of what we can do to Create Confidence Globally.  And maybe we should focus on UVM.

Note: Click here for information on prior World Standards Day themes.





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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at