Mentor Announces Joint Portable Stimulus Contribution with Cadence, Breker

We are proud to announce that Mentor Graphics, along with Cadence and Breker, is making a joint contribution of technology to the Accellera Portable Stimulus Working Group (PSWG) [see the Press Release]. I’d like to take this opportunity to provide some background information and hopefully answer any questions you may have.

As you may recall, Mentor Graphics was instrumental in pushing our industry towards a Portable Stimulus standard with the formation of a Proposed Working Group in May of last year, which led this year to the formation of the PSWG in January. The PSWG has identified more than 100 specific requirements for a standard and has spent the past several months developing a set of “Usage Examples” that will be used to help us evaluate technical contributions to the standard.

The PSWG has been open to accepting technology contributions for the past few months, but that window will be closing next week, on September 16th. Once contributions are received, the WG will evaluate them all based on the requirements and usage examples and will decide to accept or reject each contribution. Because of the difficulty in choosing among multiple contributions, Accellera’s Policy and Procedures state that “Accellera prefers not to have competing contributions. It is recommended that complementary contributions are worked out among different Contributors,” and that’s exactly what we’ve done.

We had always, of course, been planning to contribute our Questa inFact-based graph specification language (tweaked a bit based on the new requirements), and were fully expecting that Cadence and Breker, who each have products in this space, would make their own contributions. When faced with a situation like this, I like to fall back on the First Commandment of Effective Standards (thanks to Karen Bartleson), which is to cooperate on standards and compete on tools.

Rather than wait and fight it out in the Working Group, where unfortunately marketing and politics can sometimes detract from the technical value of a standard, we approached Breker and Cadence about working together and I think you’ll find our contribution to be “greater than the sum of its parts.” We all hope that it will serve as a strong basis for the standard and will help streamline the process. Of course, with additional input from the members of the Working Group, there are likely to be additional tweaks as we go forward, but by eliminating the “ours vs. theirs” issues beforehand, it is our hope that we can reach consensus on a final standard more quickly.

We would like to thank Breker and Cadence for their willingness to work with us on this important standard and look forward to healthy “co-op-etition” as we move forward. If you’re interested in participating, you can find out more information at the Accellera website.

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