European CAD Integration Project


ECIP - 2072

Keywords CAD tool integration, data exchange standards, EDIF, CFI, VHDL


Start Date: 01-JAN-86 (project 887), 08-MAY-89 (project 2072) / Duration: 36 months (project 887), 51 months (project 2072)

[ contact / participants ]


Objectives and Approach

ECIP investigated the area of data exchange and infrastructure standards with the objective of defining and promoting standards within the European electronic design automation (EDA) industry.

The ability to readily interchange data and CAD tools between companies is a key area for bringing into practice many of the benefits of collaborative tool development in Europe, and for making available the results of ESPRIT to the wider European IT community. The final goal of ECIP was the definition of a multilayered open model for CAD systems with recommendations for rules or standards at each level.

The ECIP project aimed to promote the use of EDA standards within the European Community and to reinforce the role of Europe in global standardisation bodies. The goals were to monitor Europe's strategy for the industrial exploitation of EDA standards and to become:

Progress and Results

Following a successful proposal in 1988, a new ECIP project (2072) was started with some new partners and broader terms of reference. In addition to amplifying the work started in ECIP1 (project 887), ECIP2 addressed the standardisation of high-level description languages and the provision of objective ways of measuring the performances of CAD modules. The work on CAD frameworks, started in ECIP1, was greatly expanded to cover user, database and data interchange interfaces. In all cases, tools to implement and check the recommended standards were to be provided and these recommendations validated in real design environments.

The primary results of the project include setting up the following:

Regular newsletters have been produced for all the above EDA standards, together with a number of user guides and recommendations for gaining the best results from these standards. ECSI will enable more formal relationships to be established with organisations worldwide, especially those in the USA that are responsible for VHLD, CFI and EDIF. ECIP participants have had a high profile in European and international EDA conferences, and several standards tutorials have been presented.

Exploitation

The direct involvement of major European microelectronics companies, backed up by academic institutions, ensures that the results can be adopted on a wide basis. Liaison has also been maintained with other ESPRIT projects. ECIP has been a key contributor to the establishment of the use of conceptual modelling techniques (also known as information modelling) to underpin the consistency of EDIF, CIF and lately VHDL. ECIP also achieved a high level of response from Europe to ballots for VHLD 1992, to the extent that up to 40% of those registered to vote are from the Community.

ECIP participants were leaders in setting up CENELEC TC117 to provide a route to European and, through the IEC, world-wide standardisation for new and improved EDA standards, some of which result directly from the work within ECIP.

The Technical Centres are now becoming recognised internationally as centres of expertise in their respective standards and are performing consultancy work for a wide range of users.

ECSI membership is now open to companies and universities who, on submission of an annual membership fee, may tap into the benefits of the results of the project and the expertise of the Technical Centres.


CONTACT POINT

Mr R. la Fontaine
Mousell EDM Ltd
Mousell House, Mousell Lane
UK - Upton-upon-Severn WR8 OQN
tel: + 44/ 684-592144
fax: + 44/ 684-594504

Participants

BULL SA - F - C
ICL LTD - UK - P
NEDERLANDSE PHILIPS BEDRIJVEN BV - NL - P
SIEMENS-NIXDORF
INFORMATIONSSYSTEME AG (SNI) - D - P
SGS-THOMSON MICROELECTRONICS SPA - I - P (887 & 2072 I)
ALCATEL - F - P (887)
SIEMENS AG - D - P
RACAL-REDAC SYSTEMS LTD - UK - P (2072 II)
INSTITUT MEDITERRANEEN DE
TECHNOLOGIE - F - A
THOMSON-CSF/SINTRA-ASM - F - A
UCI MICROELECTRONIQUE - F - A
UNIVERSITÄT PADERBORN - D - A (2072)
SGS-THOMSON MICROELECTRONICS SA - F - A
INESC - P - A
INPG - F - A
RUTHERFORD APPLETON LABORATORY - UK - A (2072 I)
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER - UK - A (2072)
GMD - D - A (2072)
FERNUNIVERSITÄT HAGEN - D - A (2072)


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ECIP - 2072, December 1993


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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook