EuroCFI Newsletter No 2
March 1995


Pinnacles - An Initiative for Component Information Interchange Standards
PCIS - Standardisation Plans
EDA Standards Roadmap Workshop
CAD Tool Interoperability - OMG
CFI related documents
CFI certified products
Interactive CFI DR demo via WWW
Calendar of Events
Contact Point

Pinnacles - An Initiative for Component Information Interchange Standards

Five major semiconductor manufacturers have joined (together) to create a technical information interchange standard for use by the electronic components industry. Four of these member companies are active participants in the CAD Framework Initiative (CFI) Electronic Data Book Working Group (EDB WG).

In order to accelerate the standards development, a proposal was made to move forward as a privately funded project that would address business issues outside the scope of CFI and the CFI objectives. After a year of considering, refining, and "selling" the plan, in April 1993 an agreement was signed among Intel, National Semiconductor, Philips Semiconductors, and Texas Instruments to join their forces under the working name "Pinnacles Group". ATLIS Consulting Group, a leading SGML consultancy, was hired to facilitate the analysis, design, and development of the standard. Hitachi, the fifth member of the group, joined in August 1993.

The primary purpose of the Pinnacles Initiative is to define an information interchange standard that will enable electronic components manufacturers to create Electronic Data Books (EDBs). An EDB is a comprehensive set of information about electronic components containing more than just the text and graphics that are typically printed and distributed by vendors. An EDB also accommodates the inclusion of computer-sensible data types such as CAD files, behavioral and functional models, audio, and video.

By April 1994, the five member companies had completed roughly seven person-years' analysis, research, design, and development of the interchange standard resulting in the first version of the Pinnacles Component Information Standard. PCIS 1.0 provides the means for including computer-sensible information related to component conditions and characteristics.

The Pinnacles Group has decided to develop the application standard using the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML, ISO 8879). SGML is neither vendor non platform specific and is a widely accepted and supported standard for the encoding of structured information.

In November 1994, the revised and refined document PCIS 1.1 was announced at SGML'94. More than 77 copies of the document were distributed in November and December. This version of PCIS will be "frozen" for a period of 6 to 18 months to allow developers to implement the standard using existing SGML and publishing tools customized to the application. Each sponsor company will be working with its own selected vendors and consultants to implement the standard within its engineering and publications departments. Some extension and revision of the working draft is to be expected during 1995 and perhaps 1996 as a result of the company-specific implementation efforts.

PCIS - Standardisation Plans

The Pinnacles Group plans to move forward toward the establishment of PCIS 1.1 and its enhancements as an international standard on two fronts: seeking recognition of PCIS as a draft working standard under CENELEC and as a self-funded project of the CAD Framework Initiative (CFI) in conjunction with that body's Electronic DataBook WG (CFI/CIR-EDB WG).

These proposals allow the Pinnacles Group to seek certification of its work now, while continuing development with current and new partners in 1995/96.

The new organization is also intended to facilitate the inclusion and coordination of related activities like the CFI/CIR Terms Dictionary WG, which is focussed on integration of the IEC SC3D with the PCIS application.

Several U.S. and European semiconductor manufacturers as well as members of the EIAJ (Electronic Industries Association of Japan) have already expressed interest in the Pinncacles activities, both via private channels and via CFI. It is expected that the Pinnacles Group membership will expand by 5 to 10 members during 1995, though no limit has been set.

Organizations desiring additional information should contact:
The Pinnacles Secretariat,
or Tommie Usdin at
+(001)-301-816-4231 (voice) or
+(001)-301-468-6758 (fax).

EDA Standards Roadmap Workshop

3/20/95 - 3/21/95 Westin Hotel, Santa Clara, CA.

CFI, EDAC, and SEMATECH are jointly sponsoring a workshop to develop an industry-wide roadmap for development of standards within Electronic Design Automation.

The goal of the workshop will be to develop an EDA standards roadmap as a staged sequence of development which needs to occur over the next decade to meet the requirements for Design and Test of both semiconductors and electronic systems. This roadmap will consider the target goal to be reached and migration to there from where industry is today.

The scope of this workshop will cover EDA Design and Test requirements in areas of productivity and complexity management as identified by the "SIA1994 National Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors" and the SRC Semiconductor Whitepaper Report, ("Design Needs for the 21st Century: White Paper", Sept., 1994). The context will be standards and modeling which cross cut all technology areas relating to electronic design.

The workshop will focus on productivity and complexity management requirements, and will not address any specific CAD tool functional algorithm requirements. Further, while the sponsors are predominately U.S. based, the roadmap will not be restricted to U.S. company inputs. It will address the standards supporting the following areas:

The purpose of the roadmap is to set direction and priority on industrial and government investments into these requirement areas specifically recommending redundant competitive efforts that should be converged and cooperative efforts for which investments in multiple developments serve best to achieve needed goals. Furthermore, it will provide direction to industry for proprietary EDA development and a base on which CAD groups can plan proprietary CAD system integrations.

Development of the roadmap will be performed by an invited group of technical experts (Roadmap Development Work Group) from a cross section of industry, and the results will be approved by a select body of key industry leaders (Industrial Council) who have the authority and influence to assure implementation of the result.

Schedule Highlights:

For more details, contact Don Cottrell (

CAD Tool Interoperability - OMG Standards

The interoperability of EDA tools should be supported by both EDA-specific and domain-independent standards. Since CFI focusses on the EDA-specific area by developing standards for the manipulation of netlist information (DR PI) and by aiming at the alignment with EDIF and VHDL, the domain-independent services, like tool management and inter-framework protocols, became less important to CFI during the last two years.

In the object-oriented world the Object Management Group (OMG) has been well established as a non-profit organization with most of the relevant hard- and software vendors being corporate members. Its first specification apart from the definition of an architecture dealt with the so called Object Request Broker (ORB). The Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) allows the cooperation of objects in a distributed environment. Implementations of this specification are available and provide a basis for first projects and products.

Two other topics are covered within OMG: Object Services including topics like persistency, queries, messages, and Common Facilities.

In January 1995, the Common Facilities Task Force completed two documents: "Common Facilities Architecture" and "Common Facilities Roadmap" defining the schedule for the planned specifications called Request for Proposal.

All OMG documents are availlable via e-mail from the OMG server. To use the OMG server, send email to with the following content:
get docs/doclist.txt

CFI related documents available at the EuroCFI Technical Center

CFI Publications

CFI related Brochures, Articles

Technical Documents

Products with the CFI Certification Brand Mark

(the initiative, December1994)

Viewlogic: View DRPI
Mentor Graphics: Connectivity Data Port (CDP)

Additionally, the GMD-cfi-dr-Browser (developed at the EuroCFI Technical Centre) will be certificied soon.

Interactive CFI DR demo via WWW

In cooperation with the EuroCFI Technical Center, CFI has established an interactive CFI DR demo on their WWW server. It gives everybody with internet the chance to try out different combinations of DR client tools and database servers in his own, self-directed process flow, to see how products work together by using the DR standard interface.

At this time, database servers from CFI and the certified vendors, namely Viewlogic and Mentor, are available. Based on these, the user can read in a test database and browse through it as well as modify it with the help of the GMD-DR-browser which gives interactive access to the CFI DRPI.

In addition, the CFI WWW server holds information on CFI related news, CFI standards, certification, members, etc. It is accessible at

Calendar of Events

March 6-9,1995 ED & TC, Paris, France
March 7, 1995 ECSI Annual Meeting, Paris, France
March 20-21,1995 EDA Standards Roadmap Workshop, Santa Clara CA, USA
March 21, 1995 CFI Annual Meeting, Santa Clara CA, USA
April 26-27, 1995 Workshop on Libraries, Component Modelling and Quality Assurance, Nantes, France
June 12-16, 1995 32nd DAC, San Francisco CA, USA
Sept 18-22, 1995 EuroDAC with EuroVHDL, Brighton, Great Britain
Nov 5-9, 1995 ICCAD, San Jose CA, USA

EuroCFI Technical Centre Contact Point

EuroCFI Technical Center
Schloss Birlinghoven
D-53754 Sankt Augustin, Germany

Phone: +49-2241-142566
Fax: +49-2241-142242
ECSI Phone: +49-2241-142104

The EuroCFI Newsletter is published by the EuroCFI Technical Centre at GMD,         
Schloss Birlinghoven, D-53757 Sankt Augustin, Germany, Fax: +49-2241-142242,        
E-mail: The EuroCFI Technical Centre is partly funded by     
the Commission of the European Union within the ESPRIT Project ESIP. The CFI Logo   
is a Trademark of the CAD Framework Initiative (CFI), Inc, Austin USA Newsletter    
Editor: Elfriede Abel Newsletter Management & Production: EuroCFI Technical         
Centre at GMD