ilicon Integration Initiative Inc. Supports XML Language
Timing Diagram Markup Language 1.0 Released
Si2 and ECIX Accept 1.0 in XML
AUSTIN, Texas. March 16, 1999.
Silicon Integration Initiative Inc. (Si2), an industry organization that provides synergistic multi-company engineering services, today announced the release of the Timing Diagram Markup Language (TDML) v1.0, an open industry-standard language for the exchange of interactive timing diagrams for digital systems.
In the past, engineers have been forced to manually enter information from datasheet timing diagrams into their EDA tools. With TDML, timing diagrams can be directly imported and analyzed into TDML-compliant tools such as simulators, static timing analyzers, timing diagram editors, testbench code generators, waveform viewers, and waveform translators. The range of applications which can benefit from TDML include virtually any program or test equipment which creates or uses waveform or timing data.
TDML is being developed by the Electronic Component Information eXchange (ECIX) Working Group under the auspices of Si2. This standard will be used by ECIX PCIS-compliant datasheets for representation of timing and waveform diagrams that describe component and intellectual property (IP) characteristics. Members of the ECIX Working Group include Chronology Corporation, Denali Software Inc., IBM, Mentor Graphics/Interconnectix Business Unit and SynaptiCAD Inc.
Michael Meredith, vice president of Technical Marketing, Chronology Corporation, said, "Over the last ten years working with tools that use interactive timing diagrams, it has been striking to see how many different uses design engineers have for the protocol, and timing information present in these diagrams. With TDML we have an open standard that will allow design engineers to use timing diagram information provided by semiconductor vendors and IP vendors for specification, documentation, timing analysis and testbench model generation. Many other uses will become possible with the wide availability of this data, and with the further adoption of this format by EDA vendors and in-house CAD development groups."
TDML will enhance the exchange and use of traditional timing diagrams by providing interactive capabilities. Creators and users of timing diagrams now have the capability of changing or verifying the characteristics of a component real-time by using an interactive timing diagram tool such as Chronology Corporation's TimingDesigner or SynaptiCAD Inc.'s Waveformer Pro products. These tools import and export TDML allowing the user to leverage datasheet timing diagrams into a design flow.
"Interactive timing diagrams are unquestionably one of the most intuitive and practical mediums available for working with timing relationships," stated Mark Fredrickson, advisory electronic engineer with IBM. "Now with TDML we have a new, open format for sharing interactive timing diagrams in a way that is amenable to understanding and usage by both humans and computers."
Fredrickson added, "We look forward to being able to jump on the Web, surf over to any silicon vendor's site, and down load a TDML timing model for a component of interest. A model like this need not give away the component's underlying implementation but can provide the prospective buyer with an excellent model of interface timing behavior. A TDML model can be viewed, exercised, analyzed, simulated, etc. right along with the other components in the intended application."
One of the keys to TDML's usefulness is its ability to represent many different types of information beyond the simple waveform data supported by existing waveform formats, according to Dan Notestein, president of SynaptiCAD Inc. "The rich modeling capabilities of TDML enable our WaveFormer Pro product to merge waveform and timing information from many different sources such as online timing diagrams, logic analyzers, and simulation runs and store it in a common format. We can then translate that TDML data into many different forms including stimulus for digital pattern generators, ATE systems and HDL simulators."
TDML is based on the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), which has been hailed as the "next generation" HTML for the Internet. EDA tool vendors adding support for TDML will benefit from the existing base of XML-related software; there are several freely available XML parsers which provide file validity checking and simplify the creation of TDML parsers. Component suppliers will benefit from TDML by allowing the use of one format to describe timing diagrams in both human- and machine-readable form. Design engineers will benefit from TDML during browsing functions where a timing diagram can be interactively changed to evaluate a component's design.
The ECIX project will demonstrate various TDML-compliant tools at DAC '99 in New Orleans, June 21-23.
The ECIX program was formed in the second half of 1996. The goal of the ECIX project sponsors, DARPA, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM Microelectronics, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Intel, Philips Semiconductors and Texas Instruments, is to provide a seamless flow of component information in both computer- and human-sensible format from suppliers to end-use customers exploiting the latest media distribution technologies. For more information on the ECIX project visit its Web site at http://www.si2.org/ecix.
Silicon Integration Initiative Inc. (Si2) provides engineering consultation and services to industry-leading silicon, electronic systems and EDA companies for synergistic multi-company efforts focused on improving productivity and costs in the design and production of integrated silicon systems. The organization represents more than 40 members throughout North America, Europe and Asia. More information on Si2 is available from its Web site at http://www.si2.org
Si2 Inc., Austin
Tel: +1 512 342-2244 ext. 32