[August 03, 2000] A wide range of industry initiatives address XML in the context of Electronic Design Automation (EDA). See the references below.
[August 03, 2000] "SpinCircuit Announces Availability of XML Symbols Mapped to 1 Million+ Parts Database. SpinCircuit Enables True Cross-Platform Design for PCB Designers." - "SpinCircuit Inc. today announced the availability of XML-based symbols mapped directly to its database of millions of electronic components. The availability of these XML (Extensible Markup Language) symbols means that printed circuit board (PCB) designers and design teams can now perform cross-platform design using electronic design automation (EDA) tools from a variety of vendors. SpinCircuit is the first-ever vendor-independent design gateway that bridges the gap between the design desktop and the electronics supply chain network by integrating directly into the schematic capture tools used by designers. The SpinCircuit symbols incorporate a wealth of information, including logical and physical pin association, part definitions, packaging information, and graphical representations. For every component available within the SpinCircuit database, there is an XML symbol associated with it. These symbols are ready to use, unlike other offerings that require engineers to complete the symbol generation. The SpinCircuit XML symbols are based on EdaXML, and are compliant with specifications developed by Electronic Tools Company (E-Tools) and with standards set by the Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). A suite of XML translators from E-Tools is now available for Cadence Design Systems, Mentor Graphics, Viewlogic/Innoveda, PADS Software, P-CAD, and Cadence/Orcad platforms at http://www.e-tools.com. Designers can now convert the SpinCircuit XML symbols to the native formats of all these EDA tools. They can also convert the symbols to the formats of any EDA tools for which companies or individuals have created their own XML translators. According to Antoine Bigirimana, president and CEO of E-Tools, 'As the Internet proliferates and design collaboration becomes a reality, it is increasingly necessary that designers have the tools they need to seamlessly use multiple EDA platforms and tools. Interoperability is now a requirement. E-Tools provides translators based on EdaXML, an EDA-specific version of XML, making this cross-platform design a reality. Our translators enable designers to use XML tools to publish EDA symbols and pc-board footprints in a Web-based, neutral format. We are pleased that SpinCircuit has also adopted EdaXML as the basis of its new symbols. Our companies share a vision of speeding and easing the design process by embracing standards and openness'." [cache]
Information Builders' "EDA XML Connector". "The EDA XML Connector provides a versatile and scalable solution for integrating XML client applications with legacy data and transaction systems. Through EDA middleware, the connector gives XML-based applications fast access to any of over 80 EDA-accessible data and transaction sources, as well as popular ERP packages and integration brokers such as IBM's MQSI and WebSphere, Oracle Application Server, Vitria BusinessWare, and others. As a result, enterprises with EDA and the XML Connector can easily integrate new XML applications with mission-critical systems and applications in distributed environments. The EDA XML Connector supports both synchronous and asynchronous access methods, making it ideal for applications requiring either real-time or deferred processing. In addition, the connector's built-in messaging and workflow intelligence make it ideal for e-commerce and Business-to-Business (B2B) applications. The EDA XML Connector is also bidirectional -- it's capable of using XML documents as input for EDA Servers or generating them as output for clients -- so it's a comprehensive solution that enterprise developers can use to support all kinds of XML-based applications..." See also the detailed description.
[June 01, 2000] "e-tools releases e-studio, a visualization tool designed to support EdaXML." "Electronic Tools Company (e-tools) released today the completion of a suite of XML Interface Tools for EDA. XML (eXtensible Markup Language) defines a set of rules for writing markup languages. XML was used to define a markup language called EdaXML. The XML rules for EdaXML are defined in an XML Document Type Definition (DTD) called EdaXML.dtd. EdaXML is based on a comprehensive EXPRESS Information Model, the same information model used for designing EDIF V 4 0 0. EdaXML covers Schematics,Connectivity, PCB and MCM. This information model can be obtained from Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), 2500 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201. e-tools released today XML translators for Mentor Graphics' DesignArchitect and Cadence OrCAD CApture. XML translators for Innoveda's Powerview/Workview and for Cadence Concept Schematic Capture will be released within 3 to 4 weeks. e-tools has simultaneously released tools for validating the XML output: An EdaXML viewer and free syntax and semantic checkers that can be downloaded today. Using XML is going to allow users to apply all the wealth of available XML free tools to EDA data: for publishing EDA symbols, PCB footprints, and whole EDA designs in a highly portable, web-oriented, neutral format. EdaXML is a natural complement to Si2's ECIX QuickData Specification: it is no longer necessary to have a subset of the EDA data, the user can combine ECIX QuickData Searchable attributes with an easy XML access to the real thing: real EDA symbol, real PCB footprints, etc. EdaXML will facilitate design collaboration over the Web using XML Web servers, provide true interoperability between various EDA databases and allow linking seamlessly designs on multiple EDA platforms."
James Jackson [firstname.lastname@example.org] wrote on 17 Feb 2000: "The EdaXML.DTD that they are using _does_ cover everything from Netlist to Schematic, PCB, FPGA, etc. - but _that_ is what you want! It is your XML Stylesheet that determines how much of this DTD that is actually displayed/converted/implemented in your browser/editor software. These sort of methods are here today. Specialized proprietary CAD formats are history. If you are writing your software to use a proprietary format, then you are yesterday - not today. Period. As for what else is required... one needs to take the information and map it to the screen for display. This is the second part of the equation. There are several ways to do this... SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is one that seems to be the way to go - and is supported in software such as Corel Draw (just to name one). As to whether it is cheaper... well that depends on how you look at it. Much of the work is already done and being supported by Microsoft and Netscape with their browsers. Other companies are beginning to see the value and benefits of implementing XML for database transfer. There is a group at Georgia Tech. that is working on implementing the IPC GenCAM standard in XML (GenX). This will enhance the capability of GenCAM, which will probably morph their standard to something along the lines of GenX. As to whether it is worth it for an individual to invest the time to learn and implement such a thing as XML, that has to be up to each individual to decide..."
"System makers push suppliers to adopt QuickData spec." By David Lammers. In EE Times (June 09, 2000). "Momentum is building behind a common method of describing ICs and retrieving CAD-ready data over the Internet. Lucent Technologies and other major system vendors are asking their component suppliers to adhere to the QuickData standard, and the RosettaNet organization -- which includes nearly all of the major electronics manufacturers worldwide -- is rallying around the format as well. On the EDA side of the fence, the Silicon Integration Initiative announced at the Design Automation Conference here this week that Mentor Graphics Corp. will abandon its proprietary EDA symbol and footprint formats and convert to QuickData. Cadence Design Systems Inc. also is expected to climb aboard by providing ways of importing QuickData EDA symbols and footprint information to its tools. Developed by the Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2), an EDA industry group, and the Electronic Component Interchange (ECIX) group of system and chip vendors, the QuickData format is designed to give system designers a way to quickly retrieve parts information that has been stored in a standardized format. CAD-ready data can be searched over the Internet and pulled directly into schematics. Besides Lucent, companies like Agilent Technologies, IBM and Hewlett-Packard are reportedly developing their own carrots and sticks to make sure their suppliers start QuickData library programs. And companies such as ChipData, a startup based in Dallas, and Saqqara Systems Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) are creating services to help component suppliers do just that. At DAC this past week, ChipData demonstrated technology called iData Miner that's intended to convert PDF-format data sheets to the XML format that QuickData is based on. Meanwhile, Saqqara is working with Lucent on a customized internal browser that would let board designers search for QuickData parts that match selected criteria."
[January 28, 2000] "Electronic Tools Company announces XML Tools for EDA." " Electronic Tools Company (e-tools) announced today the completion of a suite of XML Interface Tools for EDA. XML (eXtensible Markup Language) defines a set of rules for writing markup languages. XML was used to define a markup language called EdaXML. The XML rules for EdaXML are defined in an XML Document Type Definition (DTD) called EdaXML.dtd. EdaXML.dtd can be inspected at http://www.e-tools.com/xml/dtds/EdaXML.dtd. EdaXML is based on a comprehensive EXPRESS Information Model, the same information model used for designing EDIF V 4 0 0. EdaXML covers Schematics, Connectivity, PCB and MCM. This information model can be obtained from Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), 2500 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201. e-tools will be releasing soon XML translators for: (1) Mentor Graphics' DesignArchitect and Boardstation, (2) Viewlogic's Powerview/Workview, (3) Cadence OrCAD Capture 9.10, (4) Cadence Concept Schematic Capture. e-tools will simultaneously release tools for validating the XML output: An EdaXML viewer and free syntax and semantic checkers that will be distributed via the Web. These free utilities can also validate all the versions of EDIF: EDIF V 2 0 0, EDIF V 3 0 0 and EDIF V 4 0 0.
[April 24, 2000] "Cadence offers XML-based PCB library tool." By Michael Santarini. In EE Times (April 24, 2000). "Cadence Design Systems Inc. this week will announce the release of a PCB library development tool, endorsing the Si2's Extensible Markup Language (XML) as an industrywide EDA library symbol standard for schematic entry tools. Kim Singer, product marketing manager for Cadence PCB Systems Division, said to date most IC makers have not readily supplied documentation on their ICs and, if they do, it has largely been inconsistent from company to company, making the job of EDA librarians difficult. Now, with Cadence's new PCB Librarian Expert supporting Electronic Component Exchange (ECIX) project's XML, Cadence hopes to streamline the process and have all chip makers supply consistent data in one pin count symbol format based on XML. That will allow EDA librarians to download XML files and develop consistent libraries of part symbols that can be easily used by schematic entry tools. 'EDA librarians are trying to create EDA library symbols manually,' Singer said. 'We want to drive component manufacturers to start publishing their data in a format that librarians can automatically derive their schematic symbols.' Cadence also wants the data to be consistent so that its recent Internet spin-off, SpinCircuit, can quickly build and easily maintain large component libraries in a single format and efficiently supply those to design and system houses. Cadence boasts that its new PCB Librarian Expert product is the first library management tool to support consistent source data from which to derive EDA library parts."
[February 15, 2000] "XML tools debut for EDA." By Richard Goering. In EE Times (February 15, 2000). "Electronic Tools Co. (E-Tools), which provides many of the EDIF translators sold by EDA vendors, is now preparing XML translators for several popular EDA products. The translators will support EdaXML, an EDA-specific version of XML. E-Tools will release XML translators for Mentor Graphics' Design Architect and BoardStation; Viewlogic's Powerview and Workview; and Cadence Design Systems' OrCAD Capture 9.10 and Concept Schematic Capture. The company will also offer a free EdaXML viewer, and free syntax and semantic checkers, via the World Wide Web. These free utilities promise to validate all versions of EDIF. With the translators, E-Tools said, designers will be able to use XML tools for publishing EDA symbols and pc-board footprints in a Web-based, neutral format. This will facilitate design collaboration over the Web using XML servers, and provide interoperability between databases, the company claims."
- See: ECIX QuickData Specifications
- See: ECIX Component Information Dictionary Standard (CIDS)