Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Look deep into this eye

I'm not much on demos, particularly ones showing off something as esoteric as an applications programming interface. But I have to say I was impressed with a demo from Cadence at DesignCon yesterday.

The EDA company showed its existing signal integrity tool using a new API to query a 6 Gbit/s IBM serdes chip. The tool, which could also be used on an oscilloscope, validated the integrity of a signal from the serdes without revealing its proprietary equalization technique.

It was a rare moment to "see" a signal as it looked inside a high-speed receiver and to see a tool that could work both as part of an EDA product and a tester.

Cadence is trying to recruit support for the tool today in hopes of making a significant splash at a meeting of the IBIS group at DesignCon on Thursday. If the EDA company can get a consensus, the IBIS group might make the API a standard. But that will probably take some time because competitors including Mentor Graphics and Signal Integrity Software want to go over the API with a fine tooth comb before they give it a thumbs up.

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