Siemens Digital Industries Software’s has become the first of the major EDA vendors to join the DARPA Toolbox Initiative, a program set up by the defense research agency to make access to advanced tools easier to obtain for contractors and researchers taking part in its projects.
DARPA released the agreement template for the Toolbox Initiative in May and has since signed up a number of tools and IP vendors, beginning with RISC-V processor designers SiFive and Andes Technology and security specialists Riscure and eMemory. In August, IntrinsicID, AccelerComm, Microchip, and Ansys joined.
The toolbox concept was developed in response to problems that the often small organizations working on DARPA projects faced in licensing tools and IP. Often, pricing levels were based on volume expectations that would typically be low for any DARPA project and, as the organizations working across the many projects are not co-ordinated, they do not receive consistent pricing and have to engage in lengthy, one-off negotiations each time and deal with complex legal agreements.
“When combined with the broad offerings in processor, communication and security IP from other Toolbox suppliers, Siemens EDA tools will enable end-to-end design and implementation of the most advanced SoC, ASIC, and PCB enabled solutions being pursued by DARPA,” Serge Leef, DARPA program manager for design automation and secure hardware, wrote in a statement on LinkedIn. “I’d like to express gratitude to the Siemens EDA executives for understanding the importance of the DARPA mission and taking the lead as the first Electronic Design Automation vendor to become an enabler of our community.”
Mike Ellow, executive vice president of sales for Siemens’ EDA segment, said, “Because highly advanced defense applications increasingly require custom silicon to meet very specific requirements, the time is right for EDA representation in the DARPA Toolbox Initiative, and Siemens EDA software is expected to play a key role.
“This will enable innovative companies to use Siemens EDA tools for the development of advanced analog, digital, and mixed signal ICs, silicon photonic ICs as well as advanced packaging and printed circuit boards targeting bleeding-edge applications.”
“Siemens looks forward to further engaging with DARPA and its Toolbox community to help unleash innovation and enable groundbreaking new IC designs,” Ellow added.