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ClioSoft - Technology & Solutions

ClioSoft provides a Design Data Collaboration Platform that is tailor-made to manage and version control design data from ANY design flow. It supports several different work flows that design teams require and provides seamlessly integrated design data management solutions for popular IC flows.

SOS streamlines the design process by enhancing communication and facilitating efficient and accurate sharing of design data from concept through tape-out. This significantly improves design team productivity and dramatically reduces chances of requiring a mask re-spin due to configuration errors.

The SOS platform is built to handle the requirements of hardware design flows and is therefore not hindered by the limitations of software configuration management systems. SOS gives design teams the flexibility to CHOOSE the way they work, share and collaborate with team members.

ClioSoft offers the following products:
SOS The core design data collaboration platform
IP Management & SoC Design Higher tier version of SOS with features for larger enterprises
SOS Digital DM for Digital Design Flows
SOS viaDFII Integrated DDM solution for the Cadence Virtuoso flow
SOS viaADS Integrated DDM solution for the Agilent Advanced Design System (ADS)
SOS viaCustomDesigner Integrated DDM solution for the Synopsys' Custom Designer
SOS viaPyxis Integrated DDM solution for the Mentor Pyxis flow
SOS viaLaker Integrated DDM solution for the SpringSoft Laker flow
Visual Design Diff Compare two versions of a schematic or layout

Features & Functions

SOS enables secure multi-site collaboration and provides version control, work-area management, release management, design reuse, and project control seamlessly integrated with popular design flows.

Features & Functions

Global Collaboration

SOS improves collaboration whether the design team is in the same building or spread across the globe. Several technologies have been incorporated to improve the efficiency of sharing data. These include:

Client-Server Architecture Designers from any site or any platform can access the project data without the need for shared file systems.
Smart Cache Server File revisions are brought to the remote site only once and other users get the files from the cache instead of going back to the primary site. This dramatically improves performance and reduces bandwidth use between sites.
Push Technology User workareas or Cache servers can subscribe to get immediate updates. The primary server pushes changes from the project repository to the subscribed caches or workareas as soon as they are committed.
Express Update This technology minimizes the effects of network latency by batching queries and ensures that the time required to update a workarea depends on the number of changes made since the last update and NOT on the size of the project.
Collaboration Icons Provide important status information and keeps engineers up to date on developments thereby enhancing communication. This helps avoid errors and ensures reliable tape-outs.

Custom ‘Design Aware’ DM Adaptors

ClioSoft has created ‘Design Aware’ integrations to expose the design management features directly in the design tools and enables engineers to work with familiar design abstractions such as libraries, cells, views and hierarchies and eliminates the tedium of sorting through a vast array of tool generated files.

The DM operations are built into the design browsers of the IC flows and do not require designers to use a separate browser for design data management.

Custom DM Adaptors are available for the following popular IC flows:

  • Cadence Virtuoso (SOS viaDFII)
  • Mentor ICstudio (SOS viaICstudio)
  • SpringSoft Laker (SOS viaLaker)

Universal DM Adaptor

There are a large number of EDA tools and custom adaptors may not be available for all tools. ClioSoft has developed a unique ‘rule-based technology’ that allows SOS to automatically recognize, organize and manage design data generated by practically ANY EDA tool. This “future proofs” your DM needs since design data from any tool can also be easily managed by creating a rule-set.

Universal DM Adapter

Composite Object Support

Design objects such as schematics or layouts are often saved not in one file but in a collection of co-managed files. Unlike traditional software configuration management systems, SOS recognizes and manages multiple physical files that make up a logical design unit as a single composite object. All the files that belong to the design unit are versioned, tagged, etc. as a single object. This ensures the integrity of the design unit and also improves performance.

Composite Objects

Optimal Use of Disk Space

The typical software workarea model where each engineer has a physical copy of each object is unsuitable for large IC design projects with very large libraries. Disk space usage and maintenance become prohibitively expensive for large teams. Workarea updates suffer performance problems because modified files must be copied to the workarea.

SOS supports ‘physical copy’ work-areas but also supports three different workareas models that use symbolic links to optimize disk space usage.

  • Links to Smart Cache
  • Links to Latest
  • Links to a Common Workarea

Most design teams use ‘Links to Smart Cache’ that allows the same flexibility, stability, and isolation of having physical copies but makes optimal use of disk space by sharing one physical copy of the file in the cache between multiple users. The Cache Server tracks the number of links to each revision and purges revisions from the cache when there are no links to the revision of the file.

Isolated and Shared Workareas

Most designers prefer to have their own isolated workareas and update their workareas, to synchronize with the changes made by others, only when desired. When making modifications, the workflow is to check out the required design object, make changes in the local workarea, verify the changes and then check the design object back into the project. Other designers can get the changes only after the new revision has been checked in to the project.

However, some designers (especially layout engineers) need to work more closely. They need access to each other’s changes as they are made so all related changes made can be verified (LVS, DRC, etc) together before the set of design objects modified by these engineers are all checked in.

SOS allows design engineers to choose the way they want to work and supports both isolated and shared workareas.

Isolated & Shared Workarea

Hierarchical Reference and Reuse Engine

A project can reference and reuse design objects or entire design libraries in other projects across the corporate WAN. Design data management of large projects can be simplified by partitioning into smaller, independently managed sub-projects at local or remote sites. Design intellectual property (IP) can be re-used across the enterprise thereby improving productivity and reducing time to market.

Hierarchical Reference Reuse

Integrated with Issue Tracking

Cross coupled integration between SOS and issue tracking systems allows users to maintain the relationship between issues and the changes made to address the issues. Designer can associate an open issue assigned to them when checking in a design object. The relationship between the issue and the associated changes are maintained both in SOS and the issue tracking system. Integrated issue tracking is currently available for the following issue tracking systems:

  • Bugzilla - An Open Source web based system
  • Trac - An Open Source web based system
  • DevTrack - A commercial system from TechExcel
TRAC - Webpage interface