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Community, Collaboration And Standards

Where to find standards downloads for the electronics industry and what they’re all about.

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EDA tools/methodologies and semiconductor IP creation are strongly driven by standards. Dating back to the 1980s, standards have helped shape electronic design industry – from the way we design silicon to the way we do business. Indeed, Accellera was formed from a merger of two leading standards bodies in the early 1990s, VHDL International (VI) and Open Verilog International (OVI), to promote cooperation among users and vendors as well as address tool interoperability and design flows. And as the saying goes, since that time, we’ve come a long way baby!

Since its inception, Accellera has delivered more than 19 standards and implementations, of which nine are now IEEE standards and governed by the IEEE-Standards Association (IEEE SA), the leading consensus-building organization that nurtures, develops and advances global technologies. Their work drives the functionality, capabilities and interoperability of a wide range of products and services that transform the way people live, work and communicate.

Accellera has now worked closely with the IEEE-SA for more than 25 years, since the early days of VHDL (IEEE 1076-1987) and Verilog HDL (IEEE Std. 1364-1995), to provide the seed work for many of today’s ubiquitous electronic design automation standards. Through an ongoing partnership with the IEEE-SA, standards developed by Accellera are contributed to the IEEE’s standards development process for formal standardization and governance. Accellera further leverages the IEEE’s relationship with the IEC under a dual-logo program to bring these standards to the international community.

Developing standards is only a part of the activities at Accellera. No standard is really useful unless it is put into practice and widely adopted by the community for which it is intended. Accellera especially invests its volunteer efforts to increase the adoption of standards by the semiconductor industry practitioners, i.e., the users, academia and vendors. For example, its flagship DVCon Conference and Exhibition provides an excellent annual venue for designers and verification engineers to learn standards-based methodology and interoperability using EDA tools and semiconductor IP.

Starting in 2006, Accellera went one step further in its collaboration with the IEEE-SA. In order to ensure free access to the most widely used EDA and semiconductor IP standards, Accellera became a sponsor in the IEEE Get program which grants public access to view and download select IEEE standards at no charge. Standards currently available through the IEEE Get program include:

  • IEEE 1666™ Standard: SystemC™ Language Reference Manual
  • IEEE 1685™ Standard: IP-XACT, Standard Structure for Packaging, Integrating, and Reusing IP within Tool Flows
  • IEEE 1800™ Standard: SystemVerilog Unified Hardware Design, Specification, and Verification Language Reference Manual
  • IEEE 1801™ Standard: Design and Verification of Low Power Integrated Circuits (also known as UPF).

You can find all of the available standards and download them at no cost by visiting the Accellera Downloads page or IEEE Get webpage. Accellera plans to continue sponsoring additional standards as the work of current IEEE working groups (WGs) is ratified through the IEEE-SA standardization process.

The IEEE Get program has yielded some exceptionally good results in the past four years. The chart below shows the number of downloads of Accellera-sponsored standards available through the IEEE Get program. In order to show the most recent download activity, the first two years (2010 and 2011) are aggregated for the entire year, whereas 2012 and 2013 (year-to-date) are shown for each month. After launching the program with IP-XACT (originally under The SPIRIT Consortium before its merger with Accellera), SystemC, SystemVerilog and UPF standards were gradually added to the IEEE Get program. For SystemC, the download data only includes the most recent release of the standard (IEEE 1666-2012). For trivia buffs, it would be interesting to note that you can download the most widely used communication standards (IEEE 802 family) from the IEEE Get webpage. You know you are in good company!

Establishing a standard across the industry can determine success or failure for a product or even a company. Making a standard freely available helps accelerate adoption and improves the overall lifecycle of the standard – from the users who develop the leading edge technologies to the vendors that provide the tools and services that bring those technologies to life. Not to forget the free access to standards that also encourages students and researchers in academia to develop skills that eventually help the industry.

IEEE Get is a very effective program leveraged by Accellera to serve our community. We welcome you to join us and participate in standards development. Help us build a strong collaborative and inclusive community around standards.

Get IEEE Download Data v2