I met with Simon Butler of Methodics, along with Joe Fowler of Fowler Communications to learn about how former Cadence people started the company to help hardware designers benefit from software methodologies. They define Design Data Management (DM) as integrating Software Configuration Management (SCM) tools into the Cadence tool flow.Instead of creating yet another SCM they simply integrate the industry-leading tools like Perforce, Subversion and others. Two specific tools are offered by methodics: Review IC for global design reviewing, and Merge IC to manage the differences between IC data versions.

Their target market is the installed base of Virtuoso users that have started to use a SCM and are having issues, or are just considering using one.

Review IC is really useful for the team interactions between a circuit engineer and a layout designer. They can communicate with each other using this tool and highlight instances or nets, have a review of schematics, create discussion threads or notes of issues, assign action items, invite comments, respond to comments, make fixes, check-in or check-out files, and finally approve changes and then use Merge IC.

Historically Cadence tried something like this in the 90’s but met with poor results and stopped selling this capability.

Methodics clients include: Cirrus Logic, Bosch, Netlogic Microsystems and Bitwave.

Pricing starts at $2K per seat annually. In Europe and Silicon Valley you’ll find these tools sold directly by Methodics, while a distributor is used in Japan.