Getting started with Helix IPLM

Helix IPLM is a flexible, centralized, and automated Intellectual Property (IP) Lifecycle Management Platform for enterprise users. Helix IPLM is designed to minimize inefficiencies, saving time and reducing cost through traceability and automation.

IPs and the IP lifecycle

Every component of a design is captured in Helix IPLM as IP. Typical components captured as IPs include:

  • Internal newly developed components and subsystems
  • Externally acquired traditional IP
  • Memories
  • PDKs and standard cell libraries
  • Reused existing components
  • Firmware and software
  • Derivative components
  • Tool configuration and versions
  • Scripts

Stages of the IP lifecycle

Helix IPLM manages IP through the following stages:


Helix IPLM IP components can be planned and acquired externally, discovered in the existing IP catalog, and newly developed internally within Helix IPLM.


Helix IPLM IP components carry their full qualification history with them and are updated automatically in real time as releases are made. IPs may be characterized through continuous integration flows triggered by Helix IPLM events. The Helix IPLM platform makes all relevant information for each component available directly on specific IP components via a set of data display widgets and properties.

The results of the automated characterization process can then be queried and displayed, and are made available to the user in the IP catalog, IP page, and IP version displays.


The Helix IPLM platform scales to tens of thousands of simultaneous users, but is simple and easily maintained enough that it is widely used by small teams. IPs and their qualification information are traced and distributed across an organization, filtered by appropriate permissions. Advanced searches are available from all clients using the Helix IPLM query language where each IP is fully searchable via the sum total of all of its built in and captured qualification metadata.

The Helix IPLM platform captures Saved queries, which are preserved and form the basis of IP Folders, which group displays of IPs using any desired criteria.


Helix IPLM utilizes its record of release content to build workspaces with precise versions of the released data. Integration of new releases is facilitated via Helix IPLM alerts and update modes. Once a new IP is ready for integration, a release is generated and published back to the originating system. Each IP can form its own hierarchy of dependencies, allowing for context dependent development of project subsystems. See IP Hierarchies - From IPs to projects.


The Helix IPLM platform is a centralized IP and project management hub that tracks both IP and IP metadata across an organization. Centralization enables traceability of a managed IP from the file level through the project level for all relevant metadata including:

  • Requirements
  • Issue tracking
  • Documentation
  • Functional Safety requirements
  • Verification  
  • Licensing

For the organization, centralization provides traceability, metrics, and analysis which increases IP reuse and development efficiency across engineering teams. Helix IPLM overcomes design silos between business units, allowing standardization of project configuration and scripting. 


Each Helix IPLM project contains a Component and IP BOM (CIPB) managed by Helix IPLM. Projects are managed as IPs. The Project CIPB consists of a set of IP dependencies of the top level Project IP. This facilitates SoC (System on a Chip) consolidation, as the top level IP from one project is reusable in the next. 

From the Bill of Materials Helix IPLM tracks the contents and metadata of each item in the project IP Hierarchy down to the file level. The Helix IPLM platform can track simulations, regressions, and requirements against IP releases, as well as identify post-silicon issues across in-flight designs. This level of traceability allows the Helix IPLM platform to match bugs to releases and trace bugs across every project and version in which they occur. Licensing is similarly traceable, with every case of utilization of an IP readily searchable across the organization.

Design agnostic

Helix IPLM is capable of managing or interfacing to any data in the organization. It supports multiple Data Management systems out of the box, and can be extended to support any other DM via DM Handler integrations. Leveraging managed, versioned CIPBs, Helix IPLM can replicate release correct workspaces, and monitor the status of a workspace as design activity progresses. Because it leverages native DM functionality and doesn't intrude on user's existing workflows, day to day design proceeds as usual: same tools, same DMs, with the Helix IPLM platform on call when needed. 

Integrated External Systems

The Helix IPLM platform is supported by a REST API that allows for customization, and contains a hook architecture and events publishing systems that support work-flow triggering within an organization. External systems such as Issue tracking and Requirements Management can be brought in and contextualized in a Helix IPLM IP or release. Existing flows can be retained, and tied directly to Helix IPLM CIPB releases.


The combination of centralization and performant user workspace management provides increased leverage between teams and optimization of organizational workflows. The Helix IPLM platform offers a standard six week reduction in schedule time compared to historical estimates due to an efficient, centralized process for managing project configurations, automated publishing of new content, and streamlining of integration activities.


Helix IPLM has been proven to scale to millions of objects and many thousands of users. The Helix IPLM platform is backed by enterprise-grade database design that allows for multi-site architecture that provides local performance to each site and includes a caching system to reduce IO bandwidth.

Real time visibility

Releases are captured and published in Helix IPLM real time, so the state of the platform is always immediately up to date with what is actually happening in the organization. Searches can be run against the Helix IPLM server from any client, providing that real time view back to IP consumers, management, and IT.