Early adopters of the DITA XML architecture include semiconductors leaders like AMD, Intel, Freescale, NXP, and STMicroelectronics. More recent adopters are Altera, ARM, and Infineon. So why are these companies using DITA for content?
DITA XML is a standard used to create documentation that enables a streamlined delivery of content for specifications, technical documentation, and engineering documents. DITA enables considerable process automation while its focus on reusing content ensures consistency and localization savings.
The IXIASOFT DITA CCMS solution allows your engineering staff to collaborate more closely and verify content before it goes out the door. It is easy to create templates so content creators can make standard document types, such as register settings, application notes, and data sheets.
Challenges of Semiconductor Documentation
Essentially, as Keith Schengili-Roberts mentioned in his presentation, DITA Not just for Software, DITA has achieved significant penetration within the semiconductor sector. What many of these companies have in common is operating with numerous subject matter experts (SMEs) participating and contributing to content. In some cases, the information development team makes the content written by various SMEs intelligible, consistent and compliant to in-house guidelines. Moreover, these organizations need to provide content in many languages, and the pressures to reduce localization costs while maintaining accuracy are significant. Today there is much consolidation on the market, with firms acquiring and merging at a fast pace. The workload for the techcomm teams may double over a day, whereas resources may not follow. In such an environment, efficiency is even more of the essence.
In many cases, the difficulties arise from uncontrolled documentation management. Tracking existing content can be onerous and costs can easily spiral out of control. However, companies may find a mix-and-match of these symptoms:
- Your SMEs may spend too much time finding the latest content, or focusing on formatting content instead of creating clear documentation
- The content is uncontrolled and replicated in many places, calling for numerous manual and error-prone replacements
- Users cannot easily find the content they are searching for online
- Costs for desktop publishing tools and translations skyrocket
As an XML standard, DITA enables you to mix with other XML standards. It also allows you to share and protect your intellectual property and reduces the work associated with integrating a third party IP. Because DITA XML architecture is an open standard, you can share content more easily with partner firms using the same standard. The SMEs can add resistor values, tolerances, etc. in a form-based format or use our web-based tool to participate in documentation.
Assignments within a content management system ensure the content is easily found for editing. The engineers will review only new and changed content. The possibility to add metadata within the content makes it easier to find, reuse and filter content, not only for the engineers but also for the end-users. Finally, content reuse greatly lowers the costs for translation, enabling companies to create better content for existing foreign markets, and to translate for new markets.
With DITA CMS in place, semiconductors are able to:
- Produce on-time delivery of documentation—even with short product cycles
- Deliver tailored content and easy-to-find documents that are consistent and accurate
- Translate content for a global marketplace, while keeping translation costs low
- Increase brand consistency and management
- Take more requests with the same or less resources
Technical Account Manager at IXIASOFT