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Archive for April, 2013

More new gen thoughts on the passing of print

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Today we will hear from McKenzie Mortensen, of IPextreme, on print vs. digital.

McKenzie Mortensen

McKenzie Mortensen

I’m far more on the fence about this topic than I ever thought I would be. In all honesty, I’m not completely sure where I stand. I’ll try to replicate my thought process below:

Pro Print

  • I’m a literature nerd in a very big way—BA English (Writing, Rhetoric, and Culture), MA Children’s Literature, life-long bookworm. I love books—the look, the feel, the smell, the different typefaces, the weight of a volume as I’m reading… it’s a sensory experience as much as it is an intellectual one. I have actually begun collecting antique hardcovers and rare picture books over the past couple of years. From hand bound antiques to glossy coffee table volumes, books are a form of art. 
  • I suffer from a mild obsession with stationery and paper products in general, plus I am an avid paper-crafter. I love to scrapbook and make collages, and magazines often come in very handy for harvesting images. I love cutting up magazines and turning them into something new. I’ve done some really neat things with old book pages also (only from damaged volumes, of course—I could never kill a book without it being a humane death). 
  • There are certain circumstances when I would not feel comfortable having a tablet with me. For example, when I’m going to the beach or hanging out by the pool, the last thing I want to take with me is my iPad. A cheap paperback or a magazine seems a better choice in a wet, sandy environment where damage is likely. 
  • I have a lot of bookworm friends, and one of our favorite things to do is trade books. Until it’s possible to lend a book to a friend digitally, I will need print copies of my favorites so that I can share them with people I know will appreciate them. 
  • Books come from bookstores and libraries, and if I could live in either one, I totally would. The atmosphere is simultaneously calming and invigorating to me, a heady blend of paper, ink, and curiosity. 

 Pro Digital

  • I thought I would always be firmly a print girl, but I run into problems when I travel; as a fairly quick reader, I usually need to take more than one book with me on a trip in order to ensure that I’ll have sufficient reading material. As you can imagine, my carryon bags have been rather weighty at times. I started using my iPad only for travel to avoid the 50-pound hand luggage problem. 
  • The illuminated screen is great for reading under any light conditions without disturbing those around me (on a dark airplane, for instance).
  • I can download another book whenever I want to (well, provided I have Wi-Fi access). Simple!
  • I love that I can highlight passages and make notes easily as I read. You can take the girl out of literary academia, but you can’t take literary academia out of the girl, I guess! I developed a “study as you read” method during my education that I still apply to leisure reading. Such a nerd! Another bonus in this area is that I can easily explore allusions made in the text. I can look up dates and brush up on historical events, for example, as necessary. I can do all of these things when reading a print volume, but it’s not very practical when I’m on the go. 
  • Reading magazines digitally affords me the huge benefit of “clickability.” If an article mentions a restaurant I’d like to try, I can instantly view their website and check out the menu. I can order products or seek more information without having to dog-ear a page and remember to look things up later. 
  • I can bookmark things and save images with ease, and in a very compact amount of space. Like many crafty people, I suffer from a Pinterest addiction.


New gen view on the passing of print

Monday, April 29th, 2013


We old gen folks bemoan the passing of print, even though we (in truth) haven’t cared about print for a number of years – finding the true value being on the web.  I think it’s more symbolic for us old folks than anything else. 

In the wake of the closing of the print editions by UBM, we decided to follow up with the new gen EDA folks we interviewed last week to get their take on this turn of events. 

First up is Hannah Watanabe, of Synopsys, with her thoughts on the news…..

Hannah Watanabe

My mind goes back and forth when it comes to the whole print versus digital media. Personally, when it comes to books, I prefer to have the print version. There is something about turning a page and being able to physically see and feel how many pages I have read and how many I have left. When I’m done with the book, I can put it on a shelf with all of the other books that I have read and feel a sense of accomplishment.

However, when it comes to magazines or monthly or quarterly publications, I much prefer to have access to a digital copy. Unlike books, which I tend to read at home with a cup of tea and a blanket, I find myself looking at magazines and other publications when I’m on the go. When I’m on the go (say waiting for a dentist appointment), I only have bits and pieces of time to read, so it is much nicer to have a digital version or a magazine or publication on my phone than the whole printed version shoved in my purse. So, in short, I think that it is a good and positive move on EE Time’s part to go completely digital. With the age of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, I’m sure that the electronic version has a much larger audience and reach. Of course, I do feel for those who are losing their jobs due to a complete migration to digital.


New blood making its mark on EDA

Monday, April 15th, 2013

McKenzie Mortensen


Hannah Watanabe

For more than several years now, Peggy Aycinena has noted the dearth of new blood entering the EDA and IP industry ranks. Those of us who started in the industry in the 1980s still seem to dominate the corporate, engineering and marketing ranks. One area where we do see an infusion of new generation folks is in the marketing communications area. So Liz Massingill and I asked three of the new generation people to allow us to put them on the spot and talk a little about what new and old generation EDA and IP people bring to the party. With us are: McKenzie Mortensen of IPextreme, Darcy Pierce of Synopsys and Hannah Watanabe of Synopsys.

Ed: McKenzie, Darcy, Hannah, thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. So let’s kick off with a question about you. What does the new generation bring to EDA and IP that the old generation doesn’t?

McKenzie: We love to shake things up.

Darcy: One of the more obvious attributes that I think our generation brings to the table is a fresh perspective, especially in the “older” industry of EDA where everyone seems to have 20+ years of experience.

Hannah: I think we bring a fresh perspective on how technology is being used today, especially by those who are just entering the work force, the Generation Y people.


Granularity and complexity in low power verification

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013



Cary Chin, Director of Technical Marketing at Synopsys, has an intriguing take on how to approach verification now that the mandate for design project managers is to meet the low power requirement of the target end-product.   Chin says that if we look at verification in terms of fine and broad “granularity,” users will meet their verification goals with a lot less angst and anguish.    However, at first glance,  I had no idea what Chin was talking about…which is why we asked him to join us and talk about this idea.


Ed: Cary,  you’ve been recently talking about granularity in verification, especially in terms of low power.  What does this all mean?  

Cary:  When I think of granularity in low power design, I’m thinking about the size of the “chunks” that we manipulate to improve the energy efficiency (or “low power performance”) of a design.  For example, in most of today’s low power methodologies, large functional blocks are the boundaries we work within – we can shut down these blocks or manipulate the voltage to save energy when peak performance isn’t required.  This boundary level isn’t just a matter of convenience; our tools and methodologies for both implementation and verification can only deal with certain levels of complexity, so we are confined in many dimensions in how we can pursue finer granularity.


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