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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Nenni’

What is the EDA Editorial Brain Trust Today?

Monday, August 25th, 2014


The EDA editorial brain trust today is the topic of our continuing conversation with Richard Goering and Brian Fuller.  


Brian Fuller

Brian Fuller

Richard Goering

Richard Goering















ED:  What is the EDA editorial brain trust these days?

RICHARD: Not sure how you’re defining “brain trust,” but if there is one, it’s with the vendors and the independent on-line publications.

ED:  Who makes up the EDA editorial brain trust?

RICHARD:  If you add it all up, there are still a number of editors with deep EDA and semiconductor experience – they’re just no longer with print publications.

Additionally, there are now a number of writers and bloggers who didn’t start as journalists but who turned in that direction during the transition away from print.


Yet another 2010 EDA Trends write up?

Monday, January 18th, 2010

2009 was a rough year for an already stagnant EDA world. Looking to 2010, Liz Massingill and I asked industry colleagues, opinion makers and friends what each of them saw as the BIG trend for 2010.

Here’s what they said.

Karen Bartleson, Blogger, The Standards Game, Synopsys

The big trend in EDA for 2010 will be the acceptance of social media as an additional means for communicating with customers, partners, and competitors.

Now that blogging is settling in as a viable source of information from media people, company experts, and independent publishers, more new media tools will come into play. Not all tools are right for everyone or every situation, so the EDA industry will explore the options and experiment with a variety of community-development activities.

LinkedIn and Facebook will offer special interest groups a place to congregate. Twitter will be tested by more people – who today are curious or skeptical – as a means of immediate, brief interaction. EDA suppliers will offer new communication channels and those that are truly value-add will thrive.

The EDA world won’t change overnight, but the trends in social media will be noticeable.

Graham Bell, Director of Sales and Marketing, EDACafe

The BIG trend will be that designers need ALL of the technology that EDA companies have been working on and introduced in the last 18 months.

There is a lot of design work being done at 45nm and all the established tools are running at the edge of their capabilities.

New generations of parasitic extraction, static and statistical timing analysis, and automated property verification are just some of the important technologies that will be needed by design teams.

Mike Gianfagna, Vice President, Marketing, Atrenta, Inc.

In 2010, we’ll see an accelerated move to doing more design at higher levels of abstraction.

Chip complexity and the skyrocketing cost of physical design, along with the advent of 3D stacks is forcing this. Designers just won’t be able to iterate in the back end in 2010 and beyond. It’ll take too long and cost too much.

Power management, design verification, design for test and timing closure will all be “close to done” before handoff to synthesis and place & route. The traditional backend flow of IC design will become a more predictable, routine process, which will accelerate its trend toward commoditization and consolidation.

This move to higher levels of abstraction will also have implications for IP selection and chip assembly. This will compel a new genre of tools to emerge. Standards like IP-XACT will help this process to take hold. Perhaps this is what ESL will become.

Richard Goering, longtime EDA editor and currently manager of the Cadence Industry Insights blog

I think the Big EDA Trend for 2010 will be SoC integration.

There will be a renewed focus on the challenges of integrating existing IP, providing breakthrough technology for design teams to quickly and reliably
assemble complex SoCs from integration-ready IP blocks, and then run
full-chip verification including both analog and digital components.

ESL is part of this story because there’s a need to move to
transaction-level IP creation, verification and integration. Hardware/ software integration and verification and will also become part of
the drive towards SoC integration.

Harry Gries, the ASIC Guy, EDA blogger

As for the EDA trend in 2010, I think that EDA companies, when they recover, will choose not to hire more sales and marketing people but will invest more in other marketing tools on the Web or using social networking strategies.

A good example is a company like Xuropa, which is actually a client of mine, under full disclosure. They help EDA companies put their tools on the Web in order to help them reduce their costs for demos, product evaluations, etc.

I think that will see a lot of interest in the upcoming year as companies look for ways to do “more with less”. User group events may also move online, just like this year’s CDNLive was a virtual event rather than a real live event. Xilinx and Avnet sponsored an X-Fest this year that was also an online event. Things are moving online fast and economics will drive that.

Grant Martin, EDA blogger

In 2010, we’ll see the steady progress towards usable ESL tool and methodology adoption by design groups.

The areas of greatest real ESL use are the high level synthesis of data crunching blocks used in various DSP-type applications (signal and media processing), the increasing adoption of processor/SW-centric design methods, and the increased creation and use of virtual prototype models.

(Brian Bailey and I have a new book from Springer coming out in the new year on practical ESL use methods: “ESL Models and their Application: Electronic System Level Design and Verification in Practice”. See for a summary. )

Dan Nenni, EDA blogger

For EDA, 2010 will be the year of the foundry. Foundries will drive new EDA flows and business models.

The TSMC Open Initiative Platform
is but the tip of the iceberg. If EDA and IP companies do NOT join forces with the foundries and take arms against the sea of semiconductor troubles – they will continue to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous economic misfortune.

Coby Zelnik, CEO, Sagantec North America, Inc.

In 2010, we will see more designs taping out in 40nm.

In an effort to minimize risk, cost and time to market, design reuse will be
maximized; many of them will be migrations of existing 90nm and 65nm products or derivative products with minor updates and tweaks.

– end –

Dan Nenni on Bloggng in EDA (part 2)

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

(Liz Massingill concludes her conversation with blogger Dan Nenni.)

Liz: I know that bloggers don’t want press releases. They want to talk about trends.

Dan: Every blogger has an agenda. I blog about experiences, companies, and technologies that I know, positive and negative trends that I see. I do blogs on TSMC and the other foundries all the time. My agenda there is to let people know that if you are part of the semiconductor design enablement supply chain you need to be very close to the foundries. When bloggers are really product specific, like some corporate bloggers are, it just looks like something from a company–a public notice. But if they talk about market trends and put their personality and their experiences into it, then it becomes interesting.

Liz: How long will it take the industry to be more social media savvy?

Dan: I don’t know if it will be in my professional lifetime or not? But if you look at it, we’re raising the Social Media Generation— Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.

I have 4 kids, and all of them are really into it. They’re prolific texters–they communicate with their thumbs. When those people get jobs and become our target market you’re going to have to market to them, right?

Unfortunately, most people our age aren’t that savvy. I picked it up early because I have kids. I’m involved with them and their social media habits. I have 6 cell phones and I didn’t have texting because my kids were starting to drive. My Verizon bill was thousands of minutes. They begged me for texting so I got the unlimited plan. My calling minutes went from thousands to a few hundred. The thing is that they don’t communicate by phone, that’s just not the way their generation wants to communicate, period. I turned texting off on my phone to eliminate yet another distraction.

My attitude was that if you want to talk to me, call or email me. And they don’t (laughs). So those are the people we are bringing up now, the thumb generation, and this is happening in America, China, Iran, everywhere.

If you don’t GET social media, you are going to be at a significant disadvantage in business and life in general. I think we’re coming close on the business side. Companies should start now or they won’t be competitive. That’s why I’m an evangelist for social media because it’s THE most cost effective demand creation vehicle.

In our business, the average shelf life of a marketing message is like a loaf of bread, things/specs change so quickly. You need to refresh your message in a cost effective manner on a monthly basis; and that is Social Media.

Liz: There’s always press releases (laughs)

Dan: People don’t care. No offense but traditional PR does not work the way it used to.

Liz: What about print media vs. online media? Aren’t there many people who would rather read a hard copy than have to remember to go read something online?

Dan: I don’t read the newspaper anymore because by the time I get it, it’s old news, so I use Google Reader. I’m on my laptop anyway doing email, watching videos, etc… How much time do people spend on their computers? 50% of your day? Some people even eat in front of their computers.

(Liz raises hand sheepishly.)

Dan: So where are you going to get your news? In the newspaper, the only thing I read is the comics, the Jumble, Dear Abby, Safeway ads (I do the shopping). Nothing else, and I hate getting news print ink all over the place. Seriously, smudge proof ink, how hard is that?

Liz: What is it you want or don’t want from PR people?

Dan: I want PR people to embrace social media and make it their own, simple as that. Bloggers are easy to work with. Bloggers want blog views, views are empowering and feed our massive egos. You have no idea what a burden it is to support a massive ego, so anything you can do to help get blog views is greatly appreciated. Invite us to functions, buy us lunch, integrate Social Media into your business model, just don’t send us press releases!

Liz: Jim Hogan threw down this gauntlet in his recent presentation at ICCAD….that EDA is complacent. We’ve talked a bit today about how there doesn’t seem to be much of an interest in EDA but a lot of interest in foundries. How do you think that relates? Do you agree with Jim’s assertion?

Dan: Yes EDA is complacent, I agree with Jim. My audience is definitely interested in the foundries, also semiconductor IP and design services. So why not EDA? One theory is that EDA does not share the risks and rewards of semiconductor design, so EDA is not invested in/with the customer. EDA software is licensed upfront and gets paid whether the customer is successful or not.

Foundries, IP companies, and design services are more success oriented and get paid on volume silicon shipments. Based on that, customers view EDA companies differently, especially when licenses expire and their design has not taped-out yet!

Liz: How do FPGAs figure into the picture?

Dan: FPGAs are a big factor in the decline of EDA, and everybody knows it. I think that is a relevant point if you are talking about the state of EDA. FPGA design starts are going up and ASIC/EDA design starts are going down. FPGA’s are also success based with volume silicon shipments being the big payday for all, sound familiar? ;-)

Liz: What do you think the trend for EDA will be for the next 10 years?

Dan: EDA is going to be interesting the next few years, and I am happy to be a part of it. I would like to send a strong but positive message: Change is coming. If EDA does not embrace this change, it’s going to be a very costly experience. Success based business models are key, working closely with the foundries is key, being an accretive member of the semiconductor design enablement community is the cure for EDA complacency. Believe it.

– end –

Dan Nenni on Blogging in EDA

Friday, November 20th, 2009

(EDA blogger Dan Nenni talks with Liz Massingill about how he approaches his blogging. First of two parts.)

Liz: Welcome, Dan. Thanks for coming down to chat with me today. I’d like to start by asking….Why do you blog?

Dan: I started my Social Media experience on LinkedIn a few years ago and blogging was the natural next step. I also use Twitter. Right now the three are integrated, with LinkedIn and Twitter being the delivery systems for my blog. Since I own my blog domain ( I get to see search terms, views, what is popular and what is not, where people come from and what links they click on. If they come from LinkedIn I get to see what they have done professionally. You are a LinkedIn fan I believe?

Liz: Yes.

Dan: A LinkedIn profile is a great source of information and hopefully it is up to date since it is transparent and seen by all. I’m also a member of LinkedIn groups for semiconductor design enablement. Once you join a group you can profile other members and see who your audience really is.

Liz: What topics interest your readers most and least?

Dan: Semiconductor topics are interesting, EDA topics are not. Financial/Economic topics are interesting, Social Media is not. Semiconductor yield is a VERY interesting topic, my blogs on TSMC 40nm yield get lots of views. Blogs on Global foundries are also popular, my TSMC vs Global Foundries is the most viewed blog to date. My blog on ICCAD was not so popular and got very few clicks. The most popular EDA blog I have done is EDA is DEAD, probably because of the word “dead.” Dead things get clicks.

What I have learned blogging directly correlates to my professional experience: Foundries are the center of the semiconductor universe and will continue to gain strength in driving EDA, IP, and Design Services. The best example is the TSMC Open Innovation Platform forum where TSMC clearly spelled out the future of EDA.

Liz: Who is your audience?

Dan: Friends and family mostly! ☺ I get the majority of my views from fabless semiconductor companies around the world, EDA and IP people, TSMC and the other foundries. More than half of my blog views come through LinkedIn and the people I am connected to. There are 50M+ people on LinkedIn and my connections link me to “5,422,800+ professionals”.

Liz: Let’s talk about “Social Media.”

Dan: The big EDA companies are already into Social Media, Synopsys, Cadence, and Mentor all have corporate bloggers and thousands of employees on LinkedIn. Blogs are now featured on the front of all three corporate websites. Synopsys had a nice social media program at the last Design Automation Conference. I blogged about it in “Twitter #SNPS #TSMC #46DAC” I’ve pushed Social Media to quite a few small and medium sized companies in the semiconductor design enablement business, with little success however. ☹

Liz: Well, it’s like Twitter. Not everybody is ready for it. It’s new, and takes a person out of her comfort zone.

Dan: People are scared because of the transparency, the same thing with blogging, fear-uncertainty-doubt. It concerned me as well but I think the rewards by far outweigh the risk. Blogging has many side benefits: My IQ has probably doubled as has my ego. If I ever take another VP of Sales and Marketing job I would only hire sales people with a LinkedIn profile and 500+ connections. My product marketing people would be required to blog and participate in LinkedIn groups. It keeps them close to customers and the market segment they serve.

(End of Part One.)

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