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Mike Gianfagna on EDA360

Monday, June 7th, 2010

mike-gianfagna534c2x3x3003Mike Gianfagna, well known and long time EDA executive, has quite a bit to say about the EDA360 manifesto that’s electrified the EDA world. As vice president of marketing at Atrenta, Inc, Mike has been an astute, articulate participant in the EDA value discussion. I was able to grab a few minutes with Mike to ask how EDA360 helped define the 2010 and beyond definition of EDA value and how it might alter the industry’s direction.

ED: EDA360 has caused quite a buzz. Why?

MIKE: Simply put, it’s one of the first times a major EDA vendor has focused on growing the industry and not just winning the next deal.

ED: It’s curious that EDA people have embraced it so vigorously. After all, it’s not a “how to” but more of a “here’s the vision, the dream.”  What’s the impact of EDA360 on the EDA industry? The EDA user community? The EDA media?

MIKE: Let’s face it, the EDA industry has been stuck at roughly the same size for a long time. This lack of growth, in my opinion, has a lot to do with the predatory practices most suppliers pursue. That is, “I win the current budget and you lose.” Growing the business takes a broader view, and a good dose of vision to see beyond today’s budget and determine how EDA can serve new customers tomorrow. EDA360 articulates such a vision.

I’d like to think all this will have a positive impact on our industry overall. As for the EDA media, I am honestly not sure who that is anymore, so it’s hard to comment.

ED: This is a Cadence-generated document. How effective can it be if there’s a significant “other” camp?

MIKE: This point is what I find most interesting (and refreshing) about the concepts of EDA360. It’s not a Cadence document per se. It’s a blueprint of where EDA can go to find new customers and add new value. The piece articulates this in terms of current industry trends. It aims to exploit adjacencies in order to grow the market. And it clearly states that everybody needs to start thinking differently if it’s going to work.

ED: Rightfully, some people could view EDA360 as a Cadence effort to regain some of its industry momentum and influence that it has NOT had for years. Why should the rest of EDA buy into a company initiative?

MIKE: As I mentioned, I don’t see this as a company initiative. I see it as a call to action for our industry. We can all keep chasing the same budget, or find new customers and new budgets. A “dog food dish” image is spinning around in my head right now, but I’ll leave that discussion to the class historians among us.

ED: How will EDA360 affect the big 6: Atrenta, Cadence, Magma, Mentor, Springsoft and Synopsys?

MIKE: Wow, thanks for the flattering reference. It’s not every day that Atrenta gets mentioned in the same sentence with Cadence, Synopsys and Mentor. The reference is correct, however. Atrenta is now at a size, and a popularity level  that gives us the opportunity to make a real difference, if you believe the DeepChip readership.

How can we make a difference? First of all, a consistent focus on serving the new and emerging user base referenced in the EDA360 vision will help. That is, the software development community that requires advanced silicon to get its job done. The changes implied by EDA360 will take time – all design paradigm shifts do and they usually take longer than you like.

If a group of forward-looking companies can work together toward the vision, the time required to get there can be reduced. And that spells opportunity for everyone.

ED: How will EDA360 affect the medium sized EDA companies?

MIKE: I think the effect here will be similar, except many mid-size EDA companies may necessarily be slower to respond. Pursuing new markets and new customers takes discretionary resources, and many mid-size companies don’t have a lot of that.

ED: How will EDA360 affect the slew of small and startup EDA companies?

MIKE: For the current crop of startups, I don’t believe the effects will be that noticeable. Some will figure out how to re-invent themselves in new, emerging markets but most will continue on the path they are currently on.

The interesting part for venture-funded startups is what happens next. Will the venture community start writing checks for new business models that address the application software developer’s needs? If this happens, we’ll have another proof point that EDA360 is more than a nicely done White Paper.

– end –

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