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 Bridging the Frontier
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith is Executive Director of the ESD Alliance responsible for its management and operations. Previously, Bob was senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Uniquify, responsible for brand development, positioning, strategy and business development activities. Bob began his … More »

Join ESD Alliance for Workshop on Mastering Digital-Driven Marketing and Sales

 
September 19th, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

It didn’t take much coaxing to convince OneSpin’s Nicolas Athanasopoulos and Dave Kelf from Breker to offer part two of their Digital Marketing Workshop series on best marketing practices for an effective social media strategy. They will be back Wednesday, October 3, with Digital Marketing Workshop 2.0, “Agility, Training and Collaboration ––The three key ingredients to master digital-driven marketing and sales.”

Nicolas

Dave

This time around, CEOs, marketing executives, content creators or others interested in improving their company’s content marketing strategy will learn how three organizational shifts must happen for effective digitally driven marketing and sales.

  1. Agility –– Applying an agile mindset to marketing
  2. Training –– Learning about the newest digital marketing tools
  3. Collaboration –– Putting the pieces together

Section #1 will focus on the shift from traditional to digital marketing. According to Nicolas, digital marketing requires agility. He advises starting small, then analyzing and optimize the results. Then, repeat the process.

The traceability of all digital channels offers opportunities to evaluate the ROI for every budget dollar spent and requires a critical shift toward an agile mindset for marketing operations. Choosing the right tool, setting up a sophisticated analytics funnel and starting with small samples that can be dynamically adjusted are the ways to deploy a digital campaign, advises Nicolas.

Training will be covered in the next section. It will include an overview of the best tool stack to start digital marketing with a focus on training, the educational process for shifting to “digital” and how to master it through self-paced training.

Keeping up with the disruptive digital environment can be challenging but necessary to ensure a marketing plan fits today’s needs. Nicolas will provide information about free tools that provide help with the application and insights into the latest marketing techniques.
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And, the recipient of the 2018 Phil Kaufman Award is … Dr. Thomas W. Williams

 
August 31st, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

While Dr. Thomas W. Williams retired from Synopsys as a chief scientist and Synopsys fellow in 2009, the industry hasn’t forgotten him. Not in the least. He is this year’s recipient of the Phil Kaufman Award for Distinguished Contributions to Electronic System Design presented by the ESD Alliance, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, and the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA). 

Dr. Thomas W. Williams, this year’s recipient of the Phil Kaufman Award.

Dr. Williams’ contributions to design testability are so numerous, impressive and widespread, one blog post can’t include everything. Instead, I direct you to the news release (https://bit.ly/2wso31y) and a news article from EE Times (https://ubm.io/2Pgvq37), and hope you will help us fete him at an award ceremony and dinner. It will be held Wednesday, November 7, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at The GlassHouse in San Jose, Calif.

The Phil Kaufman Award is our industry’s more prestigious award and honors individuals who have had a demonstrable impact on the field of electronic system design through technology innovations, education/mentoring, or business or industry leadership. From all accounts, Dr. Williams is well deserving of the award established as a tribute to Phil Kaufman, the late industry pioneer who turned innovative technologies into commercial businesses that have benefited electronic designers. Last year’s recipient was Dr. Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for Research at the University of Pittsburgh, recognized for his pioneering contributions to algorithms and tools for analog and mixed-signal designs.

Please join us in honoring Dr. Williams. Registration information is available at http://bit.ly/2MwQdCN.

A reminder that first up in our Fall Events Calendar is “Crossing the Chasm: Building a Startup to a Successful Exit” with Jim Hogan and Amit Gupta. Open to the semiconductor and electronic system design ecosystem community, the event will be held Thursday, September 13, starting at 6 p.m. at SEMI’s corporate headquarters, 673 S. Milpitas Blvd. in Milpitas, Calif. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and the conversation will start at 7 p.m.

Jim Hogan

Amit is a well-known member of the electronic system design ecosystem who was co-founder of Solido Design Automation Inc. and served as its president and CEO until it was acquired by Mentor, a Siemens Business, in 2017. Jim, a long-time member of Solido’s board of directors, will interview Amit, now general manager, IC Verification Solutions Solido at Mentor, about his experience growing the two companies from startup to a successful acquisition.

Amit Gupta

The evening is open free of charge to all ESD Alliance member companies and is included in attendee registration for the Electronic Design Process Symposium (EDPS) held at SEMI’s corporate headquarters. Non-members and guests can attend for a fee of $50. Registration information can be found at: http://bit.ly/2KOxQU0

Also, we continue our informative Digital Marketing Event Series with OneSpin’s Nicolas Athanasopoulos and Dave Kelf from Breker Wednesday, October 3. Dinner and networking from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. will start the evening. The Digital Marketing Workshop 2.0, “Agility, Training and Collaboration –– The three key ingredients to master digital-driven marketing and sales,” will run from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. It is designed for CEOs, marketing executives, content creators or other from the semiconductor industry interested in improving their company’s content marketing strategy. The cost for ESD Alliance member companies is $30. The fee for non-members is $75. A blog post with more details will follow shortly.

Dave Kelf and Nicolas Athanasopoulos (at left) with Metrics’ Jens Andersen continue their Digital Marketing Series with “Agility, Training and Collaboration –– The three key ingredients to master digital-driven marketing and sales.”

Please send comments, feedback, questions and suggestions to me at bob@esd-alliance.org

Follow the ESD Alliance:

Website: www.esd-alliance.org

ESD Alliance Bridging the Frontier blog: http://bit.ly/2oJUVzl

Twitter: @ESDAlliance

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September 13 Event: Jim Hogan and Solido Founder Amit Gupta on Startup to Successful Exit

 
August 14th, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

Our next event welcomes back Jim Hogan with his popular “Crossing the Chasm: Building a Startup to a Successful Exit” series. This time, Jim will interview Amit Gupta, a successful serial entrepreneur and a former ESD Alliance board member.

Jim Hogan

Amit Gupta

The evening event, open to the semiconductor and electronic system design ecosystem community, will be held Thursday, September 13, starting at 6 p.m. at SEMI’s corporate headquarters, 673 S. Milpitas Blvd. in Milpitas, Calif. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and the conversation will start at 7 p.m.

Amit is a well-known member of the electronic system design ecosystem who was a co-founder of Solido Design Automation Inc. and served as its president and CEO until it was acquired by Mentor, a Siemens Business, in 2017. Many of us may not remember Analog Design Automation, another company founded by Amit acquired by Synopsys in 2004. Between the two Canadian-based companies, he raised more than $30 million in investment from venture capital, strategic, private and government sources.

Jim, a long-time member of Solido’s board of directors, will interview Amit, who is now general manager, IC Verification Solutions Solido at Mentor, about his experience growing the two companies from startup to a successful acquisition.

Managing partner of Vista Ventures, LLC, Jim has worked in the semiconductor design and manufacturing industry for more than 40 years. His experience as a senior executive and board director in electronic design automation, intellectual property, semiconductor equipment, material science and IT companies gives him unmatched insights into what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

We hope you can join us September 13 for an evening that promises to unlock a few mysteries of the startup culture. We will leave plenty of time for questions and networking.
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Taking a Peek at Design Ecosystem Pavilion at Next Year’s SEMICON West

 
August 2nd, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

As the ESD Alliance moves forward to become a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, we’re setting our sights on the inaugural Design Ecosystem Pavilion™ at SEMICON West 2019 in San Francisco’s Moscone Center July 9-11. 

We’re working from a clean, smudge-free whiteboard to create a new area designated for our Design Ecosystem Pavilion in Moscone South, a dedicated platform to showcase design from IP and EDA to embedded software and design services and more. By hosting the Design Ecosystem Pavilion during SEMICON West, SEMI brings together the entire electronics product chain through a variety of topical programs and tracks and fill out its mission to include the whole electronic product manufacturing chain.

Better yet, the Design Ecosystem Pavilion gives the Design and Design Automation Ecosystem™ a chance to design a forum to meet our community’s exact needs. We hope you will help us create a vibrant community event that highlights all of the cutting-edge technology the Design and Design Automation Ecosystem has to offer.

As we observed a few weeks ago, SEMICON West featured a host of topics relevant to the Design and Design Automation Ecosystem, from AI, IoT and Blockchain to Smart Data, Smart Transportation and Smart Manufacturing. And, that’s in addition to its traditional topics of semiconductor design and manufacturing.

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SEMICON West –– Colorful and Vibrant

 
July 23rd, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

Positive news and analysis from SEMICON West currently dominate the coverage throughout our industry onlines. No wonder. Colorful and vibrant were the words I used when I described it to someone who wasn’t there. 

I used vibrant because the program itself had an unbeatable 120 hours of content with 250 speakers, 17 tracks, TechXPOT sessions on 10 stages and the popular feature, “Meet the Expert” theater. An impressive lineup of 12 keynotes and executive panels offered compelling topics that ranged from “Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World” to multiple looks at Artificial Intelligence. Of course, no industry conference today would be complete without a session on autonomous driving and SEMICON West didn’t disappoint with “Autonomous Driving 101: Semiconductors in the Driver Seat.” One other noteworthy session was the “SEMI Bulls and Bears Panel.”

Of course, many attendees came to take part in the networking opportunities and SEMICON West didn’t disappoint here either with 15 of them, along with a welcome reception and several other receptions, and an after-hours party benefitting the SEMI foundation.

Colorful is the best descriptor for the conference theme, “Beyond Smart,” which sent a signal that SEMI vertical segments including manufacturing, MedTech, transportation, IoT and data are integral parts of the conference. Three Smart pavilions dedicated to transportation, manufacturing and workforce drew large crowds of attendees.

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A Successful Design Infrastructure Alley

 
July 5th, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

Enthusiasm at this year’s DAC was especially keen along Design Infrastructure Alley on the first floor of exhibits, a new initiative driven by the ESD Alliance and the Association for High-Performance Computing Professionals. The one long aisle highlighting the information technology infrastructure to design chips and systems was full of eager attendees. Many were DAC first timers checking out the offerings of 16 exhibitors, many of whom were also first timers, including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Azure/Microsoft and Metrics. ESD Alliance members exhibiting along Design Infrastructure Alley were Altair, Cadence and IC Manage.

The ESD Alliance Booth sat at the entrance to Design Infrastructure Alley, giving us an unobstructed view of the activities and a chance to talk with a wide variety of attendees with varying interests. IT managers were at DAC to gather information on ways to address electronic design’s unique computing and storage needs. The CAD managers we met needed to better understand how to manage and support the increasing use of cloud computing.

At the end of the aisle sat the Design-on-Cloud Pavilion full of useful presentations and talks by experts with answers to many of these challenges. A recurring theme in many of the often standing-room-only discussions was design in the cloud, a theme carried throughout DAC’s two floors of exhibits. However, cloud wasn’t all attendees heard about. Other presentations covered license management, grid computing, storage management and data security.

Credit for this new DAC initiative goes to Derek Magill, the architect of Design Infrastructure Alley and the emcee for the Design-on-Cloud Pavilion, with the full backing of the DAC Executive Committee. Derek has first-hand knowledge about the new IT infrastructure as engineering cloud architecture lead and global EDA license infrastructure lead at Qualcomm. He also serves as executive director of the newly formed Association of High Performance Computing Professionals and as chairman of the Centralized Enterprise License User Group (CELUG). The ESD Alliance has worked closely with Derek and CELUG, and for many years sponsored its co-located meetings at DAC.

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ESD Alliance Unveils itself as SEMI Strategic Association Partner at DAC

 
June 22nd, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

It’s hard to believe DAC is here already. We are excited to be back in San Francisco this year –– just up the road from Silicon Valley –– a great location. We look forward to seeing you there. 

We’re even more excited about our new life as a SEMI Strategic Association Partner. Our mission, name, activities and industry focus on the design ecosystem will continue on –– even stronger with our new association with SEMI.

The ESD Alliance membership will benefit by having access to SEMI’s global platform and many verticals, such as Smart Manufacturing, Smart Transportation and Smart Data. We are pleased to play a vital role in SEMI’s mission by bringing the experience, knowledge and thought leadership from the system design ecosystem, which is “Where Electronics Begins™.”

It’s really a misperception that some members of our community picture SEMI and its SEMICON trade shows as only targeting semiconductor manufacturing equipment –– an outdated view to be sure. SEMI’s expanded mission now spans the entire global electronics manufacturing chain, from concept and design through product manufacturing and end-market applications, and the reason for the natural fit between the ESD Alliance and SEMI.

Check out the program for SEMICON West 2018 and you’ll see a wide range of topics ––everything from IoT, AI, blockchain and smart transportation to smart data, flexible hybrid electronics, and MEMS and sensors. This is way more than just equipment and are topics that have our community buzzing. 

For many years our industry was “chip-centric.” Now chip design is changing in a fundamental way as we move into the system design era. We’re no longer supporting only the few companies who tailor their product designs to meet the next technology node for yet one more high-powered chip.

Instead, there are more designs than ever before. Chips will remain important, though as one, albeit key element of system design and manufacturing. IoT is transforming design techniques to get chips completed rapidly and affordably, while IP is driving system design through a higher level of abstraction. Both are adding complexity, but are huge, untapped opportunities for the system design ecosystem.

The other significant change is that, by necessity, design and manufacturing are now collaborative activities and increasingly closely tied. The good old days of separated design and manufacturing are receding into the past.

We’re moving from the provincial to the modern era. Design is happening everywhere. We have many more modes of communications and expanding chances to get creative. These changes beg for a new way of thinking about how the design ecosystem fits into the broader global electronics marketplace. Becoming a SEMI Strategic Association Partner gives us an opportunity to develop programs and initiatives that designers need, and tie that into the larger framework of the entire manufacturing chain.

Once we finalize our transition into SEMI, we will no longer be a sponsor of DAC. In considering the broader view of our community, we are bringing a new element to SEMICON West starting in 2019 in San Francisco. Our members will help plan, shape and drive the new Design Ecosystem Pavilion we are launching at next year’s show. This will be a dedicated platform with its own tracks, designed to showcase everything about design from IP to EDA to embedded software to design services and more. By holding this event as an integral part of SEMICON West, we bring together the entire electronics product chain at one large event.

Please stop by the ESD Alliance Booth (#1234) to see us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions and explain more about our expanded role by being part of SEMI.

Shaping the Future of IT Infrastructure for Semiconductor Design at DAC

 
June 7th, 2018 by Derek Magill

Note from Bob Smith, executive director of the ESD Alliance: This week, I turn over “Bridging the Frontier” to Derek Magill, engineering cloud architecture lead and global EDA license infrastructure lead at Qualcomm. Derek serves as chairman of CELUG and executive director of the Association of High Performance Computing Professionals.

Design Automation Conference (DAC) is only a few weeks away and excitement is building as plans finalize for the Design Infrastructure Alley, a section of the exhibit floor devoted to the infrastructure required to design chips and systems. Sixteen exhibitors and three days of insightful, thought-provoking content on engineering IT infrastructure topics make this a “must attend.” Just consider the cloud vendors populating the booths along the alley: Alibaba Cloud, Altair, Amazon Web Services, Cadence, Dell/EMC, FootPrintKU, Google, IBM, IC Manage, Metrics, Microsoft, Pure Storage Rescale, Six Nines, Suse and Univa. 

While DAC’s a great place to talk about new tools and methods to create more complex chips and systems, we rarely discuss the infrastructure needed to use these new methods and tools. Design Infrastructure Alley (Moscone West Level 1, booths 1237 thru 1255) bridges the gap between potential and execution and allows IT professionals, engineers and EDA suppliers to have a conversation about how best to enable design and verification. And, that brings us to the chock-full schedule of presentations at the Design-on-Cloud Pavilion theater with a host of panels and sessions on all things cloud. The complete program can be found at: https://bit.ly/2GkY2oo

Thirsty for more? Well, then join us as we continue the conversation at the Thirsty Bear Organic Brewery at 7pm for h’ors doevres, beer or wine, compliments of sponsors AWS, Cadence, Elastifile, the ESD Alliance and IC Manage. Thirsty Bear is two blocks down Howard from Moscone West to 661 Howard Street.
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Excitement Ahead Following an Eventful April

 
May 9th, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

 Without the slightest bit of exaggeration, the month of April was eventful for all of us at the ESD Alliance. We hosted two well-attended events and announced a memorandum of understanding where the ESD Alliance will become a SEMI Strategic Association Partner.

Just like many of our members, we are busy preparing for DAC. We’ll have more on our DAC plans in a few weeks, including details on DAC’s new Design Infrastructure Alley, an initiative from the ESD Alliance and Derek Magill of the Association of High-Performance Computing Professionals.

Meanwhile, I invite you to visit the ESD Alliance website for updates. Photos from the CEO Outlook are posted under Resources. The video from the panel discussion is available now as is a two-minute preview of the video for non-members. As you’ll see in the video, panelists were Arm’s Simon Segars, Dean Drako of IC Manage, Wally Rhines from Mentor, a Siemens Business, and Sonics’ Grant Pierce, all ESD Alliance board members. Ed Sperling, editor-in-chief of Semiconductor Engineering, served as moderator at the evening hosted by member company Cadence Design Systems.
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Implementing an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

 
April 19th, 2018 by Dave Kelf

Note from the ESD Alliance’s Bob Smith: Nicolas Athanasopoulos, OneSpin’s head of digital strategy, gave us an overview about what he plans to present next week at the ESD Alliance-hosted Digital Marketing Workshop. Now, we’ll hear from Dave Kelf, chief marketing officer at Breker, about why he’s so bullish on developing and implementing a content marketing strategy. We look forward to seeing Nicolas and Dave Thursday, April 26, at SEMI in Milpitas, Calif. We hope you’ll join us.

Engaging with prospective customers is one of the most increasingly difficult challenges all companies in the semiconductor industry face today. It’s even more challenging for small companies like those I’ve worked for over the years. And, it’s not getting easier using our traditional marketing and sales techniques.

Sure, most startups can attract a few early adopters, those guys who are the lifeblood of the fledgling organization that help drive early development. But getting key people at mainstream accounts to return emails or a phone call has become increasingly difficult. This is now a major problem for sales managers in general. Scaling a business has never been tougher.
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