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Excitement Ahead Following an Eventful April

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

 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.

Implementing an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

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.

Expanding Our Orbit

Monday, April 16th, 2018

The big news this week is from the ESD Alliance and SEMI. We announced a memorandum of understanding where the ESD Alliance will become a SEMI Strategic Association Partner.

Jointly, the ESD Alliance and SEMI will provide great value to our collective membership. Under the SEMI global infrastructure, our geographic reach will expand considerably, a goal I set when I became executive director three years ago. As a global organization and platform that’s been around since 1970, SEMI will provide us with the opportunity to further expand our reach and activities beyond North America. Our members will have access to SEMI’s global platform with offices and forums all over the world. 

Otherwise, nothing else will change and working together will expand the charters of both, representing our member companies as we’ve been doing and promoting their value as vital components of the global electronics ecosystem. Our board of directors will continue to govern the ESD Alliance’s distinct community, setting the organization’s direction and will function as an Executive Advisory Council of SEMI.

In the past, SEMI’s focus had been on electronics manufacturing and largely on the semiconductor supply chain. Its mission now encompasses the entire electronic product design and manufacturing chain. With the ESD Alliance, SEMI strengthens its ability to serve the entire electronic product manufacturing chain and benefits with direct engagement from our design ecosystem expertise. The charter of our technical programs, initiatives and events complement SEMI’s technology communities and activities that include advocacy, standards and environment, health and safety.

Technology Marketing for the Digital Age

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

Note from Bob Smith, executive director of the ESD Alliance: I’m traveling this week and turned over my EDACafe blog post to OneSpin’s Nicolas Athanasopoulos. Nicolas and Breker’s CMO Dave Kelf graciously agreed to do a Digital Market Workshop for ESD Alliance members and anyone else interested in learning best practices for inbound-driven digital marketing. We hope you will join us Thursday, April 26!

Digital transformation is a frequently used buzz-phrase for all kinds of digitization processes. While talking about the potential challenges and opportunities for this mighty “digital age,” a lot of people forget that for marketing in particular, it arrived a long time ago. Almost all target groups that you may want to address today are affected by smartphones, using online research, and probably active social media users. And, for sure, this development applies to the electronic design ecosystem.  For this reason, it’s mission critical for the marketing, sales, operations and communications groups of companies offering goods or services to the electronic design community to adopt the recent changes as fast as possible.

Back in late 2016, when OneSpin’s CEO Raik Brinkmann offered the opportunity to build up a digital strategy for OneSpin from scratch, I already had a clear impression about the products around formal verification. I knew how we could target prospects in the digital environment using search engines, social media or newsletters. However, the EDA industry was fairly new to me. Coming from 3M where I successfully established a customer-centric approach to its corporate digital marketing, I was used to technically driven marketing with strong unique selling propositions that grant you by definition a competitive advantage and low emotional engagement.

Join the ESD Alliance for a Workshop on Digital Marketing

Thursday, March 29th, 2018


Lest you think that the CEO Outlook is our only event in April, let me surprise you with an opportunity to learn from experts on how to apply digital marketing to the electronic system design ecosystem.

Yes, we’re hosting a Digital Marketing Workshop Thursday, April 26, with Nicolas Athanasopoulos, OneSpin’s head of digital strategy, and Dave Kelf, chief marketing officer at Breker. Both companies are corporate members of the ESD Alliance.



Nicolas and Dave will offer presentations on the best marketing practices for an effective social media strategy. They will advise us on ways to implement a web-based content and lead-nurturing plan with cost-effective and proven digital marketing techniques. It’s a terrific opportunity for CEOs, marketing executives, content creators or anyone else from within our ecosystem to learn about implementing or improving their company’s content marketing strategy.


Our speakers neatly broke the workshop into four sections:

  1. Introduction –– Tech marketing in the digital age
  2. Inbound –– A strategic model for digital marketing
  3. Digital Marketing –– Tactics that fit the semiconductor industry
  4. A Digital Marketing Case Study

I encourage you to attend. Dave Kelf is a well-known and respected marketing executive who’s managed to cross the chasm from tried-and-true marketing practices into an experienced digital marketer. Nicolas is a relative newcomer and already made his mark at OneSpin as he drives the digital transformation, reaching the community through multi-channel experiences. Both are willing and eager to share their knowledge.

The Digital Marketing Workshop will be held at SEMI in Milpitas, Calif., beginning with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. It will run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The cost for the workshop is $30 per person for ESD Alliance member companies, $75 per person for non-members. Seating is limited. Registration information can be found at:

We have a few seats left for the ESD Alliance-hosted CEO Outlook Thursday, April 5, at Cadence Design Systems’ Building 10 in San Jose, Calif. Panelists are Arm’s Simon Segars, Dean Drako of IC Manage, Wally Rhines from Mentor, a Siemens Business, and Sonics’ Grant Pierce. Ed Sperling, editor-in-chief of Semiconductor Engineering, will serve as moderator. Each will present a brief opening statement about the future of the industry that will lead to a discussion about trends and opportunities. An interactive and moderated audience discussion will follow.

The ESD Alliance CEO Outlook –– A Chance to Network, Compare Notes on Industry Trends

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Greetings from Dresden, Germany! I’m attending DATE (Design, Automation & Test in Europe), a lively conference sponsored by the ESD Alliance covering a range of topics related to electronic system design.

A reminder that Thursday, April 5, is the date of the 2018 ESD Alliance-hosted CEO Outlook, a rare chance to hear from C-level executives and an opportunity to compare notes on trends and networking with other attendees. Attendees will be able to talk with panelists to learn their thoughts on the semiconductor design ecosystem before they head to the stage. Panelists are Arm’s Simon Segars, Dean Drako of IC Manage, Wally Rhines from Mentor, a Siemens Business, and Sonics’ Grant Pierce. Ed Sperling, editor-in-chief of Semiconductor Engineering, will serve as moderator. Each of the four panelists will present a brief opening statement about the future of the industry that will lead to a discussion about trends and opportunities. An interactive and moderated audience discussion will follow.

The Popular CEO Outlook is Back

Monday, March 12th, 2018

The 2018 CEO Outlook is scheduled for April 5 and you are invited to join us!

This year, we welcome back Arm’s Simon Segars and Wally Rhines from Mentor, a Siemens Business, and thank Dean Drako of IC Manage and Sonics’ Grant Pierce for agreeing to participate in the discussion about the semiconductor design ecosystem. Ed Sperling, editor-in-chief of Semiconductor Engineering, genially accepted our invitation again this year to moderate the panel made up four of our directors.

Chip Design Verification Community’s Travel to San Jose for DVCon

Monday, March 5th, 2018

DVCon is a yearly gathering of the chip design verification community held at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose. I’m certain its organizers and steering committee are pleased with attendance, the program, the exhibit floor and the opportunity for attendees to network. The mood was serious and intent on learning –– after all, chip design verification is a huge and complex problem. Nonetheless, everyone was in great spirits.

According to a post-conference news release: “Overall attendance, including exhibit-only and technical conference attendees, was 836.  Attendance was further enhanced by 241 exhibitor personnel that also had access to the panel sessions and keynote address, for a total of 1,077 participants. ”

The ESD Alliance was there and talked with the enthusiastic and energized community of chip design verification experts and aficionados, including vendors on the exhibit floor. Don’t take my word for it. Instead, check out a few photos of our member companies’ booths and the many of their staffers.


ESD Alliance, 11 Member Companies at DVCon in San Jose Next Week

Monday, February 19th, 2018

San Jose should be hopping next week as chip design verification enthusiasts from all over arrive for the annual DVCon conference and exposition that runs Monday through Thursday, February 26-March 1, at the DoubleTree Hotel.

If you plan to attend, stop by our tabletop in the foyer directly across from the entrance to the exhibit area. You can find out about the ESD Alliance’s charter, programs, initiatives and ongoing events. Exhibitors and attendees can pick up copies of its latest newsletter and giveaways for members and companies interested in joining.

While Monday’s a full day of tutorials, attendees will stick around for the DVCon Expo and Reception that will be held from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. The exhibit floor is open Tuesday, February 27, and Wednesday, February 28, from 2:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. as well. The tutorial program continues Thursday.

Scenes from the Recent Phil Kaufman Award Ceremony and Dinner

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

The Electronic System Design ecosystem community turned out in force for the Phil Kaufman Award Ceremony and Dinner honoring Dr. Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for Research at the University of Pittsburgh. The evening, hosted by the ESD Alliance and the IEEE Council on EDA (CEDA), was sponsored by ACM SigDA, Arm, Cadence, Mentor, a Siemens Business, PDF Solutions and Synopsys.

I’ll post more photos in a few days. Meanwhile, here are just a few highlighting the special evening.


Phil Kaufman Award Ceremony and Dinner attendees.


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