Many readers of this Blog will know Luc Burgun as the 2010 EDA360 Idol winner who performed the specially tuned version of the Rolling Stones classic “Satisfaction,” charming attendees at that final Denali Party.
Luc is so much more than a good musician. For starters, he is CEO of EVE, a role he’s held since founding the company in 2000, unusual for the EDA industry. He and I sat over cups of espresso one overcast afternoon in San Francisco to catch up on his life. One of the first things we remarked on was how few technical founders of EDA startups remain in that position after the first few years.
But first, let’s talk about his background. Luc was born in Brest in Brittany, France, in the Year of the Dragon. After a short pause of refection, he notes that the Dragon years, which reappear every 12 years in the Chinese calendar, have played a central role in his life, something he expects will continue.
We move on to his family and early life. Luc is the youngest child of five, three boys and two girls, and the only one to pursue a career in technology. An interest in math came early, then computer science at the university. As he got more curious about how a computer works, he began studying hardware and electronics, then software. Soon after, he was specializing in EDA. The first simulator he wrote was an instruction set simulator (ISS) running on an X86 with the old CPM operating system. That was in 1985. From there, he was exploring synthesis, layout, timing analysis and formal verification. He even designed his own CMOS cells and eventually earned a Ph.D. in logic synthesis. You could say that in a stroke of prescience, Luc studied the entire spectrum of the EDA tools that would eventually become mainstream.