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Archive for September 25th, 2009

Building a Better Team

Friday, September 25th, 2009

The NFL is kicking off again as coaches announce their final rosters, putting the most elite players on the field for a season of intense competition. And just like football, in business you need the best team in order to win, and that is why I am so pleased to be joining Apache as a result of their acquisition of Sequence this week. By combining our technology and resources we are creating a new EDA powerhouse – or should I say “low” powerhouse – to address one of the most difficult challenges in IC design.

By leveraging the strengths of our award-winning technologies, Apache expands its power and noise product offerings from SoC, analog/mixed-signal, and package/PCB designs to the RTL where greater opportunity for power optimizations can be realized. It’s a real “win-win” for everyone: our Design For Power customers have a more synergistic and complete low-power flow; our employees have expanded opportunities for collaboration and innovation; and the EDA ecosystem maintains a healthy, competitive balance for low-power design.

Low power is an area that affects every aspect of our lives. You can readily see how tiny power numbers can have major impacts in the latest Energy Star guidelines for various appliances and systems. Their chart highlights the typical energy profile and standby power for several common appliances. The line graph denotes the potential energy savings from following the Energy Star specifications; this graph is significant because it shows a system as ubiquitous as the external power supply has more potential power savings than a data center server!
Requirements and Projected Power Savings

Our customers can easily, and automatically, achieve power reductions in advanced SoC designs of 20 percent or more today, and we expect Apache to continue to lead in these efforts, while providing expanded opportunities for low-power design success. As our CEO Andrew Yang puts it: “This acquisition reinforces Apache’s business and product strategy for a complete offering of advanced power and noise integrity solutions for chip-package-system convergence.”

I have been championing the concept of “aggregation of smaller innovative private companies” to create a bigger footprint and solve bigger problems facing IP and SoC designers below 65 nm for some time. This has many positive aspects, particularly in today’s less-than-ideal economic conditions.

The private company executive still goes up against the big boys, and that requires innovation and determination. By acquiring the technology and skill sets to create a more competitive enterprise, while remaining small and nimble enough to take advantage of opportunities as they arise, the savvy entrepreneur can stay one step ahead.
EDA is also in a true Darwinian situation today – only the fittest companies will survive. Private companies are no longer heading for a quick IPO, or buyout from one of the Big Three (who have problems of their own), so the best option is to be in the marketplace with the best ideas, best service, and best people.

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