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Archive for October, 2013

Startups: VC’s lay out simple rules of the game

Thursday, October 31st, 2013


This week, the roving seminar/networking organization Angel Launch hosted yet another session aimed at connecting fund-rich VCs with idea-rich startups. The afternoon event on October 30th was hosted by Draper University in San Mateo, and included a panel of VCs speaking to a range of issues, followed by a 90-minute pitch fest where small startups could buy a couple of minutes to showcase their companies in front of the panel and get feedback, and maybe even funding.

After 3 hours of listening in, it was a simple trick to assemble a short list of Do’s and Don’ts for anybody who has it in mind to start, grow, and succeed in creating a small business. The whole process sure seemed straightforward. It’s a credit to the VCs on the panel that they made it sound that way.

Standards: the Elephant jumped over the Moon

Thursday, October 24th, 2013


Let’s just be bold and identify the elephant in the room: If IP providers and/or EDA tool vendors really wanted standards that were ubiquitous, complete, and effective, they would have implemented them years ago. But they don’t. Similarly, if IP users and/or EDA tool users really wanted standards that were universal, robust and truly useful, they would have demanded them years ago. But they don’t.

The truth is that IP providers are happiest when they’re insisting that their proprietary interface is the best, and ergo should be the de-facto industry standard. And it goes without saying that whatever they’re providing inside of their black box is, of course, best-in-class. Certainly no standards are ever going to be inserted in there, and for good reason! Full stop.

Meanwhile, IP users clearly consider the problem of integrating IP into their projects as an accepted, even advantageous cost of doing business here in the 21st century. The way they integrate third-party IP into their systems is tantamount to a secret sauce – one that’s cooked up in NDA arrangements between the user and the provider – and not something any IP user wants to make public by way of standards, or any other device, for fear their hard work learning/mastering the integration of IP, if revealed, might give a leg-up to the competition.


IP Sampler: Self-evident truths

Thursday, October 17th, 2013


A brief sampler of recent announcements on the IP front reveal distinct themes in the marketplace. IP development and integration require a viable ecosystem of suppliers and tool vendors; automotive, audio and mobile apps continue to be important targets for IP developers whose customers seek better safety, longer battery life, and truer sound (particularly for sporting events and concerts of aging rockers); IP interfaces remain crucial; and platform-based design totally depends on further enhancements in IP technologies.

Additionally, acquisitions definitely pan out for the companies smart enough to snap up the good ones: Synopsys/ARC, Cadence/Tensilica, and Imagination/MIPS.


OneSpin’s Cloud vision: Knock, knock, knocking at heaven’s door

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013


If heaven is in the Cloud, OneSpin is knocking at the door, because last week the company announced its Cloud Computing System moved from beta to full-on availability on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. There it “provides secure and fully automated solutions for advanced formal verification, offering the functionality provided by OneSpin 360 DV-Inspect and 360 DV-Verify.”

This news is interesting if you think it’s a rarity for an EDA company to brag on their Cloud capability, the received wisdom being that neither EDA vendors nor EDA customers want to conduct their technical business outside of their own firewall. Given the less-than-remarkable traction that Cloud-based anything has had in the EDA/IP ecosystem, it was great to have a chance to speak to OneSpin’s Dave Kelf this week regarding his company’s news.

I asked Kelf why the Cloud’s been slow to catch on in the industry. He said, “Basically, the Cloud has been tried by a whole bunch of EDA companies with varying degrees of success. Even when I was at Cadence, we played with the Cloud but didn’t get anywhere at all. The reason is that most companies are concerned about their IP and don’t want to let it out of their office. They’re nervous about putting it out on the Cloud.


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