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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

Kaufman Dinner: Philosophy redefined

November 6th, 2014 by Peggy Aycinena

It was impossible not to be in a celebratory mood if you attended the exuberant Kaufman Award dinner at the San Jose Marriott on Tuesday, November 4th, honoring this year’s nominee, Dr. Lucio Lanza. Next door to the Kaufman ballroom, where at least 250 well-dressed pillars of the EDA industry were eating, drinking, and reconnecting with old friends, was another ballroom where hundreds and hundreds more were celebrating early election results for one of the two mayoral candidates for San Jose, elections having been held that day. Combining the energies emanating from the two ballrooms, the whole hotel was really rocking.

So much so, the gentlemen selected to stand onstage and enumerate Lanza’s Kaufman-worthy accomplishments had difficulty at times being heard over the noise from next door, yet they had no difficulty whatsoever being understood: Lucio Lanza is to be widely admired, both for his visionary investments in many areas of design automation and for his prophetic stance on IP, where at least three decades ago he saw the business and technical promise of selling design blocks to companies looking to differentiate their chips in areas other than those that essentially reinvent the wheel.

Lanza SegarsLanza’s Kaufman Award intro was a tag-team affair between Mark Templeton, the founder of Artisan Components, and Simon Segars, the CEO of the company that bought Artisan in 2004 for $900 million-and-change, and here in 2014 stands as the undisputed leader of the IP industry, ARM Ltd.

Templeton and Segars spoke at great length from side-by-side podiums, describing Lanza’s childhood, college education, and trajectory through Olivetti, Intel, Daisy, EDA Systems, Cadence, Artisan, ARM, PDF Solutions, etc. It was a thorough telling of the Lanza story, followed by a standing ovation for the award winner when he took to the stage to receive his crystal obelisk.

Then the heart of the evening unfolded, Lanza’s own lengthy recollection of his journey.

Stepping to the front of the stage, his elbow resting jauntily on the podium at his side, Lanza spoke passionately and without notes for many captivating minutes about his career, about the ethos of the industry that he loves, about the optimism needed by those who work there to push the edges of the envelope, about the infinite opportunities to innovate that exist today, particularly in EDA, and how the future of the world depends on technologists wanting to leave this place at the end of their careers in better shape than they found it at the start.

Lanza de GeusLanza book-ended his commentary with sentimental references to a philosophy professor from his youth in Milan, a man who wept when Lanza declared he would study electronics rather than the classics. Later, as Lanza wrapped up his talk on Tuesday night, he again referenced the professor.

Lanza said that as profoundly grateful as he is for what has come to him in life, mostly he wishes that were the philosophy professor to know of these many things, especially the Kaufman Award, that he too would celebrate and validate Lanza’s life choices and accomplishments.

Those who were lucky enough to be at the glittering Kaufman celebration on Tuesday night have no doubt that the professor would be proud. When the likes of John Kibarian, Sir Robin Saxby, Simon Segars, John Sanguinetti, Sani Nassif, Aart de Geus, and the legendary Joe Costello all come together in one room to honor a colleague, the proof is overwhelming: The colleague’s career has been validated and the celebration’s complete.


Lanza FamilyThere are more things in heaven and earth,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


Editor’s note: Warm congratulations to the team from EDAC for putting on yet another spectacular gathering. Congratulations as well to EDAC, CEDA, ARM, Cadence, PDF Solutions, Gary Smith EDA, IC Manage, and Synopsys for sponsoring the event.


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