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

Arm Momentum: Segars embraces exciting times

 
November 9th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Simon Segars has been CEO of UK-based ARM Holdings since 2013.
When he first joined the company in 1991, he was employee No. 16, and was there when the company went public in 1998.

Last year, Japan-based SoftBank purchased ARM for $32 billion, just a few days after the Brexit vote, and took the company private. This year, SoftBank sold 25-percent of ARM to Saudi Arabia, in a deal that was part of the company’s (and kingdom’s) Vision Fund juggernaut.

Simon Segars has more than survived all of this change. He is still CEO of the most ubiquitous IP provider in the world, and now also has a seat on the Board of Directors of SoftBank.

As I prepared for my phone call with Segars last week, I was pretty sure he would decline to answer the bulk of the questions on my list. Surprisingly, however, he answered all of them, with ease and on the record. We started with the most astonishing news of all: ARM has changed its name.

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UltraSoC: Sangiovanni-Vincentelli now leads Board

 
November 2nd, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


U.C. Berkeley Prof. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli has just been named non-Executive Chairman of UltraSoC
, an IP provider based in Cambridge. He was in Rome when we spoke this week by phone about the news.

UltraSoC CEO Rupert Baines was also on the conference call, dialing in from the UK, while I was in Silicon Valley. The conversation began with a discussion of Sangiovanni-Vincentelli’s ongoing research work in Singapore.

Three sentences, four geographies: What more proof is needed that the semiconductor industry is indeed global?

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Cliosoft: Managing the IP Reuse Ecosystem

 
October 26th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


When Cliosoft Founder and CEO Srinath Anantharaman and I spoke recently
, it was an energetic conversation. Not surprising, given that the company has 250+ customers worldwide, and exhibits at conferences around the globe.

Adding to the momentum for Cliosoft: In May, the company announced designHUB: “A collaborative IP reuse ecosystem that enables companies to efficiently reuse all types of IP, including semiconductor IP, scripts, PDKs, documents, methodologies, etc. within the company, along with the user experience.”

Anantharaman is clearly enthused about the possibilities designHUB presents for the company’s customers, and is equally enthused about Cliosoft itself.

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Bob Smith: Expanding horizons for ESD Alliance

 
October 19th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


The Electronic System Design Alliance began life as the EDA Consortium over 25 years ago
. Early last year, EDAC morphed into the ESD Alliance thanks to the efforts of many, not the least being ESD Alliance Executive Director Bob Smith, now in his third year serving in that role.

As currently I am mid-way through the process of speaking to the leadership of all of the member companies in the ESD Alliance, it was good to talk recently with Smith and discuss his vision for the future of the organization. His enthusiasm mirrors that of the many companies I have spoken with so far.

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DAC 2018: New venue, Fresh start, Great leadership

 
October 11th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


After two years in Austin, the Design Automation Conference is returning to San Francisco
for two good reasons: The City’s Moscone Convention Center has been thoroughly remodeled since DAC’s last visit in 2015 – enlarged, reworked, modernized – and the industries that fuel DAC – electronic design automation, system design, IP, and embedded systems – have a powerful and historic presence in Silicon Valley, a where place many in these disciplines work and live.

Hence June 2018 will witness a glamorous return to the Bay Area for DAC, and all its stakeholders, not the least being next year’s General Chair and Notre Dame CSE Professor, Dr. X. Sharon Hu.

In a recent phone call, Hu said it’s particularly exciting to be coming back to San Francisco, because the City is one of her favorite venues.

In preparation for DAC in 2018 and to similarly enhance anticipation for her Executive Committee – that group of hard-working volunteers who work the magic each year bringing DAC to fruition – Hu recently hosted a team building exercise here in 2017 in the just-reopened Moscone West portion of the massive complex. The group made sushi, and with pictures of the cook-off trending on Twitter, she laughed when I asked how it all went.

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C-Sky Microsystems: Big Dreams and a 100-year Vision

 
October 5th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Hangzhou C-SKY Microsystems
, a 32-bit CPU vendor, became a member of the ESD Alliance in 2016 and was described at the time as “the first IP company from China to join.”

Founded in 2001, C-Sky has “developed 7 types of embedded CPUs covering a wide range of embedded applications including smart devices in IoT, digital audio and video, information security, network and communications, industrial control and automotive electronics. It is the only embedded CPU volume provider in China with its own instruction set architecture, the Yun-on-Chip architecture developed in conjunction with Alibaba.”

C-Sky is a growing IP company serving an enormous market. I spoke recently by phone with Dr. Xiaoning Qi, CEO at C-Sky, who was in California attending meetings. No stranger to Silicon Valley, he previously served at Intel, Rambus, Synopsys, and Sun, after completing his Ph.D. under Prof. Robert Dutton at Stanford.

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Sage: Who Checks the Checkers?

 
September 28th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Sage Design Automation offers iDRM
– integrated design rule management – a “true design rule compiler that enables quick graphical capturing of design rules and uses them as executable expressions for Specification, Communication, Validation, DRC, Analysis, Deck validation and coverage, and DRC deck generation.”

But this is not about Sage, it’s about how Sage fits into an evolving industry from the point of view of Raul Camposano, EDA veteran, former CTO at Synopsys, and currently CEO at Sage. Like so many serving in leadership roles in the industry, Dr. Camposano is a man of good cheer and an optimistic observer.

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The Cognitive Era: Don’t be fooled, it’s already over

 
September 14th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


In a unique new partnership between the ESD Alliance and San Jose State University
, SJSU alum and legendary EDA VC Jim Hogan will be speaking on campus this coming Wednesday evening, September 20th, at 7:00 pm.

Hogan’s topic is revolutionary, the Cognitive Era, and the official message behind his talk is all things bright and beautiful:

“Cognitive science is a diverse field which is unified and motivated by a single basic inquiry: How does my education, career and life change in the Cognitive Era? How do people, animals or computers ‘think,’ act and learn? To understand the mind and brain, cognitive science brings together methods and discoveries from neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, philosophy and data/computer science.”

The unofficial message, however, ain’t so cheery. That’s because we already know how people think, act and learn. They do it all around us all the time, and so do we. We don’t need the sciences of neurology, psychology, linguology, philology, or digital-ology to explain it to us.

What we do need is for those disciplines to protect us from all that science and engineering has produced, the stuff that’s now overwhelming our sense of wholeness and health, sanity and serenity.

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IC Manage: A Roadmap out to Forever

 
September 7th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Talking to Dean Drako is probably a little like talking to Elon Musk:
Both men have their fingers in multiple pies. In Drako’s case, and apropos to semiconductor design, one pie includes the IP and EDA industries.

Dean Drako founded IC Manage in 2003, a company whose products are targeted at IC designers who need help coordinating their efforts, integrating third-party IP into their design equation, and accelerating design. Interestingly, at the same time Drako was founding IC Manage, he was also founding Barracuda Networks, and ran both companies simultaneously for a number of years.

Today 14 years later, Drako still serves as President and CEO of IC Manage, but is ‘only’ on the board of Barracuda. Lest you think his plate is not full enough, however, he’s also currently President and CEO of Eagle Eye Networks.

Prior to our phone call last week, I researched Drako on Wikipedia: “Drako has written a number of articles on Open Source, Big Data, and SoC design. He is a frequently invited speaker on the topic of entrepreneurship [and] is a holder of 27 patents, including patents in network security, network protocols, digital circuits, software, biochemical processes, and sporting equipment.”

Yeah, pretty much just like talking to Elon Musk.

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Conversations: The Pulse of the Ecosystem

 
August 31st, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Between now and the end of 2017
, it’s my hope to speak to every company currently a member of the ESD Alliance. These companies vary in size, interests, product offerings, and leadership outlooks. The one thing they share, however, is a sense that together they enhance the ecosystem within which electronic systems are designed.

Over the last several months, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with several companies in the ecosystem about Grand Challenges in IP and EDA – Sonics, CAST, Silvaco, Synopsys, Adapt-IP, and Mentor Graphics.

Now the plan is to speak with companies that are specifically members of the ESD Alliance with the following questions in mind:

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DownStream: Solutions for Post Processing PCB Designs
TrueCircuits: UltraPLL



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