Let’s change topics this month from various approaches to solving the verification challenge to ways to support semiconductor startups. For this, I turn to EVE’s Vice President of Sales Ron Burns. He has written a compelling article that will appear in the December issue of GSA Forum on the importance of building relationships between EDA companies and semiconductor startups. He advocates finding new ways to partner with these new ventures because our synergistic industries have a shared destiny.
From his perspective and one shared throughout EVE, today’s fabless startups are in search of external partners willing to work with them and help them become successful. These partners need to have a solid understanding of the challenges facing a startup, from funding, product development and globalized teams to core competencies and time to market. And, they need to be ready to offer assistance and support, as appropriate. In fact, with some creativity, an EDA company can be a collaborative partner able to help a startup navigate some of these challenges.
He writes convincing about the need to understand the process. What he means is this: Before engaging, the most pressing consideration is to establish a goal for working with a startup. Thinking in terms of a shared destiny helps clarify short-term revenue objectives and the lifetime value of the relationship, with regard to both cost of sales and support, and technology adoption.
EDA business models have always had some elasticity, and discounting software or loaner programs are common. Another is a flexible payment model based on projects and key milestones, with the understanding that the EDA company will help the startup reach these milestones. EVE, for example, offers a remote access model or peak-load onsite rentals.
Intellectual property (IP) is becoming more and more of an issue and many larger EDA companies are building portfolios useful for a new venture. While that makes great strategic sense, the startup may not have the resources to buy it.
There are other options, including several offered by EVE. Our scalable emulation system supports a wide range of verification components that include transactors, memory models and speed-rate adapters. The transactor catalog comprises, among others, PCIe, USB, FireWire, Ethernet, AHB, AXI, TLM 2.0, Video, HDMI, I2C, I2S and JTAG components. The Memory Model catalog includes virtually all popular types of memories, such as DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR5, mobile and flash parts. A Speed-rate Adapter catalog offers PCI, USB and a multi-media card with a complete set of video protocols.
We may license any verification component for the duration of the project and offer a program to startups where they can mix in and out certain pieces for the duration of the project under the same license.
The possibilities for EDA companies to build supportive relationships with startups are endless, especially for creative companies willing to do something different. The strategy is to align with the company’s goals and the EDA company’s tools, services and IP.
Watch your email in box next month for your link to the GSA Forum article by Ron Burns and be sure to let us know if you agree that the EDA and semiconductor ventures have a shared destiny.