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 The Breker Trekker
Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson is vice president of Marketing for Breker Verification Systems. He previously served as Product Management Group Director for Advanced Verification Solutions at Cadence, Technical Marketing Director in the Verification Group at Synopsys and Vice President of Applications Engineering at … More »

Just What is a “Breker” Anyway?

December 23rd, 2014 by Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing

As we predicted, last week’s guest post by Lauro Rizzatti on the origin of the names for some EDA companies and their products proved quite popular. We’ve found that mixing in some general industry news among the highly technical posts keeps our blog more lively and draws new readers, some of whom may tune in for the novelty but stay for the technology. Of course, we always welcome your comments as to whether or not we’re providing the type of content that’s interesting and valuable to you.

One naming story didn’t make it in before the deadline last week. Verific was one of the EDA companies asked about the origin of their name. President and COO Michiel Ligthart passed the question on to founder and CTO Rob Dekker, who said, “That will remain a mystery. But if you really want to know, ask the giraffe.” To find the giraffe, and maybe the answer, check out Verific’s Web site. To find the origin of the name “Breker Verification Systems” just continue reading. We promise to be less mysterious than Rob.

Let’s dismiss the obvious guesses first. If you search for “breker” you will find us at or near the top, but you will see references to a German auction house and a famous (many would say infamous) German sculptor. There’s also an actor named Eric Breker who has been in many movies and TV shows. None of these has any relation whatsoever to our company name. You also might find that “breker” in Dutch translates to “breaker” in English. A Dutch visitor at one of our trade show booths originally pointed this out to us.

Although the Dutch word is also not the source of our name, it’s in the right direction for the actual story. So let’s open the curtain and tell the tale. Breker’s co-founder and CEO Adnan Hamid was in the weekend MBA program at the University of Texas at Austin. Early in the first semester, the class was introducing each other and explaining what they did for a living. By the time it got around to Adnan, he assumed everyone was bored and didn’t want to hear a detailed technical explanation of his job, so he said that he broke things for a living.

It broke up the class and broke up the boredom as he explained that he worked for AMD verifying the design of microprocessors. It’s the job of the verification team to “break” the chip by finding lingering design bugs. Thus, Adnan earned the nickname “The Breaker” in the class. He took pride in this designation and remembered it when he started his own company. A play on “breaker” for the name seemed obvious, but he didn’t want confusion that he might be demolishing buildings or verifying circuit breakers.

In the end, “Breaker” became “Breker” and the rest is history, or rather history in the making since we’re still a young company. We pronounce the name “breck-er” (rhyming with “checker”) but we’re not terribly insulted if people pronounce our name as “breaker” since that is its origin. We named this blog “The Breker Trekker” in part to remind people of our preferred pronunciation. Call us whatever you want, but don’t forget to call us when you’re about to start verifying your next big chip or SoC. We can break your design before your customer does.

Since it’s holiday season in much of the world, we wish all of you the best. We’ll take a few days off but will be back blogging next week, with an updated list of the “Top 5 Holiday Gifts for the Verification Engineer.” Until then, stay safe but have fun.

Tom A.

The truth is out there … sometimes it’s in a blog.

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