EDACafe Weekly Review May 9th, 2013

Coby Zelnik: Sage to the DRC rescue
May 9, 2013  by Peggy Aycinena


Declaring itself open for business this week, Sage Design Automation wants to make the world a better place: a) by providing automated design rule closure for advanced process nodes, and b) by lowering the barrier for and broadening the use of design-rule based checking, beyond foundry-provided rules, with a user-friendly GUI.

Speaking by phone with company CEO Coby Zelnik, previously CEO of Sagantec, I found he’s very jazzed about the new company and what it portends for the future. To explain Sage, he offered a brief history of things up to this point:

“Historically, there have been a lot of challenges in physical verification. In the last 20 years, it’s always been about speed of the tool and what size of chip it can process, and so on. All of these vendors were competing on how fast they could run DRC on the biggest chips. But nowadays,  these tools can utilize, tens, hundreds, or even thousands of CPUs to get things done well, so there’s no more bottleneck there.


There’s a guy working away in Bangalore today who would like to change your ideas about what you pay for EDA tools. His name is Kanai Ghosh and his tool suite is called edautils, as in EDA Utilities. I spoke with Kanai on Skype recently about his efforts.

He told me that after a number of years working in EDA and CAD tool development, he decided to design his own suite of tools. Now several years into that process, working nights and weekends in and around his day job, Kanai’s tools are available for free download on his website.

Per Kanai, edautils pays particular attention to problems associated with integrating IP into larger SoC projects – a critical problem, he says, because today’s design projects can include more than 250 pieces of IP. In addition, today’s SoC has “multiple power and voltage domains” which the designer has to deal with by changing the design on the fly as the design constraints evolve, the designer constantly making “tradeoffs between power/performance/area and the project budget.”

Carbon, an Essential Element of the Design Flow
May 9, 2013  by Nanette Collins

Carbon Design Systems was founded in 2002 and will be at this year’s DAC exhibitor in the ARM Booth (#921). The story picks up from here with Bill Neifert, Carbon’s co-founder who serves as chief technology officer and vice president of business development, and CEO Rick Lucier, who’s been at Carbon since 2006.

Carbon, Bill and Rick explain, recorded the sixth consecutive year of growth at the close of 2012. They attribute this to 14 new customers, all of whom recognize the need for fast virtual prototypes with a path to 100%, the solution Carbon is known for.

Come Celebrate DAC’s 50th Anniversary with Breker
May 7, 2013  by Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing

If you follow EDA at all, you’re surely familiar with the Design Automation Conference (DAC). This is the biggest annual show for the industry, combining a world-class technical program with a lively and comprehensive trade show. If any company in EDA does not exhibit at DAC, rumors of serious financial troubles or even imminent death are sure to circulate. Of course Breker is very much alive and very supportive of DAC. We’ve been there for several years now, but this year in Austin June 2-6 will be special for many reasons. Please allow me to explain.

For a start, this is the 50th anniversary of DAC and its predecessor conferences, so there is a big party at Austin City Limits and a number of other special events. This is also Breker’s 10th anniversary, so we’re celebrating at DAC as never before. Furthermore, this is the first time that DAC has ever been held in the high-tech hotspot of Austin, so there will be lots of new things to do and see even for long-time DAC attendees such as me. On top of that, Breker was founded in Austin and was headquartered there until moving to Silicon Valley two years ago. As one of the few EDA companies “born in Austin” we’re excited to return for this big show.

DesignWest Improv in San Jose
May 4, 2013  by Sanjay Gangal

Not EDA‘ is a new blog we have started to share stories and articles about things that have nothing to do with Electronic Design, but Electronic Design Industry Professionals would certainly find them interesting.

We asked the DesignWest 2013 participants to show their stand-up-comedic talents and they came through in a big way in the following hilarious acts.  These are the rising stars in the Techie Stand-up Comedy World. You may see them in the future at an ‘Improv’ theater. But just know that you saw them here first.

Be forewarned that some of the jokes are PG-13.

Feel free to send me interesting or funny stories, articles, videos, jokes that you want to share with our audience. You will have a chance to show off your talents at the DAC Conference in Austin on June 3 – 5 if you are attending.  Be sure to stop by our booth # 424 to have us record a joke or funny anecdote.

Entrepreneurship is Alive and Well in Our Industry
May 3, 2013  by Nanette Collins

The design and EDA communities have been preping since last June for DAC’s 50th anniversary to be celebrated in one notable high-tech city, Austin. The program’s been posted, keynotes announced and everything’s coming together nicely. The exhibit floor will be filled once again with a mix of new companies, long timers and emerging companies.

Over the next several weeks this blog will be dedicated to a few of this year’s DAC exhibitors, all of whom are emerging companies reporting growth, new customers and products and momentum. We’ll start with an impressive story about Verific Design Automation, a company that hails from a small town across the Bay from San Francisco called Alameda.

(Editor’s Note: Nanette Collins manages Verific’s Public Relations activities.)

Verific: Head and Shoulders above the Rest

DAC attendees who wander the exhibit floor must have passed by the Verific booth –– this year, in Booth #2141 –– a time or two and noticed that a giraffe serves as its mascot. You may have walked away with one of its plush giraffe giveaways, or entered your name into a drawing to win the large, stuffed giraffe on display. Attendees who look more closely will see a tagline that reads, “Head and Shoulders above the Rest.”

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