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 What Would Joe Do?
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.

DVCon: A moment in time

 
February 4th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

On a phone call last week with the DVCon 2016 General Chair, Synopsys’ Yatin Trivedi, and 2016 Technical Program Chair, eInfochips’ Ambar Sarkar, I was again reminded of two unalienable truths: DVCon is a labor of love for those who have been involved for so long, and without these people the conference simply would not exist.

DVCon is the granddaddy of all design and verification conferences. It’s been housed annually in Silicon Valley since before the beginning of time, this year from February 29 to March 3 at the DoubleTree Hotel. As inevitable a part of the yearly conference cycle as DVCon may be, however, always remember that nothing is forever.

Learning and networking opportunities like DVCon only exist because a group of over-achieving volunteers continue to infuse the event with their special brand of energy and credibility. The conference goes on and on, because of the selfless dedication of the folks who carve time out of their busy professional lives to lead it — to solicit, vet and assemble the technical program, and to solicit, vet and assemble the exhibition hall (a unique ‘science fair’ sort of a deal that opens every afternoon after the technical sessions have wrapped up for the day).

But these kinds of volunteers do not always step forward and even when they do contribute at this level, their efforts often go unnoticed. Hence, when you think of DVCon, remember to be grateful to the team that brings it to you. Nothing lasts forever, even if DVCon seems likes it could. End of sermon.

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Gary Smith EDA: The Remarkable Journey Continues

 
January 27th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

Gary Smith EDA has set the gold standard for EDA analysis for longer than GSEDA has actually existed. That’s because the core of the team has been together since way back in the 1990’s when the group was internal to Gartner Dataquest and had only one charter: Track the fortunes of the companies that then constituted the EDA industry.

Profound developments have unfolded since that time: Gartner saw fit to divest itself of an internal EDA analysis team in 2006, Gary Smith EDA was founded to embrace the market opportunity left to them by the Gartner decision, and the IP industry came out of left field and became as important a part of the chip design equation as the design tools themselves.

EDAC’s membership expanded to include companies like MIPS and ARM, the abstraction levels for design moved in fits and starts up and up, and Gary Smith’s affable expertise and relentless push for an ESL state of mind became one in the same in the minds of many in the industry. Then tragically last summer, Gary Smith succumbed to illness and a singular voice intimately associated with EDA industry was silenced. However, that was not the final chapter for GSEDA.

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Hypothetical Stock Index: Lip-Bu Tan vs. EDAC

 
January 20th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

Just short of 2 years ago, the EDA press corps sat in a room in the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara and enjoyed a face-to-face with Cadence CEO Lip-Bu Tan. A full report of that conversation is available here, but it is the closing segment of the report that informs this blog:

Finally, the Cadence PR machine closed out the hour by making sure the Press Corps was privy to the human side of CEO Tan. It would appear his wife does not make the tech-product purchasing decisions at home as much as do the two boys. Tan said that his two CMU-educated engineer sons are smart and savvy, and had advised him early on to invest in both Netflix and Tesla. Tan humbly acknowledged that he had, unfortunately, ignored those two pieces of advice and hence had lost out on the opportunity to win big in both movies and EVs.

So, here’s the hypothetical: Given Lip-Bu Tan’s involvement with a $2 billion investment group – efforts interleaved with his responsibilities as Cadence CEO – wouldn’t it have been wise to harvest stock tips from his press meeting back in March 2014 in Santa Clara?

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Yesterday & Tomorrow: EDA & IP shine … today, not so much

 
January 7th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

If you’re interested in the past, the third quarter of 2015 is a good place to start: the EDA/IP industries did very well from July through September last year. EDAC’s Market Statistics Service numbers, released this week, offer some of the details. Here’s the link if you want to delve in.

Easier however, is this brief summary of my January 5th phone call with Mentor’s perpetually optimistic CEO Wally Rhines, last year’s EDAC/CEDA Kaufman Award winner and this year’s EDAC spokesman [technically, every year’s].

Although there was snow and ice on the roads around Wilsonville, Oregon, when we talked, nothing could put a damper on Rhines’ sunny outlook for the industry he leads: “The third quarter last year was another great quarter for the EDA and IP industries. With 7.1 percent growth, it was really good and even stronger than usual.

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EDA: Not so good in the ‘hood … or is it?

 
December 10th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

If Wednesday night’s EDAC event at their headquarters in San Jose is any indication, things ain’t so good in the EDA ‘hood. There are no investors, no startups, no energy, no room for innovation, no luster, and ergo no young people.

Although, Jim Hogan – who shared the evening’s stage with Ansys/Apache VP & GM John Lee – said that if you think EDA’s bad, you should look at Google. According to Hogan, the luster’s gone at Google as well, buses transporting techies from Silicon Valley to their habitats elsewhere are running half empty, and nobody wants to be there anymore. The Google glam is gone, per Hogan, even though the overpaid youngsters he knows who work there are regularly pulling in salaries of $500k and holding an additional $500k in stock.

Hogan had no answer for how EDA was going to match those perks, but both he and Lee agreed that everything’s cyclical and therefore if everybody can just hold on for another 5 years, EDA will be back in fashion.

Meanwhile, it still ain’t so good in the EDA hood … or is it?

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Imperas: from Today to Tomorrow, with Intent

 
December 8th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

Simon Davidmann and the Imperas team are based near Oxford in the UK. Nonetheless, Davidmann is a regular at Silicon Valley events throughout the year. (Wouldn’t you like to know how many frequent flyer miles that represents?)

I spoke with Davidmann during one of his recent visits to Northern California. Per usual, the conversation was unscripted and informative; I asked for an update on Imperas, and Davidmann started at 35,000 feet.

“Let’s start with a bigger picture than just the company,” he suggested. “I said a long time ago that the challenge yesterday, today and tomorrow in technology is for people to move more towards the software and away from a strictly hardware-centric point of view. And that transition, of course, comes with the requirement that there be far fewer bugs in the software. Particularly if we expect mission critical apps to be dependable.

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EDAC: Let’s give thanks, then Cross the Chasm

 
November 26th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

It’s Thanksgiving and time to give thanks. Yes, we’re grateful for family, friends, and another year of opportunity in this tech-driven economy, but let’s also be grateful for EDAC. The Consortium is on a tear these days, offering programs, information, and networking with seemingly limitless zeal and energy.

Following two successful events in as many months – the Patents Panel in October and the Kaufman Award Dinner in November – EDAC is now offering in December another installment of their ongoing ‘Jim Hogan Emerging Companies Series.’ And given that EDAC’s food and wine in October and November were great, it’s pretty much guaranteed that this next event will really be gourmet. [hope, hope …]

But that’s not why EDAC’s December 9th event will be compelling; it’s the indefatigable Jim Hogan that will make it worth your while. Following a string of successful on-stage conversations over the last several years with seasoned EDA veterans such as Kathryn Kranen, Ravi Subramanian, and Joe Costello, the end-of-2015 edition will showcase Jim in conversation with Ansys GM & VP John Lee.

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Sorrow: like sands through the hourglass

 
November 19th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

The extraordinary Marie Pistilli passed away on Saturday, November 14th, six difficult weeks after sustaining profound injuries in an auto accident in early October.

News of her death came on the morning after the terrible events in Paris, and for a time it was difficult to sort out the different threads of grief and sorrow. The loss of many strangers blended with the loss of a single individual that I have admired and known personally for many years.

Now, some days later, it is clear that the world is still turning, the sun still comes up each morning and the stars are still arrayed overhead at night. The situation in Europe continues to be troubling and complex, but it is no longer layered over the emotions surrounding the loss of Marie.

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Synopsys hacked: Closes barn door, hires Mandiant

 
November 18th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

It’s pretty hard to believe that Synopsys has been hacked. And not just any hack, but 4 months’ worth, per the company’s own announcement, of some unauthorized ‘somebody’ having access to everything that Synopsys sells. Seriously? How could Synopsys have left the barn door open?

Consider Google. Last year in response to North Korea’s gleeful mega-hack into Sony as punishment for producing the then-not-yet-released satire, “The Interview”, the entire entertainment industry fled into their caves trembling. Very few were willing to distribute the movie because of North Korea’s proven prowess as a cyber-bully.

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Wally Rhines: just the 7th Inning Stretch

 
November 12th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

Joyful relief probably best describes this evening’s event at the Fourth Street Summit Center in San Jose where the glitterati of EDA gathered to honor Mentor CEO Wally Rhines with a long-overdue CEDA/EDAC-sponsored Kaufman Award. Joyful relief and a sense of delicious mischief.

One should have known something was up when the trio in the corner – during cocktails on the 7th floor overlooking scenic downtown San Jose – launched into a tango so compelling one was forced to look over to the source of the music. Surprisingly and not surprisingly, it included Bob Gardner on bass. Tango and all, the music sashayed its way through the lively mesh of conversation that defined the crowded room in that pre-dinner hour.

When enough yummy hors d’oeuvres had been consumed, and just the right amount of Jazz Cellars wine – the winemaker himself now serving as the Executive Director of EDAC – the gong sounded, doors opened at one end of the room, and huge clumps of happy revelers jostled into the adjoining hall to seek out their assigned tables and grab their chairs, all anticipating good food and great fun.

With at least 200 people in attendance, CEDA and EDAC did not disappoint. Of course, it’s hard to avoid a home run when the irrepressible Wally Rhines is at the center of the play, but this evening CEDA/EDAC delivered up something more akin to a grand slam.

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