What Would Joe Do?
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.
June 14th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
Why was that? Is the idea of crowd sourcing chip design a tad too open source-ish for the EDA establishment, too community based and innovative? Who knows.
The panel discussion took place, nonetheless, several weeks ago and is available below. It’s a conversation between eFabless Co-founder & CTO Mohamed Kassem and TopCoder Co-founder Jack Hughes, now Director of Tongal and member of the eFabless Board.
Per the eFabless website, the company “applies collective and multidisciplinary community knowledge to all aspects of semiconductor product development.”
Per the TopCoder website, this company has a “community of over 1,000,000 design and technology experts [providing] on-demand capability, bandwidth, and velocity so you can do more.”
The dialog below reflects both Jack Hughes’ and Mohamed Kassem’s deep knowledge around the issues of building design communities, open-source technology, and crowd sourcing design.
June 8th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
Rhines has led Mentor Graphics since 1996, following a distinguished career at TI heading up the ginormous semiconductor group there. His PhD is in material science, but his interests are far more diverse. Additionally, his name and his company have been in the news of late because Mentor was just acquired by Siemens, where he continues to serve in a leadership role. Rhines received the Phil Kaufman Award in 2015, the EDA industry’s highest honor.
Given Dr. Rhines’ storied career as a keynote speaker, it’s not surprising that he came to our May 26th phone call fully prepared to articulate what he sees as today’s Grand Challenges in EDA. Rhines says there are “at least three big ones.”
June 1st, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
In 1990 while still at NeXT, Sanguinetti became convinced he could write a better simulator than Cadence’s VerilogXL, so working nights and weekends for several months he wrote VCS. The potential of the tool inspired Sanguinetti and Peter Eichenberger to found Chronologic. They launched the product in late 1992, and sold the company to Viewlogic in late 1994. Synopsys acquired Viewlogic in 1997, and VCS has continued on there as a foundational element of the company’s verification strategy.
Currently Sanguinetti is serving as Chairman at Adapt-IP, but given his long and distinguished history with EDA, he agreed to opine this week on Grand Challenges in EDA. In the following conversation, he offers two Grand Challenges in EDA and two in Security, the latter being an issue of rapidly growing concern worldwide.
May 11th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
That ad tells you two things: a) Some of the 400,000 IEEE members are thinking about long-term care, because they’re aging and don’t want to burden their children with caring for an elderly parent, and b) long-term care insurance is a respected product that any reasonable person would want to invest in.
Regarding these two conclusions: The idea that part of the IEEE is moving into their Golden Years is spot-on, but the idea that long-term care insurance is something worth buying is not so obvious.
If you’ve ever looked into buying one of these policies, you know they’re obscenely expensive. And they can’t be activated until: a) you’ve lived for 100 days in some kind of assisted living facility and can pass the incompetent-at-life-skills test, or b) more insidiously, you’re surviving by way of a life-assistance tube – feeding or oxygen – and you’re housed in some kind of skilled nursing facility for at least 100 days.
These are the two circumstances under which long-term care insurance will pay out. Long-term care insurance does not cover the costs of in-home care. Don’t be duped into thinking it does.
April 20th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
More fundamentally, why are there H-1B visas in the first place? Are there indeed too few American nationals with the training needed to push Silicon Valley’s tech agenda forward? And if those numbers are insufficient, why can’t the talent pool be augmented with off-shore workers laboring away in distant climes?
After all, distributed teams and remote computing have been a way-of-life for several decades here in the Digital Age. Remember all of the crowing at the dawn of the Era of the Distributed Team: Development would go on non-stop, 24×7. Wherever the sun is shining, designers are designing, was the received wisdom when it comes to global teams – and it continues to be.
So, why is it so important to bring people into the U.S. when they can work elsewhere, in their own locale – their efforts melded into the corporate whole via VPNs and/or crafty IT interventions that knit the project together seamlessly. All of that enhanced even further with the advent of The Cloud that Computes.
April 13th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
Gardner’s most important industry-wide contributions, of course, came during his eight years as Executive Director of the EDA Consortium. He had, however, many years of leadership and involvement in a variety of companies prior to his EDAC assignment, including roles at Verific, Signetics/Philips, AMD, Exemplar Logic, Design Acceleration, Bridges2Silicon, and ITeX.
Given that background, Gardner was able to bring decades of corporate wisdom to his role at EDAC and used it wisely to help craft the mission and work of the Consortium. During his tenure, the organization expanded its membership, became even more pro-active in promoting the common agenda for member companies, and helped to expand the visibility of EDAC across North America and into Europe and beyond.
March 30th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
As of today, Mentor Graphics has been sold and is fully owned by Siemens. Now Mentor’s arc of history will be decided by folks not residing in the green forests and hills of northern Oregon, and the Big Three cartel is no more. A cartel which has slowly consolidated the playing field over time until nary a startup can be seen.
The power vested in the Big Three EDA companies has grown steadily and inexorably over these years, as has their market dominance. Examination of recent numbers provided by the ESD Alliance Market Statistics Service indicates that today, in excess of 85-percent of the revenue earned in the EDA industry can be attributed to the combination of Synopsys, Cadence, and Mentor Graphics.
These three companies, their leadership, sales prowess, and increasing control of the conversation and technical direction in the industry has made for a powerful cartel. But again, that cartel is no more and the crystal ball predicting future dynamics within the EDA industry has gone dark.
March 30th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
This year’s keynotes and skywalks cover a range of topics: From how the IoT will make smart buildings smarter, to why hardware/software co-design is being relabeled as digital twin[ning], why III-V compound semiconductors are the wave of the future, how wearable devices will soon be able to snoop around and find out if you’re having a bad day, and – did we mention the IoT?
New this year, even politics will get its 25 minutes of fame with a keynote outlining what’s up with ICs in China.
In other words, at DAC 2017 the topics are all over the map. You no longer just hear about the nuts and nuances of design; now you hear as much about what’s going on downstream in the system that runs on the IC as you hear about designing the IC itself.
There is a deeper meaning in all of this, of course.
March 23rd, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
The four panelists include Synopsys Chairman & CEO Aart de Geus, Cadence President & CEO Lip-Bu Tan, Mentor Graphics Chairman & CEO Wally Rhines, and ARM CEO Simon Segars.
The April 6th event will be historic because these Big Four unequivocally define EDA and IP – just as Stanford, Huntington, Hopkins, and Crocker defined Railroads in the West – and it’ll be poignant because you’ll never see them together again. Too many changes ahead.
Of course, the ESDA panel will also be whimsical: You’ll know no more about these CEOs and their companies at the end of the evening than you knew when you first arrived. That doesn’t mean the evening won’t be entertaining.