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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.

H-1B Visa: de Geus’ tragedy looms large

 
April 20th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


The White House this week
issued an Executive Order launching a complete review of the H-1B visa program as it pertains to high-tech workers. Is this a relief for those involved in using these devices to bring in tech talent from overseas and want to get it right? Or does it harbor a deepening of what Synopsys Aart de Geus terms “a tragedy” – the ongoing difficulty of getting easy access to the global talent pool that Silicon Valley professes to need?

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.

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EDA loses an Advocate: Bob Gardner will be sorely missed

 
April 13th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Every industry needs advocates
, and Bob Gardner served with distinction in that role for many years. When he passed away this week, the industry lost both an articulate spokesman, and someone who had a deep and nuanced understanding of how the unique group of companies involved in EDA and IP come together to provide the crucial underpinnings of a global semiconductor design chain.

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.

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Siemens snags Mentor: Cartel canceled, Gary Smith vindicated

 
March 30th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Today is the day some EDA purists thought would never happen
: The disassembling of an industry status quo that’s been in place for over 20 years

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.

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CAD Tools: No longer agnostic w.r.t. end-product systems?

 
March 30th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


You need no more evidence
than the just-published agenda for June’s Design Automation Conference in Austin to prove that the EDA industry is now a complex amalgamation of technologies, applications and markets. Not to mention people.

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.

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ESDA’s Big Four Panel: 20 Questions that won’t be asked

 
March 23rd, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Something historic and poignant
is taking place on Thursday, April 6th, that should be of interest to absolutely everyone in the EDA and IP communities. The four most powerful men in these two industries will be on stage for an ESD Alliance panel discussion led by Semiconductor Engineering’s Ed Sperling.

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.

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Job Openings: Can EDA Predict the Future

 
March 9th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


This is a simple post with just two messages
. First, EDA is hiring. All over the globe. Mentor Graphics lists over 200 openings, Cadence has almost 300 openings, and Synopsys has a staggering 900+ openings worldwide.

Of course, EDACafe’s own Mark Gilbert could have told you this. It wasn’t necessary to scour the websites of the Big Three in EDA to learn about the many jobs currently available in the industry, most for software developers, not surprisingly.

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DVCon Panel: Problems in Paradise

 
March 2nd, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


DVCon generates a lot of respect
, and for good reason. Engineers have attended this conference for over 25 years to further refine their skills in the area of design and verification. Yet, there’s a problem in paradise.

In an industry like EDA that’s super dominated by just three players, there’s little if any room in the industry – or at a conference like DVCon – to showcase the ideas and innovations of the Small Guys. The Big Guys teach tutorials and present papers; the Small Guys get to hang posters in the hallways.

All of that was supposed to change tonight thanks to the sponsorship of the ESD Alliance and OneSpin Solutions, as well as Vista Ventures’ Jim Hogan.

Tonight, six of the Small Guys in verification appeared on a panel moderated by Hogan hoping to get their 60-minute shot at fame. A post-Happy-Hour hour in which to lay out their case for customers to come and sample the kind of innovation that everyone knows is the watchword of technology startups, particularly in EDA.

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Qualcomm’s Lu Dai: Energetic leadership for Accellera

 
February 23rd, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Accellera has just announced that Lu Dai, 
Senior Director of Engineering at Qualcomm, is the new chair of the organization.

Although Intel’s Shishpal Rawat, recently retired from Intel, is a hard act to follow as Accellera Chair given his long, productive years leading the organization, if anyone can do it Lu Dai can. He’s enthusiastic, energetic, optimistic, and an engineer – and not necessarily in that order.

Before talking about Accellera in our phone call this week, Dai spoke about DVCon, anchor tenant of Accellera’s outreach to design and verification engineers around the world. This next week, the Silicon Valley version will unfold in San Jose, with DVCon India happening in September, DVCon Europe in October, and the first-ever DVCon China in April.

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SmartFlow’s Ted Miracco: Hacking Issues Weigh on Minds of EDA Execs

 
February 16th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Ted Miracco is CEO of SmartFlow Compliance Solutions
, a company based in Los Angeles that provides automated tools to help software vendors combat piracy, copyright infringement, and under-compliance. At the company’s recent Anti-Piracy Summit, Miracco was impressed by four specific concerns of executives attending from the EDA and IP industries. The following blog, contributed by Miracco, describes those issues.


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The Four Hacking Issues Weighing on the Minds of EDA Executives

I like spending time with executives from the EDA industry, in part because I used to be an executive in that industry. Last fall at the SmartFlow Anti-Piracy Summit, I had conversations with a dozen or so executives and heard a new urgency in their voices for help solving the challenge of unauthorized use of software and semiconductor IP.

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DesignCon 2017: Videos posted & Winner named

 
February 9th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena


Thanks to the staff of EDACafe
, yet more video interviews are now available on the website. This content, recorded at last week’s DesignCon, continues to capture the technical expertise of those who pursue market excellence with today’s technology.

Those interviewed include: TE Connectivity’s Nathan Tracy, Rambus’ Mohit Gupta, Anritsu’s Joe Mallon,  CST’s Klaus Krohne, Keysight Technologies’ Stephen Slater, DVT Solutions’ Brian Shumaker and Signal Microwave’s Bill Rosas, Mentor’s Dave Kohlmeier, ESD Alliance’s Bob Smith, Cadence’s Sam Chitwood, and Asteelflash’s Matheiu Kury.

You can see all of the DesignCon 2017 videos here.

Also of interest this year at DesignCon in Santa Clara, Steve Yamaguma was the winner of the Amazon Echo offered in a raffle in the EDACafe booth at the show.

Read the rest of DesignCon 2017: Videos posted & Winner named

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