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.
EVE: a question of Focus
May 30th, 2012 by Peggy Aycinena
Founded in 2000 in France, EVE has been a highly visible part of the EDA landscape for over a decade. In the week prior to the Design Automation Conference in San Francisco, I spoke by phone with Lauro Rizatti, General Manager and Marketing VP for EVA-USA, headquartered in Silicon Valley.
Lauro said that EVE is not releasing specific news at DAC because the company is launching the newest version of its ZeBu emulator in November 2012, the ZeBu-Server2 based on the Xilinx Virtex 6. Following that, EVE will be releasing the ZeBu-Server3 in mid-2014 based on the newest version of Xilinx Virtex 7. It’s not a coincidence that EVE’s hardware, built around ‘off the shelf’ FPGAs, enjoys a new release every two years.
Per Lauro: “Working with FPGAs, we don’t have to wait for internal, custom chip development to move forward. And because we use Xilinx, we ride their technology road map. Every 2 years they launch a new platform, and every 2 years so does Eve. We think we have a brilliant strategy, and the results can be seen in our earnings. We recognized $52 million revenue and $62 million in bookings over the last 12 months.”
“Mentor and Cadence, on the other hand, use their own custom chips in their emulator boxes, and need on average up to 4 years between releases. The frequency with which they introduce new machines versus our frequency is telling: 4 years versus 2.
“That doesn’t mean that Mentor and Cadence don’t have significant market share, of course. Clearly, they see emulation as a critical part of their product offerings. In Mentor’s recent earnings announcement, for instance, [CEO] Wally Rhines and [President] Greg Hinkley repeated the word ‘emulation’ 44 times.
“Wally and Greg also announced that Mentor will soon surpass Cadence as Number 1 in the emulation market – Cadence currently has 70 percent of the market. But they also acknowledged that Mentor was late in delivering version 2 of their Veloce emulator which has caused a hit in the company’s revenue.
“Market-leader Cadence, in our opinion, is also having difficulties releasing the next version of their Palladium box due to delays in design. At EVE, we see all of this as an opportunity to further capitalize on our own product strategy.”
I asked Lauro if EVE has the bandwidth to meet the additional sales opportunities he is envisioning.
He said, “Sure! We have just opened a new location in France and a new manufacturing facility that more than doubles our capacity. We have also gone from 110 to over 130 over the last year, our new employees all being in R&D. And we will be adding another 10 to 15 employees in R&D over the next year.
“We also have quite a bit of cash in the bank – we are definitely self-funded – which gives us additional nimbleness in pursuing our goals. With our new facilities, new employees, and aggressive revenue predictions, we believe EVE is the future of emulation. We have a very clear path forward!”
Speaking of emulation, I asked Lauro if there are particular companies in the tech sector that EVE emulates.
Lauro said, “First of all, Apple is absolutely impressive. They have great, well thought through products. Intel is also very impressive, although a very different company from Apple. You can also look to Qualcomm and Broadcom, two additional giants in the business who do great work.
“What we learn from such companies is that success is completely dependent on focus; to be focused is key to success more than anything else. Of course, good design is important and requires good thinking, but success also requires that you don’t spread your energies out to multiple avenues, which often translates into missing schedules and product release targets.
“At EVE, we have a simple goal: To be the best at what we do. Performance is our selling point, and continues to be our selling point. Our machines have huge capacity, even bigger than our competition. Even our limitations with slower compilation and setup times have been under control. For debugging, at this point we are on par, or superior, to all other providers. And our pricing is extremely competitive.
“As a result, we have increasing numbers of customers in North America, Korea, Japan, and Europe – all of the big-name customers in those locations. If and when we do lose out to the competition, it is because they are bundling their emulation solutions in with their all-you-can-eat offerings.
“In fact, TI is using our machine and reported that they were able to boot Android OS on their OMAP 5430 platform mapped inside our emulator in 7 minutes, 30 times faster than their recent experience with a competitor’s box. They claimed they cut between 6 and 9 months off the development cycle of the 5430. The quality and pricing of the EVE emulator means that our technology sells itself.”
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