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 What Would Joe Do?

Archive for April, 2013

DAC 2013: a Taste of Texas

Thursday, April 25th, 2013


Surely EDA is a serious-minded industry, particularly when it comes to ramping up for the annual Design Automation Conference where it’s all work and no play. Nonetheless, sometimes it just has to be okay to relax a little and hence the spirit of this blog.

Thanks to native Texans Sonia Harrison and Kathryn Kranen of Mentor Graphics and Jasper Design Automation, respectively, as well as my vintage copy of the Tasting Bee cookbook from the University of Texas San Antonio Health Science Center, herein are included some mighty fine recipes – Calabazita, Migas, Golden Potato Casserole, Texas Chili, and a refreshing chaser – to try out and enjoy over the next few weeks as the 50th DAC draws near and the Lone Star State beckons.

Bon Appetit, y’all!


DAC 2013: Three marvelous awards in Austin

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013


If you’ve been on the fence about coming to the Design Automation Conference in June, hesitate no longer. There will be wonderful things to see there, and marvelous accomplishments to celebrate. At least three awards set to be presented in Austin will go to individuals who have contributed significantly to innovations and energies in the industry, each award being given in the name of a noted role model whose own contributions have pushed the envelope of the industry forward.


Boston: a personal reflection

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013


If you have ever run a marathon, or supported a friend or family member on the day of the race, you know what it is like at the finish line. All eyes are on that finish line — and the clock. The runners have reached the end of their physical limits and the people who are trying to see them finish are crushed together in a constantly shifting mass of onlookers, standing on tip-toes trying to see over the heads of the crowds to get a photo of their friend or family member at the very moment the runner passes through the gate. Nobody, absolutely nobody, is looking for danger.

Then, in the moments after the finish, several things happen. The runner is in this strange, mixed condition of total elation and on the verge of total collapse. It’s hard to describe if you haven’t done it, but that’s how it is. No runner at the end of a marathon, not a single one, is looking for danger. They’re looking for water and energy bars, they’re looking for those metallic blankets, they’re looking for the people who will give them their shirt and their medal, they’re looking for their loved ones, they’re looking for a place to collapse. And, their loved ones are looking for them. Nobody’s looking for danger.


Dark shadows: The ugly truth of acquisitions

Thursday, April 11th, 2013


DAC is almost here and spring is in the air, so why would anybody dwell on the negative? Because although the truth often hurts, it can be cathartic to get it out in the open, especially on the eve of DAC.

And the truth is that despite all of the celebrations, PR, and instant-bazillionaire stories associated with one company being acquired by another, these acquisitions actually precipitate a world of hurt – today, tomorrow, next year, and sometimes even on into the next decade. Acquisitions are never easy and the reverberations for the people involved often last for a long, long time.


Chairman Chang: TSMC leaves nothing to chance

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013


As TSMC Chairman and Founder Dr. Morris Chang made his way up the steps and across the stage on Tuesday morning to keynote at the opening of his organization’s 19th annual global tech tour, the ballroom in the San Jose Convention Center was plunged into silence, one imbued with a palpable sense of both reverence and awe. There were easily a thousand people in the room, but nary a sound. It was astonishing.

Chang positioned himself at the microphone centered on the broad stage and then delivered an equally astonishing twenty-minute address, without notes and only one or two slides. First, he acknowledged his audience …


EDPS 2013: surf, sand, serenity, semiconductors

Thursday, April 4th, 2013


Let’s be honest about this. The reason the Electronic Design Process Symposium takes place every year in Monterey is because of the surf and sunshine. Otherwise, this conference would be so much more appropriately located in Silicon Valley.

Oh well, where’s the harm? Just hop into your favorite woodie, be it a hybrid or an EV, don’t forget the suncream, sandtoys, and surfboard, and head on down to Monterey Bay for two days of great talks, good food, and quiet-ish contemplation, with an emphasis on -ish. The 20th annual EDPS awaits.


2013 Kaufman Award: U.C. Berkeley’s Chenming Hu

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013


The EDA Consortium and the IEEE Council of EDA together announced today the recipient of this year’s Phil Kaufman Award for distinguished contributions to EDA – Chenming Hu, TSMC Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School at U.C. Berkeley.

Per the Press Release: “Dr. Chenming Hu is being recognized for his contributions in device physics, device modeling, and device reliability through BSIM and BERT models that have transformed the semiconductor manufacturing and EDA industries. Dr. Hu’s team invented the revolutionary 3D finFET transistor structure that simultaneously achieves size and power reduction to enable continued scaling of the microelectronic chips.”

Prof. Hu is a marvelous choice on the part of both EDAC and CEDA, but it is important to note that his contributions in EDA are the basis for the Phil Kaufman Award, not his work on the finFET – even though the latter is the hot topic in semiconductors today.


Rhines: roadmaps built on EDAC and Gary Smith

Monday, April 1st, 2013


EDAC’s Market Statistics Service today announced Q4 2012 revenue and happily reported a 4.6 percent increase, year over year, compared with Q4 2011. Per the press release: “Sequential EDA revenue for Q4 2012 increased 9.8 percent compared to Q3 2012, while the four-quarters moving average, which compares the most recent four quarters to the prior four quarters, increased by 6.7 percent.”

Mentor Graphics Chairman & CEO Wally Rhines confirmed the industry’s good news in a phone call to discuss the MSS numbers. “A 6.7 percent increase is good and continues a reasonable mid-single digit trend in growth rate,” he said.

“Also, growth in the industry was pretty uniform around the world, except for Japan which showed a little weakness. Surprisingly, Europe was the strongest, while from a product category point of view, things remain strong across the front end, particularly in printed circuit boards. And interestingly, the survey data showed that the IP sold by EDA companies was stronger [in the market] than that sold by IP companies.”


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