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 What Would Joe Do?

Archive for 2013

Sanjiv Kaul: Calypto and HLS to seize the day

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

 

Privately-held Calypto is on quite a clip these days, with developments at the company being closely followed by the press. That’s not completely surprising given that a new CEO came on board earlier this year, Sanjiv Kaul, and a new VP of Applications Engineering was named just this week, Thomas Bollaert being promoted into that role. I had a chance to speak with CEO Kaul recently. Following is a snapshot of that conversation.

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Antun Domic: in hindsight, Mead-Conway Revolution at DATE

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

 

Not all of the 1600+ people who attended DATE 2013 earlier this year in Grenoble were able to fit into the room where the panel celebrating 30+ years of the Mead-Conway VLSI Revolution took place. Those who could, however, were treated to a lively 90 minutes of conversation on what that revolution meant to the world of electronics and chip design.

Organized by Synopsys’ Marco Casale-Rossi and moderated by U.C. Berkeley’s Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, panelists included Berkeley’s Jan Rabaey, IMEC’s Hugo de Man, CMP’s Bernard Courtois, Columbia University’s Luca Carloni, and  Synopsys’ Antun Domic.

Although I was among those disappointed to have missed the event, I was able to speak after the fact with Antun Domic. He described the ambiance of the SRO session in Grenoble and enumerated several of the points laid out by the panelists, starting with their praise of Lynn Conway and Carver Mead’s ground breaking text book, published in 1980, Introduction to VLSI Systems.

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Coby Zelnik: Sage to the DRC rescue

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

 

Declaring itself open for business this week, Sage Design Automation wants to make the world a better place: a) by providing automated design rule closure for advanced process nodes, and b) by lowering the barrier for and broadening the use of design-rule based checking, beyond foundry-provided rules, with a user-friendly GUI.

Speaking by phone with company CEO Coby Zelnik, previously CEO of Sagantec, I found he’s very jazzed about the new company and what it portends for the future. To explain Sage, he offered a brief history of things up to this point:

“Historically, there have been a lot of challenges in physical verification. In the last 20 years, it’s always been about speed of the tool and what size of chip it can process, and so on. All of these vendors were competing on how fast they could run DRC on the biggest chips. But nowadays,  these tools can utilize, tens, hundreds, or even thousands of CPUs to get things done well, so there’s no more bottleneck there.

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DAC 2013: Austin City Limits

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

 

Wednesday night, at the outset of the EDAC Jim Hogan/Joe Costello event, the DAC 2013 General Chair, Synopsys’ Yervant Zorian, took the stage to present a plethora of reasons why you should be coming to DAC in Austin in June. Here’s his list in the order in which it was presented:

No. 7 – When the DAC Executive Committee went looking for Austin-based EDA folks to assist in connecting the design community in Texas to the folks who plan DAC, the EC expected 3 or 4 persons to respond. Instead, over 35 people raised their hands and hence the Austin-based DAC committee is huge and has done a great job.

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Cicero to Costello: Know your audience, breathlessly

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

 

Joe Costello came to town tonight and wowed his acolytes.

Thanks to EDAC, Kathryn Kranen, Steve Pollock, Bob Gardner, Jennifer Cermak, Jill Jacobs, Gloria Nichols, and CadenceJim Hogan hosted Costello on stage at Cadence’s San Jose Headquarters for a 90-minute event that was one part Reunion Tour [lotsa Cadence alums in the audience in addition to the two on stage], one part Pity Party for Mentor Joe & Mentor Jim [oh so many visits to VCs who failed to embrace a startup’s pitch], and one part Brag Fest for VC Joe & VC Jim [oh so many visits from potential startups whose pitch we simply could not embrace].

Add up those parts and you’ve still only got half of the content of tonight’s event; the other half of the Joe Costello Love-in consisted of a detailed Lesson in Rhetoric. Perhaps not surprising, given that the event was titled: Joe Costello Shares His Secrets for Communicating a Compelling Company Story. What is surprising is how closely Costello’s advice to his adoring audience mirrored Cicero’s Five Canons of Rhetoric.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 …

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