Thursday, January 19th, 2017
Synopsys is undergoing a massive reset. Where not so long ago, it self-identified as the largest EDA company in the world, other words are now used to describe the enterprise: “Synopsys is at the forefront of Smart, Secure Everything with the world’s most advanced tools for silicon chip design, verification, IP integration, and application security testing.”
As compelling as that description may be, some observers are questioning whether the marked differences between maintaining expertise in chip design, verification, IP, and IP integration versus maintaining expertise in software integrity are too wide to make for easy co-habitation under one corporate roof.
Some would say putting EDA and chip design together with software security is not a good recipe for the long-term success of the company. But are these critics correct?
Thursday, January 12th, 2017
As we embrace a New Year, it is always a toss-up as to whether we are drawn to look to the past to understand our future, or to the future itself. The blank page. The untested waters. The mysterious frontier. Danger and opportunity seemingly mixed in equal proportions within the murky fog a-swirl in that not-so-crystal ball.
It’s within that spirit that I recalled this week a reverie that unfolded several years back while sailing the waters of Lake Gatun midst the Panama Canal. A reverie that attempted to synchronize the muscular optimism at the turn into the last century with the somewhat more tenuous outlook at the turn into this one.
That earlier reverie was tempered by remembering innovations such as the Vienna Secession, Futurism, Fin de siècle, Dada and Cubism – movements that propelled some observers from the nineteenth century into the twentieth – could hardly be said to reflect a stridently cheery outlook. Inversely, the angst and anxiety that oft-times characterize the narcissism of our own here-and-now – trends that have sometimes accompanied our complex journey from the twentieth century into the twenty-first – are profoundly repudiated by the engineering marvels that define this equally muscular New Age.
In truth, the past was never as rosy as we remember and rarely does the future fulfill our darkest premonitions. It’s simply the nature of the human comedy that we so thoroughly believe they do.
Thursday, January 12th, 2017
Are you building the IoT? Then you already know it’s a jungle out there.
Happily, the University of New Hampshire is offering an interesting service that should help. They’ll test your IoT device to see if it meets current Internet Protocal standards. Of course, understanding such a service presumes there are any standards in the first place – there are many, some very controversial – and also presumes you know how those standards are described within a veritable jungle of acronym-laden jargon.
But before we run through that rain forest of gobbledygook, let’s first review what the goals of the UNH InterOperability Lab are in establishing their IoT IP Testing Service. Those goals were laid out during an online press conference in December when the folks at the lab explained what they want to accomplish: Foster industry-wide collaboration, provide an extensive testbed for evaluating IoT devices, and train the engineers of tomorrow who want to help build the IoT.
These are clearly commendable goals, and the people behind the effort seem nothing if not cheerful and upbeat, but to fully understand what they’re doing you’ll first need to slog through the acronyms. Buckle your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Thursday, January 5th, 2017
IEEE’s CEDA and the ESD Alliance – with help from their friends at PDF Solutions, Cadence, Mentor, Synopsys and ACM SIGDA – will host a dinner on Thursday, January 26th, in honor of the 2016 Phil Kaufman Award recipient: Dr. Andrzej Strojwas, Keithley Professor of ECE at Carnegie Mellon and long-time CTO at PDF Solutions.
Unfortunately, the last several Kaufman Award dinners were such over-the-top events – the 2014 event in honor of Dr. Lucio Lanza awash in glamour and luminaries, and the 2015 event in honor of Dr. Walden Rhines replete with zany zeitgeist and a roast from Intel-legend Craig Barrett unparalleled in the annals of EDA history.
The organizers of this year’s event may, therefore, find it impossible to craft something anywhere close to the previous two dinners, if the metrics of energy and frenetic glad-handing are the only ones of importance.
Of course, these are not the only two metrics of importance and nothing is ever impossible in EDA or IP, so do not despair.
Thursday, December 15th, 2016
The New Year promises to be a dramatic one on many fronts, not the least being the ever-quickening pace of change in technology. Evidenced by the continued and enthusiastic attendance at conferences around the world, there are clearly so many opportunities to network, learn, and develop sales leads at these events. Bets are on that you’ll be attending at least one of these. Happy New Year!
* CES2017: Consumer Electronics Show – January 5-8 – Las Vegas
No one need tell you what CES encompasses: Here in its 50th annual edition, it will include everything. The 2017 keynotes will include addresses from the CEOs of Qualcomm, Huawai, Nissan Motors, and Nvidia. But the topics covered in this massive 100,000-attendee show will cover cars, wearables, healthcare devices, and every conceivable type of consumer clutter.
Thursday, December 8th, 2016
For the first time ever, a citizen of the EDA Nation will be President of the IEEE, with 400,000+ members, the largest professional organization in the world. Karen Bartleson is serving as IEEE President-Elect here in 2016, and will serve as IEEE President starting in January 2017.
Prior to her current role at IEEE, she was President for two years of the IEEE Standards Association, a group with total membership exceeding 17,000. And prior to her leadership there, as every citizen of the EDA Nation knows, Bartleson honed her myriad skills through 20 years of distinguished service at Synopsys.
Thursday, November 17th, 2016
It’s no secret that my 5-year old laptop died recently; the cries of anguish could be heard a mile away. What to do?
Step 1: Boot the system off Fedora on a data-stick, recover the lost files, and move on.
To do that required the mechanical workaround of duct-taping the power supply, which wouldn’t stay seated, to the chassis because the battery wouldn’t hold a charge, and laying the laptop on a squishy bag of ice to keep it cool enough long enough to do the off-loading. Happily, the tired old hard drive coughed up the goods, then sputtered one last time and said adieu.
Step 2: Buy a new laptop, which is far easier said than done if you’ve been out of the market for a while. Too many choices, too many price ranges, and too many metrics to consider.
To my great luck, however, my old HP died just days prior to CEDA’s Design Automation Futures Workshop. Right there on the Mentor campus in Fremont in late October, therefore, I had the opportunity to do some critical [secret] market research: What are the brightest minds in technology using these days by way of laptops?
Monday, November 14th, 2016
If you were watching Seattle beat New England last night, and not the news, you missed it: The rumor that Munich-based Siemens would buy Wilsonville-based Mentor Graphics.
This morning, of course, it’s no longer a rumor. The players themselves have announced that the deed is done.
Per the Press Release, “Siemens and Mentor Graphics today announced that they have entered into a merger agreement under which Siemens will acquire Mentor for $37.25 per share in cash, which represents an enterprise value of $4.5 billion.”
Wow, talk about just in the nick of time.
Thursday, November 10th, 2016
The American people have spoken and the electoral college will finalize the results shortly. The new President-elect is someone who has ridden into office on a tidal wave of enthusiasm for his professed commitments to a reduction in globalization, more tightly controlled borders, bringing off-shored jobs back home to citizens who deserve to have them, and a carefully articulated affection for nativism.
EDA is in trouble on all counts.
First of all, the EDA industry, and its associated fortunes, have been built on a powerful foundation of globalization; prominent members of the industry have quite literally lobbied long and hard to be sure that stays the case.
Mentor CEO Dr. Walden C. Rhines has, in fact, been honored multiple times by the industry’s consortium for his extraordinary leadership in helping to guarantee that EDA software is not unduly constrained by export restrictions, licensing inhibitions, or government nay-sayers.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
The best part about the ESD Alliance event last evening at the Cadence Headquarters in San Jose was that the topic material – how to prepare your enterprise to be acquired – is applicable to all manner of tech startups. And as the conversation was taped, the discussion will be available straightaway on the alliance website.
Of course, if you’re prepping for an acquisition you’ll need far more pointed advice than just this recorded conversation – you’ll need to hire experts to address your specific situation. Nonetheless, yesterday’s panel provided a great starting point.
Carefully moderated by Attorney Mark White [White Summers, Caffee & James LLP], who had clearly done his homework, each panelist added essential information to what was effectively a tutorial on pre-acquisition best practices.
Speakers included IP/Patent Attorney Dennis Fernandez [WhiteSummers], Tax Attorney Tom Maier [Fudderman Dupree], Investment Banker Neil Shroff [Orion Capital], Moodwire CEO Manu Chatterjee [founded Lampdesk, sold to Palm in 2007], and Silvaco GM for IP Warren Savage [founded IPextreme, sold to Silvaco earlier this year].
The conversation between these five gentlemen – two attorneys, a banker, and two CEOs who have survived acquisitions – was not at all glamorous. Instead, it was honest, calm, factual and amazingly short on hubris of any kind.
Turns out being acquired is a very humbling experience, that acknowledgment being one of the most important take-aways from the evening. Don’t go at the process with pretentiousness, because pride goeth before the fall, was the message.