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Computer History Museum: the Future of War is Here

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

 


Despite the title of this week’s Computer History Museum evening event
– The Future of War – both New York Times cyber-security reporter Nicole Perlroth and Endgame CEO Nathaniel Fick spent a lot more time talking about the past and the present than the future.

That’s because their conversation wasn’t really about war; it was about the lives that you and I are living in the here and now. And those lives – at least the privacy and security concerns associated with those lives – are mind-numbing in today’s Orwellian Digital Age.

So, are you worried about cyber-security?

Are you worried about nefarious entities hacking your email, your social media accounts, your dating history, your purchasing history or credit scores? Worried that they’ve got access to your phone, your laptop, your watch, your Alexa, your TV, refrigerator, light bulbs or thermostat? Worried that they’ve infiltrated your bank, your doctor, your medical insurance provider? That they’ve cyber-attacked your power grid, regional emergency response capabilities, state and national legislatures, your federal government, your Army, Navy, CIA or FBI? Even your elections?

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ICScape: At the Junction of Math & CS, EDA & IP

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

 


ICScape is both an EDA company and an analog IP provider.
The company’s EDA tools “cover the complete AMS design flow”, its SoC design tools are “point solutions for design closure”, and the ICScape IP catalog includes a variety of analog IPs.

Jason Xing is CEO of ICScape. Prior to co-founding the company in 2005, he was at Sun Microsystems for 7 years. Xing has two PhDs, in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and in Mathematics from the University of Louisiana. Xing is an accomplished technologist, and a well-informed observer of the semiconductor industry.

We spoke last week about his company and the future of the technology wherein he positions his offerings.

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Weebit Nano: Achieving success with ReRAM

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

 


Memory technologies are changing, per Weebit Nano CEO Coby Hanoch.
In a recent phone call he said, “The current technologies, Flash and so on, have been around for a long time and are starting to hit the wall, which is why we’re seeing people going to things like 3D memories.

“At Weebit, however, we are focusing on Resistive RAM – developing the technology with help from Leti Labs in Grenoble, France. With the assistance of Leti, we have been able to develop a 4k-bit memory array on 300-nanometer wafers.

“Now we are working to achieve our goal of 40 nanometers before the end of the year. We expect to have single cells at 40 nanometers very soon, and will work on 4k-bit arrays immediately after that.”

Weebit Nano is not the only company pursuing new, alternative options for memory.

Per Hanoch: “There are actually quite a few players in this market – including big companies like Intel and Samsung – all working on different types of technology, because not everyone agrees as which technology will be the future of memory.

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Sigasi: Best of both worlds, Hardware & Software

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

 


Dr. Philippe Faes  and Dr. Hendrick Eeckhaut together founded Sigasi in 2008
. Since that time, Belgium-based Sigasi has accomplished the impossible: Taking the best elements of software design and applying them to hardware design. The Sigasi Studio IDE takes the type of feature-rich development environment that facilitates software design and redefines it for hardware design.

Early one morning last week, I spoke by phone with Hendrick Eekhaut, who serves as CTO at Sigasi. He was in Belgium, I was in California. After our conversation, he headed out to dinner; I headed in for breakfast.

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Teklatech: Work smart, Not hard

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

 


Copenhagen-based Teklatech is such an interesting example of an EDA company
: similar in many ways to other organizations in the ecosystem, but highly unusual as it is based in Denmark. When Founder & CEO Tobias Bjerregaard and I spoke by phone this month, he began with the motivation for his company’s technology.

The discussion then moved to the business challenges within EDA, a topic that Bjerregaard said he always enjoys discussing. As he feels that Teklatech is providing critical solutions for today’s semiconductor designs, it’s not surprising that his enthusiasm here is palpable, for the industry and the trends that drive it.

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DVCon Europe 2017: Munich and So much more

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

 


DVCon Europe 2017 will be in Munich next week
, a great destination for tourists and technologists alike. This is the fourth year the conference will occur in Europe, the original Silicon Valley based version now in its 27th year.

DVCon Europe General Chair Oliver Bell and I spoke this week by phone about the upcoming event; he was in Germany and I was in Northern California. I offered that Munich is a beautiful city, and he agreed.

“The conference will be in downtown Munich,” Bell said, “at the Holiday Inn. This is a really nice hotel, located near to Marienplaz, and easily reachable from public transportation.”

Bell then laughed and acknowledged that, as famous as the city’s Oktoberfest may be, it’s better that DVCon is being held several weeks after that particular annual exuberance has run its course. The city’s just that much more calm and enjoyable, he noted, after the hundreds of thousands of Oktoberfest revelers have returned to their normal pursuits.

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Helic: Blending the Long View with Pragmatic Realities

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

 


Taking guidance from their website
, Silicon Valley based Helic provides “EDA software that mitigates the risk of electromagnetic crosstalk in high-speed and low-power SOC designs.”

The company’s products include VeloceRF, an inductive device compiler and modeling tool which provides DRC clean devices for geometries as low as 10 nanometers; RaptorX, a pre-LVS electromagnetic modeling tool; and Exalto, a post-LVS RLCk extraction tool that captures unknown crosstalk including electrical, magnetic, and substrate coupling.

In other words, Helic is a company with a very technical portfolio of products, which can be daunting if one wants to speak with the leadership.

But that was not the real problem posed during my recent conversation with Helic President and CEO Yorgos
Koutsoyannopoulos
. The last time the two of us spoke, he made a bet I could not pronounce his name correctly. I won that bet, although Koutsoyannopoulos then proceeded to pronounce my name correctly as well, something that fewer than 1-in-10 in EDA can actually do.

Alas during our recent conversation – the one documented below – the Helic CEO could still pronounce my last name correctly, but I stumbled over his.

In my defense, Koutsoyannopoulus has 16 letters, 56% of which are vowels, and I hadn’t practiced in advance of our call. My last name only has 8 letters, but 63% of them are vowels, so mine is actually more difficult to pronounce. I should not have let Yorgos best me in this contest. Next time I will be better prepared.

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ANSYS: Big Challenges attract Best Engineers

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

 


Vic Kulkarni is well-known in the EDA community
as co-Founder, CEO and President of Sequence Design from 1995 until the company merged with Apache in 2009, which in turn was acquired by ANSYS in 2011. Kulkarni is now VP and Chief Strategist in the Office of CTO for the Semiconductor Business Unit at ANSYS.

There is little Kulkarni has not seen in his 30+ years in Silicon Valley. Although our conversation here mostly highlights current successes at ANSYS, it’s clear he continues to be wildly enthused about the broader promises of technology and the exciting efforts underway to create tools and strategies to bring those promises to fruition. Vik Kulkarni’s enthusiasm is the kind of thing that continues to make this industry so vibrant, and makes careers herein appealing for the next generation of engineers.

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Glioblastoma: SynBio, AI, Medical Science, 11th Commandment, and the Future of Thought

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

 


During a recent reunion of immediate family members in North Carolina
, we received devastating news that a nephew out in California, a husband and father of three, had just been diagnosed with a glioblastoma, one of the most horrifically aggressive types of cancer.

Back in North Carolina, the reunion group included a nursing administrator, an MD specializing in genetics, a computer scientist expert in AI and ML, two bio-pharma research chemists – one an expert in CAD tools for protein synthesis and the other with expertise in targeted chemo therapies for oncology – as well as a couple of electrical engineers thrown in for good measure.

In other words, it was a custom-built conference for discussing cell physiology, brain function, clinical protocols, targeted therapies, genetic mutation, and the emerging science and software of semiconductor-based artificial intelligence and neuromorphic computing.

What the conference attendees wanted was to give hope to the nephew in California, despite the brutal reality of the current state of the art of treatments for virulently malignant brain tumors. However, after many hours of discussion in North Carolina the group concluded that the situation in California was dire, even hopeless, given what is currently known about glioblastoma.

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Blue Pearl: Best kept Secret in EDA

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

 


Silicon Valley based Blue Pearl Software
is the quintessential EDA company: privately held, run by a seasoned team of EDA experts, and with a portfolio that includes tools for generating timing constraints, CDC analysis, both synchronous and asynchronous, RTL verification tools for methodology standards and design rules, and design management tools.

Similarly, Blue Pearl’s Ellis Smith is the quintessential CEO in EDA. Before founding his current company, Smith was CEO and President of Orora Design Technologies, CEO at TransEDA through that company’s IPO in 2000, and CEO at Exemplar Logic through its merger with Mentor Graphics in 1995. His experience also includes a stint as CEO at CrossCheck Technology, and years spent at Duet Technologies, CADAM, Versatec, Dictaphone, and 3M. Pretty much the whole history of the EDA industry in one CV.

It would be an excellent idea to sit down for a very long conversation with Ellis Smith to discuss his take on the history of this oh-so-interesting industry. Unfortunately, time was of the essence when I did get the chance to talk with him earlier this month, and the focus was principally on Blue Pearl.

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DownStream: Solutions for Post Processing PCB Designs
TrueCircuits: IoTPLL



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