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 What Would Joe Do?
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

Atrenta: Building on long-term relationships

June 27th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

Atrenta VP Mike Gianfagna graciously extended an invitation to attend an event this evening in Grenoble, France. Jointly sponsored by CEA-Leti and Atrenta, Mike said the event was to be held on the CEA-Leti campus “in conjunction with Leti Innovations Days” and would “toast the progress Atrenta has made at its R&D facility in the city.”

It would have been great to have been there, as I was in Grenoble back in March 2011 when Atrenta first inaugurated its R&D center at the Micro and Nanotechnologies Innovation Center (MINATEC) in the city. The 2011 event was marked by a wonderful wine-enriched reception and a series of speakers articulating Atrenta’s vision in partnering with MINATEC. Those speakers included Atrenta CEO Ajoy Bose and STMicro’s Executive Vice President Philippe Magarshack, among others. You can see my original 2011 post below for more details.

Alternatively, if you want to know more about this evening’s reception in Grenoble, I have cut-and-pasted Mike Giafagna’s notes immediately below that he sent summarizing the event after the fact. It was not surprising to learn that Ajoy Bose spoke this evening, but to learn that Philippe Magarshack was also there, as he was in 2011, gives pause.

Read the rest of Atrenta: Building on long-term relationships

In the Moment: Ellison as Connoisseur

June 26th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

This morning, San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum previewed their newest exhibition for the press, In the Moment: Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection. It opens to the public on Friday, June 28th, and is well worth a visit.

Yes, Mr. Ellison is the fifth richest person in the world and clearly we all know he’s spent a lot of that wealth on real estate, airplanes, a variety of things that float, and  most recently in reconfiguring the San Francisco waterfront in anticipation of the upcoming America’s Cup event.

What is less well known is that Ellison has also converted a portion of his wealth into art – art from Japan specifically, some of it many centuries old. It’s that collection, or a small part of it, that’s currently on display at the Asian Art Museum across the plaza from City Hall in the heart of The City.

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Obilisetty, Hassoun, Snyder, Willis: ignore networking at your own peril

June 20th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

Great if you were able to attend DAC in Austin this month. Even better if you were able to attend the Monday afternoon Pavilion Panel on the how-and-why of networking for career growth. The topic may seem irrelevant to some of you, but networking sits as the center of successful career development and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

Sashi Obilisetty, Director, R&D at Synopsys, assembled a seasoned panel of experts to discuss the issue – How networking is crucial to professional growth – with the June 3rd panelist including Tufts University Professor and DAC 2014 General Chair, Dr. Soha Hassoun, Calibra Consulting President Jan Willis, and Blue Pearl Software VP Kavita Snyder. The panel discussion began with Jan Willis:

Jan Willis – I want to share three perspectives on the issue. First, networking matters a great deal – for changing jobs, for moving into other fields, and for changing your career trajectory. I didn’t realize how much it mattered until I found that 100-percent of my current business in consulting is a result of networking.

Second, sponsors are very different from mentors, not at all the same. Sponsors tap you on the shoulders and point out when a job is available that would be good for you going forward. Third, networking is critical and it’s important to spend time on it. LinkedIn is a wonderful thing, but it offers you a false sense of security that you have great connections. If you’re not working at networking, [your network] won’t work for you.

Soha Hassoun – I would like to emphasize that it’s important to network early on in your career. Some people wait until they are at the mid-point in their careers, but that is too late. Whether in academia or industry, it holds true – you need to start early.

Read the rest of Obilisetty, Hassoun, Snyder, Willis: ignore networking at your own peril

Prakash Narain: creating a unique workplace culture at Real Intent

June 13th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

Every year, Forbes publishes a list of the Best Companies To Work For. The winners are always big companies, ones well known by you and me. The problem is that Forbes’ polling techniques are flawed. If they were not, EDA stalwart Real Intent would most definitely make the list, particularly if the folks from Forbes were to have been in on a recent phone call with Real Intent President & CEO Prakash Narain.

Read the rest of Prakash Narain: creating a unique workplace culture at Real Intent

DAC 2013: Cowboys, Revolutionaries, The Art of War

June 6th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

One would think if DAC were to be located in Austin, it would be natural to connect the dots between the kind of folk who come to the conference and the cowboy of yesteryear – that iconic, laconic, sole warrior and minimalist who rides the open range with few possessions and even fewer words, but carries big ideals of freedom and individual liberties in his saddle bag, as well as a respect for hearth and home – although he’s rarely there – and the ability to defend the weak and helpless from organized power brokers who put the interests of the few above the needs of the many.

Nope, those aren’t the folks who come to DAC. Nope, the designers aren’t cowboys, and neither are the CAD managers, nor the CAD tool vendors, nor the IP vendors, nor the system houses, nor the fab guys, nor the PR folks or the press, and definitely not the academics. Nope, not cowboys.

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DAC 2013: Top 10 on Day 3 in Austin

June 5th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

The last day of the Exhibit Hall portion of DAC always arrives with a certain sensibility. Over the course of the 3 days, the place has become something between Our Town and a small college campus, and now with graduation it’s not clear when everyone will be together again. Yet the next phase of life beckons with all of its possibilities and trepidations, and people have to move on.

Happily this afternoon, as the 50th instantiation of DAC drew to a close in Austin, many residents of Our Town EDA could look forward to continuing the camaraderie at a first-ever DAC Banquet this evening at the nearby Four Seasons Hotel. Many of us were en route home by that time by plane, train or automobile and could not be there, but I hear tell it was a great evening. So my Top 10 on Day 3 in Austin starts with this late night report regarding the banquet thanks to ARM’s Tiffany Sparks, who was in attendance at the event.

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DAC 2013: Top 10 from Day 2 in Austin

June 4th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

The only thing most people remember about Tuesdays at DAC are the parties. You’re a success if you attended at least two, less than a success if you only attended one, and guaranteed immortality if you attended more than three.

Of course, other things happen on Tuesdays at DAC – early morning breakfasts where sincere technologists present and/or opine about somber challenges facing the industry, the plenary session, presentation of multiple awards, pavilion panels, mid-day luncheons, afternoon sessions, posters, and many, many hours logged in by booth staff talking and talking and talking to customers, potential customers, and general industry hangers-on looking for free give-aways.

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DAC 2013: Top 10 from Day 1 in Austin

June 3rd, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

The Design Automation Conference is mostly about People who need People, so my Top Ten list from Day 1 in Austin here at the 50th DAC is about just that: The Luckiest People in the World.

No. 10)
Rushing up to Room 18 on Level 4 of the Austin Convention Center to attend the DFM&Y Workshop at 9 am, only to find that I couldn’t get in because I hadn’t paid. Why is this disappointment on the list of favorites?

Because on my way back down to Level 1, I ran into Jill Jacbos who’s been working overtime here in Austin on behalf of Accellera Systems Initiative (Stan Krolikoski received the 2013 Leadership Award at the 7 am breakfast today), the North American SystemC Users Group Meeting (taking place all day today on Level 3), and Jim Hogans’ Hot Zone Party tonight at Austin City Limit’s Moody Theater.

Jim’s efforts, and those of the folks helping him, are all to raise money for his Heart of Technology charity, which is donating funds raised in Austin to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Travis County, Texas. If you want to donate, you can do so at Jim’s website.

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DAC 2013: EDA news in anticipation of Austin

May 30th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

** Aldec announced the launch of Spec-TRACER, which helps organizations manage, control and track requirements throughout the entire FPGA/ASIC development lifecycle by streamlining and automating the requirements engineering process such as capture, traceability, requirements versions tracking, results management and reporting. The new product is targeted for use in safety-critical industries in which rigorous certification standards exist, such as DO-254 for avionics, ISO 26262 for automotive, IEC 61508/61511 for industrial and IEC 61513 for nuclear.

Louie De Luna, Aldec DO-254 Program Manager, is quoted in the Press Release: “Ensuring that traceability exists throughout the entire development lifecycle is crucial to proving that the product has been designed and tested through a requirements-based process, from top-level design requirements to HDL source code, and from verification test cases to the testbench and through to the simulation results. Spec-TRACER is exactly what the avionics industry needs to help satisfy the traceability objectives of DO-254.”

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pre-DAC 2013: TSMC certifies ATopTech, CDNS, MENT, SNPS

May 30th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

In the old days, TSMC made a big toolflow announcement every year at DAC, and hosted a lively ‘partner pavilion’ where dozens of companies were showcased in small auxiliary booths that stood in addition to their conventional booths elsewhere in the Exhibit Hall.

At DAC 2103 in Austin, however, something different is happening. Hosted by GlobalFoundries, this year’s ‘foundry pavilion’ will showcase countries, not corporations: “The DAC Global Forum celebrates contributions and future plans of nations around the globe to the field of electronic design in past (sic) 50 years.” Should be very interesting; check out Booth #137 in Austin.

In the meanwhile, TSMC’s taking this week prior to DAC 2013 to announce various tool certifications, including FinFET v0.1 design enablement: “The tool certification serves as the foundation of design infrastructure for 16-nanometer FinFET technology.”

It’s always fun to read through these types of joint announcements, at least if you’re easily amused by the exercise of comparing the quotes embedded in dueling Press Releases. TSMC Senior Director Suk Lee, for instance, is quoted in all four press releases paraphrased below, sent out this week from ATopTech, Cadence, Mentor, and Synopsys.

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S2C: FPGA Base prototyping- Download white paper

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