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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.

Shishpal Rawat: Intel, CEDA, Accellera, Calm Commitment

July 14th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

Intel’s Shishpal Rawat has been Chair of Accellera for 6 years and is currently serving as President of CEDA
, IEEE’s Council on Electronic Design Automation. In previous discussions, Rawat has insisted that his leadership is not what makes these organizations work. Only the enthusiastic efforts of the many members guarantee that both Accellera and CEDA continue to shape ideas, standards, and forward progress within design automation and its adjacent technologies.

Two years ago, I enjoyed a lengthy interview with Rawat about all of this, described here. This year, I’ve chatted with Rawat at DVCon in San Jose in March, and again by phone just prior to DAC in June. During the phone call, Rawat focused on CEDA’s activities at DAC in Austin. He told me the upcoming Sunday night panel, set to be moderated by SRC’s Bill Joyner on June 5th, was a new and very exciting addition to the DAC program.

Read the rest of Shishpal Rawat: Intel, CEDA, Accellera, Calm Commitment

This world: sometimes knit together by sorrow

July 7th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

It was the middle of the morning on a school day in California
when the President was shot in November 1963. The principal came over the PA system and announced the President was injured in Dallas and was in surgery. She asked all teachers to suspend classroom activities and wait for further news.

In my class, our teacher told us to take something out to read and sat down at his desk at the front of the room. After a very long time, the principal came back on the PA. The President had died. She asked teachers to help their students understand what had happened.

Our teacher sat very still at his desk for a long time and then stood up. He started to speak, but stopped. He took off his glasses with his left hand and covered his eyes with his right. For at least 10 minutes he stood like that, still and silent with his eyes covered.

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Mark Gilbert: White coat, White hat, Big fish

June 30th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

Exuberance and Optimism:
the only two words required to describe EDA-Careers’ Mark Gilbert – even after 20 years in the trenches sorting out the who what and where of just about everybody in the EDA industry. Yes, he self-identifies as the fun guy in the white suit, seen hither and yon wherever the EDA Nation chooses to confab, but in reality he’s the good guy in the white hat who’s going to tell it to you straight, about your career and your goals.

Also by his own description, Mark Gilbert is “the big fish in a little pond” who serves as the leading head hunter and career counselor extraordinaire of EDA.

I was lucky enough to speak with Gilbert by phone this week. As he and I were both on the East Coast, coordinating the hour of the call was easy. Our conversation started with the usual query: How did you get started in this business?

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Verific: Rhymes with Terrific

June 23rd, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

Michiel Ligthart
, President and COO of Verific Design Automation, and Rick Carlson, VP of Worldwide Sales, have a proposal for young companies in the EDA industry and adjacent technologies: Come to Verific if your organization is early stage, in need of encouragement and wise counsel, and could benefit from access to Verific software to help you progress towards a commercial product launch.

In a recent phone call, Ligthart and Carlson explained the specifics of the Verific program, and delineated what it’s not: “We are not funding startups,” Ligthart said, “but we have changed our business model over the lifetime of our company to encourage innovation.

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Executive Privilege: Presidential Libraries at DAC, LBJ to AdG

June 15th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

Presidents and CEOs share a common difficulty: the past
. A past that’s sometimes of their own making. They come into office full of enthusiasm and an agenda for improvement and innovation, only to find that the past serves increasingly as an impediment for moving forward.

Of course, the difference between Presidents and CEOs is that the former get libraries built in their name to commemorate their contributions, whether or not they’re able to conquer a past legacy left to them by predecessors.

CEOs, on the other hand, don’t get libraries when their tenures end. They either get tons of criticism, or occasionally tons of praise – but no library. They do, however, often get millions of dollars in compensation and stock during their administrations, and usually a pretty golden handshake when they’re done. Something that goes a long way to easing the pain of criticisms they may endure during and after their years in power.

Read the rest of Executive Privilege: Presidential Libraries at DAC, LBJ to AdG

Chuck’s Posse: Keeping DAC Weird, Nerdy, Alive

June 7th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

A big 10-gallon hats-off to Charles Alpert & Team
for injecting fresh creativity and energy into the 53rd annual Design Automation Conference. Those who knew little about Alpert, and I’m among those few, were overwhelmed by the DAC General Chair and Host of the Opening Session who took the stage Monday morning in Austin.

Straightaway, Charles shed his corporate persona in favor of his Texas roots, welcomed us all to his home town, asked that we call him Chuck, offered photos and first names only of the entire DAC Executive Committee, showed us a map of a new and innovate layout for the DAC Exhibit Hall – including a central boulevard that Baron Haussmann himself would have celebrated – and then asked us to help him do two things:

Keep Austin Weird, apparently a principle plank in the City’s Charter, and ergo to Keep DAC Weird, as well as Nerdy, Fun and Alive. And no sooner did Chuck extend this request, than it was …

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Semifore: Celebrating 10 years with powerful CoStar Platform

May 26th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

Ten years ago, Rich Weber and Jamsheed Agahi
surveyed an industry they knew well – they each had 10+ years’ involvement in the technology – and found no one was providing hardware/software interface solutions. So in February 2006, they founded a company to “provide good solutions to the industry” and got busy coding. They had their software up and running by DAC, held that year in San Francisco, were featured in the July 2006 issue of EETimes, and were working with their first customers by the end of the year.

Those early successes were an indication of the credibility of Semifore Inc. and a reflection of the singular vision of founders who knew each other well; they had worked with together at various companies prior to 2006, Data General, Silicon Graphics, StratumOne and Cisco Systems. Starting Semifore together was the logical next step in their collaborations. Now ten years on, both founders are still with the company

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MRP 2016: The Remarkable Soha Hassoun

May 19th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

The spirit of Marie R. Pistilli will be writ large at the Design Automation Conference
in Austin in June, because the woman who is receiving this year’s MRP Women in Engineering Achievement Award embodies everything that Marie admired in a technologist:

Intelligence. Courage. Articulate leadership. Powerful work ethic. Technical contribution. A track record of mentoring women in a field that has been incredibly resistant to people who are different.

Yep, Dr. Soha Hassoun, Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Tufts University, has all the strengths of character that Marie admired, but there’s more: Prof. Hassoun is also well-spoken, funny, charming, and beautiful.

Just icing on the cake and not part of the reason Prof. Hassoun deserves the award, but all characteristics that Marie would have admired as well, and did admire – particularly as Hassoun is a permanent member of the DAC Family: She was General Chair of DAC in 2013, the conference being one of Marie’s deepest passions.

Indeed the greatest honor that could be brought to the memory of the remarkable Marie Pistilli is to select the equally remarkable Soha Hassoun as standard-bearer for outstanding achievement in EDA – woman or man – at the first DAC after Marie’s tragic passing last November.

Kudos to the committee for selecting Dr. Hassoun. Well done!

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Silexica: Holy Grail for Multi-core

May 12th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

Aachen-based Silexica is making waves in the world of multi-core and embedded systems
, as evidenced by their recent win in the German Silicon Valley Accelerator program. Company leadership was motivated to spend Q1_2016 in Silicon Valley, networking and meeting with thought leaders in the Bay Area’s tech community.

While he was in California, I had a chance to speak by phone Silexica CEO Max Odendahl. As many know, the problem of parsing code to take advantage of multi-core systems is a massively tough one to solve, one of the Grand Challenges in computing. My conversation with Odendahl was compelling, because it would appear his company has the solution.

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Angst at EDPS: Private Lives (not) in the Technical Age

May 5th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

Luckily I arrived late to EDPS in Monterey on Friday, April 22
, because I did not hear the introduction of the first keynote speaker or hear his name. A good thing, as it turns out. The speaker was a technologist who doesn’t embrace technology when it’s used as a tool for intrusions into our lives. He’s concerned about how our private facts have become part of the public fabric, accessible to anyone who knows how to navigate the Cloud.

And so, in the spirit of Life imitating Art, I’m not going to list his name here. That detail is fully available on the EDPS website, but it will not be articulated here. What will be articulated here, however, is the audience reaction to the Keynoter’s comments. The audience became part of the presentation, with the keynote address quickly morphing into a round table discussion, a group therapy session for technology whiz-kids who worry about the increasingly public nature of our private lives in this digital, always-connected era.

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Verific: SystemVerilog & VHDL Parsers
TrueCircuits: UltraPLL

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