What Would Joe Do?
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at www.aycinena.com. She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.
July 19th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
“It’s a simple message we’re presenting at DAC,” Davidmann said, “but an important one. If you’re a semiconductor guy building a chip, your customers want to know what components are being used, but you also have to build the software that runs on top of it.
“There’s a lot of challenge, however, in getting an operating system up and running on the hardware and the problem extends to hardware-dependent software. Even the lowest level bits become part of the operating systems. So our tutorial is about what you need to do this work, about how to get hardware-dependent software running.”
July 13th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
Volume 1: Electronic Design Automation for IC System Design, Verification, and Testing
Grant Martin did not assemble and edit these mighty tomes as a sole practitioner. Also listed on the covers are Luciano Lavagno, Louis Scheffer, and Igor Markov – representing, respectively, the Politecnico di Torino, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and University of Michigan.
All four of these remarkably accomplished technologists had a hand in the newest edition, although according to Grant Martin, it was he, Lavagno, and Scheffer who oversaw the original effort in 2006.
When the publisher suggested an update to the set in 2011 – 5 years on – it ended up taking so much longer, it was actually 10 years before the 2nd edition was complete. Meanwhile, Prof. Markov had joined in on the work in 2014, so was appropriately added to the list of editors in 2016.
July 12th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
Instead, EDA’s going to turn to the vast armies of young worker bees coding away in geographies other than Northern California, Austin, Boston or Portland.
EDA is turning to the geographies where people are more concerned about career growth than work-life balance, and that’s usually on the other side of the International Date Line.
And really – it’s not like EDA doesn’t already know the way to those places. How many thousands of the 30k people ostensibly working in EDA today already work on the opposite side of the world from the hallowed ground where the Millennials are beginning to hold sway?
June 22nd, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
Homuth started our recent phone call by referencing a conversation we had in 2015: “It’s been a long, hard fight since that time, but our new product is working well and we are excited about it. With it, we are shifting our focus even more towards on-demand engineering.
“Our new product – EE Concierge, the Electrical Engineering Concierge Service – is an evolution of the real-time, on-demand, virtual assistant for PCB engineers that we experimented with back in 2015.
“Now it’s a completely separate product that can be used by any hardware engineer in the world, with any ECAD tool like Altium or Eagle [Autodesk]. It’s not just for Upverter users, hardware engineers today – the people responsible for every new device you buy – have their own team of engineering assistants.”
I asked Homuth to define on-demand engineering.
June 14th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
Why was that? Is the idea of crowd sourcing chip design a tad too open source-ish for the EDA establishment, too community based and innovative? Who knows.
The panel discussion took place, nonetheless, several weeks ago and is available below. It’s a conversation between eFabless Co-founder & CTO Mohamed Kassem and TopCoder Co-founder Jack Hughes, now Director of Tongal and member of the eFabless Board.
Per the eFabless website, the company “applies collective and multidisciplinary community knowledge to all aspects of semiconductor product development.”
Per the TopCoder website, this company has a “community of over 1,000,000 design and technology experts [providing] on-demand capability, bandwidth, and velocity so you can do more.”
The dialog below reflects both Jack Hughes’ and Mohamed Kassem’s deep knowledge around the issues of building design communities, open-source technology, and crowd sourcing design.
June 8th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
Rhines has led Mentor Graphics since 1996, following a distinguished career at TI heading up the ginormous semiconductor group there. His PhD is in material science, but his interests are far more diverse. Additionally, his name and his company have been in the news of late because Mentor was just acquired by Siemens, where he continues to serve in a leadership role. Rhines received the Phil Kaufman Award in 2015, the EDA industry’s highest honor.
Given Dr. Rhines’ storied career as a keynote speaker, it’s not surprising that he came to our May 26th phone call fully prepared to articulate what he sees as today’s Grand Challenges in EDA. Rhines says there are “at least three big ones.”
June 1st, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
In 1990 while still at NeXT, Sanguinetti became convinced he could write a better simulator than Cadence’s VerilogXL, so working nights and weekends for several months he wrote VCS. The potential of the tool inspired Sanguinetti and Peter Eichenberger to found Chronologic. They launched the product in late 1992, and sold the company to Viewlogic in late 1994. Synopsys acquired Viewlogic in 1997, and VCS has continued on there as a foundational element of the company’s verification strategy.
Currently Sanguinetti is serving as Chairman at Adapt-IP, but given his long and distinguished history with EDA, he agreed to opine this week on Grand Challenges in EDA. In the following conversation, he offers two Grand Challenges in EDA and two in Security, the latter being an issue of rapidly growing concern worldwide.
May 11th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
That ad tells you two things: a) Some of the 400,000 IEEE members are thinking about long-term care, because they’re aging and don’t want to burden their children with caring for an elderly parent, and b) long-term care insurance is a respected product that any reasonable person would want to invest in.
Regarding these two conclusions: The idea that part of the IEEE is moving into their Golden Years is spot-on, but the idea that long-term care insurance is something worth buying is not so obvious.
If you’ve ever looked into buying one of these policies, you know they’re obscenely expensive. And they can’t be activated until: a) you’ve lived for 100 days in some kind of assisted living facility and can pass the incompetent-at-life-skills test, or b) more insidiously, you’re surviving by way of a life-assistance tube – feeding or oxygen – and you’re housed in some kind of skilled nursing facility for at least 100 days.
These are the two circumstances under which long-term care insurance will pay out. Long-term care insurance does not cover the costs of in-home care. Don’t be duped into thinking it does.
April 20th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena
More fundamentally, why are there H-1B visas in the first place? Are there indeed too few American nationals with the training needed to push Silicon Valley’s tech agenda forward? And if those numbers are insufficient, why can’t the talent pool be augmented with off-shore workers laboring away in distant climes?
After all, distributed teams and remote computing have been a way-of-life for several decades here in the Digital Age. Remember all of the crowing at the dawn of the Era of the Distributed Team: Development would go on non-stop, 24×7. Wherever the sun is shining, designers are designing, was the received wisdom when it comes to global teams – and it continues to be.
So, why is it so important to bring people into the U.S. when they can work elsewhere, in their own locale – their efforts melded into the corporate whole via VPNs and/or crafty IT interventions that knit the project together seamlessly. All of that enhanced even further with the advent of The Cloud that Computes.