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 What Would Joe Do?
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
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.

Yesterday & Tomorrow: EDA & IP shine … today, not so much

 
January 7th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena


If you’re interested in the past
, the third quarter of 2015 is a good place to start: the EDA/IP industries did very well from July through September last year. EDAC’s Market Statistics Service numbers, released this week, offer some of the details. Here’s the link if you want to delve in.

Easier however, is this brief summary of my January 5th phone call with Mentor’s perpetually optimistic CEO Wally Rhines, last year’s EDAC/CEDA Kaufman Award winner and this year’s EDAC spokesman [technically, every year’s].

Although there was snow and ice on the roads around Wilsonville, Oregon, when we talked, nothing could put a damper on Rhines’ sunny outlook for the industry he leads: “The third quarter last year was another great quarter for the EDA and IP industries. With 7.1 percent growth, it was really good and even stronger than usual.

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EDA: Not so good in the ‘hood … or is it?

 
December 10th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena


If Wednesday night’s EDAC event at their headquarters in San Jose
is any indication, things ain’t so good in the EDA ‘hood. There are no investors, no startups, no energy, no room for innovation, no luster, and ergo no young people.

Although, Jim Hogan – who shared the evening’s stage with Ansys/Apache VP & GM John Lee – said that if you think EDA’s bad, you should look at Google. According to Hogan, the luster’s gone at Google as well, buses transporting techies from Silicon Valley to their habitats elsewhere are running half empty, and nobody wants to be there anymore. The Google glam is gone, per Hogan, even though the overpaid youngsters he knows who work there are regularly pulling in salaries of $500k and holding an additional $500k in stock.

Hogan had no answer for how EDA was going to match those perks, but both he and Lee agreed that everything’s cyclical and therefore if everybody can just hold on for another 5 years, EDA will be back in fashion.

Meanwhile, it still ain’t so good in the EDA hood … or is it?

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Imperas: from Today to Tomorrow, with Intent

 
December 8th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena


Simon Davidmann and the Imperas team are based near Oxford in the UK.
Nonetheless, Davidmann is a regular at Silicon Valley events throughout the year. (Wouldn’t you like to know how many frequent flyer miles that represents?)

I spoke with Davidmann during one of his recent visits to Northern California. Per usual, the conversation was unscripted and informative; I asked for an update on Imperas, and Davidmann started at 35,000 feet.

“Let’s start with a bigger picture than just the company,” he suggested. “I said a long time ago that the challenge yesterday, today and tomorrow in technology is for people to move more towards the software and away from a strictly hardware-centric point of view. And that transition, of course, comes with the requirement that there be far fewer bugs in the software. Particularly if we expect mission critical apps to be dependable.

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EDAC: Let’s give thanks, then Cross the Chasm

 
November 26th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena


It’s Thanksgiving and time to give thanks.
Yes, we’re grateful for family, friends, and another year of opportunity in this tech-driven economy, but let’s also be grateful for EDAC. The Consortium is on a tear these days, offering programs, information, and networking with seemingly limitless zeal and energy.

Following two successful events in as many months – the Patents Panel in October and the Kaufman Award Dinner in November – EDAC is now offering in December another installment of their ongoing ‘Jim Hogan Emerging Companies Series.’ And given that EDAC’s food and wine in October and November were great, it’s pretty much guaranteed that this next event will really be gourmet. [hope, hope …]

But that’s not why EDAC’s December 9th event will be compelling; it’s the indefatigable Jim Hogan that will make it worth your while. Following a string of successful on-stage conversations over the last several years with seasoned EDA veterans such as Kathryn Kranen, Ravi Subramanian, and Joe Costello, the end-of-2015 edition will showcase Jim in conversation with Ansys GM & VP John Lee.

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Sorrow: like sands through the hourglass

 
November 19th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

The extraordinary Marie Pistilli passed away on Saturday, November 14th, six difficult weeks after sustaining profound injuries in an auto accident in early October.

News of her death came on the morning after the terrible events in Paris, and for a time it was difficult to sort out the different threads of grief and sorrow. The loss of many strangers blended with the loss of a single individual that I have admired and known personally for many years.

Now, some days later, it is clear that the world is still turning, the sun still comes up each morning and the stars are still arrayed overhead at night. The situation in Europe continues to be troubling and complex, but it is no longer layered over the emotions surrounding the loss of Marie.

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Synopsys hacked: Closes barn door, hires Mandiant

 
November 18th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

It’s pretty hard to believe that Synopsys has been hacked. And not just any hack, but 4 months’ worth, per the company’s own announcement, of some unauthorized ‘somebody’ having access to everything that Synopsys sells. Seriously? How could Synopsys have left the barn door open?

Consider Google. Last year in response to North Korea’s gleeful mega-hack into Sony as punishment for producing the then-not-yet-released satire, “The Interview”, the entire entertainment industry fled into their caves trembling. Very few were willing to distribute the movie because of North Korea’s proven prowess as a cyber-bully.

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Wally Rhines: just the 7th Inning Stretch

 
November 12th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

Joyful relief probably best describes this evening’s event at the Fourth Street Summit Center in San Jose where the glitterati of EDA gathered to honor Mentor CEO Wally Rhines with a long-overdue CEDA/EDAC-sponsored Kaufman Award. Joyful relief and a sense of delicious mischief.

One should have known something was up when the trio in the corner – during cocktails on the 7th floor overlooking scenic downtown San Jose – launched into a tango so compelling one was forced to look over to the source of the music. Surprisingly and not surprisingly, it included Bob Gardner on bass. Tango and all, the music sashayed its way through the lively mesh of conversation that defined the crowded room in that pre-dinner hour.

When enough yummy hors d’oeuvres had been consumed, and just the right amount of Jazz Cellars wine – the winemaker himself now serving as the Executive Director of EDAC – the gong sounded, doors opened at one end of the room, and huge clumps of happy revelers jostled into the adjoining hall to seek out their assigned tables and grab their chairs, all anticipating good food and great fun.

With at least 200 people in attendance, CEDA and EDAC did not disappoint. Of course, it’s hard to avoid a home run when the irrepressible Wally Rhines is at the center of the play, but this evening CEDA/EDAC delivered up something more akin to a grand slam.

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Oski Technology: Formal celebrates its Place at the Table

 
November 5th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

Since initiating their Decoding Formal Club in October 2013, Oski Technology has hosted this much-needed get-together every quarter, most recently on October 21st of this year at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. I was fortunate to attend the debut meeting in 2013, so it was interesting to hear from Oski VP Jin Zhang that the support group is proving valuable to the growing numbers who attend.

“The first time we held the meeting,” Zhang said, “it was by invitation only, and we included about a dozen folks. Since that first event, we have continued to use the same room at the Computer History Museum, a room that can hold up to 40 people.

“The workshop, however, is continuing to grow very nicely, so we are faced with either finding a new venue or working with the museum to arrange for a bigger room for our next meeting in the first quarter of 2016.”

Zhang said interest in the event has increased to the point that people sign up to attend as soon as the date and time are announced. “They want to be sure they’ve got a spot,” she said.

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Cars are cool: And Mentor knows it

 
October 28th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

Cars are cool. They’re personal transportation pods carefully crafted to the scale of the human body that zip from here to there at the discretion of the person behind the wheel. But it’s not the transportation aspect that has sold cars from the beginning of time; it’s the wow factor. A combination of metrics that take a vehicle from the ordinary to the extraordinary: provenance, make, style, workmanship, power, vintage, color, price, exclusivity.

Today, new metrics are figuring with increasing urgency into the traditional wow-factor calculus that sells cars. Things like type of power train – only hybrid and electric need apply. Bells-and-whistles infotainment systems to tell you where you are now and how to get to where you’re going, while keeping you uniquely entertained en route and caught up with your phone calls. And a host of safety features: Is your airbag functional? What nearby vehicles are trying to cut you off? Are your tires appropriately inflated? How much fuel is left if you travel at a given speed? What’s really behind you when you’re backing up?

All of these new-fangled metrics are, of course, products of the digital age – and engineering teams that need a heck-of-a-lot more sophisticated design tools than in the olden days. This week Mentor Graphics – a certifiable behind-the-scenes kingpin in the automotive supply chain scene – announced one such tool, if an embedded OS can be called a tool.

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Marie Pistilli: She’s got a ticket to ride

 
October 22nd, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena

Matt Wood, in his poignant journaling about Marie Pistilli, is only wrong in one way: Marie is not the only one living on borrowed time, we are all living on borrowed time. We do not, however, all live on time travel time.

For that, you have to be really special. You have to be that one-in-a-zillion person who gets an invite to ride in a Time Machine. And not just any time machine, but my Time Machine!

A highly innovative craft of my own creation in which I am at the controls in the cockpit, and my carefully chosen passengers just sit back and enjoy the ride. Marie Pistilli, naturally, is among that handful of unique individuals who deserves an invite to travel in my craft, and Pat of course. Today’s destination?

1999! (As in, let’s party like it’s …)

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