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.
December 8th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
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.
November 26th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …)
October 15th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
Imperas Founder & CEO Simon Davidmann has been thinking about the EDA industry for a while, and the consortium that represents it. And like a lot of observers, he thinks change is in the air. In previous blogs, I myself have predicted that EDAC will evolve to offer better representation to IP providers, but Davidmann believes changes in the consortium will be even more dramatic.
“When EDAC was started,” Davidmann said in a recent phone call, “it was about CAD tools. But design automation has evolved from schematic layout and simulation to a point where everything is focused on really big designs. Yes, IP is a fundamental part of that evolution and companies like Synopsys have made a lot of investment in IP, so EDAC has no problem including IP in its landscape.
“But real problems today and tomorrow are about dealing with large systems on chips. Something that is moving the focus in the industry to software. Chip design is no longer just about design tools and IP, it’s about systems, and the software that runs on those platforms.
“As a consortium designed to help companies in the design automation business, therefore, EDAC has to look at not just design tools and IP. It also has to look at systems and software. An emerging technology, quickly moving into the mainstream, is virtual platforms for software development. Of course, Synopsys is investing in virtual platforms – an indication of the importance of such things in the design process.
October 7th, 2015 by Peggy Aycinena
If you already know that EDAC is hosting a panel in San Jose on October 29th – “Patents & Patents Litigation: Develop, Strengthen, and Protect Your Intellectual Property” – you know the participants come from a variety of backgrounds:
John Cabeca, Director of the Silicon Valley US Patent & Trademarks Office; Karna Nisewaner, Associate General Counsel at Cadence; Robert Sachs, Partner at Fenwick & West; John Vandenberg, Partner at Klarquist Sparkman; Salumeh Loesch, Associate at Klarquist Sparkman; and Samuel Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose.
You probably also know, however, that no matter how much optimism and happy talk is thrown at the topic of patents – how to craft them, prosecute and litigate – the underlying controversy will never go away.
That catastrophic and philosophical disconnect between: