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Posts Tagged ‘DAC’

Coby Zelnik: Sage to the DRC rescue

Thursday, May 9th, 2013


Declaring itself open for business this week, Sage Design Automation wants to make the world a better place: a) by providing automated design rule closure for advanced process nodes, and b) by lowering the barrier for and broadening the use of design-rule based checking, beyond foundry-provided rules, with a user-friendly GUI.

Speaking by phone with company CEO Coby Zelnik, previously CEO of Sagantec, I found he’s very jazzed about the new company and what it portends for the future. To explain Sage, he offered a brief history of things up to this point:

“Historically, there have been a lot of challenges in physical verification. In the last 20 years, it’s always been about speed of the tool and what size of chip it can process, and so on. All of these vendors were competing on how fast they could run DRC on the biggest chips. But nowadays,  these tools can utilize, tens, hundreds, or even thousands of CPUs to get things done well, so there’s no more bottleneck there.


Dark shadows: The ugly truth of acquisitions

Thursday, April 11th, 2013


DAC is almost here and spring is in the air, so why would anybody dwell on the negative? Because although the truth often hurts, it can be cathartic to get it out in the open, especially on the eve of DAC.

And the truth is that despite all of the celebrations, PR, and instant-bazillionaire stories associated with one company being acquired by another, these acquisitions actually precipitate a world of hurt – today, tomorrow, next year, and sometimes even on into the next decade. Acquisitions are never easy and the reverberations for the people involved often last for a long, long time.


EDAC CEO Panel: Practically perfection

Thursday, March 14th, 2013


From the podium in San Jose’s DoubleTree Hotel, Jasper Design Automation President & CEO Kathryn Kranen introduced tonight’s EDAC CEO Forecast Event as being “practically perfection” and she was right. With 97 people in the room, the event ran for 97 minutes and the audience [undoubtedly] gave the panel discussion a 97% approval rating. Kudos to all involved, including EDAC for hosting, and OCP-IP, Mod Marketing, and the DoubleTree for sponsoring the event.

Kranen started off the evening by bragging on good news out of EDA: It’s up and to the right for revenue in the industry, with a 4.9 percent increase between 3Q11 and 3Q12. She cited increased stock valuations over the last year for ARM [37%], Cadence [30%], Mentor [26%], PDF Solutions [98%], and Synopsys [17%] as an indication of the viability of EDA as an investment vehicle: If you’d put $100 into each of these companies a year ago, she said, you would have netted a 41% increase in a portfolio today worth $706.90, beating out other investment indices such as the NASDAQ and S&P 100 over the same time period.


DesignCon: Why it’s not DAC

Thursday, January 31st, 2013


Just past 8:00 am in the Santa Clara Convention Center on Wednesday, January 30th, I had the good luck to run into IEC’s Dr. Barry Sullivan, long-time leader at DesignCon. Conversation’s always relaxed in that hour at any conference, and so it was with Barry. I asked him how things go with DesignCon, now that it’s owned and operated by UBM.

[Barry’s tenure with the conference predates the 2010 purchase of the conference by UBM, discussed here in a blog posted at the time by former EE Times Editor Nic Mokhoff.]

Barry said that UBM’s skill set is exactly aligned with the needs of DesignCon, and that’s a good thing. He said having a media company like UBM in charge is excellent for the conference. In the years prior to the acquisition, Barry said, the conference would sometimes have to “beg” the press to cover the event. With UBM at the helm, however, he said press coverage has been stupendous. I asked Barry if he thought DesignCon was out to replace DAC.


DAC 2013: co-locating ESLsyn in Austin

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013


Each time around, it’s an interesting exercise to see what conferences are being co-located with DAC, and this year is no different. From May 31st to June 2nd in Austin, the 2013 Electronic System Level Synthesis Conference [ESLsyn] will be co-located with the 50th Design Automation Conference. That’s a particularly interesting choice, because after so many years of ESL enthusiasts positioning system-level design at the center of all things EDA, why does it still need its own conference?

Well, let’s look at the organizers’ description of the meeting: “ESLsyn focuses on automated system design methods that enable efficient modeling, synthesis, exploration and verification of systems from high-level specifications down to lower level implementations.”

Okay. That’s sounds good. But, again, isn’t that stuff covered in a host of different sessions at DAC itself, in particular in Tracks EDA1 and EDA2?


Accolade Opps: January 18th and 31st deadlines loom

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012


If you are looking for an opportunity to express your satisfaction with a colleague’s contributions to the world you work in, two outstanding chances currently present themselves. But take care: The deadlines for submitting your nominations quickly approach.

First, Accellera Systems Initiative [a.k.a. Accellera] has set January 18th as the deadline for submitting nominations for its 2013 Technical Excellence Award. Per the organization: “The Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the creation of EDA and IP standards [which are then contributed to the IEEE Standards Association] by a member of an Accellera technical committee.

“Any individual who is a member of an Accellera technical committee is eligible to receive the award, which will be presented at Accellera Systems Initiative Day during DVCon 2013 next February in San Jose. Candidates may be nominated by the industry at large and are endorsed by Accellera committee members. To nominate an individual, visit”

If you want to do something really dramatic, however, the EDA Consortium is currently accepting nominations for its annual EDAC/CEDA-sponsored Phil Kaufman Award, which these organizations frequently refer to as the Noble Prize of EDA.


Jim Hogan: Surf & Turf in Santa Cruz

Thursday, July 26th, 2012


There are three things to remember about Jim Hogan: He’s an affable guy, he’s usually sporting a Hawaiian shirt, and he’s extremely accessible; when you interview him, he’s able to talk to you without a PR person sitting at his elbow. I spoke with Jim by phone in late July.


WWJD: How are you doing, and what’s up with this upcoming surfing-themed fundraiser you’re hosting?

Jim Hogan: I’d doing great, and yeah – that’s an annual fund raiser we host. I live in Santa Cruz, where life is pretty easy and my kids surf.

Also I work a lot with Jill Jacobs [Mod Marketing], who’s got relatives here in Santa Cruz. Jill was my coordinator for roadshows at Cadence and still does logistics for some of my startups. Her relatives are just a great family and are neighbors with Jack O’Neal [surfing entrepreneur and credited by many for inventing the wetsuit] who’s always donating to charities here.

Santa Cruz isn’t too far from the Valley, and I always have a lot of fun when we put these two crowds together, the surfers and the technology folks. For me, it’s kind of like the parties we had at my frat in college. You pick the day, buy the beer, and invite a bunch of people. [laughing] Maybe we’ve scaled up a little bit since then. Now my frat parties have a somewhat corporate feel.


MIT: towards the 1000-core processor

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012


MIT is a disorienting place, particularly Stata Center, the home of EECS. There are no straight lines in the building and nothing appears plumb. Architect Frank Gehry, it seems, wanted his design to disturb and overwhelm and there he has succeeded, particularly when it rains: The building leaks. But does the building also stimulate? Again, Gehry has succeeded: The building hums with energy.

On a sunny day in July, the place is crawling with people. Students of various ages, genders, and nationalities wander by chatting in their t-shirts and flip flops, professors share bag lunches with their children in shady corners of the labyrinthine lobby, the line at the deli counter queues around in a disorderly sort of meander, while people in suits mingle with the flip-flop crowd in and under staircases that wander up and off into brick-lined oblivion.

Stata is part intellectual Grand Central Station and part Winchester Mystery House, enticing tourists and visiting scholars alike to wander in off the ponderous corporate streets of Cambridge.

EECS Professor Srini Devadas has an office on the 8th floor of Stata. When we sat down to chat there on Monday, July 9th, he started with an enthusiastic endorsement of MIT’s most famous building.


BDA: Two different definitions at DAC

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012


It’s stranger than fiction, but there are actually two different entities at DAC that bear the name BDA, and they’re both acronyms.

One is a company very familiar to the EDA space, Berkeley Design Automation. As you know, President & CEO Ravi Subramanian has just been elected to a second term as a member of the Board of Directors of EDAC.

Subramanian’s BDA is in the news again this week because they just announced that ATopTech, also an EDA company, is now using BDA’s Analog FastSpice to “enhance the accuracy of the timing analysis in [ATopTech’s] Aprisa P&R product for designs at advanced process technology nodes such as 28nm and 20nm..”

So what is the other BDA at DAC? It’s Biological Design Automation. The International Workshop on Biological Design Automation figured large on Sunday and Monday, June 3rd and 4th, in San Francisco where it was again co-located with the Design Automation Conference, as it has been for several years.


SWVP: Gary Smith’s Four Horsemen of the Approximation

Thursday, June 14th, 2012


Everybody loves the phrase, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but usually don’t remember the specifics. According to Wikipedia, the horsemen each ride a steed of a different color – white, red, black, and pale – and thunder towards us bearing apocalyptic messages of Conquest, War, Famine and Death. You know: The stuff of video games and CGI blockbusters. Ignore them and you lose.

This year at DAC, GSEDA analyst Gary Smith presented his own apocalyptic message in back-to-back presentations on Sunday evening, June 3rd, and again on Monday morning, June 4th.

Why was Smith’s message apocalyptic? Because he too had four horsemen, and they too cannot be ignored. Without them, products will fail. It’s that simple.

Smith’s horsemen are neither rapacious nor ravaging, however. Instead, they represent the methodical four-step process for co-development of hardware and software, which if done properly moves to completion in carefully controlled lock-step and produces successful results.

Replacing Apocalypse with Approximation, Gary Smith’s Four Horsemen of the Approximation represent Design Exploration (not Conquest), Making Apps (not War), Firmware (not Famine), and Sales & Marketing (not Death).


S2C: FPGA Base prototyping- Download white paper

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