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 What Would Joe Do?

Posts Tagged ‘EDA’

Phil Kaufman: At the heart of the matter

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

 

If you knew Phil Kaufman, you would have known how old he was when he died. Brief details of his life can be found through searching online: His last post was CEO of Quickturn, he died while on a business trip to Japan in July 1992, and the EDA Consortium established the Kaufman Award in his honor the following year.

This information is all readily available, but Phil Kaufman’s age at the time of his death is not so easily found. And why would that information be important?

By all reports, Phil Kaufman died of a heart attack, yet clearly he was fully engaged in his career at the time, which indicates his sudden death came as a shock to his family and colleagues. Did he know he had a problem? Did he have a history of cardiac disease? Was he being tracked by a doctor? Was the stress of the job just too much for someone whose health was compromised? I didn’t know Phil Kaufman, so I don’t know the answers to any of these questions.

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EDA: where iPhone 5 electronics begin

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

 

This week the iPhone 5 goes viral as millions queue up to buy the latest and greatest from Apple. No small amount of ink has been spilled in the period leading up to the September 21st release detailing  everything known [and/or presumed] about the product:

The supply chain [sophisticated & complex], the package [thinner], the screen size [bigger], the connector size [smaller & backwards incompatible], the case [which providers have accurately predicted the form factor], the manufacturing [more distributed], the apps [kludgey Maps], the business implications [a possible uptick in the U.S. GDP based on sales volume], the marketing [a juggernaut], and of course, the A6 processor [a precedent setter].

What’s not heard amidst any of these billions of word about the iPhone 5 is which EDA tools were used by the Apple team to design the chip(s) at the heart of the thing.

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Patent Law 103: Litigation a way of life in EDA

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

 

There are at least 4 ways to learn about Patent Law:

1) Go to law school.

2) Follow the ginormously expensive shoot-out between Samsung & Apple.

3) Read my articles on Patent Law.

* Patent Law 101: Patent Prosecution
* Patent Law 102: Patent Litigation

4) Read recent Press Releases out of EDA.

* Mentor Graphics announces filing of suit against EVE for patent infringement
* EVE Will Continue to Defend Itself Against Mentor Graphics’ Patent Infringement Suits
* Sidense wins patent infringement case against Kilopass
* Kilopass Plans to Appeal the Summary Judgment Ruling in its Patent Infringement Case Against Sidense

Clearly options 1 & 2 would take way too much time, so let’s go with a combo of options 3 and 4: First revisit several highlights of my articles on Patent Law, and then review the recent press releases regarding EDA-related litigations.

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CDNS: What a difference a year [or 2] makes

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

 

We’re coming up on almost four years, full on, since the momentous events of 15 October 2008 when the entire top executive team at Cadence exited stage left.

At the time, of course, the world was paying a shade less attention to EDA, and a shade more attention to a global crisis unfolding minute-by-minute featuring household concepts such as bankruptcy, subprime mortgages, and derivatives, and household names such as Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Washington Mutual, JPMorgan, Wachovia, CitiGroup, and the FDIC, to name a few.

Meanwhile, the folks who held CDNS in mid-October 2008 were holding shares that had lost almost 80% of their value over the previous 12 months, plummeting from $20+/share to around $4/share in that time frame.

The world may have been consumed by news of the larger global meltdown in October 2008, but various CDNS shareholders were sufficiently focused on the disaster at Cadence to precipitate upwards of a dozen class-action suits against the company in protest.

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EDA: 7 Grand Challenges

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

 

The concept of a Grand Challenge is an established one in engineering, so here in 2012 what are the Grand Challenges in EDA? Let’s go out on a limb and name a few candidates:

No.1) Low power: This is the critical problem here in the era of mobile everything. If you can’t guarantee low power for your device, it’s going to go dark way too soon and be way too hot in the meanwhile. Great challenges remain in perfecting the tools to make this all happen.

No.2) Formal verification: There just has to be a way to guarantee that what we meant to design, has been designed and then manufactured. Isn’t that the goal of formal verification, and isn’t it true that we’re not quite there yet?

No.3) 3D-ICs: In the last several years, this one’s gotten a lot of attention, but it appears that there’s still a lot of work to do – at least on the logic side of the equation. Clearly more tools are needed.

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Joe Costello: Orb, Oasys, Epicenter

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

 

On May 1st, Joe Costello was standing in his office at Orb Networks on the 6th floor of a building in downtown Oakland. When we started our phone call, he said, “I’m looking down on Broadway and there’s a massive march out there. It’s crazy — wish I could send you the video!”

It was, of course, the May Day Occupy Oakland march, which seemed just about right for this long-planned interview.

Twenty years ago, Joe Costello was CEO at Cadence; today he’s President & CEO at Orb Networks, a company that’s “cranking away at cool stuff in the media space.” Twenty years ago, Joe Costello was the epicenter of EDA; today he’s roiling things up elsewhere in the technology ecosystem.

So first we talked about Joe’s present and future, and then we got around to EDA’s present and future and What Would Joe Do if he was back in the epicenter today.

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Rajeev Madhavan: The Road Not Taken

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

 

There’s good news and bad news, in my opinion, with regards to Rajeev Madhavan, founder and CEO of Magma Design Automation, a company that was acquired by Synopsys on February 22, 2012.

The good news it that Rajeev is available to the press for candid interviews like the one included below. The bad news is Rajeev is not going to be part of the EDA landscape as he explores various options for the next phase of his life – and that means the industry will be just that much less interesting, at least for a while.

We spoke by phone in late February.

***********************

Peggy: Hey, Rajeev, how are you doing?

Rajeev: I’m doing pretty much okay as I think about what’s next. I’ve got opportunities, and I’ve got other interests I can now pursue – most people rarely get this kind of opportunity in life, so I’m grateful.

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Unforgiven: EDAC CEOs at their iconic best

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

 

When it comes to Westerns, nothing satisfies more than the one about long-time compadres getting together to do one last ride, one last round up, to take one last stand.

It satisfies, because it’s been years in the making and involves all aspects of the genre – long, lonely shots of distant horizons, fading references to the “exploration and settlement of previously untamed frontiers”, and a rich narrative of “rugged, self-sufficient individuals taming a savage wilderness with common sense and direct action.”

This particular type of Western also satisfies, because we know the players well – their faces, their mannerisms, how many notches they’ve got in their gun belts, and whether they normally ride alone or in a posse. (more…)




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