Posts Tagged ‘ESD Alliance’
Thursday, October 26th, 2017
Dr. Philippe Faes and Dr. Hendrick Eeckhaut together founded Sigasi in 2008. Since that time, Belgium-based Sigasi has accomplished the impossible: Taking the best elements of software design and applying them to hardware design. The Sigasi Studio IDE takes the type of feature-rich development environment that facilitates software design and redefines it for hardware design.
Early one morning last week, I spoke by phone with Hendrick Eekhaut, who serves as CTO at Sigasi. He was in Belgium, I was in California. After our conversation, he headed out to dinner; I headed in for breakfast.
Thursday, October 5th, 2017
Taking guidance from their website, Silicon Valley based Helic provides “EDA software that mitigates the risk of electromagnetic crosstalk in high-speed and low-power SOC designs.”
The company’s products include VeloceRF, an inductive device compiler and modeling tool which provides DRC clean devices for geometries as low as 10 nanometers; RaptorX, a pre-LVS electromagnetic modeling tool; and Exalto, a post-LVS RLCk extraction tool that captures unknown crosstalk including electrical, magnetic, and substrate coupling.
In other words, Helic is a company with a very technical portfolio of products, which can be daunting if one wants to speak with the leadership.
But that was not the real problem posed during my recent conversation with Helic President and CEO Yorgos
Koutsoyannopoulos. The last time the two of us spoke, he made a bet I could not pronounce his name correctly. I won that bet, although Koutsoyannopoulos then proceeded to pronounce my name correctly as well, something that fewer than 1-in-10 in EDA can actually do.
Alas during our recent conversation – the one documented below – the Helic CEO could still pronounce my last name correctly, but I stumbled over his.
In my defense, Koutsoyannopoulus has 16 letters, 56% of which are vowels, and I hadn’t practiced in advance of our call. My last name only has 8 letters, but 63% of them are vowels, so mine is actually more difficult to pronounce. I should not have let Yorgos best me in this contest. Next time I will be better prepared.
Thursday, September 28th, 2017
Vic Kulkarni is well-known in the EDA community as co-Founder, CEO and President of Sequence Design from 1995 until the company merged with Apache in 2009, which in turn was acquired by ANSYS in 2011. Kulkarni is now VP and Chief Strategist in the Office of CTO for the Semiconductor Business Unit at ANSYS.
There is little Kulkarni has not seen in his 30+ years in Silicon Valley. Although our conversation here mostly highlights current successes at ANSYS, it’s clear he continues to be wildly enthused about the broader promises of technology and the exciting efforts underway to create tools and strategies to bring those promises to fruition. Vik Kulkarni’s enthusiasm is the kind of thing that continues to make this industry so vibrant, and makes careers herein appealing for the next generation of engineers.
Thursday, September 21st, 2017
Silicon Valley based Blue Pearl Software is the quintessential EDA company: privately held, run by a seasoned team of EDA experts, and with a portfolio that includes tools for generating timing constraints, CDC analysis, both synchronous and asynchronous, RTL verification tools for methodology standards and design rules, and design management tools.
Similarly, Blue Pearl’s Ellis Smith is the quintessential CEO in EDA. Before founding his current company, Smith was CEO and President of Orora Design Technologies, CEO at TransEDA through that company’s IPO in 2000, and CEO at Exemplar Logic through its merger with Mentor Graphics in 1995. His experience also includes a stint as CEO at CrossCheck Technology, and years spent at Duet Technologies, CADAM, Versatec, Dictaphone, and 3M. Pretty much the whole history of the EDA industry in one CV.
It would be an excellent idea to sit down for a very long conversation with Ellis Smith to discuss his take on the history of this oh-so-interesting industry. Unfortunately, time was of the essence when I did get the chance to talk with him earlier this month, and the focus was principally on Blue Pearl.
Thursday, September 14th, 2017
Prakash Narain is a long-standing member of the EDA community, having helped found Real Intent in 1999. In August 2016, I interviewed Dr. Narain at length about the technology at the core of the company. This week we spoke again, starting with an update of the company’s announcements around DAC in June, which involve further advancements in clock-domain crossing analysis and sign-off.
Real Intent must be doing something right, because Narain seems as enthused about the prospects for his company as someone who has just launched a tech start-up. It takes stamina and courage to sustain that optimism, and market success. Narain says his organization has both.
Thursday, September 7th, 2017
John Kibarian has been involved with PDF Solutions since co-founding the company in 1991 in Pittsburgh, through its relocation to California in 1996, through the IPO in 2001, and on into today. He’s been CEO since 2000. PDF Co-founder Kimon Michaels has also been with the company since the beginning, and currently serves as VP of Products and Solutions.
As well, CMU Professor Andrzej Strojwas [2016 Phil Kaufman Award recipient] has been PDF’s Chief Technical Advisor from the beginning — not surprising considering he served as Kibarian’s PhD thesis adviser at CMU — and Lucio Lanza has been on the board of directors for 20 years, serving as Chairman since 2004.
PDF is a company that defines stability, steady growth, and an intellectually rigorous and serious-minded approach to solving problems. It’s not a company of self-promoters or grand-standers. It’s a company of highly accomplished technologists, deeply involved in one of the toughest jobs in semiconductors: Finding out why chip yields are good, bad or ugly, and figuring out how that data might be used to improve design and manufacturing.
The last time I interviewed John Kibarian, it was 2015 and PDF Solutions had just acquired Syntricity a company with yield-improvement technology and services for the IC process life cycle.
This time when Kibarian and I spoke, PDF had just acquired several assets of Kinesys Software, including its ALPS (Assembly Line Production Supervisor) software, “designed to enable complete manufacturing traceability, including individual devices and substrates, through the entire assembly and packaging processes” – capabilities which PDF plans to integrate with their Exensio big data analytics platform.
Thursday, August 31st, 2017
Amit Gupta is the quintessential entrepreneur in EDA. Even as he was graduating with degrees in EE and CS from University of Saskatchewan, he was co-founding Analog Design Automation, targeted at those who need tools to automate analog chip design. That was in 1999. The company was sold to Synopsys in 2004, and then Gupta co-founded Solido Design Automation in 2005.
This week, I had a chance to speak at length with Amit Gupta. The last time we conversed, it was at the January 2017 Kaufman Award dinner for Dr. Andres Strojwas in San Jose. That evening, Gupta was enthused about Solido’s access to high-quality engineering talent in Canada, and argued that the cost of living and quality of life in Saskatoon, where Solido is headquartered, more than compensate for any sense that Silicon Valley is the epicenter of the industry. His enthusiasm has only grown since that time.
Thursday, March 30th, 2017
Today is the day some EDA purists thought would never happen: The disassembling of an industry status quo that’s been in place for over 20 years
As of today, Mentor Graphics has been sold and is fully owned by Siemens. Now Mentor’s arc of history will be decided by folks not residing in the green forests and hills of northern Oregon, and the Big Three cartel is no more. A cartel which has slowly consolidated the playing field over time until nary a startup can be seen.
The power vested in the Big Three EDA companies has grown steadily and inexorably over these years, as has their market dominance. Examination of recent numbers provided by the ESD Alliance Market Statistics Service indicates that today, in excess of 85-percent of the revenue earned in the EDA industry can be attributed to the combination of Synopsys, Cadence, and Mentor Graphics.
These three companies, their leadership, sales prowess, and increasing control of the conversation and technical direction in the industry has made for a powerful cartel. But again, that cartel is no more and the crystal ball predicting future dynamics within the EDA industry has gone dark.
Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
DVCon generates a lot of respect, and for good reason. Engineers have attended this conference for over 25 years to further refine their skills in the area of design and verification. Yet, there’s a problem in paradise.
In an industry like EDA that’s super dominated by just three players, there’s little if any room in the industry – or at a conference like DVCon – to showcase the ideas and innovations of the Small Guys. The Big Guys teach tutorials and present papers; the Small Guys get to hang posters in the hallways.
All of that was supposed to change tonight thanks to the sponsorship of the ESD Alliance and OneSpin Solutions, as well as Vista Ventures’ Jim Hogan.
Tonight, six of the Small Guys in verification appeared on a panel moderated by Hogan hoping to get their 60-minute shot at fame. A post-Happy-Hour hour in which to lay out their case for customers to come and sample the kind of innovation that everyone knows is the watchword of technology startups, particularly in EDA.
Thursday, January 26th, 2017
If you were to attend only one Kaufman Award dinner throughout your career, tonight’s might have been the right choice: a lovely meal in downtown Silicon Valley, and presentations full of warmth, respect, humor and clear-eyed admissions, all in honor of CMU’s Dr. Andrzej Strojwas, long-time CTO at PDF Solutions.
Having interviewed Prof. Strojwas some months ago when he was first named the 2016 Kaufman Award winner, and knowing the event was in the capable hands of the ESD Alliance, this evening’s ambiance was not a complete surprise. But the display of emotion and palpable affection with which Dr. Strojwas is held by colleagues and family was almost mesmerizing.
In fact, as PDF CEO John Kibarian hit his stride at the podium, detailing the lifetime of achievements and leadership at the core of Dr. Strojwas’ award commendation, there could be no looking away.