Posts Tagged ‘Mentor Graphics’
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
[Editor’s Note: An abbreviated version of this article first appeared on-line on in July 2001, and again in May 2004 when Gary Smith was engaged to be married to Verisity’s Lori Kate Calise.]
Starting and ending with the Tao is pretty enigmatic stuff when, in the middle of the stream, you find a bass-toting, black-leather-clad blues musician fresh out of the Naval Academy living in a shack in the midst of Silicon Valley. That pretty much summarizes Gary Smith for those who know him. For those who don’t, to quote from an introduction to Gary I heard at a panel last year where he was acting as moderator: “If anyone in this room doesn’t know who Gary Smith is, they don’t belong in this room.”
For a number of years, Gary Smith has been the single most important prognosticator in EDA. The industry listens to Gary, at DAC and a thousand other venues over the course of the year. They bank on his annual numbers reporting on the health of the industry. They pin his EDA Landscape poster up on the wall to keep track of which companies are which in the here today/acquired tomorrow world of EDA. They take their business plans and nascent product ideas to him and hope for his blessings. They quote him. They court him. They keep him busy, and apparently he loves it – taking all of the adulation in stride with a smile and a nod, which is what you would expect from a guy who takes Eastern philosophies seriously and incorporates them into his mindset and lifestyle.
The rest of Gary’s story is as follows. However, if you believe as Gary does that less is more, you needn’t read on. Based on what you’ve read, you already know him.
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
Bill Martin, E-System Design President & VP of Engineering, sent the following essay detailing 4 Generations in the History of Electronics, including the Last/Lost Generation …
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
Isaac Newton, 5 February 16761
1st Generation (1940-1960s): Vacuum tubes and possibilities
The start of the electrical computer age produced first generation electrical computers that required large rooms to contain them. These computers were large, heavy, power-consuming devices that had poor reliability (mean time between failures, MTBF): nothing like today’s handheld consumer devices that are more powerful, fit in your pocket, easily connect wirelessly to networks and can last 4+ hours on a single charge.
A few smart engineers realized that larger systems could not be built unless higher levels of integration were possible, helping to improve MTBF, size, weight, power and cost: a recurring theme for each generation that followed.
Thursday, September 26th, 2013
A Professor, a Sage, and a Guru walked into a bar. Brian the Bartender, greeted them: “What’ll it be, boys?”
The Professor said, “We need some help, Brian, settling an argument.”
“No problema,” Brian the Bartender said. “I’ve got an answer for everything.”
“Well,” the Professor said, “I think ESL’s not going to happen in our lifetime, but the Guru here says it’s just around the corner now that he and his have finally got all the pieces of the flow in place.”
Brian the Bartender laughed, “Yeah, the Guru’s been saying that since the dawn of mankind!”
“Exactly,” the Professor said.
Again Brian the Bartender laughed, “Guru, can you defend yourself? And don’t even think about plunking your wordy White Paper down on the bar. This is a public house, not a public library.”
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Mentor Graphics has thrilled once again. This past Monday, they hosted one of their periodic Silicon Valley dinners for customers, press and analysts where they include a physicist on the menu along with a gourmet meal and lots of fine reds and whites. The physicist de jour on September 16th was Cal Tech celeb Sean Carroll, author of the best selling book, The Particle at the End of the Universe.
An excellent speaker, gifted and glib, Carroll walked his audience of 75+ through stuff they once knew but had forgotten, or never knew at all – the history of the science of particle physics, the evolution of field theory, and the importance of Geneva-based CERN and its still-wet-behind-the-ears Large Hadron Collider [LHC], which last year on July 4th validated its $9 billion+ price tag by smashing things around a bit and creating the first observable Higgs boson.
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Well, it looks like the industry has done it again, delivering good growth over a recent quarter. The Press Release issued by EDAC’s Market Statistics Service on August 6th detailed the numbers for Q1_2013: 8.1% growth overall, including 23.8% growth in Services, 20.2% growth in IP, and (a bit less glam) 2.4% growth in EDA. Interesting.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wally Rhines continues to contribute to the industry by making himself available for conversation about the MSS numbers as they are released each period, clarifying as always that his comments are on behalf of EDAC and do not reflect his role as CEO of Mentor Graphics. When I spoke by phone with Rhines earlier this week, I asked him if we can anticipate industry results for all of 2013 by looking at the Q1 numbers.
He said no, EDAC numbers do not portend the future, they only aggregate the results from the past. To know more about the future of the industry, Rhines referred me to the four visionary keynotes given at DAC by Synopsys’ Aart de Geus, Cadence’s Lip-Bu Tan, Jasper’s Kathryn Kranen and Rhines’ own talk.
Thursday, July 4th, 2013
A note: Since composing this blog, the terrible crash took place at SFO. This tragedy is being felt keenly in the tech industry as it is possible that some of those on board were coming to San Francisco for Semicon West. Many people at the conference may have a special connection to the injured and/or have had their travel plans radically altered while SFO is attempting to deal with the aftermath. The people at EDACafe wish to express their deep concern for everyone affected by the accident.
This is clearly a holiday week, so most people are paying more attention to the barbeque than next week’s massive Semicon West in Moscone Center, so let’s keep this pre-event note short and to the point.
It is always [somewhat] telling to see who is and who is not sponsoring conferences, and Semicon West is no exception. What can be discerned, for instance, from the fact that GlobalFoundries is a sponsor of the conference this year, but TSMC is not? That Mentor Graphics and Synopsys both have their names on the sponsor list, but Cadence does not?
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
The Design Automation Conference is mostly about People who need People, so my Top Ten list from Day 1 in Austin here at the 50th DAC is about just that: The Luckiest People in the World.
No. 10) Rushing up to Room 18 on Level 4 of the Austin Convention Center to attend the DFM&Y Workshop at 9 am, only to find that I couldn’t get in because I hadn’t paid. Why is this disappointment on the list of favorites?
Because on my way back down to Level 1, I ran into Jill Jacbos who’s been working overtime here in Austin on behalf of Accellera Systems Initiative (Stan Krolikoski received the 2013 Leadership Award at the 7 am breakfast today), the North American SystemC Users Group Meeting (taking place all day today on Level 3), and Jim Hogans’ Hot Zone Party tonight at Austin City Limit’s Moody Theater.
Jim’s efforts, and those of the folks helping him, are all to raise money for his Heart of Technology charity, which is donating funds raised in Austin to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Travis County, Texas. If you want to donate, you can do so at Jim’s website.
Thursday, May 30th, 2013
In the old days, TSMC made a big toolflow announcement every year at DAC, and hosted a lively ‘partner pavilion’ where dozens of companies were showcased in small auxiliary booths that stood in addition to their conventional booths elsewhere in the Exhibit Hall.
At DAC 2103 in Austin, however, something different is happening. Hosted by GlobalFoundries, this year’s ‘foundry pavilion’ will showcase countries, not corporations: “The DAC Global Forum celebrates contributions and future plans of nations around the globe to the field of electronic design in past (sic) 50 years.” Should be very interesting; check out Booth #137 in Austin.
In the meanwhile, TSMC’s taking this week prior to DAC 2013 to announce various tool certifications, including FinFET v0.1 design enablement: “The tool certification serves as the foundation of design infrastructure for 16-nanometer FinFET technology.”
It’s always fun to read through these types of joint announcements, at least if you’re easily amused by the exercise of comparing the quotes embedded in dueling Press Releases. TSMC Senior Director Suk Lee, for instance, is quoted in all four press releases paraphrased below, sent out this week from ATopTech, Cadence, Mentor, and Synopsys.
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
BDA chief operating office Paul Estrada has been at Berkeley Design Automation for over 7 years and is as enthused about the company today as when he first arrived. Particularly, because he says BDA is getting more attention than ever these days thanks to its growing portfolio of leading-edge products.
“We are a small business that continues to grow,” Estrada says with pride, “focusing on nanometer verification, a market where there are lots of problems, but where we are definitely making [inroads]. It’s an area that’s ripe for innovation, and better tooling, and as we don’t see the big EDA companies putting time or effort into making progress there, it’s a sweet spot in the market for us.”
Sounds great, so what’s the elevator pitch for potential customers?
Estrada responds easily: “Many companies continue to buy from our competition – principally Cadence and Synopsys – but we go into leading edge RF and analog/mixed-signal design teams and ask them what they can’t do with their current tools. They tell us and then we do those things for them with our tools. As a result, they buy even more tools from us and we go on from there.
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Privately-held Calypto is on quite a clip these days, with developments at the company being closely followed by the press. That’s not completely surprising given that a new CEO came on board earlier this year, Sanjiv Kaul, and a new VP of Applications Engineering was named just this week, Thomas Bollaert being promoted into that role. I had a chance to speak with CEO Kaul recently. Following is a snapshot of that conversation.