Sonics, Inc. To Host Agile IC Methodology Forum At The Design Automation Conference 2015

MILPITAS, Calif., June 2, 2015 — (PRNewswire) —   Sonics, Inc., the world's foremost supplier of on-chip network (NoC) technologies and services, is participating in the Design Automation Conference (DAC) 2015. The Design Automation Conference (DAC) is recognized as the premier conference for design and automation of electronic systems. At the show, Sonics executives will give a number of talks and also host the Agile IC Methodology Forum, featuring leading industry experts who are exploring use of agile techniques for system-on-chip (SoC) and field programmable gate array (FPGA) design. The Agile IC Methodology Forum is open to any DAC badge holder.

WHEN: June 9, 2015, 10:30 a.m.12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Room 306, Moscone Center, San Francisco, Calif.


  • Randy Smith, Vice President of Marketing, Sonics, Inc.
  • Davis Frank, Director of Internal Applications, Pivotal Software, Inc.
  • Neil Johnson, Principal Consultant, XtremeEDA
  • Andrew Putnam, Principal Hardware Engineer, Microsoft Research

ABOUT THE AGILE IC FORUM: Where will chip designers find the next 10X in design productivity?

The old waterfall design methodologies are breaking down. Come learn about Agile IC Methodology – What is it? How it relates to Agile software design? To Shift Left? Hear from designers who have actually used Agile methods in their production projects. This forum will feature several presentations with plenty of opportunities for Q&A with each presenter. The two LinkedIn groups discussing this topic have more than 800 members combined – what are you missing? This is your chance to understand, and influence, the shape of future IC design methodologies.

Forum Speakers and Perspective Statements:

  • Randy Smith, Vice President of Marketing, Sonics, Inc.
    • How can IC designers do more in less time? Is it possible to compress the IC design cycle without causing more issues and problems? I'll kick off the Forum with an overview of current design challenges and why IC design methodology must change. I'll suggest that Agile methods can be applied to IC design and show a model for what that might look like in terms of flow impact from specification down to physical implementation. I'll discuss the SoC architects' pivotal role in Agile and point out a few of the "missing links" to set the stage for collective brainstorming and needed future steps that formalize the Agile IC Methodology movement within the EDA industry.

  • Davis Frank, Director of Internal Applications, Pivotal Software, Inc.
    • What does "agile" mean to a project? Does it mean "no documentation?" Does it mean teams do whatever they want? Does it mean "no accountability?" Does it mean your team will bring about the end of the world or worse your project?
      A team got together in 2001 and developed the Agile Manifesto. They wanted to restore productive rigor to software development. Effort should be spent completing tasks, shipping business value, and responding to customers. Spending it anywhere else should be considered a waste or at least highly suspect. At Pivotal, we live up to these principles by practicing a highly-disciplined variation of Extreme Programming. We have short design and planning horizons. We pair. We test-drive all of our code. We ship code daily. We talk to customers frequently. We challenge our process every week.
      In short, we keep feedback cycles short. I'll talk about how we structure projects at Pivotal, for our products, and Pivotal Labs, for our clients. From these practical examples, we'll be able to have a fruitful discussion about how this can apply to Agile IC development.

  • Neil Johnson, Principal Consultant, XtremeEDA
    • Agile is a strange new world for hardware developers. It encourages new technical practices, a broader view of development and an entirely new mindset, all to the point where an agile transition can be hard for hardware developers to comprehend. We're going to fix that by turning agile hardware development into something tangible. We'll look at how individuals, small teams and managers can get started simply by improving responsiveness and adaptability in their day-to-day activities.

  • Andrew Putnam, Principal Hardware Engineer, Microsoft Research
    • Microsoft recently became the first to deploy FPGA-based accelerators into the datacenter. Yet the rapid pace of change of datacenter workloads, combined with stringent availability and reliability requirements, makes programming the FPGAs challenging. In this talk, I will discuss the development methods and experiences we have had so far, the applicability of Agile to the realm of FPGA accelerators, and some comparisons to the development methods for current production-scale software services.

About Sonics, Inc.
Sonics, Inc. (Milpitas, Calif.) is the trusted global leader in on-chip network (NoC) technologies used by the industry's top semiconductor and electronics product companies. Sonics was the first company to develop and commercialize NoCs, accelerating volume production of complex systems-on-chip (SoC) that contain multiple processor cores. Our comprehensive NoC portfolio delivers the communication performance required by today's most advanced consumer digital, communications and information technology devices. Sonics' NoCs are integral to the success of SoC design platforms that innovators such as Broadcom®, Intel®, Marvell®, MediaTek, and Microchip® rely on to meet their most demanding SoC integration and time-to-market requirements. We are a catalyst for design methodology change and actively drive industry conversation on the Agile IC LinkedIn group. Sonics' holds approximately 150 patent properties supporting customer products that have shipped more than four billion SoCs. For more information, visit, and follow us on Twitter at

Contact: Erica Harbison
McClenahan Bruer
Email Contact | 503.546.1013


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Sonics, Inc.

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