Peace & Prosperity

“The economic downturn has played a part in all of this, because otherwise we would have imported the [talent pool] into the U.S. - which is what we were doing before. But now in the downturn, we're less interested in bringing people here. Although even during the upturn, we were interested in doing some jobs over there - data generation and quality assurance.”

“There's always a link between outsourcing and immigration - there's less immigration in a downturn. When immigration is loose, there is much more latitude in whether you bring people to the U.S. or send the work off-shore. And meanwhile, in the U.S. economy, it's very difficult to ever back down on salary [levels] - the salary and cost structures are locked in here.”

“I also think that [with regards to the] cost and knowledge of doing software development, the barrier has been significantly lessened over the last 3 years. Linux and open source means that the rest of the world has greater ease in the development of software. You can now get more cost efficiency developing overseas, without necessarily needing the level of expertise that we had to have in the past. That's going to have a potential long-term negative impact on U.S. software development.”

“However, the U.S. is going to continue to be the place for high value-add development and we're still being asked to keep ahead of the rest of the world. We still make the creative products, although we're allowing people in other places to do the manufacturing. Perhaps software development is moving off-shore like manufacturing, but the creative [piece] will still be in the U.S.”

“I think people are potentially trying to link the downturn with the exporting of jobs. People are afraid for their jobs and that has to do a lot with this [current] line of press coverage. It's sort of interesting, however, to see that in the Venture Capital community, a lot of VCs want to see a software plan that includes some percentage of development being taken oversees - sometimes as much as 40%. On the other hand, the VCs won't fund a company that's started overseas. That's a pretty interesting situation.”

“People are always reactionary. Companies really have to hire a mixture of people in the U.S. They have to [remember to] hire some junior people. If you hire everybody with top-notch experience, you're going to have the situation that we have these days, where everybody in EDA - myself included - is a lot older. We need to bring in young undergrads from Berkeley or Stanford or Cornell or wherever to [revitalize] the industry.”

“I think there has to be some general thought given to the entire educational system, as far as what information is being taught to whom. If you teach everyone to make an atom bomb, eventually everyone will make one. There has to be some degree of safeguard in the exporting of knowledge, as well as in the process of people coming to the U.S. and getting access to certain pieces of knowledge. There's always been some degree of control, but are we letting things get out of control in software development? I'm not convinced of that.”

“People knowing how to develop EDA software is not really affecting national security. Chips don't hurt people. It's the things that chips control that hurt people. The rest of the world knows as much as we do about chip development at this point, so I'm not convinced there's really a barrier one way or another with respect to that kind of knowledge.”

“Silicon Valley is a machine. The question isn't - what were they focusing on today or last year? The real question is - what is the machine going to focus on next? New industries are driven by venture capital and innovation - it's no different today than it was in the early 1990's. But the boom has spoiled everybody. [We've forgotten that] building a company is hard work. Selling is hard work. Meeting the customer's needs is hard work. Everybody forgot what it was like before the boom. Now it's back to basics.”

Comit Systems, Inc. - Niladri Roy, Director of Marketing

“We incorporated in Bangalore, India, having been repeatedly approached by our American customers to offer 'India pricing.' Administrative functions and local regulatory compliance is managed by local management. Engineering management is part local, and part seamlessly managed through our secure server-based Customer Project Access System, CPAS, for managing multi-site engineering team scenarios in the U.S.”

“[Regarding pros & cons, etc. related to off-shore outsourcing], we are service providers, and these are our customer's decisions. The interesting points to note are the following: The massive staffing gap of 1999-2000 happened largely in entry level ranks. These [jobs were] filled through hiring local developers and by engaging foreign temporary workers. The latter was the result of relatively low enrollment by local U.S. students in university engineering programs. For some reason, our kids here in the U.S. like the arts and humanities. The economic downturn caused massive layoffs, both at the entry level and at middle and senior engineering management levels. [Subsequently], many foreign workers went home.”

“Entry level and grunt [work] - semi-trivial coding and verification - seems to be on an inexorable path to outsourcing to cost-effective areas abroad. Jobs related to determining functionality, innovating to achieve them, product/module architecture, and inter-module interaction will continue to be in the U.S. for non-commodity and commodity high-end products. [Meanwhile], an economic upturn has the potential to absorb middle and senior engineering management back in [to the work force]. [However], I think we are past the point where it can absorb entry level workers in the numbers [we saw in the late 1990's]. This, fortunately, is in line with moving towards achieving dynamic equilibrium of U.S. university output. However, the massive influx of foreign temporary workers is history.”

“[The economic downturn probably did spur interest in off-shore R&D, because without it], there would not have been such an eagle eye on costs. However if you look at [my earlier statements], it is clear that this is moving towards economic stability, rather than any runway economic downward spiral. All change, however, causes anguish for an unfortunate few, those who end up paying a high personal price for the common good.”

“To a service provider, [the emerging EDA user market in Asia] translates into increased availability of trained personnel and vendors' support. In my opinion, there are no more or less [national security issues here] than those posed by the proliferation of any other technology. It is perhaps even safer, since the end result of use of EDA - whether it's the ASIC or the FPGA platform the netlist goes into - might be easier to track than several other forms of technological end-results.”

“The [current concern voiced by the press] is a big-picture/small window situation. America, like all developed nations, is experiencing increasingly sophisticated 'gentrification.' Chances are extremely high that just as software/hardware design and IT are migrating, much more sophisticated intellectual capital (brains) will migrate in the opposite direction. This will be true in the Arts, as well as in the sophisticated core technology of the future, enabling America to maintain and further its technological lead. Is the American press making noise about the export of agricultural, automotive, chemical and plastics technology jobs? Yet, these were the technology darlings of yesteryears.”

“[Will Silicon Valley continue to drive employment and prosperity in the North American high-tech sector?] If I take the question literally, then my answer is No. Needs and requirements will be driven primarily from developing nations in Asia in the short term, and Africa in the long term (long = 50 years). These regions will be able to maintain the high GDP growth rate necessary to fuel demand. Whether 'Silicon' Valley or a 'Nanotech Ravine' or 'Biotech Glenn' will provide the technology, is something I'm not willing to venture a guess on.”

Nassda Corp. - Sang Wang, President and CEO

“We have R&D facilities in Taiwan, in India, and in four locations in Europe. They each have local managers and director-level people who report back to the VP level here. Essentially today, going off-shore is a cost issue. Everybody's trying to save on costs, particularly in manufacturing. Of course, now we're talking about software development going off-shore where having one [employee] here is like hiring four or five elsewhere in the world. [Although] another issue is talent. You can find local people [off-shore] with good talent and skills - EDA companies always tend to hire for the skill levels.”

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