Real Intent

Location of Heilongjiang Province (yellow) & Qiqihar (red dot) on a map of China

Qiqihar is located in the middle and lower reaches of the Nenjiang River and the hinterland of Songnen Plain, which is adjacent to the Greater Xing'an Mountains and Hulunbeir Prairie, having a flat topography and abundant water and grass. Qiqihar City is the second largest city of Heilongjiang Province, which is the economic and cultural center of the western part of Heilongjiang. Qiqihar is also one of the 13 largest cities in all of China.

Jin went to elementary school and high school in Qiqihar, graduating in 1987 with high honors. The latter allowed her to enter one of the top universities in China without first taking college entrance exams.

Early on in her young life Jin developed many outside interests and skills, in traveling, reading, sports, literature, and art…interests that she still pursues aggressively.

Moreover, since she was unusually talented in math and physics in high school, Jin actually chose to major in electronic engineering at Tianjin University, one of China’s top 10 universities and one of the largest multidisciplinary engineering universities in China. Tianjin is located nearly a thousand miles SSW of Qiqihar, about 20 hours by car.

Tianjin University

(Can you imagine? In a culture that traditionally values men over women, Jin chose electronic engineering as a major, won most every academic award in sight, was soon placed in a group of very advanced students (top 6%), simultaneously worked on a second degree in English, but gosh darn it, Jin managed to end up only 2nd in her 1991 graduating class at Tianjin out of two thousand fellow students! What a slacker!).

What did Jin do as an encore? First she stayed at Tianjin to earn a Master of Science degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering in March 1994, with a thesis on Image Processing. Then she came to the United States and spent two years at Lattice Semiconductor as a CAD Engineer for Layout Verification. She then worked for three years at Cadence as a Core Competency Applications Engineer for formal verification. Oh yes, during this same Cadence period she earned an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) from Portland State University (PSU), conferred in June 2000.

Of course Jin made lots of new friends after coming to the States, among whom was a fellow named Jerry Burch, a co-worker at Cadence.

Right before her PSU graduation, another friend at Cadence referred Jin to Prakash Narain. Jin talked with Prakash in May 2000 and she became interested in what Real Intent was doing. Next she saw a Real Intent suite demo at DAC 2000 and liked the people she met. In September 2000 Jin left Cadence and started working for Real Intent as a Lead Applications Engineer for some 20 months.

During this period the name Jerry Burch re-emerges, as Jerry and Jin became engaged and mutually decided to take a year off work. The couple was married in Hawaii in 2002 and soon their first daughter Makana was born in San Diego. Jin then whiled away her time off, by 1) rearing Makana; 2) earning a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering granted in 2006, with her doctoral thesis work under the guidance of advisor Dr. Malgorzata Jeske, in collaboration with Alan Mishchenko and Professor Brayton at UC Berkeley on logic synthesis and verification; and as if those two tasks were not enough, 3) a second daughter Keona was born in 2006 to Jerry and now U.S. Citizen Dr. Jin Zhang.

Makana & Keona

Then did Jin finally relax? Bien au contraire, mon ami! She next returned to Real Intent as a consultant in November 2006, to assist the marketing effort. She then paused in August 2007 because her mother became seriously ill.

Jin again returned to Real Intent full time in April 2008 as technical marketing manager and later was promoted in November 2009 to technical marketing director. She has mostly been responsible for Meridian CDC technical marketing as well as other general marketing responsibilities (trade shows, website, press releases, articles, etc.). She is definitely putting her newly gained knowledge in business administration to work and sees a bright future ahead.

Jin told this writer, “The reason I keep coming back to Real Intent again and again is that the management has created a culture that feels like an extended family. Everyone is very sincere with each other; no “playing politics” as in many other companies. It is very easy to focus on what needs to get done. Also there is very little (need for) people management; we each are driven by our internal motivation to work hard and do the right thing for the company. Also I am working remote (from Sunnyvale HQ) from my home in Portland, Oregon. No commuting to work is definitely a plus, and the flexible work schedule that fits our personal life is very nice. Overall, Real Intent is a great place to work.”

Oh, by the way … (full time spouse, full time mother, and full time Technical Marketing Director) Dr. Zhang will receive a Master of International Management (MIM) degree from the School of Business at PSU in December 2010. No need for regular wallpaper at the Burch household!

One of six motivational posters on the walls of Real Intent’s headquarters, certainly matches Jin Zhang and indeed, all of the other Real Intent folks that this writer has met:



The writer would like to acknowledge the sources of data and information for this EDA WEEKLY issue: Vendor News Releases; Hoover's; Yahoo! Finance; Google Finance; Google Maps; Wikipedia; and many Real Intent personnel. Ongoing support by the team at IBSystems, Inc., including but not limited to Sanjay Gangal, Adam Heller, David Heller, Jon Heller, Nitai Fraenkel, and Sumit Singhal, is also appreciated.


Past EDACafe Interactions:

It turns out that Real Intent and IBSystems are not strangers to each other. Most recently, Dr. Prakash Narain appeared in a 5-minute video cameo made by EDACafe’s own Graham Bell, one of some 54 such video clips made by Graham at the 47th DAC in Anaheim (June 14, 2010). Prior, both Jack Horgan and Peggy Aycenina each conducted interviews of various durations with Real Intent principals for separate EDACafe articles during mid-2009. While the writer of the current October 11, 2010 article was initially unaware of the existence of the two 2009 pieces mentioned above, he has subsequently ensured that any duplication in the current Real Intent article has been minimized, eliminated, updated or enhanced/clarified.

About the Writer:

Since 1996, Dr. Russ Henke has been and remains active as president of HENKE ASSOCIATES, a San Francisco Bay Area high-tech business & management consulting firm. The number of client companies for Henke Associates now numbers more than forty. During his corporate career, Henke operated sequentially on "both sides" of MCAE/MCAD and EDA, as a user and as a vendor. He's a veteran corporate executive from Cincinnati Milacron, SDRC, Schlumberger Applicon, Gould Electronics, ATP, and Mentor Graphics. Henke is a Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and served on the SME International Board of Directors. Henke was also a board member of SDRC, PDA, ATP, and the MacNeal Schwendler Corporation, and he currently serves on the board of Stottler Henke Associates, Inc. Henke is also a member of the IEEE and a Life Fellow of ASME International. In April 2006, Dr. Henke received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the CAD Society, presented by CAD Society president Jeff Rowe at COFES2006 in Scottsdale, AZ. In February 2007, Henke became affiliated with Cyon Research's select group of experts on business and technology issues as a Senior Analyst. This Cyon Research connection aids and supplements Henke's ongoing, independent consulting practice (HENKE ASSOCIATES). Dr. Henke is also a contributing editor of the EDACafé EDA WEEKLY, and he has published EDA WEEKLY articles every four weeks since November 2009; URL's available.

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Review Article
  • Great Writer October 22, 2010
    Reviewed by 'S.Lee Ryan'
    After reading through Russ's latest story on Real Intent, I just wish I could work for that
    company. I first was exposed to Russ's writing when I worked in Michigan at a company that
    was a SDRC customer and got the monthly newsletters from SDRC by mail. But when I
    attended one of their seminars, I found out it was SDRC's president (Russ) that wrote
    every one of those newsletters for years. By the way, I also liked going to Riverfront Stadium
    with the seminar people to see the Cincinnati Reds play baseball.
    Here it is 30 or so years later, and Russ's writing style is even better than before. He displays
    the understanding that business success comes from motivated people and not just from
    hot technology. How many business stories have you read that have pictures of the
    families of employees? I look forward to every one of Russ's contributions. Keep up the
    good work, Russ!
    S.Lee Ryan

      4 of 6 found this review helpful.
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