Real Intent
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Real Intent


This month of October 2010 marks the twelfth consecutive month in which at least one new EDA WEEKLY article by this writer has appeared in Today’s article about Real Intent, Inc. is actually the “lucky thirteenth” of the year, since a new article appears every four weeks from each writer on the EDA WEEKLY beat. 

During this past year, seven selected EDA-related companies have been featured in eight issues; five of those individual enterprises are currently public, and two are privately-held. The remaining five EDA WEEKLY articles were devoted to timely general topics that affect all businesses, including EDA of course. 

To date, the annual revenues of the public EDA-related companies covered ranged in size from ~$50 million to ~$800 million, and the two private EDA companies less than $30 million each. When one of the Big 3 EDA companies is involved in an article (Synopsys, Cadence, or Mentor Graphics), usually it’s specific to a smaller piece of the company (such as the MGC Mechanical Analysis Division in December 2009):

A conscious effort has been and will continue to be made, to explore via these articles every major area of the EDA space; to date, these have included:

The good news is that opportunities for coverage of worthy topics and companies are now flowing in from many quarters, filling in the writer’s editorial calendar for months to come. The writer genuinely appreciates this increasing level of support. Occasionally the writer will insert into that calendar a special article to cover important breaking news.

Today’s Article

This October 11, 2010 EDA WEEKLY article is about Real Intent, a San Francisco Bay Area privately-held 12-year-old company centered on offering technology-based formal verification software to electronics design and verification teams worldwide. The other privately-held enterprise, covered in the April 26, 2010 issue of EDA WEEKLY, “All about EVE,” was, in fact, EVE, the Paris-headquartered 10-year-old vendor of hardware/software verification and emulation products worldwide:

Both EVE and Real Intent are focused on improving the speed and accuracy of complex electronic system designs, especially complete systems that can be engineered into a semiconductor chip. True to its namesake, EVE takes the approach of providing its unique and powerful hardware emulators and custom software to rapidly verify that a specific silicon integrated circuit design performs its desired functions correctly, thus reducing re-spins or eliminating re-spins entirely. “EVE” = “Emulation Verification Engineering.”

Please see the April 26, 2010 issue of EDA WEEKLY to glean the details of how four Frenchmen got together in the last year of the previous millennium (2000) to found EVE (Messrs. Burgun, Guerineau, Larzul, & Renier) and soon thereafter combined with an Italian-American entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley (named Lauro Rizzatti) to build a venture-backed worldwide company and achieve its current level of success.

Real Intent

On the other hand, Real Intent, Inc. was founded in July 1998 by two fellows from India (named Narain & Kumar) who combined with the awesome support & guidance of a special German-American named Andy Bechtolsheim in Silicon Valley to succeed in establishing a thriving young enterprise based on the company’s founding premise: to develop and market easy-to-use software products that verify, at the earliest opportunity in the design cycle, that a silicon chip’s design actually implements the designer's intent.

Real Intent has become a technology leader in the industry by solving many of the critical problems inherent in conventional simulation-based chip design approaches. Such problems often were and still are “testbench limited” and tend to require a large amount of resources for simulation and debugging. Based on formal technology, Real Intent’s verification solutions enable chip designs to rapidly reach quality goals with dramatically reduced effort, offering the best return on investment.

Real Intent’s Recent Business Performance

In early August 2010, the Company issued a news release describing its 1H 2010 business performance news to the public. Excerpts follow:

Real Intent  Inc., the innovator in automating the intelligence of formal techniques for design verification, announced that revenue for the first half of 2010 was up 76% when compared to the same period last year, and the company is on track, as it enters its 13th year, to continue to help designers improve electronic design quality.

During the first half of this year Real Intent achieved stellar growth in many areas. The company signed up several new customers and existing customers purchased new and additional product licenses. Headcount increased by 18% and the company is still hiring. Its Ascent Lint and Meridian Clock Domain Crossing software products were improved and 26 articles, focused on EDA verification, were published in the company’s Real Talk Blog.

“Real Intent is on a roll,” remarked Carol Hallett, VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. “We are pleased that the interest in our design quality solutions continues to grow worldwide, and that we are able to confirm this trend with the increased interest in our CDC and Lint product lines.”

First Half 2010 Activity Highlights

Real Intent’s 2010 CDC, DFT and Lint product news can be found at the following links:

Real Intent’s Real Talk blogs are at

Real Intent also participated in public events in North America, Japan, Europe and Israel. This included EDSFair, DVCon, DATE, SNUG, FPGA Summit, ChipEx and the 47th Design Automation Conference (DAC) in Anaheim, CA.

Real Intent authors also published the following articles:

In addition, the Real Intent website traffic increased 146%.

Group Interview Meeting August 24, 2010

Having recently learned that Real Intent had developed a thriving business in the area of formal logic verification, and with the encouragement of current EDA colleagues, the writer responded favorably to a suggestion from associates of Real Intent to feature the Company in an upcoming (Fall 2010) EDA WEEKLY article. Happily, when he approached Real Intent management about the idea, the writer found an enthusiastic and cordial reception.

Thus on August 24, 2010 (a day that turned out to break local summer temperature records), the writer braved the streets of the San Francisco Bay Area to drive a circuitous route some 70 miles from his office in Albany CA (marked “A” in the USGS Bay Area photo below) to Real Intent’s headquarters at 505 North Mathilda Avenue, Sunnyvale CA, 94085 (marked “S” in the photo below):

USGS Photo of SF Bay Area, looking northeast from the Pacific

There the writer was delighted to meet jointly with the following individuals associated with Real Intent:

          Dr. Prakash Narain – Co-founder, president & CEO

          Mr. Rajiv Kumar – Co-founder, COO & VP of Engineering

          Ms. Carol Hallett – VP Worldwide Sales & Marketing

         Ms. Georgia Marszalek – Valley PR LLC Foster City CA


We begin with a brief backgrounder on each of these folks; details of their origins and early influences are included in Footnotes [1].

Both Dr. Prakash Narain and Mr. Rajiv Kumar were previously EDA software tool users who worked at Sun Microsystems and Hewlett Packard, respectively. They began Real Intent in 1998 with the belief that the origin of most if not all chip design bugs lay in the use of structural Register Transfer Level (RTL) creation that did not and does not accurately implement a designer’s intent.

Dr. Prakash Narain

Indeed, in his career prior to mid-1998, Dr. Narain had become frustrated with the conventional limited chip design methodology that required enormous vector generation and debugging effort. In his judgment, a significant amount of expensive design and verification engineering resources were frequently needed to produce acceptable results in this cumbersome and slow process. At Real Intent, he wanted to develop tools that would streamline the verification process and therefore achieve quality levels rapidly and with a reduced resource requirement.

When he helped start Real Intent, Dr. Narain had already had hands-on experience with almost all aspects of IC design, CAD tools design and usage. He was the project leader for test and verification for the UltraSPARC IIi at Sun Microsystems (1995 to 1997). His work resulted in the filing of two patent applications. During his 1994-1995 year at AMD he was an architect of the Mercury Design System, a project that was a top-ten AMD goal for 1995. The project was chartered to create a new design methodology to double the efficiency of the design process. Narain had also architected and developed CAD tools for test and verification for IBM EDA from 1992 to 1994. Dr. Narain’s 1992 Ph.D. is from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where his thesis focus was on algorithms for high level chip design testing and verification. [2]

Mr. Rajiv Kumar

A second individual from Real Intent who participated in the August 24, 2010 Interview Meeting was co-founder, COO and VP Engineering Rajiv Kumar, who brought twelve years of previous engineering and management experience to Real Intent in July 1998. During his previous 1986-1997 tenure at Hewlett Packard, Kumar had worked on multiple projects, including the HP PA-RISC processor and its optimizing compilers. He also helped specify the IA-64 processor along with the Intel engineering team. One of his later assignments at HP had been as a key architect for HP’s transition from 32-bit to 64-bit platforms by leading over 100 engineers in delivering the industry's best performance on HP's 16-way SMP system. Kumar holds graduate degrees in management from Stanford (1998) and in Computer Science from University of Oregon (1986). He also holds two patents on compiler technology and has published numerous research papers. [3]

Ms. Carol Hallett

Also joining us on August 24, 2010 was Ms. Carol Hallett, who is Real Intent’s VP of Sales and Worldwide Marketing, having joined the Company in September of 2007.

Prior to Real Intent, Carol was the Vice President of Sales at Tharas, beginning in June 2006. When EVE acquired Tharas in late 2006, Carol became WW Sales Manager at EVE.

Prior to Tharas, Carol was at Phoenix Technologies as Account Executive, OEM Americas; at Blue Pearl Software as VP of Sales; and at Mentor Graphics in a sales role. She was also the Vice President of Sales for TransEDA for two years;

Carol in Taiwan for Trans EDA

VP Sales at RoyoCAD (four years); and Director of Sales and Marketing at CMCD CAD DESIGN (six years). Carol began her career at National Semiconductor and Surface Mounted Technology in various technical and operational roles. [4]

Ms. Georgia Marszalek

Last but not least, we were pleased to have Ms. Georgia Marszalek join us on August 24, 2010. Georgia is Real Intent’s external Public Relations person. A Pepperdine graduate, Georgia has been a well-known Semiconductor Public Relations Counsel for ValleyPR LLC since September 1997. Georgia plays a primary role in developing Real Intent’s “footprint” in the EDA world, a footprint that is already well beyond Real Intent’s modest size.

Company HQ Facilities

This Real Intent group of four company-associated people met with the writer for several hours on August 24, 2010 in a large, technically well-equipped conference room at the company’s modern HQ building in the heart of Silicon Valley, a building the company has occupied for over five years.  The company personnel based in Sunnyvale utilize the entire second floor of the 505 building, housing typical functions such as R&D, sales, marketing, customer support and executive offices, with various rooms for a server farm, seminars, etc.

Real Intent HQ Sunnyvale, CA

Before this current location, the company had its headquarters near Freedom Circle in Santa Clara, CA.

There are also Real Intent Branch Offices today in Washington, Oregon, Texas, Massachusetts and Brazil. Counting everyone, today Real Intent has about forty (40) full time employees worldwide.

Offshore reps are based in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Israel.

Products of Real Intent, Inc.

The following is a graphical portrayal of Real Intent’s product line:

Real Intent product details are not the focus of this EDA WEEKLY; for more information please go to:


Selected Topics from the Group Interview

The discussion on August 24, 2010 covered many topics. Since the details of Real Intent’s product line have been covered elsewhere, and since Real Intent’s recent revenue performance has been discussed in the foregoing paragraphs, the focus of the Group Interview was on how the company culture among the founders, subsequent employees, advisors and funding sources materialized to produce the current positive dynamics within the Company and among customers.


[1] Footnote: More background details on many of the key Real Intent people mentioned in this article are contained in subsequent footnotes associated with each individual.

[2] Footnote: Additional background on Prakash Narain, co-founder, president & COO of Real Intent, Inc. Prakash was born in the city of Lucknow in India to Murti Narain Roy and Rama Roy. Lucknow is the capital city and is situated in the geographic center of the state of Uttar Pradesh, (shown here on the map in light yellow), located in the upper northeastern part of India:

State of Uttar Pradesh, India

Lucknow is often called the Constantinople of India, offering a unique combination of rich cultural traditions and brisk economic growth. Growing from a population of about 1.6 million as recent as 1981, it is now home to some 5,000,000 people, becoming the second largest city of north & central India after Delhi.

Prakash has two older sisters. His father and sister Sudha Rai are retired, and his other sister Neelina Sinha is a Professor at UC Davis.

Prakash went to elementary and middle school in Lucknow, and then attended the Colvin Taluqdars College in Lucknow during his high school years. The school occupies a 60-acre campus built on the banks of the river Gomti.

Colvin Taluqdars College

Established in 1889, Colvin is one of the oldest public schools in India, and it has a strong reputation of producing academic results which are unparalleled in the history of secondary learning in India, providing a liberal education with no religious affiliations. The school’s motto is "noblesse oblige."

Lucknow also has an enduring reputation of being a sports-loving city, including among others cricket, football, badminton, golf and hockey. 

Badminton across the world is not the tame and polite lawn game of occasional family picnics that some Americans might imagine. Rather, Badminton is a fast-paced, physically demanding activity that premiered as a full-medal Olympic sport at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Moreover, dozens of tournaments are routinely held all over the globe for both amateurs and professionals, including in the United States. Purses are very attractive in the professional Badminton ranks.

Indeed, Prakash Narain was so facile at badminton that he played badminton at both the state and college level, and he actually considered pursuing a career in the sport. As Prakash says now, perhaps with a tinge of regret, “My father’s advice in choosing between an academic path and badminton should be evident.”

Fortunately, Prakash Narain was equally adept academically. In fact, he qualified to attend one of India’s premier colleges in the district of Kanpur, also located in the state of Uttar Pradesh: the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Kanpur). This institute was started in 1959. During the first ten years of its existence, IIT Kanpur benefited from the Kanpur Indo-American Program (KIAP), where a consortium of 9 US universities, namely M.I.T; University of California, Berkeley; California Institute of Technology; Princeton University; Carnegie Institute of Technology; University of Michigan; Ohio State University; Case Institute of Technology and Purdue University helped set up the research laboratories and academic programs.

PK Kelker Library – IIT Kanpur

Prakash attended IIT Kanpur from 1979 to 1984, earning a Btech in Electrical Engineering in 1984. Moreover, on the badminton courts at IIT KANPUR Prakash met the woman (Roopa Rai) who became his spouse in 1984. Today, Prakash and Roopa have two sons, Manas Rai, a UC Berkeley graduate, and Gaurav Rai, now in high school.

After his BtechEE, Prakash’s first job from 1984 to 1986 was in the Indian capital city of New Delhi, at Maruti Udyog, an Indian auto manufacturer. New Delhi is some 470 km northwest of Lucknow, about 7 hours away by automobile. New Delhi had a population of 14 million people in 2001, and has an average temperature of 86 degrees F throughout the year.

Akshardham Temple New Delhi

Soon enough, however, the siren call of advanced education overtook Prakash, and he came to the United States for his Master’s Degree at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA in 1988:

UMASS Campus Amherst

… and then on to his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana in 1992, both advanced degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

ACES Library U.I.

[3] Footnote: Additional background on Rajiv Kumar, co-founder, COO, and Vice President of Engineering of Real Intent, Inc. Rajiv was born in the city of Patna, India in 1961, to Akhileshwer and Shakuntala Prasad. Rajiv’s father Akhileshwer was a bank manager. 

Patna is the capital of the Indian state of Bihar and the second largest city in eastern India. Patna today is the fifth fastest growing city in all of India and is ranked high as a place to start a business. Patna also has a long history; it’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world and sits on the South Bank of the Ganges River. Patna is 525 km southeast of Lucknow, or over 8 hours away by automobile. 


Rajiv is one of four boys in his family. His parents and two brothers still live in India and one brother lives in the US.

Rajiv went to elementary school at Sharada School in Bihar, and then to Netarhat Vidyalaya, a residential school for his secondary education. (Netarhat is 325 km south of Patna and over 5 hours by automobile).

Netarhat Vidyalaya from the air

NetarhatVidyalaya Main Building

Rajiv was #1 on the entrance test to enter Netarhat Vidyalaya school, and he graduated 3rd is his class in 1977. He specialized in debate and writing, winning numerous awards.

Rajiv then went to college at IIT in Kharagpur 1978-1983 on a National Talent Scholarship. IIT Kharagpur was established to train scientists and engineers after India attained independence in 1947. It is of course located in Kharagpur, India in the state of West Bengal, and is SSE of Patna some 600 km and over 9 hours by car.

IIT Kharagpur

The school shares its organizational structure and undergraduate admission process with sister IIT’s. The students and alumni of IIT Kharagpur are informally referred to as KGPians. Among all IIT's, Kharagpur has the largest campus, the most departments, and the highest student enrollment, and it is regarded as one of the best engineering schools in India. Rajiv became a well-known debater within IIT. Upon his 1983 graduation, Rajiv was academically ranked #2 in his entire class.

Rajiv then spent a year working as a programmer at Tata Information Systems in Jameshedpur, which is due south of Patna some 450 km and over 7 hours away by car. Jamshedpur is a major industrial center of East India. It houses numerous well known companies like Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Lafarge Cement, Telcon, BOC Gases, Praxair, TCE, Timken India, Tinplate, and many more. It is also home to the one of the largest Industrial Belts of India known as Adityapur which houses more than 800 small and medium scale industries.

Jameshedpur at night

In 1984, Rajiv became the first person in his family to make the life-transition of leaving India for the USA, in his case to attend the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, where he obtained a Master’s in Computer Science in 1986. He also met his life partner there (Kari), whom he married in 1988.

UO Graduate School Chapman Hall

Rajiv joined Hewlett Packard in 1988 and worked there till 1997, during which time Rajiv built up an urge to become an entrepreneur.

He took a leave from HP, having obtained an HP Fellowship to attend Stanford Palo Alto CA for a year, obtaining an MS in Engineering Management. This is also about the time that he first met Prakash Narain.

Along the way, Rajiv and his wife Kari have had two children, a boy and a girl. His son attends UC San Diego these days, and his daughter is in high school.

[4] Footnote:
Additional background on Ms. Carol Hallett, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing of Real Intent, Inc.

One of seven children of Carl and Mary Louise McDonald of San Jose, CA, Carol was born in 1953. She has 3 older brothers, 2 younger sisters and 1 younger brother.

Carol at four months with mother and older brother

Carol’s father Carl passed away when she was only 9 years old. As the eldest daughter, Carol assumed many household and care-giving duties, even attending parent-teacher conferences for her older brothers on her mother’s behalf. Carol’s willingness to take on responsibility has been a life-long trait.

Carol’s mother Mary Louise worked as a secretary for the Campbell CA Unified School District just south of San Jose. As the sole provider for her seven children, Mary Louise exhibited heroic dedication and drive throughout her life, qualities that Carol emulates to this day. Now 87, Mary Louise lives with one of her sons in VA, reads extensively and has become quite a computer whiz.

These days, Carol’s siblings are spread out in five states across the nation.

Carol- High School Senior

During her high school years, Carol took on multiple school activities and part-time jobs. She did not have a car so she used to sprint daily from home to work, work to school, school to work, work to home, then cook dinner for the family and tackle her homework assignments. As a result, she developed a fondness for running, and competed later in life in 6K runs, a biathlon and a triathlon. She was also involved in a ladies soccer league at its inception; her team was affiliated with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Carol has been happily married to one Dave Hallett since 1980, the nuptials having occurred on a boat in the middle of Lake Tahoe.  The couple has a son Dale Stanec Jr. DDS, who lives in Cameron Park, CA with his spouse Elena and their two sons Dale III (8) and Luis David (6).

Below is a recent family portrait of the whole gang:

Prior to joining Real Intent, Carol worked at many companies (National Semiconductor, RoyoCAD, Mentor Graphics, Phoenix Technologies, Tharas Systems, TransEDA, and EVE) in many different capacities, from engineer, operations, manufacturing, sales and marketing positions. Carol has been successful in every job she has ever taken on.

She has amassed some 34 Recommendations on LinkedIn, all outstanding.

For example:

“I had the pleasure of working with Carol while she was at Phoenix Technologies. I was impressed with her from the first day we met. Her professionalism was outstanding and her customer satisfaction ideals were even more outstanding. Having seen her in action and hearing from her customers how great she was to work with proved to me I was working with an A+ class individual. Her ability to compress technical data into real-world and ROI solutions to her client base solidified why she was always our number one sales executive. Her desire to mentor those around her helped me in my growth in the company and her departure was a sad day. I look forward to working with Carol again someday and highly recommend her to any company looking for top notch talent a real down to earth person!”  March 28, 2008.                             

Kenneth Weeks, Global Accounts Executive, worked with Carol at Phoenix Technologies.

The following recommendation from Real Intent CEO Prakash Narain says a lot about the work that Carol has been doing at Real Intent:

“I have worked with Carol in very close association over the last few years and it has been a pleasure. Carol brings a very unique and excellent combination of enterprise, energy, operational and sales skills to the team. Carol has risen to the challenges presented to her and has pursued them with energy while working within the team concept for the company. I recommend Carol without any reservations.” April 23, 2009

Prakash Narain, President & CEO, Real Intent, manages Carol at Real Intent, Inc.

Indeed, at Real Intent, Carol has assembled an all-female team of technical marketing engineers (TME’s) to manage Real Intent’s automatic formal verification product portfolio. The TME team drives the product development cycle, from initial conception to product spec, product implementation, customer engagement, and finally product fine tuning. Carol believes her TME team is at once observant, attentive, and detail-orientated, and that these positive traits are reflected in Real Intent’s product offerings. Customers agree.

Prakash and Carol – DAC 2010

[5] Footnote: Background of Andy Bechtolsheim, Board member of Real Intent and Lead Investor.

Andy Bechtolsheim, 55,
co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982, along with Vinod Khosla, Bill Joy, and Scott McNealy.

According to Wikipedia: At Stanford University, Bechtolsheim had devised a powerful computer (which he called a workstation) with built-in networking running the Unix operating system. He developed the workstation because he became tired of waiting for computer time on the central University system. Khosla approached him, wanting to build a business around selling the workstation. He also approached McNealy who was at another company after having completed his MBA at Stanford Business School in 1980. They named the company SUN, derived from "Stanford University Network." Bechtolsheim left Stanford, where he was enrolled in a Ph.D. program, to found the company. Sun Microsystems quickly became a success, with $1 billion in sales by 1988. By 2003, the market capitalization of Sun Microsystems was $11.5 billion.

SUN is now part of Oracle. Andy is a private investor and also serves as Chairman & Chief Development Officer of Arista Networks of Menlo Park, CA.

Bechtolsheim is a founding member of Carnegie Mellon University's West Coast campus in Mountain View, California. He was one of the first investors in Google in 1998.

Bechtolsheim is increasingly being seen as a successful "angel investor", particularly in areas such as electronic design automation (EDA). He has made a number of successful investments in EDA, including Real Intent. He argues that changes in the chips themselves are outpacing the development of EDA tools, creating what he sees as an opportunity.

[6] Footnote
: Background of Anant Agrawal, Board Member of Real Intent, & president & CEO Verayo, Inc.

Anant Agrawal brings over 25 years of semiconductor and system industry experience to his CEO role at Verayo. Prior to Verayo, Anant was the founding CEO of Insilica, a fabless semiconductor company with operations in India, Slovenia and United States.

Anant spent a significant part of his career at SUN Microsystems from 1984 to 2002. Anant was one of the founding members of the team that started the SPARC processor program at SUN. Over the years his teams designed a number of microprocessors and released them to production. For seven years he was the Vice President and General Manager of the processor business unit. Anant began his career as a design engineer for Memorex Corporation and then joined STC Computer Research Corporation, where he was the lead technical designer of the floating point unit for an IBM compatible mainframe. Anant has also consulted for a number of public companies and startups. In addition to his Board role at Real Intent, he is currently also an advisor to Khosla Ventures.

Anant holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the MS University of Baroda, India and a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.

[7] Footnote:
Background of Dr. Pranav Ashar, Chief Technology Officer of Real Intent.

On June 18 of last year (2009) Real Intent announced that Dr. Pranav Ashar was rejoining Real Intent as its Chief Technology Officer.

 "We are very excited to welcome Pranav back to the Real Intent family," commented CEO Prakash Narain, CEO. "As we are increasing our product offerings by creating innovative solutions to address customer design challenges, Pranav's expertise in formal technology and his vision will lead us into the future," said Dr. Narain in June 2009.

"I am extremely pleased to be a part of the Real Intent team again," stated Pranav Ashar upon his return. "As its numerous customers will testify, Real Intent has clearly demonstrated that the judicious application of formal methods in VLSI design measurably improves designer productivity and lowers design time. With at least five more technology-shrink generations and much greater system-level complexity on a chip on the anvil, I look forward to working with Real Intent to develop new technologies to improve designer productivity and mitigate design risk."

Dr. Pranav Ashar brings two decades of EDA expertise to Real Intent. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in EECS with emphasis on EDA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989 and 1991, respectively.

Joining NEC Labs in Princeton, NJ in 1991, Pranav developed a number of EDA technologies that have influenced the industry. One of his important accomplishments there was in raising the prominence of formal methods in VLSI design through the creation of a successful Verification Department and the development and widespread deployment in EDA tools of practical methods for formal verification. Through his leadership, the department turned its formal methods expertise into practical methods for formal analysis in software engineering that have been deployed in the field. Pranav also created a successful department at NEC Labs for the application of automata and machine learning methods in the management of large-scale distributed systems.

Pranav previously served as CTO at Real Intent from 2004 through 2006.

In the interim, he served as CTO at a mobile-phone security company called NetFortis that he co-founded and for which he developed low-energy high-performance algorithms for malware detection, and Chief Scientist at a simulation acceleration company called Liga Systems that was based on technology developed by him at NEC Labs for custom-VLIW based parallel simulation that was recently able to demonstrate a reduction in simulation time from 21 days to about 1 day on a 25 Million gate design.

Pranav has authored some 70 publications in refereed conferences and journals with approximately 800 citations, and co-authored a book titled "Sequential Logic Synthesis." He has 35 patents granted and pending, many of which have been licensed or part of business enablement. Pranav has been on committees of ICCD, ICCAD and IWLS. He was ICCD Program Chair in 2004 and 2005, and ICCD General Chair in 2006. Pranav is an adjunct faculty member in the CSEE department at Columbia University where he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on VLSI design automation, VLSI Verification, and VLSI design. Pranav has also taught a graduate course on Switching Theory in the EE department at Princeton University.  

[8] Footnote:  
Background of Dr. Chris Morrison, Chief Architect, Real Intent, Inc.

Joining the Company in 1999, Dr. Chris Morrison was employee #2 at Real Intent.  He brought over 15 years of EDA software engineering experience to the team.  Previous to Real Intent, he led the engineering development of clock tree generation and placement based optimization tools at Cadence Design Systems from 1994 to 1999. From 1991 to 1994 he worked at Viewlogic Systems in Silicon Valley (Santa Clara and Fremont).  His PhD is from the University of Colorado (1991) and his BSEE is from Yale University (1977). 

[9] Footnote:  
Background of Dr. Jin Zhang, Director of Technical Marketing, Real Intent, Inc.

Jin Zhang
was born in 1969 in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang province, China, to father Jilei Zhang and mother Ze Ma. Both parents were teachers in high school in China; they are now retired and have moved to the United States. Jin also has a brother named Hongye Zhang, born in 1973. He is an accountant and still lives in China.

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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Since May 2003 HENKE ASSOCIATES has also published a total of ninety-two (92) independent COMMENTARY articles on MCAD, PLM, EDA and Electronics IP on IBSystems' MCADCafé and EDACafé. Further information on HENKE ASSOCIATES, and URL's for past Commentaries, are available at . March 31, 2010 marked the 14th Anniversary of the founding of HENKE ASSOCIATES.

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