December 12, 2005
Bridging the Gap
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What is the time difference between the UK and India?
It's about 5 hours.
Not as bad as from Silicon Valley to India.
That would be very difficult to manage. In fact just last week I returned from China where I talked to some people there. That's about an 8 hour difference which makes it difficult. Five hours is manageable.
Who do you see as competition in your niche?
part of a bigger business.
What industries are the primary targets for your software?
electronics is another area that comes to mind. Companies like Philips. We continue to see strong growth with increased miniaturization and bigger and bigger demand to simulate designs before they run off to prototype or to manufacture.
Who is the end user? Mechanical engineer? Electrical engineer?
It would depend upon the product. Some firms typically use a specialist, a mechanical engineer. At some companies they would be labeled as thermal engineers. In FLO/PCB the typical end user is an electrical engineer who is working in a group on the design and layout of the board. The need to do thermal engineering further upfront in the design cycle is changing the profile of the end user away from just the pure mechanical engineer into much more of a general engineer or specific an electrical engineer. It depends upon the organization and the setup of the organization. FLOTHERM by far accounts for the biggest part of our revenue and is used nearly always by mechanical engineers.
What is the input and output to the software?
characteristics of the design. That could be looking at the temperatures on components, looking at the airflow around components in and out of the device, looking at the effectiveness of the cooling. That's on the thermal side. On the electromagnetic side with FLO/EMC and also Microstripes (a high frequency general purpose code) looking at antenna design there you are looking at the electromagnetic fields as the output. Ultimately of course it is an understanding of how good a design is or perhaps actually an optimization study to look at what the optimum design is to meet certain design requirements.
If there is a problem or if there is less than an optimal design detected, what is the solution? Add heat sinks, change the fan, change electrical components, ?
detailed design and hopefully to avoid any downstream requirement to retro fit heat sinks or have to put in a bigger fan to solve the problem. At the same time there are a lot of parallel design requirements that engineers are struggling with such as acoustic requirements. Keeping the noise levels down particularly in consumer areas is a bigger challenge than thermal or EMC design requirements.
If the end user is a mechanical engineer, he would more likely change things like fans and heat sinks than an electrical engineer would.
electrical engineers who are not necessarily trained in the use of those tools. It's a question of training but it is also the way that the technology is packaged in the product which are the factors making this happen.
How are your products packaged and priced?
On a perpetual or annual basis! They are either node or floating licenses. Most of them are floating licenses. The distribution between perpetual and annual depends on geography to be honest. In Asia Pacific nearly every license is sold as perpetual. In Europe there is a much higher proportion of annual licenses. In North America it's a mixture. We let the customer make that decision. The pricing is set so that it is in theory neutral. It really depends upon the customer's own particular requirements on how they acquire software.
What is the list price of the products?
That depends where you are starting from. At the lower end with a product like FLO/PCB we are looking at anything from $10K to a high end of $50K. That's the kind of scope. It depends upon which modules you have.
It varies with the territory. Let me give you a ball park price figure around $30K.
How many seats would the typical company purchase?
Our biggest customers have 70 to 80 licenses. A typical user has 2 to 3 licenses of FLOTHERM. The expectation for FLO/PCB is that there will ultimately be a higher number of seats. It's a lower price product. It's aimed at electrical engineers. We expect to see larger number of that kind of product in an account. It would very much depend upon the number of EDA seats that the customer has. We would expect once the product has reached maturity maybe 5 times as many seats of FLO/PCB as you would see FLOTHERM seats.
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-- Jack Horgan, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.
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