April 26, 2010
All About EVE
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Devotees of this writer's monthly EDA WEEKLY column may have noticed that each of the
 covered to date has occupied a different niche in the world of Electronic Design Automation:
Mentor Graphics MAD - Flomerics CFD Acquisition (Dec 07, 2009)
Virage Logic - Electronics Intellectual Property (IP) (Dec 22, 2009)
Agilent EEsof EDA I - Hi Frequency Design & Simulation (Feb 01, 2010)
Altium Limited - Affordable PCB/FPGA/Embedded Software (Mar 01, 2010)
Agilent EEsof EDA II - Hi Frequency Design & Simulation (Mar 29, 2010)
The company featured in this issue for the fortnight starting April 26, 2010 also meets that criterion of “vive la différence!”, as
EVE (Emulation Verification Engineering) occupies a unique niche in the esoteric world of EDA Hardware/Software Co-Verification, ASIC Emulation, RTL Emulation, Hardware Emulation, ASIC Validation, ASIC Prototyping and FPGA Prototyping.
EVE also differs from the previously-profiled entities in that EVE is the only one of the five companies that is currently privately-held.
Travel to the Interview:
No doubt previous readers also noticed that inter-city travel from Albany CA was needed to secure interviews with key execs for each of the aforementioned companies. After the first three exotic sites meant “distant treks” to the likes of San Jose, Fremont and Santa Rosa, respectively, number four (Altium) initially implied the possibility of a sojourn to Sydney, Australia, soon downgraded to Carlsbad, CA as the destination, and ending up right here in the SF Bay Area.
But with EVE corporate headquarters nestled in Palaiseau, France (just 10 miles from the center of Paris), could an 11-hour business class 5900 mile flight by yours truly to Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) from San Francisco (SFO) actually be in the offing?
Au contraire! Désolé! EVE has its USA Headquarters right here in good ol' San Jose, CA! Ce n'est pas grave; c'est la vie!
As a result, the principal interview for this issue of EDA Weekly occurred at the current headquarters offices of EVE-USA, located on North First Street in San Jose CA. The office is precisely 50 miles south of the writer's office in Albany CA.
While EVE itself began its existence in France in 2000,
Dr. Lauro Rizzatti initiated EVE's presence in the United States as a group of one in 2002. Since then, the local EVE-USA office has grown to over 30 employees, over whom Dr. Rizzatti has either solid line or dotted line responsibility as General Manager.
In addition, Dr. Lauro Rizzatti is the corporate Vice President for EVE Marketing worldwide; he also participates in much of the top level corporate business planning, reviewing, and staffing activities across the company. By virtue of his background, experience, skill and geographic proximity, Lauro is also EVE's principal liaison with partners, competitors and customers in Silicon Valley.
Overall, EVE's headcount today exceeds 110 worldwide, with Palaiseau having the lion's share, providing most of the company's executive and R&D functions, the latter heavily weighted toward software development. Manufacturing of the actual EVE hardware products is done by three carefully-chosen European sub-contactors. EVE also operates EVE-owned branch sales, support, and training offices in India, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and EVE has established distributors in China, Israel and Finland. Over the years, Dr. Rizzatti himself set up many of these remote offshore offices and hired/trained the local personnel.
Dr. Rizzatti's Background:
Lauro Rizzatti was born in
Gorizia, Italy, which is about 30 miles NNW of Trieste in the far northeastern part of Italy, and is about 100 miles ENE of Venice. Below is a photo of Gorizia from Google Earth by Francisco Santos:
Lauro and his brother and sister were reared in Gorizia by their mother and father, the latter of whom was an accomplished surgeon. Lauro entered a five year electronics engineering course of study in 1965 and graduated with a Doctorate in 1970 from the nearby
University of Trieste:
Upon graduation Lauro took a job in the European telecommunications industry, first spending four years in Milan at
SIT-Siemens (today: Italtel). Then he joined
Standard Elektrik Lorenz based in Stuttgart. As a telecom electronics hardware designer, this job took him on multiple assignments to other countries, some as exotic as the Sultanate of Oman, some as plebeian as a two-year post in the mid-70's to Gallion, Ohio (only 170 miles northeast of the writer's hometown of Cincinnati).
Next Lauro accepted a position as an electronics applications engineer for
Teradyne, a multi-national automatic test equipment (ATE) firm. While Lauro worked and resided in Munich for four years in this position, once again his vocation meant travel and eventual relocation to other countries in Europe, and ultimately led to a transfer to the USA (Boston). During his assignments at Teradyne, Lauro also had a chance to observe Teradyne's less-than-successful foray into EDA, a very tempting field in the “go-go eighties.”
Founded in 1981, one EDA vendor thriving in the eighties was
Mentor Graphics Corporation (MGC), early on a key member of the “DMV Big 3 of EDA -- Daisy-Mentor-Valid.” Finally in 1989, Lauro was lured away from Teradyne to join MGC as an applications engineer in Boston, soon followed by his relocation from Boston to the MGC HQ in Beaverton, OR (prior to MGC moving its HQ to nearby Wilsonville, OR). This position ultimately led Lauro to an 11-year career at MGC, including new assignments in technical marketing and then product marketing. (A portion of Lauro's term at MGC overlapped with the writer's 1990-1996 MGC tenure, although each of us was based in a different city for the most part).
Having left MGC, and following a relative short period working for
Synopsys, Lauro became interested in possible executive roles at small start-ups in Silicon Valley.
After a year-and-a-half at
Get2Chip, Lauro joined
EVE SA in April 2002.
EVE itself was then a tiny, self-funded independent enterprise based in France. EVE had been founded in 2000 by four engineers and scientists who had formerly been with the emulation division of Mentor Graphics, a division organized at MGC after its 1996 acquisition of
(Apparently, in the mid-90's, MGC and Quickturn had entered into a bidding war to acquire META Systems, which employed 15 people at the time and further, possessed superior emulation technology to that of either would-be acquirer. MGC prevailed and META Systems became part of MGC).
Once he joined EVE, Lauro was asked right out of the box to open
EVE's US Operations in San Jose, CA, and “the rest,” as they say, “is history.”
The Rest is History?
Actually, the writer has always disliked the expression, “The rest is history,” mostly because the cliché tends to understate the effort and agony of starting or restarting a business enterprise. The effort and agony abides even for those who participate in the beginnings of an enterprise that eventually survives and flourishes, let alone those that fail.
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-- Russ Henke, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.
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