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May 02, 2011
Welcome SpringSoft!
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on EDACafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Russ Henke - Contributing Editor


by Russ Henke - Contributing Editor
Posted anew every four weeks or so, the EDA WEEKLY delivers to its readers information concerning the latest happenings in the EDA industry, covering vendors, products, finances and new developments. Frequently, feature articles on selected public or private EDA companies are presented. Brought to you by EDACafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!


Introduction


In the most recent EDA WEEKLY posted on April 4, 2011 entitled, “The EDA and the Electronics IP Almanac: Q4 2010”, discussed were the financial results and status of ten publically-traded vendors – five in classical EDA (Altium, Cadence, Magma, Mentor Graphics and Synopsys), and five in the fast-growing subset of EDA known as Electronics Intellectual Property (IP), consisting of ARM, CEVA, MIPS, MoSys, and Rambus.


If you missed the April 4, 2011 article, you can read it at this URL:



http://www10.edacafe.com/nbc/articles/view_weekly.php?articleid=937425

The 10 vendors mentioned above are what remain of the originally-selected 17 electronics-related vendors on which Henke Associates [1] started quarterly coverage in early 2003 – nine (9) were EDA Vendors, eight (8) were Electronics IP vendors.

The seven vendors whose names have vanished from the news did not simply cease to exist; rather, they all were handsomely acquired. Verisity and Nassda became parts of EDA vendors Cadence and Synopsys, respectively. More recently, EDA vendor Synplicity was acquired by Synopsys, and EDA vendor Ansoft was merged with MCAE vendor ANSYS. On the IP side, in 2004 ARM acquired Artisan Components, Inc. In 2009 LogicVision became part of Mentor Graphics. Then Synopsys’ acquisition of Virage Logic became official in September of last year.


As 2010 reached its end, the prospects of each of the remaining ten vendors were brightening. As reported in this space last month, many of the “G10” have been strengthened by previous acquisitions and by the improving economic climate. Accordingly, it seems to this writer a propitious time to consider broadening the list of covered vendors once more:

G11 = G10 + Whom?


It was at that precise moment of contemplation that the writer received an email from long-time acquaintance Mike Sottak of Wired Island PR, with HQ in the Turks & Caicos Islands, and one of his key associates Laurie Stanley, based in Amesbury, Massachusetts. [2]

While the writer had been subliminally aware of the progress that SpringSoft, Inc. had been making, it was Laurie’s March 14, 2011 email that first sparked the notion that this Taiwan/USA-headquartered vendor of specialized IC design software just might be the first G11 candidate.




Laurie’s email contained SpringSoft’s March 14 announcement about the release of an OpenAccess (OA) version of its Laker Advanced Design Platform (ADP). Laker ADP is SpringSoft’s integrated system for the design and analysis of analog, mixed-signal, memory, and custom digital ICs. It works with the Laker Layout Automation System and most available analog simulators, providing an entry point for SpringSoft’s schematic-driven layout (SDL) flow.




With its March 14 announcement, SpringSoft can offer for the first time a complete front-to-back custom IC layout flow based on the OpenAccess (OA) standard, facilitating the design, verification and debugging of complex digital, analog and mixed-signal ICs, ASICs, microprocessors, and SoCs.

SpringSoft, Inc. sports other desirable features that make it attractive as the G11 vendor. It’s a publically-traded company (TAIEX: 2473), which means its financials are visible.



It has achieved a global presence with multiple R&D sites and local support offices around the world.





Moreover, SpringSoft enjoys a strong and growing revenue stream (NT$2,177.541 million in 2010), generated by more than 400 of today's leading integrated device manufacturers and fabless semiconductor companies, foundries, and electronic systems OEMs. See Table 1.



SpringSoft’s automation technologies save time at several particularly complicated and difficult steps in the IC design process, such as:
  • accelerating functional closure of SoC’s, and
  • implementing the Custom IC design and layout.

  • Complex IC design requires a high degree of collaboration and compatibility across EDA tools and related technologies, and SpringSoft has established itself in this area as well. Its Harmony third-party community includes more than 65 partners who work with the Company to ensure tight integration and compatibility among their products. SpringSoft is also a strong supporter and active participant in the development of industry standards which improve designer efficiency and tool interoperability, such as SystemVerilog, SystemC, OpenAccess and Interoperable PDK Libraries.

    Finally, while its main HQ is 6500 miles away in Hsinchu, Taiwan,




    SpringSoft Hsinchu HQ


    SpringSoft has also established a large presence in the SF Bay Area, where your writer resides and where the EDACafe.com publisher IBSystems, Inc. is based. This local Bay Area presence (see photo of 2025 Gateway building below) offered the promise of meeting one or more of the executives of SpringSoft sometime in the months ahead … a meeting which could seal the deal to include SpringSoft as the first new addition to the existing G10 list of vendors. 

    A Positive Coincidence

    As luck would have it, within a few days of the March 14, 2011 News Release, Laurie and Mike informed the writer that not only one, but three top execs from SpringSoft would be together in the SF Bay Area and would welcome a meeting at the SpringSoft San Jose, CA location, hosted by Rob van Blommestein, Director Marketing Communications.

     

    The only caveat:
    the execs were available on only one specific day, a day only 48 hours from Mike and Laurie’s notification.    

    Meeting in San Jose, CA

    Since he already knew the way, your intrepid writer sliced through the season’s spring storms some 53 miles south on I-880 to appear at the  SpringSoft US HQ at 2025 Gateway:



    A Sunnier Day at SpringSoft US Headquarters


    Rob introduced the following SpringSoft executives:


      Mr. Johnson Teng – Chief Operating Officer & EVP:


    Mr. Teng


      Dr. Yu-Chin Hsu – VP Logic Verification  Group:




    Dr. Hsu


      Dr. Jeong-Tyng Li – VP Physical Design Group:




    Dr. Li


    These gentlemen are three of the six executives listed on the Company’s web site as the Executive Team. (The other three are Chairman & CEO Martin Lu, VP & CFO Jerry Wang, and VP Worldwide Sales & Support Bill Shepard).

    Of over 400 total employees, some 97% are in Johnson Teng’s organization, including Bill Shepard and Drs. Hsu and Li. The latter two men head groups that represent 38% and 33% of the Company’s total employees, respectively.

    The time spent with the SpringSoft executives was delightful, beginning with a polite exchange of our respective EDA backgrounds. Their English skills were excellent, a fortunate circumstance since your writer’s familiarity with Taiwan consists solely of several trips to Taipei in the summer of 1989, searching for sources of corporate capital [3].

    The subsequent discussions during the initial visit and since have revealed the backgrounds of all three SpringSoft men as seasoned veterans with extensive worldwide EDA experience and acumen. (More on this later; first a little SpringSoft history).


    SpringSoft Background 

    SpringSoft was founded on February 2, 1996 in Taiwan by Martin Lu, Johnson Teng and Jerry Wang. The original team was part of ECAD Systems in the 1980s, which upon merging with SDA Systems later became Cadence Design Systems.

    The founders launched SpringSoft first by doing contract engineering work and by offering distribution for other EDA suppliers into the Taiwan market.

    The team’s initial product development focus was on IC debugging. Debug tools help engineers understand design behavior and the causes of errors revealed by verification tools. The founders of SpringSoft developed the Debussy® Debug System, which improved the efficiency of finding errors. The small enterprise marketed Debussy as a standalone tool that worked with the major verification tools available from many then-current EDA suppliers. (Note SpringSoft’s first use of classical music composers in the naming of its products).

    It was not long thereafter that SpringSoft also began development of the Laker™ Custom Layout System for IC layout. As with debugging, IC layout had become a very complex and painstaking process, requiring sophisticated software to automate what are virtually impossible tasks for humans to perform manually. And as with its debug solution, SpringSoft’s engineers invented unique technology to cope with the complexities.

    To break into markets outside Taiwan, SpringSoft created a special business model by setting up independent companies to market and distribute its products in North America and in Europe.



    For its debug products, it established Novas Software, Inc. in 1997, which had the responsibility of marketing, selling and supporting the Debussy system.

    SpringSoft took its Taiwan operation public on the TASDAQ in 1999. (It later moved its stock listing to the TSE in 2001).

    Soon after starting Novas, SpringSoft established Silicon Canvas to market, sell, and support the Laker system. A third company, named Novaflow, was set up in Japan in 2000, as a distributor for both the verification enhancement and custom IC design products. SpringSoft later backed another company, ForteLink, which was developing hardware-assisted verification technology. These companies were autonomous with their own management teams and boards.

    Novas later helped develop the second generation debug product, the Verdi™ Automated Debug System, as well as the Siloti™ Visibility Automation System [4].



     


     

    Novas also went on to be recognized by EDA users as the number-one-ranked EDA supplier in EE Times’ customer satisfaction surveys for five consecutive years.


    Out of Many, One


    In May 2008, SpringSoft combined all these independent companies into a single global corporate entity. First announced on April 1, 2008, SpringSoft’s purchase of the remaining shares of San Jose CA based Novas that it didn’t already own, brought Novas president Scott Sandler and Novas VP Sales into SpringSoft. While Mr. Sandler has since left the Company, Bill Shepard remains as head of worldwide sales for SpringSoft. At the time Novas was folded into SpringSoft, the Novas’ global community contained over 10,000 users and more than 50 third-party technology and service providers.
    SpringSoft also added another component to its corporate entity through the acquisition of start-up Nanovata, which complements the Laker technology).

    By merging Novas, Silicon Canvas and Novaflow operations, SpringSoft became well positioned to realize more efficiency and leverage a single, proven channel worldwide to deliver its products.

    In March of 2009, SpringSoft completed the acquisition of Certess, inventors of the world’s only functional qualification solution. This company’s product complements SpringSoft’s existing products and extends its verification enhancement franchise.

    SpringSoft Products

    The Company organized its products into two lines that help engineers save time – the Novas Verification Enhancement solutions and the Laker Custom IC Design solutions. Both sets of award-winning products are based on open platforms that facilitate integration of other tools in the EDA design flow.

    Verification Enhancement Solutions

    The Verification Enhancement Solutions allow engineers to do more verification in less time. SpringSoft says it is the only EDA vendor specializing in verification enhancement solutions. The Novas line now includes the Verdi Automated Debug System, which cuts debug time in half; the Siloti Visibility Automation solution, which speeds up simulation; and the Certitude™ Functional Qualification system, which removes verification uncertainty by finding holes in verification environments. These products help unify the chip design flow by interoperating with third-party simulators using
    industry-standard languages and interfaces to improve design comprehension and productivity throughout the functional verification process.

    Custom IC Design Solutions

    SpringSoft’s Custom IC Design solutions are comprised of the Laker Custom IC Design products and are used at the physical design stage of IC design. With a custom row placer and digital router, a correct and optimized layout is critical to meeting design specifications and constraints such as chip area, power consumption, timing, and manufacturability. Containing many patented innovations, the Laker products definitely help engineers produce better results with less effort.

    At the core of the Laker layout system is its patented Magic Cell (Mcell™) parameterized device technology and a built-in design rule check (DRC) engine that enable a powerful schematic driven layout flow.

    The SpringSoft Community


    SpringSoft’s primary market is the semiconductor industry, and its products are used by virtually all of the major and integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) who design digital, analog, and mixed signal devices. SpringSoft’s solutions are used to design microprocessors, digital signal processors (DSPs), application-specific ICs (ASICs), and other custom components.  Customers are also found within the captive IC design groups of large systems companies that are developing products for applications ranging from computing, telecommunications, networking, wireless, games, automotive, medical, test and instrumentation.

     

    SpringSoft’s Verification Enhancement products have been used commercially since early 1997. More than 12,000 licenses are in use by system and IC designers worldwide. In addition, more than 50 industry-leading and emerging EDA companies, IP providers, and semiconductor chip companies collaborate with SpringSoft to integrate their verification tools with SpringSoft’s verification enhancement products to provide integrated, production-proven tool flows. Cadence, Mentor Graphics, and Synopsys are among the 10 companies that OEM components of the Novas debug platform.

    Over 300 companies worldwide, including 7 of the top 10 semiconductor companies, have adopted Laker custom layout solutions since 2001. The Laker technology has been integrated with a growing list of partner solutions including those offered by, Apache, Ciranova, ClioSoft, Legend, LogicVision, Pulsic, and Pyxis. SpringSoft has also partnered with tier one and specialty foundries including TSMC, UMC, DongBu and Vanguard to provide foundry-certified process design kits (PDKs) to the custom IC design community. Working closely with the Interoperable PDK Library (IPL) organization, SpringSoft has worked to provide what is
    arguably the industry’s most comprehensive support for OpenAccess.


    Background of Johnson Teng

    Johnson Teng has been EVP and COO of SpringSoft since April of 2008. As of March 2011, he had some 390 people in his SpringSoft organization. Among his direct reports are Dr. Li, Dr. Hsu and Mr. van Blommestein. Together these four men constituted the SpringSoft group which met with your writer in San Jose, CA in March 2011.

    Mr. Teng was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1961, the youngest of six children born to his parents in a 12 year span of time. His technical and computer acumen led to his earning a BS (1983) and an MS (1985) in Computer Engineering from National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in nearby HsinChu, Taiwan.




    National Chiao Tung University is recognized as one of the most prestigious universities in Taiwan and is renowned for its research and teaching excellence in electrical engineering, computer science, management, and social sciences. NCTU is Taiwan’s oldest university.

    Originally established in Shanghai in 1896, the University was moved to Taiwan by former Chiao Tung University faculty and alumni in 1958.



    National Chiao Tung University


    According to a 2009 ARWU Academic Ranking of World Universities NCTU ranks 38th in Computer Science. It is considered a highly competitive university and the admission is exceedingly selective.

    Armed with his NCTU Master’s at age 24, he went to work at ECAD for three years, then spent a year as a Cadence Applications Engineering (AE) Manager. Next, he moved over to Sales Manager for Cadence till 1993, when he went to work for E-Team Design Systems as a Sales Manager until 1996.

    At this juncture Mr. Teng joined with Messrs. Lu and Wang to found SpringSoft. Once SpringSoft was up and running, Mr. Teng involved himself in Novas Software, Inc. for over 3 years as VP of Operations.

    In 2001 he became COO of all of SpringSoft. His current Business card:







    Background of Dr. Jeong-Tyng Li


    Dr. Jeong-Tyng Li
    joined SpringSoft in February 2008 when the company Nanovata was acquired by SpringSoft. Dr. Li had been founder & CEO of Nanovata since 2005. He has served SpringSoft as VP of the Physical Design Product Group
    reporting to Johnson Teng since joining, and Dr. Li now oversees some 132 persons on his SpringSoft team.


    Like his boss, Dr. Li was born in Taiwan, but 5 years earlier and in the city of Tainan, the country’s 5th largest city some 195 miles SW of Taipei.





    Tainan by night


    Dr. Li has three siblings: an older brother Larry, a younger brother Chong-Ter, and a younger sister Fong-Ru.


    Young Jeong-Tyng attended elementary and high school in Tainan. He graduated in 1974. With excellent credentials, he was accepted by the National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei. NTU is the top-ranked university in Taiwan and places among the best 95 universities in the world.

     




    During his freshman year, Jeong-Tyng met a young woman named Liu YuJu, who was later to become Mrs. Li (in 1980).





    National Taiwan University


    Preferring physics over chemistry and interested in digital signal processing, Jeong-Tyng chose Electrical Engineering as his undergraduate major, graduating in 1978 with a BS in EECS, whereupon he quite naturally joined … the Marine Corps!


    Fresh from the Marines, Jeong-Tyng married and came to the United States in 1980 to pursue his PhD at the University of California Berkeley under major professor Ernest S. Kuh (well-known Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department and ex-Dean of College of Engineering at University of California-Berkeley; winner of 1998 Phil Kaufman Award).



    UC Berkeley looking west to GG Bridge


    Jeong-Tyng Li received his PhD in 1984 from the EECS School at UC Berkeley. His PhD thesis was entitled, “Array Layout Algorithms and System.”


    The freshly-minted PhD Dr. Li then embarked on a technical and management career of 24 years that finally led in 2008 to SpringSoft:

    1984 ~ 1988: AT&T Bell Labs, Developing CAD tools for ASIC

                         Layout. Bosses: Chi-Chiang Liao/ Ajoy Bose.

    1988 ~ 1990: AMD, section manager, developing place-and-

                         route tools for FPGA. Boss: Charlie Wong.

    1990 ~ 1995: PiE/Quickturn, developing tools for emulators

                         (co-founder). Bosses: Paul Huang/Ping Chao;

    1995 ~ 2000: ArcSys/Avanti, Head of Layout product division,

                         Bosses: YZ Liao, Jerry Hsu.

    2000 ~ 2005: Nassda, Director/VP, circuit analysis, including

                          timing, debugging. Boss: An-Chang Deng.

    2005 ~ 2008: Nanovata, CEO/co-founder, DFM router 

                          company, acquired by SpringSoft.




    Like Dr. Hsu, Dr. Li is based in San Jose, CA.







     

    Background of Dr. Yu-Chin Hsu

    Dr. Yu-Chin Hsu founded the R&D team and served as VP R&D in Novas since January 2000. With the merger with SpringSoft, he has served SpringSoft as VP of the Logic Verification Group reporting to Johnson Teng since May 2008, and Dr. Hsu now oversees over 150 persons on his SpringSoft team.

    Like his boss, Dr. Hsu was born in Taiwan, but 3 years earlier and in the city Taitung. This city lies on the southeast coast of
    Taiwan facing the
    Pacific Ocean. It is about 200 miles directly south of Taipei as the crow flies, but an auto trip takes the driver down the west coast, counterclockwise around the bottom of the island country and up to Taitung city, and takes over 9 hours and 320 miles. Public surface transit takes a more direct route, but still consumes 7 ½ hours



    Taitung City



    Like Jeong-Tyng Li, Yu-Chin Hsu also attended the prestigious  National Taiwan University. Majoring in Computer Science, Yu-Chin achieved a 3.7 grade point average out of 4.0 over the period of 1977 - 81, an excellent academic record. Jeong-Tyng Li attended the same university from 1974 - 78, but Hsu and Li did not personally cross paths in college.

    At the age of about 25, Yu-Chin went to the United States and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the years 1983 to 1987, pausing to get married in 1984. Two children have since emerged from the latter union.



    University of Illinois Engineering Buildings



    Dr. Hsu’s work assignments have consisted of the following:


    -     Associate professor, Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

     Note: First established as the Tsing Hua

    Academy at Tsing Hua Garden in
    Beijing in 1911, the Academy was renamed as   National Tsing Hua University in 1928 as its curricula expanded to that of a full-fledged university. In 1956, National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) was reinstalled on its current campus in

    Highlight: Dr. Hsu co-received the IEEE outstanding young author award in 1991 for a paper published in IEEE Transactions in CAD in 1989. The topic was “SILK: A Simulated Evolution Router.”

    -     Associate professor, University of California, Riverside, CA

    August 1991 till August 1996

    -     Full professor, University of California, Riverside, CA

    August 1996 till August 1997

    -     Head of Synthesis Product Line, Avant!

    August 1997 till October 1999


    Point of Interest:
    In Avant! Dr. Hsu was in charge of the synthesis product line (front end), and Dr. Jeong Tyng Li was in charge of the physical design product line (backend), very similar to the roles each plays today in SpringSoft.


    -     VP R&D, Novas Software, Inc.

    January 2000 till May 2008

    -     VP Logic Verification Group, SpringSoft

    May 2008 to the present time

     



     


    #####





    Taiwan cities mentioned in this article



    #####



    Late Breaking News:

    Beginning today (May 2, 2011), interested readers may want to be on the lookout over the next few weeks for news flashes from SpringSoft about advancements to several technology platforms. The new announcements will combine patented innovations with the Company’s industry-leading franchises to dramatically increase design visibility.

    #####



    FOOTNOTES TO ‘WELCOME SPRINGSOFT’ EDA WEEKLY


    PLEASE NOTE: All FOOTNOTES are included here in reverse order of their numerical appearance in the text of the main article.



    [5] FOOTNOTE:
    THE WRITER WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS HIS GRATITUDE FOR THE COOPERATION AND KINDNESS EXHIBITED BY ALL INDIVIDUALS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PRODUCTION OF THIS MAY 2, 2011 EDA WEEKLY, WITH SPECIAL MENTION OF MS. LAURIE STANLEY, DR. HSU, DR. LI, MR. SOTTAK, MR. TENG, AND MR. VAN BLOMMESTEIN. THE WRITER HAS LEARNED THAT MR.VAN BLOMMESTEIN HAS SINCE LEFT HIS POST AT SPRINGSOFT AND HAS JOINED ANOTHER EDA COMPANY.




    [4] FOOTNOTE:
    The use of composers to name product systems obviously continues to be favored by SpringSoft, except of course for the Laker system. During our initial meeting, Mr. Teng joked that the Laker system was probably named after the Los Angeles Lakers professional basketball team!




    [3] FOOTNOTE: Of course, further reflection prompted the realization that literally scores of people from the Pac Rim have made direct, positive contributions to the writer’s life, starting with fellow students, professors and thesis advisers during his college days, all the way through his career as fellow employees, customers and neighbors. Such reflection occasionally is healthy, but it’s even better that ethnicity virtually never surfaced over competence and wisdom in life’s interactions.




    [2] FOOTNOTE:




    The map below shows the HQ location of Wired Island PR (Mike Sottak, et al) in the Turks & Caicos Islands and how to get there:




    (Laurie Stanley is based in Amesbury MA, about 40 miles by car NNE of Boston. More on Laurie’s background later in this footnote.


    Mike Sottak was born in Worcester MA in 1965. He excelled both academically and athletically at St. Johns High School in Shrewsbury MA, graduating in 1983 with a National-Honor-Society-perfect 4.0 GPA and was captain of his school’s football and track teams.

    Already interested in writing and public relations, Mike chose Boston University for its School of Journalism. Mike graduated from the four year program in 3 years with a stellar 3.6 GPA. He realized early on that “there’s nothing like ‘old school’ journalism training and being able to write quickly, concisely and on a deadline.” During those three years at BU, Mike worked for the daily student newspaper and also interned in the Boston Celtics PR department during the Celtics rise to the top of the NBA again, this time with Larry Bird’s team winning the NBA title in 1986.

    Upon graduation, Mike moved to Houston Texas to take a job as newspaper reporter, spending 2 years there, eventually becoming sports editor (and winning several AP awards along the way).

    Mike next moved back to MA to join EDA start up Gateway Design (1988). When one of the Big 3 EDA companies Cadence bought Gateway, Mike became part of the Cadence team. Mike naturally moved to California and ran the Cadence corporate PR. In 1997, after about ten years of PR success, Mike decided to leave Cadence (just after CEO Joe Costello had resigned). It had been a great run at Cadence and Mike had had a chance to work with some outstanding people (Joe Costello, Tony Zingale, and others).

    This became a pivotal moment in Mike’s career.



    Toni Sottak


    While thinking about what he wanted to do, Mike started his own consulting firm. Mike credits his spouse Toni for supporting his decision, and later Toni joined Mike in running his new business.

    Mike’s first client was a MCAD company called CADLab, which changed its name to think3, headed at the time by one … Joe Costello. Gradually Mike added additional clients in the EDA and IP space.

    Around 2000 Mike’s long-time Cadence colleague Laurie Stanley joined Mike’s firm and they have worked together ever since. The vision was to provide excellent marketing and PR support in ‘an un-agency like’ manner. Laurie and Mike had both spent their entire PR careers on the ‘corporate’ side and had never worked in any kind of agency, so it was all new to them. They did know what they liked and didn’t like about agency relationships from their corporate experience, so they set out to offer a senior-level consulting service that delivered the corporate PR, marketing and communications people
    really wanted. Mike’s firm has been able to work with other great industry PR and communications people on a project basis as part of ‘virtual teams’ – Lynda Kaye, Jim Lochmiller, Jill Jacobs, Annette Bley, Kent Jaeger, Dori Jones -  to name a few. Mike’s firm has always focused on what he knew best – semiconductor design and related industries – IP, manufacturing, etc. While it was tempting to look at other ‘sexier’ industries over the years, especially as the dot.com/Internet era really bubbled over, the team realized its true value was all about how semiconductors are designed and manufactured.



    Always Wired: Mike Sottak in Lake Como, Italy


    In the 14 years since his firm started, Mike and his team have had the opportunity to work with all sorts of companies, big and small. Big companies like Xilinx, Global Foundries, Broadcom, as well as a whole bunch of start-ups – some of which have come and gone. The start-ups and smaller companies are fun, says Mike, because of the excitement and passion they have, and one is usually working with a founder or senior executive. Mike is grateful to have the chance to work with some great people through Wired Island PR, on both the client side and in the journalism world. “We’ve been blessed with outstanding clients.
    That’s been the key to our longevity – working with people who ‘get it.’ One person who has been tremendously helpful and influential is Jim Hogan – a true friend and supporter of Wired Island,” says Mike.

    Wired Island PR keeps a very small portfolio of clients – usually about 5 or 6 max -  because the firm is small and it wants to give each client individual attention. Mike is proud of the relatively small amount of turnover his firm has experienced with its clients. Wired Island PR has no goal of becoming a huge agency and prefers to work in a hands-on fashion.

    Wired Island PR is based in the not-so-traditional high tech center of the Turks and Caicos Islands, where Mike and his family have chosen to call home. Their children Savannah (11) and Lindsey (7) have both been raised in the islands, but they are definitely “all American” girls, according to Dad. “The location is a lifestyle choice but it shows how connected the world is these days. Even being in a relatively remote location, we can stay plugged in. In fact, I would say we can be more productive in some ways, because there are fewer distractions,” Mike notes. He spends a fair portion of time on the road
    attending industry events and visiting clients, but he always strives to maintain a healthy life-work balance.




            Some of the Wired Island PR Personnel at Headquarters



    In response to a question, Mike said, “The PR and communications business, particularly in this space, is very challenging these days. Obviously, we’ve seen a massive decline and consolidation in the media ranks, particularly in print publications, so we’ve had to adapt our strategies to adjust to the new realities of PR. On-line strategies are critical and we counsel our clients to think like publishers themselves – they can develop, control and deliver the message directly to their audiences through a whole new range of communications tactics – blogs, web events, social media, email marketing, etc.  It
    really changes the dynamic of a company’s communications strategy, and the importance of being able to develop compelling messages and content is absolutely critical. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of ‘new media,’ but it still comes down to the fact that you have to know how to tell a story and understand who you are telling it to.”

    “That said, there is and always will be, in my opinion, an important role for the ‘traditional’ media (it just might not be packaged and delivered in ‘traditional’ ways, like paper and print, or even broadcast airwaves). We will always need a credible, independent and objective voice to put news and information in perspective even at our level in the chip design space,” Mike concluded.



    Wired Island PR Staff at Christmas



    [2] FOOTNOTE (continued) Background on Laurie Stanley:

    List of positions held:

    Wired Island, Ltd., Senior Communications Affiliate, 2000 – present

    Represented Wired Island while living in Silicon Valley from 2000 to 2008 and now presently in New England after returning to Massachusetts. Worked with a number of WI clients over the years, most notably SpringSoft, Xilinx and Chartered Semiconductor (now Global Foundries).  Account Manager for SpringSoft from the beginning of the company’s relationship (initially as Novas Software) with Wired Island.

    Zland, Sr. Director, Public Relations, Aliso Viejo, CA, 1999 - 2000

    Cadence, San Jose, CA & Chelmsford, MA, 1987 – 1999

    Began in January 1987 at Telesis Systems (Chelmsford, MA), which merged shortly thereafter with Valid Logic Systems in February 1987. Worked in Valid’s Chelmsford office and continued to do so after Cadence’s acquisition of Valid in December 1991.  In February 1997, re-located by Cadence to its corporate HQ in San Jose. Departed Cadence in November 1999.

    Communications positions during Cadence tenure, last to first:


    Director, Worldwide Public Relations, San Jose, CA (9/98 to 11/99)

    Senior Public Relations Manager, San Jose, CA (2/97 to 9/98)

    Public Relations Manager, Chelmsford, MA (10/95 to 2/97)

    Marketing Communications Manager, Chelmsford, MA (1/89 to 10/95 – Valid/Cadence)

    Marketing Communications Coordinator (1/87 to 1/89 – Telesis/Valid)


    Industrial Vision Systems, Inc.,
    Lowell, MA, 1985 - 1986

    Sales & Marketing Assistant

    Epsilon Data Management, Inc., Burlington, MA, 1980 - 1985


    Staff Assistant, Market Research & Analysis Division


    Civil Service Commission, U.S. Air Force, Hanscom AFB, 1979- 1980

    Administrative Assistant (GS-4), Financial Management Division

    ESD Systems, AWACS Program


    While attending college full time as a commuting student, Laurie worked two part-time office jobs, at radio stations close to home (WNBP-AM in Newburyport, MA and its sister station WSME-AM/FM in Sanford, Maine) and one of their advertising agencies close to school in Boston.  Also worked at WNBP during junior/senior years of high school and started out manually typing the traffic logs with the schedule for ads, public service announcements, required FCC test broadcasts, etc. This was in the days when broadcasts were driven by DJs who took phone requests, played vinyl or 8-track tapes, and bantered with callers.




    [1] FOOTNOTE:
    Since March 31, 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 (Research Scientist), SDRC (President & COO), Schlumberger Applicon (Executive Vice President), Gould Electronics Imaging & Graphics (President and General Manager), ATP (Chairman & CEO), and Mentor Graphics (Vice President & General Manager). 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 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. Since May 2003 HENKE ASSOCIATES has also published ninety-five (95) 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










    You can find the full EDACafe event calendar
    here.


    To read more news,


    -- Russ Henke, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.


    You can find the full EDACafe event calendar here.


    To read more news, click here.



    -- Russ Henke, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.