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 Bridging the Frontier
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith is Executive Director of the ESD Alliance responsible for its management and operations. Previously, Bob was senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Uniquify, responsible for brand development, positioning, strategy and business development activities. Bob began his … More »

EDDR Software Joins ESD Alliance; MSS Report Shows Growth, Export Committee’s Expertise

July 6th, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

It’s been a busy few weeks since DAC and full of good news from the ESD Alliance. First, we welcomed our newest member EDDR Software, developer of custom and open source enterprise solutions for semiconductor design. According to Kevin Nesmith, EDDR Software’s CEO, “The ESD Alliance has the potential to open opportunities for us to partner with other member companies to create better solutions for users. We look forward to participating in working groups to help set the direction of the semiconductor design ecosystem.” The news release with more information is available at: 

More good news as our latest Market Statistics Service (MSS) report shows the EDA industry revenue increased 10.5 percent for Q1 2017 to $2167.5 million, compared to $1962 million in Q1 2016. “The EDA industry reported double-digit growth in Q1, led by gains in the two largest categories, CAE and Semiconductor IP,” reports Wally Rhines, board sponsor for the MSS and president and CEO of Mentor, a Siemens business. “The two largest regions, Americas and Asia-Pacific, also reported double-digit growth in Q1.” For more details, see the news release at:

In our continuing spotlight on our effective and active Export Committee, we take a look at how it recently came to Helic’s rescue. The level of detail of U.S. export rules and regulations can be confusing and easily misinterpreted, especially when regulations are specific to a country, an industry or an application. Even emerging companies or startups need to be aware of export rules and restrictions because the penalties for not following the rules can be harsh.

No company wants to get it wrong, as Helic’s Yorgos Koutsoyannopoulos is quick to attest.

Helic is a 17-year old company in Santa Clara, Calif., that provides cutting-edge software used throughout the semiconductor industry to analyze electromagnetics and provide cross-talk verification and signoff. These tools address the needs of high-performance, high-speed SoC designs destined for cloud infrastructure, IoT, RF and automotive applications. Large SoCs verified by Helic’s tools –– think multi-core CPUs, GPUs, giga-bit transceivers, FPGAs and high-speed memory blocks –– reside in server farms used for cloud computing.

While 55-70% of Helic’s business is in the U.S., its customer base is widely dispersed throughout the world in design centers in Europe, Israel, Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan.

Helic is a new Alliance member and here’s where the story gets interesting. Even with a growing customer base worldwide, it wanted to expand to other regions of the world. Over a couple of years, Helic marketed its technology to those regions and a few months ago had a business opportunity with a customer in a new territory. As the relationship got more serious and striking a deal imminent, Helic executives, not being experts in export laws, began to wonder about the U.S.’s export restrictions knowing that ignoring them could cause irreparable damage to the company. They needed help interpreting the law, such as whether standard export control provisions allow for the export of software to this new territory or to any specific company or individual.

The ESD Alliance was able to assist. Yorgos, Helic’s president and CEO, approached me. I put him and Helic’s Corporate Secretary Selini Valiakas in touch with Larry Disenhof, group director of Export Compliance and Government Relations at Cadence and long-time chair of the Export Committee. Larry was able to help and help he did. Within 24 hours, he responded with a long, well-organized and savvy answer explaining best practices in dealing with export rules and compliance.

“We wanted an opinion and were extremely pleased by the quality and amount of information in the form of precise, practical guidelines,” says Yorgos. “A brief but precise interpretation of the law and restrictions guided us through the negotiations.” In the lengthy email, Larry included links to useful websites and other sources of information.

The result, notes Yorgos, meant that Helic could forgo hiring an expert attorney for legal advice, a saving of between $10,000 and $20,000 on lawyer’s fees. “Easily,” he added. “This is not something simple and it changes daily. Someone traces the changes every day and tracks the guidelines. It’s as complex as taxes.” As he points out, the level of detail of export rules and regulations is massive.

Yorgos today is pleased Helic joined the ESD Alliance. He is an enthusiastic supporter and finds its programs and initiatives valuable. “The obvious is that it’s a club of companies promoting the industry. However, there are many volunteers in its committees who provide very valuable input. That’s the biggest value of the ESD Alliance.”

And yes, Helic successfully closed the business deal in this new territory without a hitch, thanks to Larry Disenhof and the ESD Alliance’s Export Committee. Its tools have been implemented into the production flow and the first of many SoC designs is in development.

As I finished polishing this blog post, I came across Peggy Aycinena’s written by guest bloggers SmartFlow Compliance Solutions CEO Ted Miracco, and company AE Akshay Dhule. It’s titled, “SmartFlow: The Importance of Export Compliance,” and further reinforces the value in having access to an export experts such as ours. Peggy’s blog is found at:

Access to the complete MSS Report and the Export Committee’s expertise are just two of the many benefits offered members of the ESD Alliance. If your company would like to join the ESD Alliance, please visit the ESD Alliance website to read about our committees and ongoing initiatives. Please contact me for more specifics. I can be reached at

My next blog post will include a short report on DAC and loads of photos.

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One Response to “EDDR Software Joins ESD Alliance; MSS Report Shows Growth, Export Committee’s Expertise”

  1. Kevin Nesmith says:

    I would like to thank Bill, Paul, Julie, and the rest of the ESD Alliance team for the gracious, open welcoming as the newest member. We look forward to working with all the members and contributing to making our industry the best it can be.

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