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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 »

Cognitive Era Series Continues October 18

October 10th, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

We hope you’ll be able to attend the second evening in a series on The Cognitive Era titled, “Preparing for the Cognitive Era: Education, Occupation and You,” offered by Vishal Kapoor, a founding principal at three legged stool.

Vishal Kapoor

The evening, presented by Jim Hogan and co-hosted by the ESD Alliance and San Jose State University (SJSU), will be held Wednesday, October 18, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments and networking. Vishal’s talk will start at 7 p.m. and run until 8:30 p.m.

Vishal will share his perspective on the dynamics of the Cognitive Era and assess the major shifts in education, occupation and understanding of the practical dynamics. He will challenge audience members to think about how the Cognitive Era is affecting them and whether they are prepared for it.

The event, open and free of charge, will be held at SJSU’s Diaz Compean Student Union Theater, 211 South 9th Street, San Jose, Calif.  To register, go to:
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Capitalism & Humanities

September 28th, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

Filling in for Bob Smith, the ESD Alliance’s executive director, is Julie Rogers, the Alliance’s director of Marketing and Operations.

Julie Rogers, the ESD Alliance’s director of Marketing and Operations, is this week’s guest blogger.

Thanks to all of our members who attended the inaugural event for Industrial Revolution Four: The Cognitive Era held at San Jose State University September 20.

It was our first time partnering with the university in an academic setting; a good mix of industry, faculty and students provided a lively discussion and exchange of ideas during the Q & A session. Industry talent Sean O’Kane was emcee and Jim Hogan the main presenter. Take away: Overall the Industrial Revolution 4.0 is going to bring great benefits to many, but then there are going to be major disruptions in the “flow” of humanity. There will be winners and losers at the industry level, company level and worker level and the disruptive events will be shorter than revolutions bygone. Agility and adaptability will be the key to success. Many jobs will change; workers will need to be retrained. The Radiologist will need to train and help program the MRI machine on what to look for. The MRI will take less time and money, so it improves patient care and thus improves the betterment of the whole.
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An Evening with Jim Hogan on the Cognitive Era Sponsored by the ESD Alliance and San Jose State University

September 8th, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

Jim Hogan will help the ESD Alliance and San Jose State University (SJSU) usher in the Autumnal Equinox with a talk on “IR4 (short for the fourth industrial revolution): The Cognitive Era” Wednesday, September 20.

What, you might ask, is the Cognitive Era and why should I be interested? Well, anyone who knows Jim knows he’s an engaging speaker. He’s captivated by cognitive computing and all its implications. In this talk, he will discuss cognitive science, a diverse field unified by basic inquiries into how education, career and life change in the cognitive era, and how people, animals or computers think, act and learn. His presentation will explain how cognitive science brings together methods and discoveries from neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, philosophy and data/computer science to understand the mind/brain. Of course, we can rest assured Jim will tie this into what it means for electronic products, semiconductors and the system design ecosystem.

Our evening will get started at 6 p.m. with refreshments and networking. Jim’s talk will begin at 7 p.m. and run until approximately 8:30 p.m.
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Now’s a Great Time to Join the ESD Alliance!

August 7th, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

Now is a great time to join the ESD Alliance. In fact, the timing hasn’t been better. Membership increased by 20% over last year’s numbers. We’re in the midst of planning our fall schedule that will include a few popular events, such as the Phil Kaufman Award ceremony and dinner, always a crowd pleaser and terrific networking opportunity. By joining now, you and your employees can attend many of our fall networking events at no additional cost.

The ESD Alliance isn’t only about networking and educational events. In fact, we have quite a few largely unheralded programs that our members consider of great value. We break them into five additional categories –– market information, risk management, growth and efficiency, emerging companies and industry voice.

For example, the Market Statistics Service (MSS) is a mainstay among them and is part of the market information category. Quarterly revenue data is collected from contributing companies and aggregated by an outside accounting firm to ensure no individual company data is disclosed. Members receive a quarterly report with excellent, up-to-date information and trends for determining total available market and so much more. The driver of this 20-year program is Wally Rhines from Mentor, a Siemens Business, which should give you a hint to its importance and relevance.

In more ways than I can count, the Export Committee is an effective and invaluable resource to member companies for risk management and avoidance. It represents all of them with a unified voice in Washington, D.C., on export licensing and compliance issues. I recently blogged about the help it gave to two new members Helic ( and SoC Solutions, now Silvaco (

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The ESD Alliance Goes to DAC

July 18th, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

Approximately 5,000 members of the electronic system design ecosystem were in full force in Austin, Texas, last month for the annual Design Automation Conference. The ESD Alliance as both a sponsor and exhibitor was there, of course, and Julie Rogers, Paul Cohen and I attempted to get to every booth and every presentation while Paul’s granddaughter Rachael staffed our booth. We had a chance to meet many new faces and catch up with long-time friends and associates. Our informal survey told us that exhibitors were pleased with the turnout in Austin, many of whom said they had loads of good conversations about tools and methodologies.

Michael (Mac) McNamara, DAC’s General chair, and the DAC Executive Committee should be commended for the keynote speakers who left every member of the audience enthused, inspired and jazzed. What could be better?

What indeed? The Pavilion on the DAC exhibit floor was a popular attraction. Of special note was the Sky Talk moderated by Ed Sperling of Semiconductor Engineering and featuring ARM’s CEO Simon Segars and Lucio Lanza, managing director of Lanza techVentures, both of whom are Alliance Board Members. Kudos to Simon for being awake and alert at 3 a.m. in Japan to participate remotely. All’s forgiven for he had good reason to be teleconferenced into DAC instead of being there in person –– he was named that week to the SoftBank board of directors and attended his first board meeting.

Ed also moderated informative Sky Talk sessions with other ESD Alliance board members Lip-Bu Tan from Cadence, Wally Rhines of Mentor, a Siemens Business, and Synopsys’ Aart de Gues.
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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:

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Encryption Guidelines Modified through ESD Alliance’s Export Committee Efforts

June 22nd, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

Congratulations to SoC Solutions and Silvaco! SoC Solutions will soon be under the Silvaco umbrella. (See the news release, “Silvaco to Acquire SoC Solutions.”

As a member of the ESD Alliance, SoC Solutions recently took full advantage of the well-honed expertise of our Export Committee. In fact, as SoC Solutions found, anyone who doubts the value of the ESD Alliance or its Export Committee won’t after learning that the three-person group took on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and won.

Yes, consider the Export Committee formidable. Made up of representatives from Synopsys, Mentor and Cadence, it was able to persuade BIS to change a small but important piece of the Encryption and Export Administration Regulations. “In our EDA world, we have one main exemption that my committee gained for the industry back in 2005 –– decontrolling our usage of encryption in the design cycle,” says Cadence’s Larry Disenhof, the chair of the Export Committee. Only in the last year has the main body of encryption regulations caught up with our exemption fully decontrolling ancillary encryption used in products from DVD players and household appliances to protection of IP in electronic design, he added. “Without this exemption, we would have been filing license applications constantly for the last 10 years.”
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ESD Alliance Celebrates Summer Solstice at GSA Silicon Summit, DAC

June 8th, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

The following week, we’re off with rest of the semiconductor design ecosystem to Austin, Texas, for the Design Automation Conference (DAC). Events kick-off Sunday, June 18, and go through Thursday, June 22, with exhibits running Monday through Wednesday from10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center.

The opening event, “Electronic Design Automation (EDA) in the Age of the System,” will update attendees on the state of EDA. Chief Analyst Laurie Balch of Gary Smith EDA will present the firm’s findings at this ESD Alliance-hosted event Sunday from 5 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. in Ballroom D of the convention center. A DAC reception immediately follows on the Fourth Floor Foyer. 

We’re pleased that so many of our board members will have visible roles in the DAC program, starting with Amit Gupta, president and CEO from Solido, who will moderate a panel titled, “EDA Powered by Machine Learning,” It will be held Monday in Room 10AB from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m

A “One-On-One” discussion with Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO of Cadence, and Ed Sperling, editor-in-chief of Semiconductor Engineering, will be held Monday from 11:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. at the DAC Pavilion. Lip-Bu will share insights about big changes in the data center and end markets, the rise of machine learning, growing challenges in system design, and what to watch for in China.

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ESD Alliance’s New Look; See us at DAC

May 25th, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

The ESD Alliance has a new look with a refreshed website, thanks to our tenacious Member of the Technical Staff Paul Cohen who oversaw the entire project.

And, what a project it was! The design streamlines our activities, all found in neatly packaged pull-down sections running across the top right of the home page. You’ll find information about us, including the staff, board of directors, committees and member companies. Our active initiatives provide the forum for member companies to address issues of common concern and fall broadly into five categories –– risk management, growth and efficiency, industry voice, events and education, and market information. All are outlined in detail and we invite participation from member companies. Naturally, we have a section on news and events that hosts our newsletters and my blog. More content is being added regularly. Please let Paul ( or me ( know what you think.

Of course, the next event is the Design Automation Conference (DAC), the premier conference for design and automation of electronic systems, long sponsored by the ESD Alliance. DAC is being held this year at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.We’ll be in booth #2123 Monday-Wednesday, June 19-21, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Please stop by our booth to see us. We’ll have our latest newsletter and other handouts. And, make sure you visit our member companies’ DAC booths as well. By all means, tell them I sent you!

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Twenty Years of the ESD Alliance’s Market Statistics Service

May 9th, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

One of the most popular and enduring programs the ESD Alliance offers its members is the quarterly Market Statistics Service (MSS) report containing detailed revenue data for the EDA, Semiconductor IP and design services industries. The report compiles data submitted confidentially by public and private EDA and semiconductor IP companies into tables and charts listing the data by product category and geographic region.

The chart above shows the MSS Revenue by category from 1996 through 2016.

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