EDACafe Weekly Review August 30th, 2012

Hal Barbour: Master of the mega-trend
August 30, 2012  by Peggy Aycinena


Hal Barbour is President of CAST, an IP company based on the East Coast. Hal has a tremendous ability to explain the many facets of the industry, and it was a great pleasure to sit down and talk with him this week. When we spoke by phone on August 29th, he had just wrapped up an earlier call with a customer.

Hal Barbour on All things IP …

Q: How do you make yourself known to customers?

Hal Barbour: We have always put a lot of information in the hands of our customers, but the delivery mechanism today is quite a bit different. We’ve learned to leverage most of the contemporary tools – blogs, online meetings, webinars, shows and press releases. Press releases are just as important as ever, but where we used to send them to a central distribution center and a group of editors, now there are about 15 or 20 various people and outlets who disseminate the information to a much larger population.

Q: And how do working engineers hear about the products?

Hal Barbour: That’s the really interesting thing. Engineers today can easily see press releases directly, plus they have at their disposal a powerful set of search tools to help them get the information they need, so whatever information you’re putting out there, it better be right and it better be credible. If it’s not, engineers have got plenty of other sources to turn to.

And if you’re going to be out there, you better be able to respond to inquiries quickly and rapidly. Ultimately, however, it’s your name and your reputation that sells products. I can’t tell you the number of people who contact us based on our name and reputation.

Q: Isn’t that called ‘word of mouth’?

Hal Barbour: That’s exactly what it is, only it’s even faster today. Spreading the word used to be limited by who you knew, but today with social media and blogs, word of mouth moves at lighting speed and is more important than ever. Even today, though, nothing substitutes for face-to-face contact with the customer.

Mentor Graphics reported its 2Q13 results and showed that its earnings improved due mostly to a decrease in expenses. Revenues were $240.8 million, up 13% with gains in systems and software, and a very strong showing from the Design to Silicon division, the home of Calibre. This is to be expected, given the major effort from large companies to move to the 20 nm process node. Still the results show that Calibre continues to be the leader in its market segment. Percentage revenue growth for this division is greater than that of Mentor as a whole, showing its critical importance to the company.

The rate of growth of the Integrated System Design division, the PCB division, was quite good but it has slowed from previous periods, Jay Vleeschhouwer is estimating a revenue growth of 9%. This division in the recent past had grown significantly through acquisitions, and now it has to be a profitable business as it stands. Its contribution to revenue is practically equal to that of the Scalable Verification division.

Autumn Destinations: a sampling of upcoming conferences
August 29, 2012  by Peggy Aycinena


As Labor Day Weekend comes to a close, summer is officially over. Now it’s time to look out across the next 4 months and figure out how you’re going to spend your conference travel budget. Here’s just a small sampling of the many excellent options available to you.


* IMAPS: International Symposium on Microelectronics
September 9-13
San Diego Convention Center

* CICC: Custom Integrated Circuits Conference
September 9-12
Double Tree Hotel, San Jose

* HPEC: High Performance Extreme Computing Conference
September 10-12
Westin Hotel, Waltham

* IDC: Intel Developers Conference
September 11-13
Moscone Center, San Francisco

* Design East: The Center of the Engineering Universe
September 17-20
Hynes Center, Boston

Synopsys Defines A New Market Reality That Works
August 24, 2012  by Gabe Moretti

Shortly after the announcement of the Springsoft proposed acquisition, Daniel Nenni published a very accurate and complete matrix showing the intersection of the products offered by all three companies. Although there was never an explicit statement in the article about the direct dependency between success and consolidating the matrix, it was implied that Synopsys had significant technical work ahead of itself in order to financially benefit from the acquisitions. I think that Synopsys principal motivation was not technological but market driven.

The EDA industry is a mature industry. It is fair to argue about the technical characteristics of various products and to compare products directly. But leading EDA companies all offer competitive products that get the job done, albeit in different manner and with varied localized results. Were this not so, the companies would no longer maintain their standing in the industry. I am sure that Synopsys sales organization will not be confused about selling more than one verification product. And, in the end, equilibrium will be reached as one of the products will establish itself. In fact, creatig a new product by merging technologies can be disruptive to sales since change, as we have seen more than once, is threatening to a trusted design flow.

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