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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

Millennials v. Robots: The Race to destroy EDA

July 12th, 2017 by Peggy Aycinena

It’s happening. EDA is on its way out, and for good reason.
The Millennials are lazy, can’t write or spell, don’t take direction well [if at all], don’t feel connected to The Corporation or relish reporting to The Man, and are annoyingly obsessed with work-life balance. A useless lot. What’s EDA going to do with them?


Instead, EDA’s going to turn to the vast armies of young worker bees coding away in geographies other than Northern California, Austin, Boston or Portland.

EDA is turning to the geographies where people are more concerned about career growth than work-life balance, and that’s usually on the other side of the International Date Line.

And really – it’s not like EDA doesn’t already know the way to those places. How many thousands of the 30k people ostensibly working in EDA today already work on the opposite side of the world from the hallowed ground where the Millennials are beginning to hold sway?

EDA’s been off-shoring since before most Millennials were born, they just never wanted to brag on it. They wanted to maintain the myth that Silicon Valley’s the Thing. Remember?

Of course, it’s important to ask: Can the coding masses in those other geographies innovate to the level needed to push the technical envelope in EDA? In other words, can they innovate as well as the self-professed Thought Leaders residing in Silicon Valley?

Uh, let’s see.

For years and years, the leadership in EDA has claimed they only went off-shore because they couldn’t find the talent they needed closer to home. So, is there talent in these distant climes?

Uh, yeah. The Head Honchos in EDA have been saying it’s so for years and years, and so it must be.

Still, the EDA we’ve all been taught to love and salute is based in Silicon Valley and its satellite campuses, but that EDA’s going away. The Millennials are making sure of it.

Interestingly, however, the Millennials actually have competition in this race to destroy EDA.


Not the ones that walk and talk, build cars, do surgery, or vacuum the floor – but the micro-machines that live deep inside the cavernous Data Centers that control our lives.

Data Centers filled with a gazillion AI-imbued devices that can learn, adjust, adapt, optimize algorithms – for friggin’ sake, they can even create the algorithms – and do it 24×7 without demands for benefits, Friday-lunch-is-on-the-house, credit for work they’ve barely done, work-life balance, or a sense of entitlement that endlessly annoys the heck out of their Gen-X managers.

Instead, these microscopic AI robotic mini-me’s are so efficient, they’re ramping up to be able to create themselves. They’re on track to take the human out of the EDA equation in one last, grand apocalyptic compile.

Or if you prefer, go Meta on the thing.

What better way to figure out what a piece of silicon should look like – whether it’s targeted for ML at the Edge, or Deep Learning in the Belly of the [Data Center] Beast – than to have pliable, responsive, re-configurable, totally awesome software at the top of the abstraction chain, ‘automatically’ driving everything below its total awesomeness to iterate towards an optimum solution to the problem?

After all, there is a reason it’s called AI: The intelligence is real, but the wrapper’s artificial.

Not human, that is.

Today’s hyper-intelligent software is being configured to design the design software that’s going to design the chip – that design then going off to the Mask House, to Manufacturing, Packaging, System Assembly, and Shrink Wrap, and finally to the Apple Mega-Mall where the aforementioned Millennials can usually be found doing what they do best:

Milling around and spending money on all of this digital must-have.

Money they only have because they’re not paying rent on account of they’re still living with Mom and Dad.

Or they’re living in a nearby apartment, which M&D are paying for because they’ve had it up to here with their lazy, prickly off-spring hanging around the house, not taking directions well, and fretting about work-life balance in lieu of taking a real job.

Either way – from home or apartment – the Millennials are spending big bucks at the Apple store, where the end-products of the EDA toolset are so seductively displayed.

And all the while, they’re not working in traditional, hyper-hierarchical, shut-down-innovation-because-it-threatens-our-hegemony, Silicon Valley based EDA.

Which brings us back to the robots.

They’re going to be in charge.

Determining from Big Data what the markets want, optimizing the products specs and refining the design chain through the magic of AI, and driving the whole process right down to the color of the device, the box, the pricing, and the shortest, cheapest route from the Factory to the Mega-Mall.

These robots are being conceived of by Futurists in the EDA industry and beyond, and will be perfected by the customers of the EDA industry. And when the process is complete, the humans can leave.

Because the highly inefficient efforts of people – constantly infused as they are with that peculiar emotional frailty known as the human psyche – are no longer a help, but a hindrance to sublimating life-forms-that-design to a full-on digital over-lord.

A digital over-lord that can take the messy process of design and recast it as a clean, efficient, all-on or all-off expression of exquisitely accurate, AI-machine-vetted specs. The robot will know what we want, and the robot will know how best to get it actualized.

So yeah – in the race to destroy traditional EDA, in the short-run the Millennials are going to give it their best shot.

But in the long-run, it’s the robots that will win this war. They’ll destroy all of EDA without the slightest hint of remorse.

And when they do, their parents will be bragging about it.


Addendum …

It may be worth mentioning that many Millennials are so burdened with college debt they’ll never be able to save enough to buy a house anyway, so why not keep Apple in business?

After all, these people are going to be working til the end of their days servicing their college debt, as well as their parents’ and grandparents’ Social Security/Medicare entitlements.

So why not spend what little discretionary dollars they have left on a host of beautiful, digital must-haves, which are guaranteed to keep their minds off their future of indentured-servitude?


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3 Responses to “Millennials v. Robots: The Race to destroy EDA”

  1. Holly says:

    Books that are at the intersection of engineering and economics:

    Rise of the Robots and the Threat of a Jobless Future:

    Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

    • Holly — Thank you for these suggestions.

      They sound perfect for the Summer Reading list, and also a perfect excuse for seeking solutions at the bottom of a Summertime Umbrella Drink.

      The Millennials have moved from Beer & Wine to Cocktails — why shouldn’t we?

  2. anshuman seth says:

    Hilarious!! Love the subtle and not-so-subtle humor!! Excellent piece of millennial literature 🙂

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