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 What Would Joe Do?

Archive for December, 2017

The Future: Eighteen for ’18 and beyond

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

 


Here are some random predictions for 2018 and beyond
. No rhyme or reason to the list, but just a zany way to usher in the New Year.

1) Autonomous vehicles will rule the roads, after the requisite number of high-profile crashes.

2) Electric vehicles will shut down the power grid, precipitating wholesale revolt from those who cleave to their combustion engines.

3) Problems with returning online purchases will move legions of shoppers back to brick and mortar retail.

4) The piles of stuff due to #3 will continue to grow, further increasing the National Crisis of Clutter.

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Runtime: New phase ushered in by Altair acquisition

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

 


After 22 years as an independent ‘startup’, Runtime Design Automation
was purchased by Altair in September 2017. Per founder and CEO Andrea Casotto, this is yet another chapter in what has been a very exciting run of things.

*****************
WWJD: How are things going?

Andrea Casotto: Since we were sold to Altair in September, the company actually went IPO in October, so things are going very well. There is a lot of positive change coming, so I am very optimistic.

WWJD: What will those changes include?

Andrea Casotto: The number one change as we merge into Altair, is contact with their team, their shareholders and, of course, their sales people. We also expect more resources to be available to us, and to be able to tap into more expertise through Altair.

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Verific: Sowing good, Reaping great

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

 


Verific Design Automation in based in Alameda
, not exactly Silicon Valley, but close enough to be within driving distance. The company has been in existence for almost 20 years and reports few competitors, if any. Instead, they see themselves as the de-facto standard for HDL language parsers, and as such can be found in just about every chip design flow.

In fact, according to Rick Carlson, Verific VP of Worldwide Sales, he’s more astonished with each passing day just how many places applications developed on top of Verific can be found. Not because he doubts the quality of the product, but because of the wide diversity of industries who are now developing chips.

Rick Carlson also knows a thing or two about building collegiality between the companies that constitute the EDA industry. He was one of the founders of the EDA Consortium 30 years ago, and the Phil Kaufman Award. We spoke at length last month.

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The Future: EDA Hiring faces Headwinds

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

 


The leading EDA recruitment guru, Mark Gilbert,
regularly sends out info about job openings to his extensive contact list. In a recent such email, I took the time to read the job descriptions in detail and was amazed. These openings are so technical and so unique, I had to call Mark.

“These job requirements are so specific,” I said when he picked up, “surely there can’t be more than a few dozen people who fill the bill. How do you ever find them?”

Mark laughed: “You’re right. There are so few matches for these companies, given their job requirements and the correct combination of skills they’re looking for. For me to fill one position, I can look at several thousand resumes. And each resume is incredibly comprehensive.

“But I’m looking for the one guy that has this and that skill, but not the other. Yet there are very few people who have those qualifications.”

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2017 Kaufman Award: Rob Rutenbar’s Right Place, Right Time, Right Thing

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

 


Academics are a special breed of animal
, especially those who have also succeeded in business. They vacillate wildly between the conventional and the visionary, between the tangible realities of life and the far-flung concepts of blue-sky, what-if thinking. And this year’s Kaufman Award winner is no exception.

Professor Rob Rutenbar grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, did his undergrad at Wayne State University, his PhD at University of Michigan, was on the faculty at Carnegie-Mellon for 25 years, during which time he co-founded Neolinear and sold it to Cadence, and then picked up and moved to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he put the university and his own perseverance to the test by igniting the move to massively available online education. Now just this year, he has returned to the East Coast as Senior Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Pittsburgh.

All of this is very comprehensible and logical, but only on the face of things.

In fact, by his own admission, no small part of Rutenbar’s success is based on attendance at a random barbecue years ago, a bit of simultaneous happenstance, and a restless interest in what’s around the next corner. Which of course, is the classic definition of a bohemian. Or in Rutenbar’s case, the definition of a Kaufman Award winner.

[Spoiler alert: The following may include narrative that will appear in Rob Rutenbar’s talk on Thursday, February 8, 2018, when he accepts the Kaufman Award at the CEDA/ESD Alliance dinner in his honor in San Jose.]

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