Edge on EDA

DAC Numbers Show Progress

The organizers of this year’s conference have much to be happy about. Exhibit only attendance was up 13.5% over the previous year and total attendance was only 1500 less than San Francisco. Given the much larger number of local prospects in San Francisco, this year’s result is very good.

Magma, Mentor, and Synopsys Financial Reports

Almost at the same time, Magma, Mentor and Synopsys reported on their quarterly financial achievements. In addition Magma reported its fiscal 2011 results. The results show that EDA is doing well even in this at times unpredictable financial market. Of course the electronic companies are fueling a significant portion of the recovery in the consumers market, and thus demand for EDA tools remains strong. All three companies have taken advantage of the situation as their financial results show.

Icahn's Hollow Victory On Mentor

The stockholders meeting was held and, I hope to no one surprise, Icahn got his way. The EDA industry is so small and has such poor standing within the financial community that nothing Wally could say would have made a difference. And, of course, the rest of the industry sat on their hands and let it happen, because we just do not have any industry-wide organization capable of representing us in the world. The only company in EDA with the muscle to stand up to a corporate raider at this point is Synopsys. Every other company is fair game, including even Cadence.

EDA News of the Week Recap for May 16-20, 2011

DAC Approaches, Avalanche of News Continues …
It seems like only yesterday … We were standing in front of the Forte Booth at the 47th DAC (June 2010) in Anaheim, Calif., watching and listening to the bagpipers’ stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace” to close the conference.  And, here we are once again preparing for 48th DAC and watching the avalanche of product announcements, partnerships and, with the conference still a few weeks away, maybe another acquisition or two.

Let’s turn our attention to the DAC Exhibit Floor and the 18 sessions running in the Pavilion (Booth #3421) Monday-Wednesday.  We’ll take a look at a few of the more noteworthy ones.  For example, a discussion on High-Level Synthesis, organized by Forte’s Brett Cline, will be held Monday at 11:30 a.m.  Experts will debate strengths and weaknesses of high-level synthesis, along with their approaches to implementing this type of design flow. 

EDA News of the Week Recap for May 9-13, 2011

Magma Brings Steve Wozniak to DAC … and Musings on Other DAC Keynotes
Steve Wozniak, the inimitable co-founder of Apple and designer of the Apple I and Apple II, will bring his unique joie de vivre to this year’s Design Automation Conference during opening day Monday, June 6, at 2pm.  Be prepared for a different kind of keynote.  Steve will be joined on stage by San Jose Mercury News Columnist Mike Cassidy for an informal talk about engineering and how to turn innovative ideas into reality. 

EDA News of the Week Recap for May 2-6, 2011

Party on … at DAC
DAC attendees heaved a big sigh of relief when the announcement came this week that the Denali Party at DAC lives on.  Renamed the Denali Party by Cadence, it will be held June 7 at the FLUXX nightclub in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, and will feature EDA’s one and only talent show, “EDA360’s Got Talent.” Rumor has it that EVE’s CEO Luc Burgun, the 2010 EDA360 Idol winner, will be performing once again.  For tickets, go to:  www.cadence.com/dac2011/pages/denali_party.aspx  

EDA News of the Week Recap for April 25-29, 2011

DAC Keynotes Announced

This week’s big news is that Design Automation Conference keynotes have finally been announced, with only seven weeks to go until the doors open at the San Diego Convention Center.   

The week starts with “Up Close and Personal with Steve Wozniak” Monday, June 6, from 2-3pm.  Wozniak, founder of Apple Computer and chief scientist for Fusion-IO, will be hosted by Magma and interviewed by San Jose Mercury News Columnist Mike Cassidy.  Wozniak will provide insight into the vision that started the largest and most successful technology company, and will cover a wide range of topics, including the joy of engineering and converting innovative ideas into reality.  

Sparring Continues As Mentor's Shareholders Meeting Nears

Mentor Graphics and Carl Icahn are continuing to trade position statements with letters to the shareholders. In chronological turn, Mentor was the first to try to make a case against the slate of directors proposed by Icahn. Then Icahn answered with a much longer communication that went in great details to justify and support his candidates.

In once again attacking Mentor's ratio of SG&A to revenue Icahn defends Cadence's ratio by pointing out that the company is still in the midst of moving from a term based model of Revenue to a ratable model. And, in the same paragraph, he points out how Magma design Automation and Mentor have roughly the same ratio.

Smaller And Bigger At The Same Time for Altera and S2C

Foundries have reached the point that allows the use of the 28 nm process for commercial production. FPGA companies are at the forefront in using the technology to provide devices that use the smallest dimensions for each transistor and also offer the largest number of transistors ever.

EDA And The Tale Of A Yoga School

It seems a stretch to compare the business of EDA to the business of Yoga. One’s business to business, the other business to consumer. One has nothing to do with the other and it’s hard to picture one of the end-user applications that EDA enables in use in a school of this sort. Or so it seems. Yet, both markets are roughly $4-6 billion in yearly sales and are populated with many well-trained professionals, most of whom have studied for years to become experts in their chosen field. Every business in EDA or Yoga needs to market itself to promote itself, differentiate from competitors, build a sustainable business and make money.