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Gary Smith EDA
Traditionally the start of DAC is a short presentation by Gary Smith EDA on what to see at DAC and their view on the future of the EDA industry. As usual, Lori Kate, Gary's wife (I refuse to say widow, it is a horrible word), opens with an update on their son, and then introduces the main event. Of course, there was some sad new: Gary himself, of course, and we lost Marie Pistilli last year. And then just on Thursday, as Lori Kate said, Sean O'Kane's son died suddenly at age 25 (see below).
Laurie Balch gave the main presentation. She pointed out that the industry has a problem: there isn't a theme, what to see at DAC is a bit of everything. Cadence is #1 on the list, which I'm not sure if it is in any significant order, but for "PCB Design and Parallel Programming." Even I don't know what that means. Of course, we have great high-performance PCB design in the Allegro line and Sigrity technology for all the analysis. But parallel programming? We just acquired Rocketick, which has some great parallel simulation technology, but I wouldn't describe it in that way. Palladium Z1 is very parallel, and all the US products (Tempus, Genus, etc.) are highly multi-threaded to take care of datacenters. Anyway, come and see us anyway. We're #1.
Laurie criticized the market for not having come up with the next big thing, but I'm not sure there is a next big thing. With FinFETs, multipatterning, and other transitions, it has taken the entire industry to move at a speed that would be unimaginable in any other industry. For example, in automotive, people are working on stuff that is seven years out. We don't really know what the process will look like seven years out, which markets will be driving the technology, and so on. We are so used to this, that it is hard to believe that other industries don't think like that.
Their market predictions for "traditional EDA" was growth of 4.7% from last year to this, then 5.1%, 7.7%, 8.4%, 4.2%, and 7.9%. I guess they predict a recession in 2019.
So where is future growth going to come from? The organic numbers are above, not bad but not great. EDA could branch out into some neighboring areas, the most obvious being mechanical design and embedded software. Some EDA companies already play in that market. They are not small. Mechanical design is a $7B industry and embedded software is $3B.
Another possibility is to go vertical. Automotive, aerospace, and other verticals are suddenly fashionable again as they have to adopt electronics, despite nobody in EDA talking about them for 20 years. During my last tour of duty at Cadence we had a group called "electronic infusion" to bring electronics into clueless companies. Well, automotive and aerospace are not clueless, but they need a lot of electronic infusion. Of course, there is also IoT. Nobody quite knows what it is but the numbers are big, and probably some of the submarkets really will turn out to be huge and need semiconductors and EDA (today, half the market seems to be smart meters). These markets all have some unique needs, and a tailored solution mixing tools, IP, and specialized other stuff would be attractive.
Arrow Buys UBM's publications: EETimes, EDN etc.
Not directly related to DAC, but Arrow has acquired the publication portfolio from UBM, the parent company of EETimes, EDN, and more. Arrow is an electronics distributor, although they did also buy the publishing assets of Untied Technical Publishing and some German titles. EETimes was started by CMP (who sold it to UBM for a reported $900M in 1999). For years it has been through rounds of layoffs. For EDA, the two "main' journalists were Richard Goering and Mike Santorini. Richard eventually ended up at Cadence but retired last year (thank you, I'm enjoying your job). Mike ended at Xilinx, by way of EDN. For some time, UBM has been more focused on trade shows, which are apparently more profitable (for example, ARM Techcon is no longer run by ARM but by UBM. They also run the Blackhat security conferences and many more). It remains to be seen what effect, if any, this has on the coverage of semiconductor, EDA and IP. Most of the coverage has shifted to other online publications that have a much more lightweight cost-structure (such as Semiwiki, EE Journal, and Semiconductor Engineering) or corporate coverage of the industry (such as this blog). It remains to be seen how it all works in the hands of a distributor.
Silvaco and IPextreme
On Friday, Silvaco entered the IP market with an acquisition of IPextreme. I did some consulting for Silvaco before I joined Cadence and I was amazed at what a wide range of technology they had (OK, too wide). Silvaco, by the way, has nothing to do with Silvar Lisco and is just Silicon Valley Company, the temporary name for the company that somehow was never replaced with a real one. When I did some research, I had bad news for them. The most common reply to "Silvaco" was "are they still in existence?" The founder, Ivan Pesic, didn't believe in marketing so much (apart from a few controversial billboards) that Silvaco didn't come to DAC for years. Anyway, they are very much in existence, with #1 spots in some niche markets like flat-panel displays and strong positions in some other markets. Since they are not really doing much leading-node FinFET, they don't get the same coverage. Now they have an IP family and we'll see how that works out. I will try and talk to Dave Dutton, the CEO, during DAC.
Austin Signs You Don't See in Silicon Valley
For those of you who know Sean O'Kane, I have some sad news to report. Sean has become the semi-official videographer of the EDA, IP, and semiconductor industries. And at 6' 7" he is hard to miss. Unfortunately, his son, Colin, died last Thursday from what seems likely a brain aneurysm. The press team at Cadence had dinner together just the evening before, and Sean was telling us what a great future his son had, trying out for professional lacrosse teams and acing the physical to become a fireman. But the next day, all that was torn away. The thoughts of all of us in this industry that knew him go out to him and his family.
There are sheets of card on the back wall behind the ChipEstimate booth to write messages of condolence. Obviously, Sean will not be attending DAC.
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