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Cadence has lots of corporate partners – so why not form partnerships with universities? That’s the challenge that Patrick Haspel (right), founder of the Cadence Academic Network in Europe in 2007, is taking on as he works to expand the network to the rest of the world.
Cadence already has regional university software programs for the Americas, Europe, India, Asia-Pacific, and Japan. These programs provide low-cost EDA software to universities, giving industrial-quality tools to the next generation of IC and systems designers. The Cadence Academic Network, however, goes well beyond low-cost software. For example, it organizes the academic track at CDNLive EMEA; provides networking, collaboration, and training; assists with lecture materials and course creation; and has just begun a new certification program (more on this later in blog post). Around 40 selected universities (10% of the entire European university software program) participate in the network.
“We are expanding the Cadence ecosystem into academia,” said Haspel, who has taken on a new role with the Global HR team at Cadence as Worldwide Strategic Academic Partner and University Program Manager (now relocating to the Cadence San Jose office). “There is a lot we can get from that – the revenue, the talent, the research. We can also get marketing and brand recognition support when they [academics] mention our technology at conferences, as well as through their collaborative research projects with our customers.”
Adding a Corporate Framework
Haspel said his efforts will not dismantle the existing regional university software programs, but will instead complement them. “I would say there will be a corporate framework, and a kind of toolbox that the regional university program managers can use at their discretion,” he said. “For the individual regions, there are sometimes good reasons why things work differently.”
Haspel noted that providing discounted software only does not ensure success. “In EDA, the design flow is so complex you can’t make it available without some guidance,” he said. “You could even cause harm because students could become frustrated with the complexity and maybe use the tools in the wrong way.”
One of Haspel’s goals is to “leverage relationships with professors” in order to recruit new talent for Cadence. Today, he noted, it’s tough to compete for quality talent with big companies like Google or Facebook. Cadence doesn’t have the same brand recognition and needs to work a little harder to attract top students.
A Certified Opportunity
A new direction for the Cadence Academic Network is certification. Late last year, a laboratory at the Gdansk University of Technology in Poland became the first laboratory to be certified by the Cadence Academic Network. The photo at left is from a Dec. 2, 2014, ceremony attended by Haspel (left) and Prof. Krzysztof Goczyla (right).
Not all universities are interested in certification. But it does ensure that instructors have attended key Cadence training classes and completed them successfully. Universities can then show current and prospective students that they will get a hands-on education from people who know how to use Cadence tools.
The Cadence Academic Network certification program has five steps:
As I observed at an academic workshop last year (see blog post here), collaboration and technical interaction between the EDA industry and academia has often been lagging. A worldwide academic “network” will help change that situation. “I am very glad that we are paying more attention to academia, and extending the Cadence ecosystem into the academic world,” Haspel said.
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How Cadence Helps Universities Build EDA Infrastructures
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EDA Plus Academia: A Perfect Game, Set and Match