September 01, 2008
SpringSoft a major EDA company with an interesting name and a more interesting business model
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What is the latest and greats in the Novas product line?
The Novas product line consists of the Verdi automated debug system and the Siloti visibility automation system. We continue to enhance these products in order to bring more productivity to our users and enhance their ROI. The biggest news there is that we are on the leading edge with System Verilog testbench debug capabilities. This will be emphasized by us throughout the year in terms of promoting to our users that we are a technology leader in this space because we have invented some things that are unique and powerful. I think you are aware that System Verilog testbench is a kind of whole new animal compared to previous generations of languages. It really requires some unique approaches when it comes to unified holistic verification across the design and the testbench. That is a big push for us. Siloti continue to grow. Its evolution is focused on the replay module which helps you delve into timing specific behavior. That’s an enhancement.
On the Laker side the interesting stuff is around PKs. We will have some announcements about that in the near future. Noting I can say specifically about that right now. Keep in mind that we were a founder of the IPL Alliance. There is really important work going on there that will open up the market such that people can more efficiently choose the best in class tools for physical layout, custom layout. There is some other major work going on in the PDK development. Stay tuned.
Novas had been lauded in the EE Times as Number 1 in customer satisfaction. How has Novas been able to achieve that?
That is a great scene to talk about. There is really no one ting. There is no great secret to this success. Basically you have to commit up and down the organization to putting the customer first. It sounds cliché. It is just amazing how many times you come to a decision point and you say “What does the customer need?” If you do that, you end up satisfying the customer. That does not mean that you give them the first price they ask for. Everybody knows that there is a negotiation that goes on around price. We do not do this by under charging. We get a fair price for our product. We promise X and deliver X+. That’s what it comes down to.
Who do you view as competition against the Novas product line?
In the debug space every simulator comes with a debug interface. There is waveform, source code viewing and various other features in every simulator. You can call that competition. What happens is that when users look at the Verdi system, they are able to conclude that they can cut their debug time in half. This result is the conclusion of survey after survey that we do on a yearly basis. We keep getting the same answer year after year as we enhance the product even as designs get more complex and the flows change. We keep up with that. Consider for example the System Verilog Testbench that I described for you. A year ago people were clamoring for that. We didn’t have a solution for them. Our R&D team invented a solution. We have been rolling it out to customers. We will announce that in the coming months. That shows our commitment to staying in tuned, aligned with our customer’s advancements in their flows. That is really the competition. Do you stick with the built-in stuff or do you invest in something that cuts your debug time in half.
What is happening on the Laker front? Who is the competition there?
Clearly, Cadence is the dominant force in customized IC layout. However, they are lots of things that people need to do in customized layout. Laker does some of them things better than any other solution. There are a variety of other companies showing alternatives to Cadence. I think we have a very strong position there and a lot to offer in automation technology. That is our corporate position that we offer products that deliver unique automation technology that save engineers time. We do that with Lakers.
Good to see a UMASS guy make good.
Editor: Colleges, universities and professional sports organizations give names to their sports teams. Some teams are called after animals (Bears, Tigers, Seahawks, Bruins, Bulls, Eagles, Lions, Bengals, Colts, and Dolphins). Some are named after their uniforms like the Red Sox and White Sox. Some are named after local industry such as the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburg Steelers. And of course there is the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Some teams are given generic Indian names (Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, and Washington Redskins) or the name of an Indian tribe, e.g. Florida Seminoles. Indian activist groups have objected and campaigned to change these names and the use of mascots dressed in Indian garb and war paint. This has become an issue of political correctness. For years up until 1972 the UMASS teams were known as the Redman. In 1972 the university switched to the name Minutemen after a militia type force in the America Revolutionary War which could assemble for a fight at a moment’s notice. The Minutemen were part of the first battle of the revolution at Lexington and Concord in 1775.
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Synopsys Posts Financial Results for Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2008 For the third quarter, Synopsys reported revenue of $344.1 million, a 13.2 percent increase compared to $304.1 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was $57.7 million, or $0.39 per share, compared to $24.9 million, or $0.17 per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2007. GAAP earnings per share included a $17.3 million tax benefit.
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-- Jack Horgan, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.