May 02, 2011
Welcome SpringSoft!
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Russ Henke - Contributing Editor

by Russ Henke - Contributing Editor
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SpringSoft’s Verification Enhancement products have been used commercially since early 1997. More than 12,000 licenses are in use by system and IC designers worldwide. In addition, more than 50 industry-leading and emerging EDA companies, IP providers, and semiconductor chip companies collaborate with SpringSoft to integrate their verification tools with SpringSoft’s verification enhancement products to provide integrated, production-proven tool flows. Cadence, Mentor Graphics, and Synopsys are among the 10 companies that OEM components of the Novas debug platform.

Over 300 companies worldwide, including 7 of the top 10 semiconductor companies, have adopted Laker custom layout solutions since 2001. The Laker technology has been integrated with a growing list of partner solutions including those offered by, Apache, Ciranova, ClioSoft, Legend, LogicVision, Pulsic, and Pyxis. SpringSoft has also partnered with tier one and specialty foundries including TSMC, UMC, DongBu and Vanguard to provide foundry-certified process design kits (PDKs) to the custom IC design community. Working closely with the Interoperable PDK Library (IPL) organization, SpringSoft has worked to provide what is arguably the industry’s most comprehensive support for OpenAccess.

Background of Johnson Teng

Johnson Teng has been EVP and COO of SpringSoft since April of 2008. As of March 2011, he had some 390 people in his SpringSoft organization. Among his direct reports are Dr. Li, Dr. Hsu and Mr. van Blommestein. Together these four men constituted the SpringSoft group which met with your writer in San Jose, CA in March 2011.

Mr. Teng was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1961, the youngest of six children born to his parents in a 12 year span of time. His technical and computer acumen led to his earning a BS (1983) and an MS (1985) in Computer Engineering from National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in nearby HsinChu, Taiwan.

National Chiao Tung University is recognized as one of the most prestigious universities in Taiwan and is renowned for its research and teaching excellence in electrical engineering, computer science, management, and social sciences. NCTU is Taiwan’s oldest university.

Originally established in Shanghai in 1896, the University was moved to Taiwan by former Chiao Tung University faculty and alumni in 1958.

National Chiao Tung University

According to a 2009 ARWU Academic Ranking of World Universities NCTU ranks 38th in Computer Science. It is considered a highly competitive university and the admission is exceedingly selective.

Armed with his NCTU Master’s at age 24, he went to work at ECAD for three years, then spent a year as a Cadence Applications Engineering (AE) Manager. Next, he moved over to Sales Manager for Cadence till 1993, when he went to work for E-Team Design Systems as a Sales Manager until 1996.

At this juncture Mr. Teng joined with Messrs. Lu and Wang to found SpringSoft. Once SpringSoft was up and running, Mr. Teng involved himself in Novas Software, Inc. for over 3 years as VP of Operations.

In 2001 he became COO of all of SpringSoft. His current Business card:

Background of Dr. Jeong-Tyng Li

Dr. Jeong-Tyng Li
joined SpringSoft in February 2008 when the company Nanovata was acquired by SpringSoft. Dr. Li had been founder & CEO of Nanovata since 2005. He has served SpringSoft as VP of the Physical Design Product Group reporting to Johnson Teng since joining, and Dr. Li now oversees some 132 persons on his SpringSoft team.

Like his boss, Dr. Li was born in Taiwan, but 5 years earlier and in the city of Tainan, the country’s 5th largest city some 195 miles SW of Taipei.

Tainan by night

Dr. Li has three siblings: an older brother Larry, a younger brother Chong-Ter, and a younger sister Fong-Ru.

Young Jeong-Tyng attended elementary and high school in Tainan. He graduated in 1974. With excellent credentials, he was accepted by the National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei. NTU is the top-ranked university in Taiwan and places among the best 95 universities in the world.


During his freshman year, Jeong-Tyng met a young woman named Liu YuJu, who was later to become Mrs. Li (in 1980).

National Taiwan University

Preferring physics over chemistry and interested in digital signal processing, Jeong-Tyng chose Electrical Engineering as his undergraduate major, graduating in 1978 with a BS in EECS, whereupon he quite naturally joined … the Marine Corps!

Fresh from the Marines, Jeong-Tyng married and came to the United States in 1980 to pursue his PhD at the University of California Berkeley under major professor Ernest S. Kuh (well-known Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department and ex-Dean of College of Engineering at University of California-Berkeley; winner of 1998 Phil Kaufman Award).

UC Berkeley looking west to GG Bridge

Jeong-Tyng Li received his PhD in 1984 from the EECS School at UC Berkeley. His PhD thesis was entitled, “Array Layout Algorithms and System.”

The freshly-minted PhD Dr. Li then embarked on a technical and management career of 24 years that finally led in 2008 to SpringSoft:

1984 ~ 1988: AT&T Bell Labs, Developing CAD tools for ASIC

                     Layout. Bosses: Chi-Chiang Liao/ Ajoy Bose.

1988 ~ 1990: AMD, section manager, developing place-and-

                     route tools for FPGA. Boss: Charlie Wong.

1990 ~ 1995: PiE/Quickturn, developing tools for emulators

                     (co-founder). Bosses: Paul Huang/Ping Chao;

1995 ~ 2000: ArcSys/Avanti, Head of Layout product division,

                     Bosses: YZ Liao, Jerry Hsu.

2000 ~ 2005: Nassda, Director/VP, circuit analysis, including

                      timing, debugging. Boss: An-Chang Deng.

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-- Russ Henke, Contributing Editor.

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