- The Time
- Late 1990s
- Product Type
- The Company
- Silicon Perspective (SPC)
- The Problem
- My company was working with Synopsys on "Chip Architect" and "Floorplan Manager" to close timing on "deep submicron" designs. These were around 0.35 micron, IIRC. I never used Chip Architect, but my colleagues were beta testing and helping to debug it. I spent a lot of time with Floorplan Manager; it was pretty inefficient to back-annotate tons of layout data onto Design Compiler, and for DC to optimize designs in a way both effective and feasible for physical design. We were struggling to close timing on the design.
- The pitch
- An SPC Sales guy kept calling me, asking us to evaluate FE. He made extraordinary claims about its performance, capacity, and quality of results. He wanted us to try it on a multimedia design one of our groups was working on.
- What I did
- I couldn't believe that this little startup could deliver such amazing results that Synopsys and Cadence couldn't! Clearly, he was just making wild claims to get our attention. So, I never did bring him in for an evaluation.
- What happened
- Our design project took so long and it was eventually cancelled. And I ended up leaving the company around the same time. Later, SPC was acquired by Cadence for a large sum and today is the foundation and namesake of "Encounter", their whole family of Digital IC implementation products!
- Lesson learned
- Don't dismiss startups lightly! Consider them skeptically, but give them a chance if their story seems plausible.
Monday, August 14, 2006
EDA Confessions, Part I
After my prescient DAC trip report, I've been thinking of a couple of times in my career when I've really missed the boat on EDA companies. I have a couple of examples that I can't forget. I'll write about them one at a time. Confession is good for the soul. ;-) The first is a company that I ignored, yet in retrospect could have done a great jobs for us.