Monthly Archives: April 2009

Guest blog: Doug Fairbairn 2

This is the second of two guest blogs from Doug Fairbairn about Lambda magazine (which became VLSI Design) and the early days of VLSI Technology. The first blog is here. VLSI Design, VLSI Technology Amazingly enough, Xerox agreed to underwrite … Continue reading

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Competing with free EDA software

Chris Anderson (editor of Wired, owner of TED, author of The Long Tail) has a new book called Free coming out in July. One thing that he emphasizes (at least in his articles on the subject, I’ve not seen the … Continue reading

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Economist on semiconductor

Jerry Sanders, the erstwhile CEO of AMD, was famous for saying that “real men have fabs.” So of course it was interesting that AMD should be just about the first integrated device manufacturer (IDM) to go fabless when it sold … Continue reading

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Lambda magazine issue #1

For anyone who would like a copy, Jim Rowson has put up the historic first issue of Lambda magazine (all 36 pages) so it is available through print on demand at It is an interesting time capsule of the … Continue reading

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Move up to software

I gave a dinner keynote at the Electronic Design Process 2009 meeting in Monterey last week. However, I’d already made the mistake of giving the secret recipe for any keynote speech (and, by way of confirmation, I received an email … Continue reading

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Startups and large companies: your end of the boat is sinking

I’ve worked at startups and I’ve worked at larger companies. I even worked at one company, VLSI Technology, where I joined it when it was a pre-IPO startup and left when it was thousands of people in tens of buildings. … Continue reading

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EDA startups: seven million to takeoff

A startup EDA company needs about $7M in bookings to become self-sustaining and not require another round of external funding. Curiously, it doesn’t seem to depend all that much on the product provided there is really a market out there, … Continue reading

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ESL and software signoff

The DAC newsletter had a recent article on the ESL market. Gary Smith pointed out that one of the reasons that Cadence is struggling is that the fastest growing part of the market has been ESL, the most advanced design … Continue reading

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Twelve o’clock high

Three or four times in my life I’ve been given divisions or companies to run that have not been performing. Although it seems like an opportunity like that would be a poisoned chalice, it was actually a no-lose situation. If … Continue reading

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Guest blog: Doug Fairbairn

Doug Fairbairn was at Xerox PARC (along with Lynn Conway of Mead & Conway fame) when the VLSI design revolution began. He would go on to be one of the founders of VLSI Technology but he also realized that every … Continue reading

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