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Virtuoso, the SATs, and the Dark Knight - Part II

Comments(1)Filed under: Custom IC Design, Virtuoso, Virtuoso IC 6.1.3

Well, are you still wondering what Virtuoso has to do with the SATs and The Dark Knight?  Well, thanks for indulging me, I hope the suspense wasn’t too much to bear! As I mentioned in part 1, if you had taken the January 2009 SAT test, again, like my daughter did, you had this as one of your essay prompts:

Prompt 1
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below:

Planning lets people impose order on the chaotic processes of making or doing something new. Too much planning, however, can lead people to follow the same predetermined course of action, to do things the same way that they were done before.  Creative thinking is about breaking free from the way that things have always been.  That is why it is vital for people to know the difference between good planning and too much planning.

Adapted from Twyla Tharp's, “The Creative Habit”. 

Does planning interfere with creativity? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue.  Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

This was one of four prompts, it was also the one that my daughter chose. Needless to say, I found this to be an interesting choice on her part, but more so when she mentioned that she referenced or paraphrased a scene in The Dark Knight to support her position.  It was the scene, near the end, when The Joker is talking to a severely scarred Harvey Dent in the hospital, and in response to Harvey claiming that he planned this all along, The Joker replies:

“Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars.  I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just... do things. The mob has plans, the cops have plans, Gordon's got plans ...” (1)

I especially like the part about the dog chasing cars, but what does this all have to do with Virtuoso, and back to that original SAT question?  Well, Virtuoso has defined the industry-standard for custom analog, digital, RF and mixed-signal IC design over the past couple of decades, so the Virtuoso team was faced with the challenge of how do you improve on the industry standard, while not changing a winning formula?  The answer was a combination of planning to do something new, some creative thinking to break free, and all the while respecting and protecting the legacy of the industry standard, existing customers' flows and investment, and also simply just doing things that enabled the Virtuoso team to bring the most innovative custom analog, digital, RF and mixed-signal IC platform to market.

Virtuoso IC6.1 is our 2nd generation platform, built on the OpenAccess database and engineered by Cadence for industry-wide interoperability.  The new unified Virtuoso custom design platform utilizes the latest in modern user interfaces and design tool integration advances to bring unprecedented levels of productivity and integration to design creation, verification, and implementation. Productivity improvements have been proven, and validated, by customers in numerous testimonials at CDNLive events worldwide.  In a short period of time, and now with its 3rd update, Virtuoso IC6.1 is already in production use by 1000s of designers, and has been used in excess of 100 tape outs; including one of the world’s largest custom ICs, continuing the legacy of proven silicon technology.  The Virtuoso custom design platform is backed by the largest number of PDKs available from the world's leading foundries, for process nodes from 0.35um to 28nm and everything else in between, and the whole Virtuoso Ecosystem.

Over my next few posts, I will be letting you know how Virtuoso IC6.1 is setting new standards for ease of use, ease of learning, speed, capacity and interoperability.

Do let me know how YOU are planning to break free from the way things have always been. When planning and creating your next project think of Virtuoso IC6.1.


Michael Kelly


*SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this blog.

*Dark Knight is a trademark of Warner Bros Pictures (1) Source: The Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com/


By Deana Spencer on April 15, 2009
Mike -
I enjoyed reading this post very much. Staying creative and forward thinking while not loosing the winning formula Virtuoso has had for years is a tough challenge  but I like you, I feel that the 6.1 platform is a winning combination. I know how stuck we can get when we are used to doing things one way and, although we see advantages to new ideas, our old habits are hard to break.

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