Earlier this week I was at the ARM TechCon in Santa
Clara, a show that gets better and busier every year. I was walking around the
expo floor, checking out the new vendors and saying hello to old friends, when
I got into a conversation with one of our more active partners. He thanked me
for supporting the various activities that we have done together and said that he
felt we were much more open to EDA partnerships that the "Cadence of old" (his
term). He asked whether that was specific to the functional verification space
or was true in general.
We chatted about that a bit, and I gave it some thought
afterwards. I've been an employee, an EDA partner, or a customer of Cadence for
20 years nonstop, ever since the acquisition of Valid Logic way back in 1991.
Looking back over that time span, it does seem to me that there have been ebbs
and flows in the company's eagerness for partnerships. From the outside looking
in, sometimes it seemed as if Cadence, then the largest EDA supplier by far,
wanted to do everything themselves with minimal collaboration.
Well, that's certainly not the Cadence I've known for the
past five years as an employee. We work every day with partners of all shapes
and sizes: EDA, VIP, design IP, consulting, and training companies. We commit a
big chunk of resources to standards activities, another vital form of partnership.
The strong progress that Accellera has made on the Universal Verification
Methodology (UVM) and the Unified Coverage Interoperability Standard (UCIS)
would never have happened if we stuck our heads in the sand and refused to cooperate
If you look at the Cadence Web site you'll see
that we have a wide range of alliance programs that cover just about everyone
in the industry. As we say on the site, "No one company can do it alone." I
strongly believe this and in fact I devote a significant portion of my time to leading
the Verification Alliance (VA) program and participating in other partnership
and standards programs. My colleagues and I actively engage in joint marketing
activities with many partners; AMIQ,
are just a few recent examples.
This brings me back around to the question from my partner
at DAC, and (finally!) to the title of this blog post. Indeed, I do believe
that partnerships and collaboration are particularly important in the realm of
functional verification. As I've said before,
there is no silver bullet for verification. Chips are only getting bigger and
more complex, the verification problem is only getting harder, and EDA360 requires much more soffware verification. It takes a
combination of technologies and techniques all operating on a base of industry
standards to provide efficient and effective solutions.
No one company can do it alone. Cadence has the broadest
verification offerings in the industry, but we know that's not always enough.
We will continue to drive standards, partner with companies offering
complementary technologies, and work with competitors to support our mutual customers.
If you see interesting new technology outside of Cadence, please let us know,
and we will find an appropriate relationship to work together. Functional
verification is a very tough nut to crack, and we're open to any novel kinds of
hammers that may come along.
The truth is out there...sometimes
it's in a blog.