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Fister 'passionate' about kits

Posted: 13 Sep 2005     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cdnlive  designer network conference 

In a keynote address kicking of Cadence Design Systems Inc.'s CDNLive! designer network conference here Monday (Sept. 12), company President and CEO Michael Fister detailed the company's strategy for packaging products with intellectual property (IP) and other components to form methodology kits.

The kits, which were created to address application-specific design challenges, are built from the bottom up, Fister said, on a foundation created by elements of Cadence's Encounter, Virtuoso, Incisive and Allegro platforms.

"I built it from the bottom up, because that is the way we in the IT industry think," Fister said. "We always start with foundations of things, then build up the stack, and then build applications on top of that foundation."

The layers that Cadence has added on top of this cross-platform design flow foundation include scripts, intellectual property, reference designs, and, in some cases, "applicability training" to help a customer apply the kit in its environment. The initial end-user applications targeted by kits are wired networking, wireless networking and personal entertainment.

Cadence rolled out methodology kits for analog/mixed-signal and ARM processors Monday, as well as a number of other products and technologies.

Though the introduction of the first kits was among the highlights of the first day of CDNLive!, the launch was not news to anyone who has been following the company. Cadence, and particularly Fister, have been talking about the concept of kits for some time. Fister said that Cadence plans to roll out a kit for RF design next quarter, with additional kits for system-in-package (SiP) and PCI Express expected in 2006. He promised more kits in the future for semiconductor design as well as adjacent areas, such as automotive design.

Fister told the audience he was "very passionate" about kits, describing them as one important element in a strategy to work with other companies in the design chain to provide customers with a "very complete continuum" for solving design challenges.

"Some will look at the kits and say it's a lot like our base flows," Fister said. "Well sure it is. But it incorporates a lot more complete methodologies and allows us to build those applications on top."

The kits can be configured to focus on customer design challenges such as productivity, time-to-market and complexity management. Fister said that if the kits can be successfully optimized to overcome all three of these challenges, he believes Cadence and its customers will be successful in overcoming what he described as a paradox between customer needs and supplier's capabilities.

Analyst reaction to Fister's speech and CDNLive! Overall was largely supportive. In a research note published Tuesday, Garo Toomajanian, EDA analyst for RBC Capital Markets, applauded what he characterized as Cadence beginning to deliver on the vision of Fister, who was named CEO in mid-2004.

"By offering multiple price points among its various design platforms, we believe Cadence is striving to improve the pricing environment by segmenting capabilities within a platform," the research note read.

Dylan McGrath

EE Times





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