Signs that the EDA industry is recovering

For quite some time industry pundits have been talking about how the EDA industry is in trouble. Large EDA companies can’t or won’t innovate, VCs have little interest in startups because the chance of a successful exit is too small, and user companies are scared to adopt because of the dangers associated with the startup not sticking around. I myself have been associated with some companies like this. They have good and needed products, but the sales just don’t ramp up enough for them to be able to survive. But at this year’s DAC, I heard a number of positive messages. 3 mid-sized startups turned profitable for the first time in 2010, the quality of the new companies at DAC was high (in my opinion), IPOs are in the works. This is all good news and, to me at least, an indication that the EDA industry is starting to get its act together again. Let’s hope this trend continues because that means the EDA industry is about to come to life again after about 10 dry years.

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3 thoughts on “Signs that the EDA industry is recovering

  • June 10, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Any thoughts about whether or not this might lead to more EDA engineering jobs in the US? I do see openings out there, but mostly they seem to be in India at this point.

    • June 10, 2011 at 10:42 AM

      I would say that half of the good startups I saw were from the US and the other half from Europe. I do not see much EDA startup activity from Asia, but that could just be because they are not venturing into the US yet. There are always exception to every generalization, and S2C would be one example here.

      I do expect that as many of these startups grow, they will be looking at using at least some engineering effort from China and India. This is only partially to do with costs, and is also influenced by where the talent is. India puts out many more hi-tech graduates than the US.

      • June 10, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        A lot of startups are hiring directly in places like India now. It’s part of their biz plan and the VC’s (unfortunately – for those of us in the US) like to see it.

        Yes, I understand there’s getting to be a lot of telent in places like China & India, but there’s still a lot of un-tapped telent here in the US as well. There are experienced EDA folks now working in other industries like the web because they can’t find work in EDA anymore.

        One problem is, that when companies advertise for jobs here in the US they specify every requirement in minute detail. You may have written a VHDL parser, but they want someone with Verilog parser experience (ok, kind of a silly example, but that’s the kind of stuff you see). Whereas if you wrote a parser for one HDL you can probably write one for the other. There isn’t so much the idea anymore that potential employees can learn something new that’s related to what they already know, the idea now seems to be to find someone with EXACTLY the set of skills.

        The longterm problem, of course, isn’t just the migration of EDA jobs overseas, but also the migration of that experience. So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: they can’t find local talent because not local talent has been developed.


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