Archive for October, 2012

Oct 25 2012

Semiconductors & EDA Loose an Icon -the Passing of Dr. Ivan Pesic of Silvaco

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This weekend, the EDA and semiconductor worlds lost a strong advocate – Dr. Ivan Pesic who founded and ran Silvaco Inc. started in the early 1980′s silvaco was able to capture the majority of the world’s TCAD market and a large portion of the custom analog design marketplace for simulation, modeling, layout, and capture.

While there are many stories about Ivan and his company – there are a few simple realities. I had the opportunity to work with and know Ivan since I started my consulting practice in 1985, and both utilize his companies products & services as well as jointly support semiconductor clients. During that time, there were a few guidelines he used to run his business and support his clients. these were:

1. if you make a commitment – you are expected to honor it. this goes for schedules & scope of work & costs.

2. semiconductor companies are not an ATM for the EDA industry – they are there to make chips & and the tools should help them NOT make their job harder.

3. if something is broken or wrong, fix it. don’t justify the error.

4. if you develop and create something – software, IP, chips, workflows, etc – you have the right to protect it from those who want to skip the r&d and just take it.

These concepts made for a very loyal long term client base and a strong support from small design groups working on new technologies. they appreciated that they were seen as a key part of the business (the client side) and not just a bother to support & development who were trying to run their own agenda. as a result, many on the outside saw “different” behavior in the way he ran the company and addressed product updates vs the quarterly stock market driven firms.

While there is no denying he had a somewhat volatile personality and was a challenge to work with on some days, understanding that this was due to his passionate and un-waivering belief that getting the customer to their goal was job #1.

To achieve this goal, he lead every aspect of his company – from r&d, to product release schedules and features, to the product marketing and his infamous billboards, to the gardening and running the jack hammer for bldg renovation. While many in the EDA industry watched in disbelief, he found and held long term clients who embraced the simple, directed goal of the company – do what is needed to help them build the best chip in the shortest amount of time.

A strong advocate for IP protection in all forms, and for providing a reasonable tool at a reasonable price, his passing is a major loss to the analog and EDA communities. he will be missed by many – clients. the industry, the many universities he support, and mostly by those of us who were lucky enough to called him friend. To continue his work and insure his customers are able to reach their goals, Ivan’s son, Iliya Pesic, is taking over for his dad as Chairman of Silvaco and the business will continue to honor those same values.

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