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Bob Smith Selected as EDAC Executive Director

Gabe Moretti, Senior Editor

The Board of the Electronic Design Automation Consortium (EDAC) has selected Robert (Bob) Smith as executive director, following the retirement of long-time Executive Director Robert Gardner.

Bob Smith, a seasoned industry veteran as well, joins EDAC from Uniquify, where he was senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development, and will continue as a consulting advisor. Prior to that, Mr. Smith worked at many early stage companies, including IKOS Systems, Synopsys, LogicVision, and Magma Design Automation. He commented, “I am excited to continue growing the EDA Consortium as we address the new challenges and opportunities facing the industry today. ”

“We look forward to continuing to expand the work of the EDA Consortium in support of the entire industry,” said Lip-Bu Tan, co-chair of EDAC and president and CEO of Cadence Design Systems. “On behalf of the entire EDA Consortium Board of Directors, we welcome Bob to EDAC.”

A Possible Future

To be fair to history, the last few years have not seen any expansion of EDAC, either from the point of view of new initiatives or increased influence of the consortium on the EDA industry.  In a phone interview with Bob Smith I instead found a person with fresh ideas and the enthusiasm to explore new opportunities as well as to strengthen existing roles and relationships.

It is clear to me that Bob Smith fully understands that the semiconductor industry depends critically on EDA and that the relationship between EDAC and semiconductor consortia needs to be expanded and strengthened.  After all an industry with revenue over $300 billion critically depends on the viability of a $6 billion industry employing a reasonably dated revenue generation scheme.  EDA revenue are generated almost entirely by licensing, another word for renting, tools to developers of semiconductor products and semiconductor manufacturers, a scheme that offers very little room for diversification.  A closer relationship with both the SIA and the GSA consortia may yield insights into a new way to support customers and open further revenue possibilities.

It is frustrating to me to hear from everyone in the industry how the Internet of Things (IoT) offers such significant opportunity for growth while at the same time notice that almost no one, especially no one at EDAC so far, ever mentions the MEMS Industry Group (MIG) consortium.  MEMS devices are playing a key role in the IoT and yet only one of the EDAC Board of Directors companies (ARM) is a MIG member.  I forgot to mention this fact to Bob in our conversation: EDAC should be a MIG member.

If it seems like I am excited about a change of leadership at EDAC is because I am and I think that its board has made a very good choice in Bob Smith.

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