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EDA Consortium Renamed Electronic System Design Alliance

Gabe Moretti, Senior Editor

It is possible that names matter, but they only do if what they stand for reflect the intent.  A few days ago the EDA Consortium (EDAC) changed its name to the Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance, an international association of companies providing goods and services throughout the semiconductor design ecosystem.

“EDAC was formed in 1989 during the go-go years,” says Robert Smith, its Executive Director. “EDA still is mission critical for chip design, but other complementary technologies and solutions are required to drive the design ecosystem. We intend to bring them all together under the ESD Alliance umbrella with an expanded scope of interest for a much broader design community.”

One thing that immediately comes to mind is that “ESDA” is not unique.  It turns out that ESDA means a number of things not associated with the new Alliance.  There is a group within the electronic industry called Electrostatic Discharge Association (ESDA) and also we have the Emergency Service Disaster Agency (ESDA).  Exclusivity in a search is therefore not guaranteed

But the new name has been chosen so the two names indicate that:

1)      The organization is still focused on electronics

2)      It still deals with design issues

3)      It is not focused anymore on automation of design functions but more on the creation and building of systems

4)      According to the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus Consortium is a synonym of Alliance so nothing changes as far as the organization style is concerned.

Let’s see what is behind the change.

“The ESD Alliance reflects the sea change happening in the semiconductor industry as chip design takes a more system-oriented approach,” remarks Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO of Cadence Design Systems and co-chairman of the ESD Alliance Board of Directors. “With a new identity and expanded mission, the ESD Alliance is well-positioned to embrace and represent the design ecosystem now and in the future.”

.  By the way do we also need to change the name of our industry from EDA to ESD?

Electronic design always needed to have a system oriented approach, even if only a portion of the system was implemented on one die.  Engineers still assembled a system from a number of components.  Today so many transistors can be built on a die to make it possible to actually implement an entire system on one component.

Under its expanded charter, the ESD Alliance will deliver a forum for the interests of the integrated circuit (IC) and system design ecosystem, a critical component to the ongoing success of the $360 billion worldwide Semiconductor Industry.

New ESD Alliance initiatives are being formed to address the larger design ecosystem that includes semiconductor intellectual property (IP), embedded software, advanced packaging for system scaling and service companies that provide design know-how and resources. Working groups are being formed in all of these areas to focus on unique challenges and opportunities. They complement existing committees dedicated to the ecosystem’s interest in export, interoperability, license management and antipiracy, market statistics and trade shows.

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