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Thermal analysis startup taps marketing VP

Posted: 17 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:eda? thermal analysis tool? gradient design?

Seeking to build a marketing organization behind an EDA startup with a full-chip thermal analysis tool, former Cadence executive Kevin Moynihan has joined Gradient Design Automation as vice president of marketing.

Gradient Design Automation, announced in June at the Design Automation Conference, claims to be offering the first dynamic full-chip thermal analysis tool for IC design. As such, it faces the challenge of educating the marketplace on the need for such a tool.

Moynihan came across Gradient at Cadence Design Systems, where he was a vice-president of business development involved with investments and acquisitions. Cadence holds a minority share in Gradient. But Moynihan was sufficiently impressed with what he saw to leave Cadence and join Gradient.

"I think Gradient has unique technology filling a space that will be in high demand for 65 nm, and even 90 nm for complex designs," Moynihan said. "It's a good team of people and a good board. It looked like a good opportunity from a startup perspective."

Moynihan also noted that he has some startup experience. He was, in fact, the third employee at design planning firm High-Level Design Systems, acquired by Cadence in 1996.

At Gradient, Moynihan said, one of his primary tasks will be customer education. "It's basically a missionary sale right now," he said. "We're trying to educate the customer base and have them understand the impact of temperature gradients on their design."

Those impacts can be significant. As noted in a recent EEdesign feature authored by Gradient CEO Rajit Chandra, temperature can vary by as much as 50 degrees C across a chip, profoundly impacting leakage power, voltage drop, and electromigration.

"We're finding people who have problems looking for solutions, and people who don't know they have problems," said Moynihan. "Some are fixing the problems electrically today without looking more closely to see if they're temperature induced. There's also a huge amount of guardbanding going on."

Moynihan noted that Gradient is just now beginning to ship its FireBolt thermal analysis tool. He said the company will sell directly in North America and Europe, and seek to join up with a distributor in Japan.

- Richard Goering

EE Times

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