Monthly Archives: December 2014

CEO Interview – Faraj Aalaei

Faraj Aalaei, CEO of Aquantia GSA sat down with the CEO of Aquantia and 32-year industry veteran, Faraj Aalaei, to discuss his growing company. We discussed his insights into their numerous rounds of funding and how to successfully contribute to the ‘big data’ trend in the semiconductor industry.     1. Aquantia received numerous awards last year including, GSA’s Most Respected Private Company Award, EETimes & EDN Company of the Year Award and Cisco’s New Emerging Technology Supplier Award in 2013. In your opinion, what set Aquantia a part from the other nominees? There are two things that set Aquantia apart. First, there is technology execution and then there is the business strategy execution. Aquantia is successful because it was the first to solve performance, power and price challenges that enable 10GBASE-T (10 Gbps over Ethernet copper cabling) interconnect to be adopted on a mass scale in data centers around the world. Aquantia’s ability to match ... Read More »

The Innovative Spirit of the GSA is Part of PMC’s Culture

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By Colin Harris, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Communications Business Unit, PMC-Sierra As the GSA celebrates 20 years of industry collaboration, it’s hard to believe that a handful of innovators going fabless caused such a stir in the industry. But it did. The fabless model was seen by the industry as a fundamental attack on its value chain, and without the inception of the Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA) to promote the business model globally and facilitate collaboration, it would have been a lot more difficult for the new entrants to break in. We Don’t Buy from Fabless Guys When PMC first began to approach the Tier 1 communication equipment suppliers, it was continually blocked by conservative buyers who did not understand its business model or the fabless industry. The perception of risk is hard to overcome in a business built on reliability. “I have a vivid memory ... Read More »

The Parallel Evolution of the Semiconductor Industry and the GSA

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By Andy Pease, President and CEO of QuickLogic The Early Years of the Semiconductor Industry When the semiconductor industry was born approximately fifty years ago, the biggest problem it faced was how to reliably and economically manufacture large numbers of silicon-based devices.  Because this was a new industry, there was no eco-system.  This forced early device manufacturers to develop their own equipment to support the entire manufacturing chain from wafer fabrication to assembly to test.  These companies had to be vertically integrated, as they had no other choice. The limited capabilities of the early technology meant that manufacturers only could create very simple circuits.  For example, at that time, state of the art for analog circuits was an op amp with 20 transistors.  Digital logic was also in its infancy, with a quad two-input NAND gate the most leading edge device then available.  In retrospect, this was definitely “Small Scale ... Read More »

Discontinuities During Twenty Years of Semiconductor Ecosystem Evolution

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By Walden Rhines, CEO & Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mentor Graphics Twenty years ago marked the end of the first decade of tumultuous evolution for the EDA, personal computer and fabless semiconductor industries. Each had reached a level of equilibrium that promised ongoing, stable growth.  Daisy, Mentor and Valid were all founded in 1981 and by 1984 had been joined by many others including Solomon Design Associates, or SDA (1983) and ECAD (1982) which merged to form Cadence in 1988. About the same time, Synopsys was founded in 1986. Introduction of the IBM PC in 1981 triggered a standardization wave that spawned dozens of semiconductor manufacturers including some of the first fabless companies, like Cirrus Logic (1981) and Chips and Technologies (1984), and gave Intel the focus that made them the largest overall semiconductor company.  By 1994, the EDA industry, personal computers and the fabless model were positioned ... Read More »