Charlie Huang    
Charlie Huang, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations
Cadence Design Systems Inc.

1. What are the global semiconductor trends in 2011?

Long-term business trends for semiconductors seem positive, with revenue projected by some industry analysts to grow more than twice as fast as global GDP over the next few years. But in the near term, volatility is expected as new macroeconomic issues weigh on consumer and IT outlay.

The semiconductor industry is seeing more consolidation due to staggering capital costs for advanced technology and the switch to 300mm silicon. Along with that trend, there has been an acceleration of the foundry model for chip making rather than the IDM approach of both design and manufacturing. A larger percentage of chipmakers are now choosing to either be fabless or “fab-lite” because foundries are providing high-quality, advanced-technology devices at competitive prices. Finally as we have been saying since we announced our EDA360 vision, the competitive differentiation for chipmakers today is found increasingly in design, eco system enablement and software readiness.

In the past, electronics systems companies or OEMs would differentiate through hardware. Today, they can and often do differentiate and get value through “apps.” Not only in mobile devices, but anywhere there are processors. (And most IC designs today incorporate multiple processors.)

To support this approach and meet their own time-to-market goals, systems companies demand that their semiconductor suppliers provide not just silicon but application-ready hardware/software platforms.

This means that semiconductor companies must increasingly address the challenges of increased product complexity, more software content, greater use of IP, and of course, ever shorter time-to-market windows.

Employing our EDA360 strategy, we are helping customers address escalating complexity in several ways. At the silicon level we are constantly adding new technologies to our Silicon Realization solutions to handle gigahertz, giga-gates, low-power, and mixed-signal designs at advanced nodes. For SoC Realization, our IP portfolio helps customers create SoCs more quickly and reliably. And at the System Realization level, the Cadence System Development Suite and other system-level tools enable customers to begin hardware-software integration and verification long before real silicon is available.

Collaboration is an essential strategy for all players in the ecosystem to meet shrinking time-to-market deadlines. We have increased our efforts with leading foundries and IP suppliers on programs to support advanced processes, qualify IP, and deliver services that help our semiconductor customers speed designs into manufacturing.

2. What would be the key market drivers in 2012?

Costs have gone up by almost 30% from last year. This has been due to the following There are several key trends driving growth in the market today and we expect these to also be key market drivers in 2012. They include: apps, video, mobility, cloud computing and green technology.

The need to have apps on your electronic devices is driving new generations of products. Traditional devices do more jobs than before – mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets have the ability to email, tweet, text, browse the web, stream video, take pictures, calendar appointments, and manage your contacts. Today’s televisions, game consoles, home appliances, network switches, and even industrial controllers have apps now. Some of those apps are streaming video as seen on YouTube or in real-time 2-way video for phone calls. Not only are apps everywhere, but they are changing the demands on electronic design.

Video drives development of both devices and networks. It is expanding from the television to the Smartphone, to media tablets, to your wristwatch. And it is not just about watching movies and video clips; there are also videoconferences, surveillance systems, non-professional video blogs, and other content. Just look at how young people incorporate video into their daily routines.

Probably the most pervasive change in electronics recently has been the trend to make everything mobile. Nowadays we expect to have the same information, tools, and capabilities in the car or at the airport that we have in the office. We want to remain connected – GPS data, driving directions, and car status when we are driving; flight status while we on the plane. Along with mobility, we also want long battery life, light weight, small size, and lots of communications options. This is a market driver that makes lots of demands. Closely connected to mobility is the trend towards cloud computing. The cloud of network servers and backbone equipment is what delivers much of the content and value to all of those mobile devices. Some studies claim the cloud needs to add a new server for every 100-or-so Smartphones that are added to the system.

And all of these trends are affected by the drive towards green technology – the crossroads of performance and power conservation. For example, data centers that make up the cloud require high performance, but some analysts claim they already use 2% of the world’s power generation and are growing at around 12% per year. Both wired and wireless devices must be designed to use less power, although to different degrees and for different reasons. Nevertheless, low-power design has become a universal requirement for the devices we use every day.

3. What part does India play in the overall technology strategy and marketing strategy of Cadence?

We measure our success based on how well we serve our customers. Cadence has supported India’s high tech industry since its early days. We opened our first office there in 1987. Cadence views India as an important and strategic “center of excellence” for the company. The operations have steadily grown over the past 20 plus years and Cadence has offices in Noida, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Our R&D facility in Noida – the largest outside of the US – is working on advanced technologies. Our operations in India support a number of Cadence global customers that have a substantial presence in India, aligning with the Cadence belief of being located close to our customer base.

Profile: Huang is a veteran of the electronic design automation industry, with experience as a CEO, entrepreneur, technologist, and manager. Since joining Cadence in 2001 through the successful acquisition of CadMOS, where he was co-founder and CEO, he has held a series of responsibilities in R&D, marketing, strategic investment, and merger and acquisition. In 2004 and 2005, Huang was also a General Partner at Telos Venture Partners.

Before co-founding CadMOS, Huang was vice president of R&D at EPIC Design Technology and later became Vice President of R&D in the EPIC Technology Group of Synopsys.

Huang holds Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and an MSEE and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Huang serves on the Board of Directors of Parade Technologies, Ltd., a fables supplier of mixed-signal IC’s for display and high-speed interface standards.