The Times They Are A-Changin’

Save the date: Sept. 10. Everything changes again.


Let me start out by saying that I’m not a huge Bob Dylan fan. I’m an American that grew up in the 1960s, so it’s hard to not call some of Dylan’s catalog a soundtrack for your life. The song that I used to title this blog has some special relevance for me and eSilicon. Recently, we’ve heard a lot about changing times, and not-so-good times, when it comes to the worldwide economy and our industry in particular. Let me tell you a story about a different kind of change.

Back in 2000, when eSilicon was born, the company had a singular focus on changing the way custom chips were made. We went to the Design Automation Conference that year as a stealth-mode company. The conference was in Los Angeles. It may have been the only year it was held in LA. We used our presence to gather information about how people designed chips. We gave away a nice golf shirt, and we got a lot of responses to our survey. Our launch was planned for later that year, so we mysteriously stated that, “In October 2000 everything changes.”

Figure 1

We talked about being a “vertical service provider,” without really saying what that was. We discussed the need for aggregated design and manufacturing services and the need to leverage the Web more. I have to say, this approach got us some good buzz. It even earned us a front-page story in EE Times. “What’s Harding up to?” was the gist of the story, referencing Jack Harding, our CEO.

When we did launch the company, we introduced a unique online tool to track all chip production called eSilicon Access. We’ve since renamed the tool to STAR Tracker, and we and our customers continue to use it every day. We also introduced the fabless ASIC model. Today, it’s an industry segment. Maybe we didn’t change “everything,” but we did change a lot in our world of custom chip design and delivery.

Fast-forward to the present day – we’re at it again. Over the past couple of years we’ve been buliding a new platform that takes the Internet’s role in custom chip design and manufacturing to a new level. On Sept. 10, 2015, everything changes again. All of our online technology, Web presence and even our logo will evolve to create a new level of simplifed, transparent access to custom chip design and manufacturing. Note the date. It will be interesting to watch.

Figure 2