Notes From CadenceLIVE Silicon Valley 2023

Keynotes highlighted AI and data center communications.


Last week was CadenceLIVE Silicon Valley, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and took place, as usual, over two days. It was very well attended and everywhere seemed fairly crowded. The structure of CadenceLIVE was that the first morning was taken up with four keynotes. Then the rest of the day and all of the following day were taken up with about ten parallel technical tracks. And at lunch…

Book signing

During lunch on both days, John Park, Vinay Patwardhan, and I sat behind a table and gave away signed copies of this year’s Cadence book, “3D-IC Trends: 2023 Outlook.” I am sure we will be doing something similar at other events (DAC?) if you want a free copy.

Anirudh Devgan’s keynote

The conference was opened with a keynote by Anirudh Devgan, Cadence’s CEO. I’m not going to go over what he said in detail, since I don’t want to steal his material—he probably wants to do some “design reuse” and present some of the material in other keynotes. However, I will pull out some interesting points that Anirudh talked about:

  • The semiconductor market is forecast to reach $1T per year by 2030 (currently around half of that).
  • 45% of Cadence’s business is coming from system companies (as opposed to semiconductor companies).
  • Cadence has about 10,000 employees of which 9,000 are engineers.
  • Cadence Cerebrus gives 5-10% improvement, equivalent to a technology node these days. To date, there are over 180 Cadence Cerebrus tapeouts.
  • Anirudh introduced guest speakers Jensen Huang (CEO of NVIDIA) and Zack Brown (CEO of McLaren Racing).
  • There is a lot of “AI-washing” going on in the technology industry (along with some stunning capabilities like the large language models):

Even an “if statement” is AI since it is artificial and has some intelligence. And if you add “else” then that is reinforcement learning.

Chris Koopman’s keynote

The second keynote was by Marvell’s COO Chris Koopman. He was stepping in at the last minute since Matthew Murphy, the CEO, was sick. Marvell has pivoted the company entirely to data center infrastructure: accelerated computing, high-speed interconnect, and efficient storage and memory.

The state of the art is 800G today, going to 1.6T later this year, and with 3.2T in the pipeline. Optics is everywhere.

Tom Beckley’s keynote

The final keynote was by Cadence’s Tom Beckley, who is SVP of Custom IC, Packaging, PCB, and Multiphysics Analysis. He started with the big picture that AI is a transformational change. He quoted Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, saying “You will see us be bold.” And also Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, “Maximum enterprise value occurs during platform shifts.” Another datapoint was that at WEF in Davos this year, two out of ten CEOs were concerned that they might go out of business. The two big challenges they faced, and these are big companies, were artificial intelligence and sourcing the right talent.

Tom went over a lot of aspects of his very wide portfolio, especially the newly announced Virtuoso Studio and some of the AI capabilities enabled by the Cadence JedAI platform. But this post will be too long if I try and cover everything he did.


As you probably know, Cadence is an Official Technology Partner of the McLaren Formula 1 Team. There were two aspects to McLaren’s presence at CadenceLIVE: there was a McLaren car, and a McLaren Formula 1 Racing Simulator. There was a long line to get a go on the simulator, so I never got to try it.


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