Will the demand for Design and Verification services change? How will Functional Verification look like 3 years from now? Think Verification caught Cristian Amitroaie, AMIQ’s CEO, for a quick chat.
Think Verification: Hello Cristian and thanks for joining us today here on Think Verification. In 2003 you founded AMIQ together with 2 partners and today, 5 years later, your company has grown to be a leader in the VLSI services market. What’s your secret?
Cristian Amitroaie: All the 3 founders have very strong technical skills, are passionate about solving problems and get involved in every day projects. This not only spreads energy and knowledge, it allows us to understand the strengths and needs of each colleague, which is significant when proposing solutions to customer requirements. I don’t think it is a secret for success, it works for us and it is fulfilling.
Think Verification: You know, some companies tend to outsource big parts of their work while other companies tend to keep their work in house. In your opinion, what are the conditions for a company to benefit more from getting professional design/verification services? Does this depend on the project kind, company expertise, or other factors?
Cristian Amitroaie: Consultants are a flexible workforce and best practice pools - they’ve seen more projects and approaches. By using the right consultants (competent, open, passionate, committed) a company minimizes costs and improves quality. Not only the quality of the current project, but also the quality of internal procedures. More than that, involved employees get practical training. Confidence and cost influence the decision to outsource.
Think Verification: We can’t avoid talking about the current turmoil in global economy these days. The VLSI industry has suffered quite a bit so far and so have many service providers in the areas of Design and Verification. We’ve seen Cadence lay off 12% percent of their workforce. What’s your view on the dynamics of the consulting business and the EDA market going forward?
Cristian Amitroaie: The demand for consulting or EDA solutions will shrink in the next 1-2 years, but not dramatically. The need is still there, and pressure will be growing for those who still have or need a job (longer hours, lower rates, no bonuses etc.). A surrounding bad economy provides justification for clean-up in some companies, which sounds like shrinking, but it’s not. Design and Verification or EDA is not ultimately responsible for the dark atmosphere, it just needs to pay its share for the missing money.
Think Verification: Let’s talk about Verification. From your perspective, what are the areas of growth in this area? How do you think Verification will look like 2-3 years from now?
Cristian Amitroaie: The advanced functional verification techniques - advanced languages like e/SV and methodologies like eRM/OVM - are not yet absorbed and time will be spent on this - we train most of our customers in this area. Areas to improve: from simpler Bugzilla and revision control integration into verification flows to effort estimation and predictability. Debugging and failure handling - clustering, bug avoidance - could use some help. Design for verification is not well defined, but I think in the future Verification will become even more valuable then Design and both sides will get better and better together. We also reached a software-ish complexity (including patch-ability) and I don’t see big jumps there for a while.
Think Verification: Thanks for sharing your insights with us today Cristian and good luck!