Industry Articles « Breker Verification Systems
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The following Breker-authored papers, articles and conference talks provide perspectives on the EDA industry, the electronics industry, and general business and management topics.

January 7, 2016
Electronic Engineering Times: High-Tech Marketing Is Like Going on a Diet

The better strategy is to focus on one market segment and produce a viable solution to fit the needs and beat the competition. It will enable the startup to focus, build awareness and generate cash. Read More

November 20, 2015
Electronic Engineering Times: What Keeps a Startup CEO Awake at Night

Most startup CEOs will tell you that they find their job exhilarating. The reasons they cite most often are the excitement of leading a great team and creating innovative technology. Almost in the same breath they will tell you that the job is very demanding. Read More

October 13, 2015
Electronic Engineering Times: Startups Without Borders

International expansion is no longer a long-range goal for a fledgling startup. Instead, the team must be prepared to follow the customer’s project to remote locations. The reality is that all large multinational companies have offices worldwide and most projects straddle multiple sites. Read More

August 25, 2015
Electronic Engineering Times: Building a Great Advisory Board

The usefulness of the advisory board is dependent on the energy that the executive staff puts into selecting the right members and then engaging them in the culture of the company. Read More

August 24, 2015
Chip Design: Second DVCon India Kicks Off Soon

Breker is proud to be a supporter of DVCon India again this year. We will present a joint tutorial on portable stimulus with Mentor Graphics and Vayavya, plus we will have a booth in the exhibition area. We urge you to attend this show, which is certain to be technically rich, personally rewarding, and downright enjoyable. Read More

July 30, 2015
Electronic Engineering Times: Independent Board Members: The Outsiders With an “In”

For a stressed-out CEO, the availability of an experienced executive who is also a trusted board member can be invaluable. He or she will act as a sounding board and offer alternative solutions that might unlock a tough situation. Read More

June 30, 2015
Electronic Engineering Times: Selecting Your M&A Banker

The CEO can get recommendations on M&A advisors from his or her mentors and from the company’s board of directors. Important sources of information are CEOs of other companies in the same industry who exited recently. The company’s corporate lawyers are also a great resource to tap into. Read More

June 8, 2015
Electronic Engineering Times: Startup Dollars & Sense: Managing Legal Expenses

The best way to manage legal costs is to agree upfront with your lawyer on the cost for specific tasks. Placing a cap avoids nasty surprises that can quickly mar the relationship between the company and its legal counsel. Read More

April 30, 2015
Electronic Engineering Times: Managing the Team: Hygiene First, Motivation Next

Employees, especially engineers, like to understand the problem they’re solving and be able to put it into a context. Executives can and should encourage developers to interact with customers, participate in customer meetings were appropriate and, if needed, send developers to help the customer on site. Read More

April 7, 2015
Electronic Engineering Times: Hire Smart, Fire Faster

The formula “Hire Slow, Fire Fast” is based on the sound tenet that a company cannot afford to employ the wrong people. Those bad hires will slow the team down, consume excessive management time and can make the work environment around them toxic. It does not take many bad hires — who in turn make bad hires — to generate the proverbial “bozo explosion.” Read More

March 1, 2015
Electronic Engineering Times: Spend or Save? It’s a Trick Question

Balancing spend versus save when building a business is a difficult problem and one that that has no easy, pre-packaged answer. While I struggled with this balance as a startup CEO, I also reached out to trusted advisors for help and worked hard at maintaining a reasonable budget that met objectives. Read More

February 1, 2015
Electronic Engineering Times: The Business Plan: The Document Nobody Read

Technology startup executives who need to keep the company nimble and evolving as needed shouldn’t think that a business plan is for fundraising only. A well-considered business plan can be a multi-purpose document with a variety of uses. Read More

December 5, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Startup Exit Strategy: Plan for the Unexpected Term Sheet

An often-overlooked part of the M&A preparation is the readiness on the accounting and legal side. Due diligence is part of all acquisitions, and a deal will be scheduled to close anywhere from 30 to 90 days once a term sheet has been signed. Read More

October 29, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Developing a Sales Strategy

Sales is complex and expensive, neither of which should be overlooked. Building the right product is only half the story. Sales and marketing is the other half. No company can be successful without both halves performing at their peak levels. Read More

September 26, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Ignore Marketing at Your Own Peril

Marketing is an important element of growth and the most significant means of building brand identity. Don’t neglect it. A startup founder may think the company cannot afford marketing, but ignoring it is worse. Read More

September 23, 2014
Chip Design: DVCon India Is a Sign of the Times

The Indian electronics industry is on a roll, with many reports showing 20% or greater growth over the last few years and predicting this to continue. The strength of the DVCon India program, with many contributions from local engineers, shows the level of work being performed in India today. Read More

September 17, 2014
Chip Design: First DVCon India Just a Week Away

Breker is proud to be a supporter of DVCon India. In addition to exhibiting, Breker CEO Adnan Hamid will speak in two sessions. He will present his views on the industry’s need for portable tests (stimulus, checks, and coverage) in “Achieving Portable Stimulus with Graph-Based Verification” and show a demonstration of Breker’s GUI linked to the Synopsys Verdi HW SW Debug Solution in the “SoC Verification Challenges Offer Opportunities to Take a New Look at Debug” tutorial. Read More

August 27, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Getting Your First Sales Pick Right

he need to hire the initial sales executive will emerge early in the startup's development. What is this key team member's profile? It's the sales person who will find the right design team with the right set of problems that an unproven product may be able to handle and then traverse an imperfect situation. Read More

July 22, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Find an Entrepreneurial Mentor

Mentors can help with a specific need over a limited period of time. For example, if the start-up founding team is weak on the sales side, a seasoned vice president of sales can help build a channel. Or a marketing executive can counsel you on plotting the timeline for your go-to-market strategy. Read More

June 17, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Startups Should Think Globally

All startup companies today must think globally. That includes the operational part of the business and, more important, the human aspect. The technology industry, like so many others, is a global village. Read More

May 23, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Break 'Introversion Glass Ceiling'

The first step for a fledgling leader would be to become a better networker and to get more comfortable. Starting slowly is the best course of action. My advice is to set a small goal -- say, introduce yourself to five people you don’t know. Second, have a set of five questions or so to ask people you meet that can range from asking what they do to what keeps them up at night. The final bit of advice is to appear confident and self-assured. Read More

April 28, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Taking Bored Out of Board Meetings

While transparency is important for healthy relationships among the CEO, the board of directors, and investors, the CEO must never forget to be a professional. While the relationship between both can be friendly and cordial, the board is the CEO's boss with hiring and firing authority. Board members should never be treated as a best friend or the next door neighbor. Read More

April 7, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: A Startup Needs a Good Board of Directors

The board should implement a culture of accountability, mandating a regular review of the CEO and the management team's progress. But no member should meddle in the day-to-day business operations unless an issue is identified at the board level. The scope and duration of the board involvement should be well defined. Otherwise, the authority of the CEO could be undermined.   Read More

April 7, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Watching the Hardware Emulation Market Take Off

The only way to verify an SoC effectively and efficiently is with fully automated test cases running on its embedded processors. These test cases are generated from graph-based scenario models that capture the intended behavior of a system. Since they are similar to traditional SoC data-flow diagrams, creating and maintaining scenario models is straightforward. They are portable and reusable throughout the scope of an SoC project and across multiple SoC projects. Read More

February 25, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Startup 101: Why Proxies & Mentors Matter

All told, there's nothing better than having access to successful entrepreneurs who have been there and done that, as is finding the proxy that works best for the particular startup's situation. Read More

January 21, 2014
Electronic Engineering Times: Why Hi-Tech Startups Should Care About Culture

Companies with strong, positive cultures are a lot more fun because employees have a lot more freedom to operate. The internal aspects of the company culture are most often discussed, but company culture also affects the relationship with customers, partners, and other stakeholders. Read More

January 13, 2014
Chip Design: EDA Industry Predictions for 2014 – Part 2

Scenario models can generate test cases for simulation, simulation acceleration, emulation, FPGA prototyping, and actual silicon in the lab. These test cases will be the first embedded code to run at every one of these stages in 2014 SoC projects. Read More

December 23, 2013
Electronic Engineering Times: Hiring the Right Team

Challenges are a part of all startups, but the ideal employee combination should be adapted to these challenges. Typically, the best corporate culture is one that's a mix of seasoned veterans complemented by inexperienced employees to build a motivated, creative team that works and communicates well. Read More

November 26, 2013
Electronic Engineering Times: Earth to EE CEOs: Know When to Delegate

Delegation is critical for the startup founder, who is the hub for so many aspects of the business. The entrepreneur prioritizes mission-critical tasks on a daily basis and then delegates the rest, or they don't get done, resulting in a bottleneck. Read More

November 4, 2013
Electronic Engineering Times: It Takes a Village to Make an Entrepreneurial CEO

All aspects of an entrepreneurial startup should be performing at the highest level, or the weakest link risks bringing down the whole company. Any aspects that aren't performing at this level need a thorough review. A technology CEO who has the confidence to start a company must have the confidence for this type of review. That same CEO needs a brain trust of individuals who balance his or her needs. After all, it takes a village. Read More

September 27, 2013
Electronic Engineering Times: Launching the Product

The strategy I recommend is to work in stealth mode with early customers or beta users to get detailed feedback on the product. The profile of these chosen customers will be an early adopter mentality that drives them to overcome the shortcomings of the product in exchange for access to a new, differentiated technology and, quite often, preferential pricing. These early customers will help the startup clean out product bugs and gain a better understanding of market requirements. Read More

July 23, 2013
Electronic Engineering Times: Improving the EDA Funding Environment

EDA startups are seeking nontraditional funding sources, such as foreign funds looking to enter the US technology sector. For example, Breker Verification Systems, where I am a board member, recently raised $5 million from a Far East fund looking to diversify into the Silicon Valley technology industry. Read More

APRIL 5, 2013
SOCcentral: Yes, Virginia, There Is a Stitch-and-Ship

Yes, SOC full-chip verification is a challenging problem and teams are not allocated enough resources to hand-write all the tests it would like. Automatically generating multi-threaded self-verifying C test cases for one or multiple embedded processors allows a small team to perform full-SOC verification in a time short enough to satisfy the most demanding SOC schedules. Read More

MARCH 28, 2013
Real Talk Blog: SoC Verification Can be Cold as Ice

A solution catching on within development teams is known as graph-based scenario models that capture intended behavior of the IP blocks. These can be combined to create scenario models for major subunits or the complete SoC, where they can automatically generate self-verifying C test cases to run on multiple heterogeneous embedded processors within the SoC. Read More

MARCH 27, 2013
Chip Design: It's Time to Refine the EDA Acronym and Maybe DAC, Too!

I'd say it's high time to redefine the 'EDA' acronym, expand its reach and grow the market. And while we're at it, let's rename DAC as well. 'Design' does not even begin to encompass what it takes to develop a chip, board or electronic system. Read More

FEBRUARY 26, 2013
Electronic Engineering Times: SoC Verification is Growing Up Fast

We will witness soon the emergence of SoC verification solutions that include randomization for the automated generation of complex test cases that run in the SoC's embedded processors. Coverage views that better represent system behavior and support a more sophisticated SoC verification plan are coming soon. Read More

FEBRUARY 7, 2013
Electronic Engineering Times: Stitch and Ship Will Sink Your Chip Every Time

Stitch and ship doesn't work for systems integrators and is a lousy strategy for SoC verification as well. Much like a systems integrator's template, development teams should develop a SoC verification methodology that exercises a wide range of functional scenarios, encompassing cross-interactions and covering all points of convergence. Read More

DECEMBER 11, 2012
Electronic Engineering Times: Verification is the Key Entrepreneurial Opportunity

Let's turn our attention to the opportunities for a hardworking, creative and enterprising individual who sees a future in solving the verification challenge. The semiconductor industry has many unsolved verification problems and clearly there's a gap in verification coverage. That makes verification an exciting market where one key opportunity stands out in my mind -- that is, system-level verification. Read More

SEPTEMBER 12, 2012
Electronic Engineering Times: Choosing your business strategy

No one can give you a fool-proof prescription on what to do for your success. Instead, several indigenous factors will define which strategy will work for you. Whichever path you choose, stick to it, follow through with everything you have and there is a higher likelihood that you will get over to the other side of the chasm of uncertainty. Read More

AUGUST 28, 2012
Texas Enterprise: 3 Tenets: Choosing a Strategy

If you have a first mover advantage on the kind of product you are bringing to market, and if your market research proves that it is a game-changer and an outlier in the solution space in your target market, you are bringing to market a revolutionary product that can afford you more of a choice of an execution strategy. Read More

AUGUST 8, 2012
Electronic Engineering Times: Character Traits of a CEO

As a member of the board of directors for several small EDA suppliers, including Breker Verification Systems, I'm often asked what character traits make a good CEO. I think there are several, most notably being humble and having the ability to ask and listen to the answers. A CEO who thinks that he or she has all the answers is a recipe for disaster. Read More

JULY 19, 2012
Electronic Engineering Times: Bootstrapping as a Business Strategy

We have built Breker on a similar principle, setting ourselves apart from the typical high-tech start-up standard of raising a lot of money to go figure out if a viable product can be built and the raise a whole lot more money to create hype around the product. Breker remains a case in point for the value of bootstrapping as a management practice as we remain one of the few surviving start-ups of our 'generation' in our industry. Read More

JUNE 1, 2012
Gabe on EDA: Breaking Systems at DAC

When multiple processors and many different types of IP are involved, methodologies in use for block-level verification break down. That is precisely where we step in to break systems and find tricky system-level bugs before tapeout. More and more companies are hitting the verification wall and looking to Breker for help. I fully expect this trend to continue. Read More

MAY 25, 2012
Electronic Engineering Times: Managing Change

Creating a contingency plan, such as financial and operational buffers, investing in business development and creating strategic partnerships at all layers of a company, is important. Having the ability to react constructively to change is an intangible asset. Read More

APRIL 13, 2012
Texas Enterprise: 3 Tenets: Getting it Done

At its core, business is about creating value that someone is willing to pay for. It is about keeping an eye on the operational details that let you wake up the next morning and focus on continuing to create that value. It is about taking pride in the work that you do and the difference you think you make. Read More

APRIL 4, 2012
Electronic Engineering Times: EDA's Entrepreneurial Capital

Traditionally, much of the growth in EDA has been driven by innovation brought to market by entrepreneurial ventures. Yet wherever we turn these days, there are naysayers who downplay the potential of EDA. Read More

FEBRUARY 15, 2012
Real Talk Blog: Avoiding the Titanic-Sized Iceberg of Downton Abbey

The solution for verifying an SoC is only now becoming clear since block-level testbench-based verification has been proven to be ineffective for SoC designs containing embedded processors. Complex SoC use cases that cross multiple concurrent applications with shared resources and on-board power and clocking management systems offer up an overwhelming number of possible scenarios. Read More

JANUARY 17, 2012
Texas Enterprise: 3 Tenets: Bootstrapping as a Business Strategy

It is always interesting to see such ideas catch fire, especially when they are based on simple common sense. Bootstrapping is a smart business move, period. It manages risks at every level, starting from the business owner, employees to the end user. Read More

NOVEMBER 4, 2011
Texas Enterprise: 3 Tenets: Navigating Change for Growth

If there is one thing you need to instill in your organization's work habit, it is the ability to separate the urgent from the important. Business execution and putting out daily fires is necessary but not sufficient. In doing so, you are probably inhibiting your growth as it becomes difficult to anticipate opportunities, let alone prepare for it. Read More

JUNE 21, 2011
Texas Enterprise: 3 Tenets: Thrive as an Entrepreneur

You have to have unparalleled faith in your product and vision, believe that it creates real value in the market, meeting a real need in your target customers. You have to believe that you are that visionary that sees a pattern in the broader scheme of things others have missed and you see a path to translate that pattern to the market. Read More

March 23. 2017
Semiconductor Engineering: What Is Portable Stimulus?

The standard for verification intent modeling has a misleading name. It should be changed. Read More