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Design007-Aug2019

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AUGUST 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 87 Liao: We have been thinking about that for a long time, so we have been talking to our cus- tomers regarding these ideas, and they general- ly express strong interest in it. Some corporate customers don't have to use a planner because our autorouting solution already includes this planning capability. But this time, the planner is targeted to lower-end customers or the cus- tomers that are not using our tools yet. Shaughnessy: What do you think is your big- gest market right now? Liao: PCBs because now, it's prevailing that some large companies have put a lot of R&D effort into autorouting technology and started realizing that autorouting the whole PCB is not easy to do. But the problem is that there isn't a hierarchical approach. Usually, you get the placement of the PCB, and that goes directly to route. We just get the placement and go to do detail route directly. Nowadays, the PCB is more complicated, and this approach usually doesn't produce a good result. Shaughnessy: How do you plan to get more PCB designers to start using autorouters? Especially in North America, designers are almost proud of the fact that they don't use autorouters. Liao: Some designers have autorouters, and they don't use them. We still have a long way to go. Shaughnessy: How are you doing in China? Are you able to get market share there? Liao: Not yet. We're mainly focusing our re- sources on development. But we're certain- ly looking at China's market and are talking to some vendors there to partner with us to do business development as well as technical support. In terms of PCB manufacturing, Chi- na is probably the number one market in the world. And design is growing more and more in China. Shaughnessy: It's amazing how PCB design is almost unknown to college students in the U.S., but in some places, like Romania, it's now considered to be hip to be a PCB design- er. Kids want to grow up to be PCB designers in Romania. Liao: Right. I know a design company that is hiring engineers in Romania. They are happy about that. It's good that this industry is grow- ing globally. Shaughnessy: And it's considered cool in some regions. It's a good time to be in this industry. Well, what do you have planned next? Liao: Our main focus is to continue making our customers happy because a lot of companies have started evaluating our technology, but evaluation takes time and resource to do cor- rectly. Right now, our main focus is to make sure the customer doing an evaluation gets good results. In the future, we are looking for a lot of possibilities. Another focus would be expanding our presence through channels in Asia or in other parts of the world. Shaughnessy: Do you have direct salespeople? Liao: Not right now other than me. But we do have good partners in different parts of the country. Also, we are looking at more compa- nies to partner with to expand. In Japan, the number-two EDA company, which is a popu- lar listed company, is our main reseller. We are doing well in that region, and it covers other parts of Asia. Further, we expanded our presence into South Korea and are looking at partners in Taiwan, China, etc. Right now, we are doing more and more in Asia, but we are also looking into Europe and India, for example. Shaughnessy: If you had Cadence or Mentor just agree to bundle your tool in as an option or however they would do it, would that be ideal for you? Liao: Of course that would be good because they have huge user base. But nowadays, tech- nology partnerships are more difficult than be-

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