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PCBD-Apr2016

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64 The PCB Design Magazine • April 2016 by Andy Shaughnessy In the 20 years since its founding, SiSoft has been at the forefront of signal integrity analysis tool development. Now, the company is lead- ing the way with a new technology called Opti- mEye TM and tools for creating accurate IBIS-AMI models. At DesignCon, I caught up with Todd Westerhoff, VP of semiconductor relations, and asked him to give us an update on the compa- ny's newest technologies. Andy Shaughnessy: Todd, for anybody who's not familiar with SiSoft, why don't you give us a little bit of background about the company? Todd Westerhoff: SiSoft has been focused on system-level signal integrity since 1995, pro- viding both automated signal integrity tools and high-speed design consulting services. We started as a consulting company, using scripts to create an automated methodology to make ourselves more productive. Our customers no- ticed how quickly we were able to get compli- cated jobs done and began asking how we did it. It wasn't long before our customers asked us to package those processes and sell them as commercial tools. One of the things that really sets SiSoft apart is that we continually prove our tools through real-world use on customer designs. We design and test everything from the high-speed designer's point of view—how should our software work and what kind of out- put should it produce? I know that sounds cliché, but it's incredibly important. I've worked for a number of EDA companies. I have actually been using simu- lation tools since before the term "EDA" was coined, and I've repeatedly seen that most EDA companies do very little, if any, real work with their own tools. Think about that for a minute. Would you buy a car from a company where no one drove their own brand? Would you eat at a restaurant if none of the staff would eat there? Yet, that's exactly what many customers do: buy EDA tools from companies that have al- most no practical experience using those tools in real world situations. SiSoft has been built on the business model that I have always be- lieved EDA companies should use: collaborat- SiSoft: Optimizing the State of the Art articLe Todd Westerhoff, SiSoft

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