MONDAY July 20, 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Tech Talk: Can Open-Source Community Drive EDA Innovation?
Serge Leef - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, VA
The EDA industry has always been led by the 3 big vendors with intense focus on the biggest and most sophisticated semiconductor and system companies who have historically benefitted for volume based discounting. Midsize and small design houses don’t represent enough business to influence technology direction or get attractive pricing and are increasingly looking to open-source EDA as a potential alternative to the big three.  While the academic community is enthusiastically pursuing technical advances in open-source design technologies, their incentives are different from what it takes to drive their innovative solutions into mainstream use cases. Are there strategies that can translate open-source EDA into viable solutions for the underserved user communities? Can open-source revive technology advances that have arguably been slowing in the last two decades?

Biography:Mr. Serge Leef joined DARPA in August 2018 as a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO). His research interests include computer architecture, simulation, synthesis, semiconductor intellectual property (IP), cyber-physical modeling, distributed systems, secure design flows, and supply chain management. He is also interested in the facilitation of startup ecosystems and business aspects of technology. Leef came to DARPA from Mentor, a Siemens Business where from 2010 until 2018 he was a Vice President of New Ventures, responsible for identifying and developing technology and business opportunities in systems-oriented markets. Additionally, from 1999 to 2018, he served as a division General Manager, responsible for defining strategies and building successful businesses around design automation products in the areas of hardware/software co-design, multi-physics simulation, IP integration, SoC optimization, design data management, automotive/aerospace networking, cloud-based electronic design, Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure, and hardware cybersecurity. Prior to joining Mentor, he was responsible for design automation at Silicon Graphics, where he and his team created revolutionary, high-speed simulation tools to enable the design of high-speed 3D graphics chips, which defined the state-of-the-art in visualization, imaging, gaming, and special effects for a decade. Prior to that, he managed a CAE/CAD organization at Microchip and developed functional and physical design and verification tools for major 8- and 16-bit microcontroller and microprocessor programs at Intel. Leef received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and Master of Science degree in computer science from Arizona State University. He has served on corporate, state, and academic advisory boards, delivered numerous public speeches, and holds two patents.