About Redwood EDA

I'm Steve Hoover, proud founder of Redwood EDA. Let me tell you why I couldn't spend another day within my cubicle walls designing high-end ASICs the way the industry told me I should.

I feel very fortunate to have worked for industry leaders alongside so many brilliant colleagues and to have contributed to silicon found in many TOP500 supercomputers. There is a thrill to being a part of that. But it is also an arduous process. After over 18 years of complaining about the tools the industry gave us to do our job, it was time to do something about the situation.

Looking back at my first few weeks as a full-time engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation, I remember being struck by how primitive and low-level the design methodology felt for designing silicon that was so incredibly complex and high-tech. Debugging circuit behavior by scanning through waveforms, for example, felt like looking for a needle in a haystack. ...Fast forward 18 years to 2014, my last year with Intel, and the fundamentals of the design process had changed very little. We still coded logic using RTL, and we still slogged through waveforms to debug failures. Heck, Emacs and Vi were still our preferred editors. Meanwhile, silicon integration had scaled by several orders of magnitude. Our design teams were spending most of our effort just to get our previous designs implemented in the next fabrication process with minimal architectural improvements.

 

When I took the leap and turned my focus to software, I was struck by how sharply my experience contrasted with the software world which had been changing and building on itself constantly under the influence of the open-source community. I've always considered myself to be a software engineer as well as a hardware engineer, and I've always kept active with software side projects to keep current, but still, I had fallen behind, along with the silicon industry. At the same time, I realized that not having a foundation of legacy EDA tools to build on actually put me at an advantage versus the big EDA vendors.

It is a thrill for me now to take all that I have learned in the industry--not just about how to design silicon, but just as much about how not to--and inventing the industry anew. I feel inspired; I feel productive; I feel alive; and I feel like I am making a difference!

If you'd like to hear more, pop a bag of popcorn, find a comfy couch, put on some headphones, and listen in on a fireside chat I had with Dr. Ashish Darbari, founder and CEO of Axiomise.

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