By Saranyan Vigraham, Qualcommedadesignline.com (January 22, 2009)
Almost no semiconductor company works with a standard design flow. The current EDA tools are not complete in addressing the entire needs of a company. By that I mean the capabilities offered by the current EDA tools are necessary, but not sufficient. Inevitably, every company builds custom tools to support their flow. Most of these tools either involve extending the existing EDA tool functionality or developing a framework for increasing the efficiency of the design or verification process. However, these neat little tools or ideas never come out. They are seldom published or advertised because every company believes that they lose a competitive advantage by disclosing these ideas. Thus, the competitive advantage clouds a big possibility of a collaborative advantage.
Competitive advantage is necessary for every company to succeed in this ruthless marketplace. However, the time is ripe to think about collaborative advantages too. Let us define collaborative advantage as the advantage gained by a company due to its contribution to the technical community by developing methodologies, taking leadership in solving outstanding challenges and addressing the general issues that everyone in the community is facing. These issues do not directly affect a company's financial objectives or business model. However, solving these problems is critical in efficiently meeting the business needs. Hence, every problem solved in a company is tied to its competitive advantage.
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