In 1988, Ronald Reagan was wrapping up his second presidential term in Washington. Perestroika came to the Soviet Union. NASA reported accelerated breakdown of the ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbons. Steve Jobs showed off his first NeXT Computer in San Francisco. The term "brick" was used not just for building materials but for mobile phones, those novelty devices that people like doctors, lawyers, and drug dealers carried.
A Toshiba T1200H personal computer (10MHz Intel 80c86 CPU, 1MB RAM, and a 20MB drive) cost $4098 ($7182 adjusted for inflation). Twenty years later, in 2008, a Lenovo ThinkPad cost $1700 and put under your fingertips 2GHz processing power, 2GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard drive (as well as features that didn't even exist in the 1980s). And what Toshiba packed into its T1200H in '88 you now hold in your hand in your smartphone...and then some.
In 1988, the cost per megabyte was $58 in adjusted dollars; today it's $0.000363. In 1988, ASICs were electronics design's big daddy, and FPGAs had on training wheels.
EDA was breathing the oxygen of emancipation from vertically integrated electronics companies and thriving in its own little Wild West. And a new company was born.
June 1, 1988 was the official launch date of Cadence Design Systems, Inc., a merger of ECAD (founded by Glen Antle and Paul Huang in 1982) and SDA Systems, which Jim Solomon founded in 1983.
The rest is history--history at Cadence, history within the larger EDA sector--and we'll highlight some of that history with posts, videos, and events in the next 12 months around the world. This week, to kick it off, we'll hoist a 25th anniversary banner on one of the headquarters buildings on Montague Expressway in San Jose, so if you're driving through the valley this year, give a wave.
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