| SANTA CRUZ, Calif. It's very hard for small silicon intellectual property (IP) companies to create sales channels, says former Synopsys executive John Atwood. So Atwood has launched a company that serves as a "specialized sales channel partner" for emerging IP companies. |
Atwood's company, The LogicWorks, has a portfolio of some 230 cores serving networking, telecom, and multimedia applications. Partners include Cast, Modelware, Sci-worx, Sonics, Sarnoff Corp., TriCN, MindShare, and True Circuits.
Not bad for a one-man shop, but that's about to change soon, Atwood said. Based in Wellesley Hills, Mass., Atwood is planning to staff up and open operations in Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas.
Atwood, a 12-year veteran of Synopsys, was worldwide vice president of sales for that company's professional services division when he left in 2002. He said he left because he was traveling away from home too much, had the "itch" to start a company, and came to believe the IP industry was about to take off.
What he discovered is that the sales channel is the problem. "IP companies have a difficult time fielding their own channels," he said. "A lot are small and private. They may have one salesperson in the Bay Area. When they go outside, they dabble with semiconductor reps and distributors, and they all fail."
The reason, Atwood said, is that silicon IP is unlike EDA or semiconductors. It's "more like a design services sale," he said, and needs to be approached in a different way. In addition to selling cores, The LogicWorks partners with design services providers in order to help customers find a complete solution.
For some of the IP partner companies, Atwood serves as the exclusive East Coast sales representative. Others sell to customers directly as well as through The LogicWorks. Atwood is planning to expand his geography, but doesn't intend to represent competing cores. "I don't have a good enough memory to pull that off," he said.