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  • CEO Interview: Sanjay Keswani of Consensia

    Article: ARM adopting SpyGlass IP Kit, joining TSMC's soft IP9000 Quality Assessment Program-sanjay-keswani.jpgSanjay Keswani founded Consensia in 2013. He has deep experience in the high-tech industry, guiding some of the world’s high profile technology brands through complex innovation and business transformation projects including companies such as Atmel, KLA-Tencor, Hughes Aircraft, and Motorola Mobility. Consensia customers include ARM, NXP, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Intel, Microsemi, and Cavium.

    Who is Consensia? What is your vision for the company?
    Consensia is a Dassault Systèmes channel partner, focused on the semiconductor, high tech (i.e. electronic systems / connected devices) and medical device industries. We provide software based solutions for efficient product development, in addition to consulting & training services, and technical support for the entire range of Dassault products . These include design productivity, semiconductor IP and product lifecycle management.

    With significant M&A activity in the semi and systems markets, we see more vertical integration; so companies that were selling a few IC products to integrators and systems companies are now selling a diverse range of ICs, board based products and complete systems. We take a systems engineering view from IC to complete systems and enable companies to manage the product development process at all levels of their product. Taking a holistic view of product development is very critical to delivering high quality products to market. We are uniquely placed to offer a wide range of solutions to our customers.

    Our vision is to enable our customers to serve a variety of market segments by enabling them to adhere to processes needed by their customers. For example, a semiconductor company selling into the automotive market has to adhere to APQP, and PPAP requirements along with DFMEAs and PFMEAs. Companies are also subject to increased level of compliance like RoHS, WEEE, REACH, and Conflict Minerals. Our solutions enable compliance activities on the same innovation platform.

    What are your key offerings for the semi industry?
    Our solutions connect design engineering, product engineering, and operations engineering in the semiconductor world. We provide solutions for both domains – design and operations.

    In the design domain, (Synchronicity) DesignSync is a product that has been around for over 15 years. It’s been publicly disparaged by our competitors, but it’s interesting that all the ‘new’ DDM features that have been released by competitors over the last 2-3 years – local read/write caching, virtual workspaces, change based or manifest version control - have been part of DesignSync for as much as 10 years ago. There are significant updates to it ever year, so this year we are going to be running a series of ‘What’s New Din DesignSync’ webinars to show off what it’s capable of. DesignSync is the most widely used DDM solution in the world in terms of number of users and Dassault Systemes continues to invest heavily in new capabilities based on customer feedback.

    Pinpoint is a unique analytics solution that enables ASIC/SOC & FPGA design teams to get a more accurate picture of their design progress. For example, if you have 100 RTL blocks and you’ve frozen 90 it doesn’t necessarily mean your design is 90% complete. Pinpoint helps bring information from multiple data sources – STA, Power, Physical Verification – into a single dashboard so that you can see how many failing timing paths you have at a certain clock speed, how many of a certain type of DRC you have, etc. so you have a much more realistic real-time and historic trend line view of progress, so you know exactly how mature your design is and when you are likely to reach design closure.

    Issue and Defect Management is part of our IP Management – something that our semi customers use to help design teams track, trace and address post manufacturing issues that arise in the field. This is critical for semiconductor companies serving the automotive market where traceability is mandatory

    On the operations side, we have the only ‘Out of the Box’ solution for managing the configuration of a chip – from wafer to finished goods. Our solution has the ability to capture product and customer requirements and create only valid and available product configurations. As a chip moves through its process lifecycle (Fab->Sort ->Assembly->Package->Test->Mark->Finished Good), the IC BOM grows pulling together parts and information from many different processes and their locations. We manage the entire configuration along with product costing.

    We offer a comprehensive set of quality processes like CAPA, Non-Conformance, Audits which are of value to an operations executive. They use the same innovation platform as the other processes we enable.

    What is your differentiation in terms of solution offerings and value proposition?
    The difference between us and our competitors is that (i) we take a platform based approach to IP Management and (ii) we’ve been in the design data management business for a long time (since Synchronicity).

    Taking a platform based approach to solving the complete product lifecycle challenges of our semiconductor customers means we work with them on how best to optimize design productivity, configuration (design data and manufacturing configuration) management, management of internal and external IP and how to increase the asset value of the company by using best practices to drive efficiencies in their product development processes

    Several of our competitors focus on DDM – and some have recently (last 12 months) added IP Management. Dassault Systemes and Consensia have been in the IP management business for many years. We are not a “one trick” pony. While DDM is a critical part of design infrastructure, there are many other processes which are of strategic value which our competition does not address.

    As far as IP Management is concerned every customer manage their IP differently; they have different business rules and operating models - there isn’t a one size fits all out of the box. So we take a consultative approach to designing a system that fits their MO AND allows them to understand and monetize their IP assets by reducing NRE, increasing re-use and maximizing their use of externally licensed IP.

    The design data management solution is just one component in a bigger IP/SOC management picture that involves IP security, compliance (ITAR, 3rd party IP tracking and tracing), role based access, issue defect and management – and many more components that are active long after an SOC has been released.

    We come at it from a ‘top down’, pragmatic approach with IP Management – so DesignSync becomes the ‘hub’ that manages other DDM repositories, like SVN or Perforce, which become just another repository from which to pull or publish BOMs.

    We engage with companies at an early stage and they can grow with Consensia’s support and solutions to a billion dollar revenue company. Our solutions are modular; we can start with virtually any process. Our engagement model is very flexible and our objective is to have a close relationship with our customers to enable their profitable growth.

    Innovation and collaboration are overused terms; how do you specifically address those areas?
    All of our solutions are designed for collaboration - we bring innovation at multiple levels. PLM solutions are addressing at a project governance level for global teams; whereas DesignSync enables individual IC design team members to collaborate by automating the complete lifecycle of an SOC from management of individual IP components to the automated SOC release management process.

    Also read: Webinar: Top Five Challenges Preventing Design Closure!