Oasys had their holiday party last week. The end of the year is a time for both looking back and looking forward. Certainly 2009 has been a wonderful year for Oasys. The capabilities of RealTime Designer have become well-known since DAC. There has been good coverage in what remains of the EDA press and blogs, almost all of it starting off with the attitude that it’s too good to be true before coming around to the view that it might, after all, really be a genuine next generation product and not just incrementally better than the traditional synthesis products out there.
But looking forward 2010 is clearly even more significant for Oasys. This is the year in which Oasys will either take off or flame out. Everyone likes the story of RealTime Designer; what’s not to like. But in 2010 designers need to be taping out real production chips and the business people need to be making real volume purchases. Startups have a tempo of their own and success cannot be too long coming for all sorts of reasons: money, morale, marketing.
So happy new year to everyone and watch this space in 2010 as the story unfolds.
There is a new article on Chip Synthesis up on SCDsource. Due to their editorial policies, which mean you are not allowed to plaster the article with product and company names, you have to read between the lines to deduce that Chip Synthesis really means Oasys RealTime Designer. But, hey, if you are smart enough to design a chip you are smart enough to work out that Paul (vb, not me) is probably not talking about a new release of DC.
John Cooley’s DAC report is out (remember DAC, it was that conference back in June) and Oasys gets the first section all to itself. As Cooley says, “Aart de Geus would have a heart attack if he knew the names of his Tier 1 customers anonymously commenting here about Oasys.” There are many people listing Oasys RealTime Designer as one of the few (or in some cases the only) interesting thing that they saw at DAC. So go over there and read the detailed comments.
Bryon Moyer, over at IC Design and Verification Journal, has a nice description of spending an afternoon at Oasys getting a demo of RealTime Designer. Like many people, he starts of skeptical that Oasys really is doing anything qualitatively different from other synthesis companies, skeptical that Chip Synthesis is anything other than a marketing gimmick to try and position Oasys as “new, washes whiter.” But by the end he is much more open to the idea that this really is something different.
He finishes up with the key business question:
“If this is so great, why isn’t everyone using it?” Which elicited the obvious answer: people are slow to change; it’s a major design flow upset; it doesn’t happen overnight. Meaning that either they should see some good traction at some point or someone will call them on smoke and mirrors”.
This is clearly the challenge for Oasys in 2010. The technology looks great, but can real companies really leverage it in real designs? Are the initial pipe-cleaner designs successful enough that proliferation in large semiconductor companies takes place? From the users I’ve talked to I think the answer will be yes, but of course Mr Market will decide.