Si2 Announces New Board Chair at 2022 Annual Members Meeting

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At its recent Annual Members Meeting, Silicon Integration Initiative announced the election of Pankaj Kukkal, vice president of EDA, emulation, and post-silicon engineering for Qualcomm Technologies, as chair of the board of directors. The Si2 board represents leading semiconductor manufacturers, foundries, fabless companies, and EDA software providers.

Kukkal joined the board in 2020 as a strong advocate for continued, improved tool interoperability for IC design flows. He directs all Qualcomm EDA, emulation, and post-silicon engineering for mobile, compute, automotive and artificial intelligence/ machine learning. As chair, Kukkal will help determine Si2’s direction in enabling the efficient design of semiconductor-based systems.

His assumption of the position marks a transition from Rahul Goyal, vice president and general manager of product design and ecosystem enablement at Intel, who served as chair from 2018-2022 and was re-elected to serve on the board this year.

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“Rahul will continue to be an integral part of Si2’s board,” said John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO. “During his tenure as chair, Si2 created an internal technology incubator to develop new interoperability solutions. This incubator developed the Unified Power Model, a standard methodology and format now ready for industry adoption.” Ellis added that Kukkal’s election would ensure leadership continuity as Si2 expands collaborative opportunities to employ interoperability solutions into such advanced technologies as artificial intelligence, unified power modeling, chiplets, machine learning and design-in-the-cloud.

The Annual Members Meeting featured an executive round table with Kukkal, Goyal, and former Si2 board chair Leon Stok, vice president of EDA at IBM. The discussion focused on the critical importance of design interoperability to achieving future industry success.

“Intel is committed to open ecosystems and standards. Si2 provides the unique platform to address the common design challenges we all face,” said Goyal. “Time to market is very important and we save effort with standards that enable interoperability during the design phase. No one design flow or EDA supplier can do everything. We need collaboration and entry points for innovation in the design flow. Si2 is in an excellent position to continue its leadership in design interoperability with a strong commitment to open standards.”

“At Qualcomm, we have a multi-vendor strategy and interoperability is key to us,” Kukkal said. “Interoperability through shared code will increase the level of innovation for the entire industry. It will also lead to reduction in complexity for both suppliers and chipmakers, along with time-to-market design acceleration using standard formats and interfaces.”

Stok added that “IBM needs to interoperate between internal and external design tools. Every transistor IBM tapes out goes through Si2 OpenAccess,” a leading IC design database that creates authentic interoperability between EDA companies and semiconductor designers and manufacturers. “OpenAccess has genuinely become the de facto database with the reference implementation and API,” Stok said.


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