The ChallengeHow do you engage the industry to support a new technology and a new company on a start-up budget? When D2S, Inc. was founded in 2007, the CEO knew he needed to collaborate closely with the semiconductor ecosystem to enable a whole product.
The eBeam Initiative
Jan Willis, Calibra, provided the whole product strategy and implementation as the “consulting CMO” leveraging her partnership network for public relations and writing resources. The eBeam Initiative was launched in February 2009 with 20 founding members and has grown to over 50 members today. Proof point papers, articles and member announcements can be found at www.ebeam.org.
Testimonial“Jan is, without reservation, the best in the world at what she does. Having been in VP Marketing roles at both startups and at a larger company, she understands thoroughly the needs and constraints of both situations. Both the X Initiative and the eBeam Initiative work have been a tremendous learning opportunity for me to see “how it’s done.” She is incredibly organized, focused, efficient, and effective on a personal level which allows her to be amazing in what she can deliver. A marketing or a business development staff of three cannot get what she gets done herself. She is the best there is.” – Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S
Cadence Design Systems identified new chip design implementation approaches to reduce low power consumption. How could they gain ecosystem “whole product” support in a highly competitive electronic design automation (EDA) market segment?
The Silicon Design Chain
The Silicon Design Chain Initiative was launched in the summer of 2003 to address power management at 90nm and below. A silicon-proven methodology was developed and validated with working silicon samples, first at 90nm and then at 65nm. The leading companies worked together across the design chain under Jan Willis’ leadership – Applied Materials from the equipment segment, ARM as the intellectual property (IP) supplier, Cadence Design Systems from EDA, and TSMC from the foundry segment.
“I promoted Jan to senior vice president of industry marketing at Cadence because of her passion and track record for building a company’s brand and strategy in collaboration with industry leaders. She transformed and expanded the Cadence relationship with industry thought leaders such as Applied Materials, ARM and TSMC. Her ability to understand the semiconductor ecosystem and identify opportunities for companies to successfully collaborate is a unique and much needed skill in today’s global environment.”
– Ray Bingham, former CEO of Cadence
Simplex was developing ground breaking technology which became known as “X” because of the diagonal routing at the heart of the solution. But could semiconductor manufacturing make chips with non-rectilinear design input? How could a relatively small company like SImplex convince much larger companies this was possible while also demonstrating the benefits of “X”?
Jan Willis was recruited to create an industry alliance to break down the real or perceived barriers to manufacturing chips using X. Under Jan’s leadership, Simplex launched the X Initiative along with 10 other companies including market leaders such as Toshiba, KLA and Applied Materials. The X Initiative produced numerous proof points and grew to more than 40 members by the time Cadence Design Systems acquired Simplex just a little more than a year later.
“At Simplex Solutions where I was CEO, Jan’s execution on the X Initiative ecosystem strategy helped increase the valuation of the company and her brand strategy for COSMIC contributed to a successful OEM with Cadence Design Systems. Later at Cadence, Jan continued to develop and execute unique alliance strategies that helped Cadence establish a reputation for low power leadership. I recommend Jan to any company looking to enhance their valuation or build product differentiation as she will add value to any client she works with. ”
– Penny Herscher, former Simplex CEO
How could Cadence elevate its importance to Arm and become a trusted partner? Arm knew it would be important to the success of their emerging Cortex processor family to offer their customers the fastest design path to optimal processor performance, power and area results by partnering with an EDA supplier.
The Arm & Cadence Alliance
Under the alliance management and sponsorship of Jan Willis, Cadence built on the engineering success of a joint lower power test chip with Arm to win the opportunity to partner on the Cortex family. Cadence launched an internal Cortex initiative with engineers working collaboratively onsite at Arm. Later, Arm and Cadence announced the first “express” reference design flow for the Cortex-A8.
“Over a period of several years, Jan consistently championed a relationship model between Arm and Cadence which resulted in a balanced investment on both sides, a new level of mutual technical respect and a platform for future collaboration that hadn’t existed before. At first, Cadence was just a vendor, then they were a vendor we referred to our customers, but through Jan’s leadership we developed a rich, deep partnership that ultimately brought additional value to our mutual customers.”
– Warren East, former CEO of Arm
How do you cross the chasm into the mainstream with a revolutionary technology? Soitec, the leading provider of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, achieved initial success in the vertically integrated, high performance computing market. By 2007, Soitec needed support from the disaggregated ecosystem to address broader market segments like consumer products.
The SOI Consortium
In October 2007, the SOI Industry Consortium was launched with 19 charter members under the facilitation of Jan Willis, Calibra. In June 2008, the first ever SOI industry survey communicated a high level of interest in SOI for power savings, an important selling point into consumer markets. The SOI Industry Consortium continued to grow and thrive, combining with SEMI in early 2021 as a strategic association partner.
“Jan injected her experience and passion for industry collaboration into the successful launch of the SOI Industry Consortium in 2007. She combined creativity with excellent operational detail to support the consortium launch of 19 founding members with minimal resources and time. Her recommendation to establish an industry first SOI user survey was implemented and a powerful market education tool for the consortium was created.”
-Paul Boudre, CEO of Soitec