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      Press  >  In The News  >  EDA Firm Athena Design Systems Launches
 
 

EDA Firm Athena Design Systems Launches, Adds James Hogan to Board
By Michelle Tsai
March 13, 2006

"Athena has succeeded in improving the physical end of chip design without competing directly with vendors like Cadence Design Systems Inc., said Dan Ahn, managing director at Woodside and an Athena Design director."

Electronic design automation company Athena Design Systems has emerged from stealth and added James Hogan to its board.

Venture capital firms Woodside Fund, Draper Richards LP and Asset Management Co. are backing the start-up, which is developing post-route optimization tools for chip designers. Athena Design has raised $4 million in equity and $2 million in debt financing.

The company's technology is designed to simplify physical design implementation in complex chips - where wires and routing signals are placed. Athena has succeeded in improving the physical end of chip design without competing directly with vendors like Cadence Design Systems Inc., said Dan Ahn, managing director at Woodside and an Athena Design director.

"If you really understand EDA process at a low level and you can do some intelligent modifications early on, you can speed up the process by almost an order of magnitude," said Bennett Dubin of Athena Design's technology advancements. Dubin is a board director at Athena Design and partner at Asset Management.

Hogan, an independent on the board, previously served as general partner at Telos Venture Partners and senior vice president of business development at Artisan Components Inc., now part of ARM Holdings PLC.

Athena is the brainchild of Dimitris Fotakis, founder of Ammocore Technology Inc., a venture-backed company which developed design software for chips before it shut down. Fotakis left Ammocore in 2003 to found Athena Design. Before Ammocore, Fotakis worked at National Semiconductor Corp. and at Cadence, where he developed its HyperExtract product.

John Murphy, Athena Design's chief executive, spent more than a decade at Cadence, where he focused on marketing, applications engineering and general management, focusing on IC implementation and verification. He most recently served as chief of staff to Ray Bingham, executive chairman of Cadence. He joined Athena Design in January 2005.

Murphy said the company is in evaluation trials with NEC Corp. and other semiconductor companies, including one that builds home entertainment devices and another focusing on wireless mobile devices. Murphy declined to name other potential customers.

http://www.athenads.com

                                      
 

 

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