Dr. Yen-Son (Paul) Huang
2000 Phil Kaufman Award Recipient

The EDA Consortium (now the ESD Alliance) proudly honors Dr. Yen-Son (Paul) Huang as the 2000 recipient of the Kaufman Award for distinguished contribution to electronic design automation.

“Paul Huang is greatly deserving of this award,” noted Ray Bingham, EDA Consortium chairman and Cadence Design Systems CEO. “He is the personification of what we know as an entrepreneur, meaning that he created building blocks of technology and translated them into commercial successes that today populate our industry. I think it’s safe to say that the design infrastructure industry would be very different — and far less advanced — without Paul’s contributions.”

Huang, who currently serves as chairman of Novas Software, a San Jose company he founded in 1996, was singled out for his contributions to the overall advancement of the EDA industry as an entrepreneur and a technologist, including his pioneering work in the areas of design emulation, verification and debugging. Huang’s involvement with the design industry dates back to the early 1980’s. Key milestones include:

• Inventor, architect and head of development for industry-standard tools (Dracula physical verification) and their predecessors (Systems Realizer emulation, which became Mercury).

• Principal founder of EDA pioneer ECAD Inc., which combined with SDA Systems in 1988 to form Cadence, and of Pie Design Systems, which became part of Quickturn, now a Cadence company. Built the engineering team that created the PiE family of products upon whose fundamental architecture Quickturn’s advanced emulation systems are based.

• Founder and chairman of Novas Software, Inc., whose Debussy open debugging system accelerates and simplifies analysis and verification of complex system-on-chip designs.

“Paul Huang has proven a number of times that he is both an innovative and effective engineer, as well as a consummate entrepreneur — both criteria central to the Kaufman Award.” Said Richard Newton, dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, “With his industry-standard family of physical design verification tools developed at both ECAD and Cadence, with Pie Design Systems, and by the many companies he has founded or helped found since, Paul certainly lives up to the principles he used to name PIE: Polish, Innovate, and Enjoy. These represent his driving goals of continuous improvement, creativity and making the quality of the work environment for employees his top priorities.

Before coming to the United States to pursue his doctoral studies in 1975, Dr. Paul Huang spent several years designing the telephone trunk network for the city of Taipei in his native Taiwan. From 1977 to 1980, he worked at National Semiconductor as a CAD engineer and a section manager, and then managed internal CAD development at Gould, working on EDA tools to support the design of CPU chips for advanced workstations.

In the early 1980’s Dr. Huang invented the Dracula Physical Verification System and founded ECAD. Dracula was a breakthrough product that solved one of the key IC design bottlenecks of the time. Dr. Huang led ECAD to a successful IPO and a merger with SDA Systems to form Cadence Design Systems in 1988. At Cadence, Dr. Huang was Executive Vice President of R&D during the period in which the company became the dominant force in IC physical design automation.

After leaving Cadence, Dr. Huang was the principal founder of PIE Design Systems and a primary contributor to the design of the first logic emulator. PIE merged with Quickturn Design Systems in 1993 and Dr. Huang again became Executive Vice President of R&D, leading the effort to develop emulation into a critical technology for complex system verification.

Dr. Huang is a founder and presently Chairman of the Board of Novas, where his vision continues to drive the company’s leadership in debugging systems for IC and system design. Until July of this year he was also CEO of Novas. Dr. Huang also serves on the Boards of several other Silicon Valley EDA and Internet-related companies.

Dr. Huang received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from National Chiao Tung University (Hsinchu, Taiwan) in 1969 and 1972 respectively, and his PhD from Santa Clara University in 1980, all in Electrical Engineer and Computer Science.