Thalia’s CEO, Sowmyan Rajagopalan, speaks to Design & Reuse’s Gabriele Saucier at IP-SoC Grenoble 2023

In this video, we bring you an exclusive interview from IP-SoC Grenoble 2023, where Thalia’s CEO, Sowmyan Rajagopalan explores the latest company news and milestones from Thalia:

  • Thalia’s growth journey over the last six months
  • The latest AMALIA platform updates including qualification for 12nm FinFET and integration with additional leading EDA tools
  • Insight into the evolving market demands for analog IP migration 
  • Thalia’s future expansion plans and upcoming AMALIA platform developments

Interested in finding our more about Thalia’s AMALIA platform?

AMALIA enables customers to capitalize on the latest in advanced process technology and accelerate time to market for new products without compromising on cost and resource efficiency. It also enables them to speed up their product development cycles, while staying on budget and remaining efficient operationally. 

Find out more about AMALIA.

Navigating the semiconductor industry in 2024 and beyond

An Interview with Sowmyan Rajagopalan, CEO of Thalia

In this forward-looking discussion, Thalia’s CEO, Sowmyan Rajagopalan, delves into the semiconductor industry’s transformative trends and how Thalia’s AMALIA suite is a critical tool for semiconductor businesses looking to successfully navigate this dynamic landscape.

Q: With rapid advancements, such as 2nm process technologies, how is the semiconductor industry redefining innovation?

A: The industry is on the brink of a new chapter in innovation, moving beyond Moore’s Law to redefine the limits of semiconductor capabilities. We’re heading towards an era where a 1-trillion transistor chip is within reach with foundational technologies like 3D stacking and monolithic 3D integration driving increasingly sophisticated solutions. These are not incremental changes; they’re revolutionary steps that will power the next generation of electronics.

Q: How does the AMALIA suite align with the semiconductor industry’s evolving landscape, especially in IP design migration and agility?

A: AMALIA is engineered to meet the industry’s growing need for agility. With geopolitical shifts prompting a revaluation of supply chains, design migration and second sourcing have become more than just buzzwords—they’re strategic necessities. AMALIA provides the tools for swift, efficient design migration of analog, mixed-signal and RF IP, ensuring that semiconductor companies can quickly adapt to new foundries and technologies.

Q: The automotive sector is rapidly transitioning to electric solutions and green hydrogen. How is Thalia’s AMALIA suite preparing to support the evolving needs of semiconductor technologies in this area?

A: The electric revolution within the automotive industry is indeed propelling a surge in demand for advanced semiconductor technologies. While materials like silicon carbide and gallium nitride are still emerging, they represent the future of power components in electric vehicles. Thalia is proactive in this area—our AMALIA suite is continuously evolving, incorporating the latest technological advancements. We’re enhancing our design migration tools to support our customers across the semiconductor ecosystem as they explore and integrate these next-generation materials.

Q: AI’s role in semiconductor development is becoming increasingly integral. Can you tell us more about how Thalia’s AMALIA suite is leveraging AI and ML in its solutions?

A: AI and ML have been at the core of AMALIA’s capabilities since its inception. These technologies are crucial for automating complex processes, from technology analysis to circuit optimization. By leveraging AI, we enable more efficient design centering and performance optimization, which are critical for IP reuse across different process nodes. AMALIA’s AI-driven tools have been meticulously developed to reduce design cycle times and costs, ensuring that our clients can remain agile and competitive in the fast-evolving semiconductor market.

Q: In light of the economic growth projections for Asia and the US, how does Thalia position itself in the global market?

A: Thalia is well-positioned to capitalize on this growth. We’re not just observers; we’re active participants as demonstrated by our recent appointment of a business partner in China, enabling our clients to expand their product ranges and tap into new markets with agility. The AMALIA software is a reflection of our commitment to this global expansion, offering a suite of tools that are flexible, efficient, and crucial for companies aiming to lead in their respective markets.

Q: Looking ahead, how does Thalia envision its contribution to the semiconductor industry’s future?

A: Thalia’s role is to enable and accelerate the industry’s momentum. Whether it’s through advancing to new process technologies or powering the automotive sector’s electrification, we are committed to providing solutions that not only meet but drive the market forward. With AMALIA, we offer the means to navigate and influence the changing tides of the semiconductor landscape.

Stephane Cordova joins Thalia as Director of Sales Europe

We’re delighted to welcome Stephane Cordova as the newest member of our growing sales team, serving as Director of Sales Europe

Thalia’s Global VP of Sales, Sou Bennani-McCord, says: “As a representative of Thalia, Stephane brings over 30 years of experience as a business executive in the semiconductor industry and brings expertise in EDA solutions, analog and digital SoC from his work with companies like STMicroelectronics, Kalray and Intento Design. His extensive business and sales experience in the semiconductor industry will be a great asset to the team.”

Commenting on his new role, Stephane said: “I am truly honoured to join the team here at Thalia and help the company achieve its business goals for market expansion. Design IP plays a key role in driving innovation in the semiconductor industry. As the complexity and scale of silicon designs increases, Thalia is redefining that landscape, combining the experience of an expert analog design team with a unique development methodology that underpins the AMALIA platform.”

Welcoming our new Global VP of Sales

Thalia has appointed Sou Bennani-McCord as Global VP of Sales. An important addition to Thalia’s leadership team, Sou will play a key role in the company’s ongoing expansion plans and global growth.

Thalia’s Founder and CEO, Sowmyan Rajagopalan, says: “Sou brings over 25 years of experience in international sales and business development to Thalia having worked for both Intel and Mentor Graphics/Siemens. Her experience with sales in both mature and emerging markets, along with her diverse international business background, puts her in an excellent position to support Thalia’s ambitious growth plans and we’re thrilled that she is joining the management team.”

Sou brings a wealth of semiconductor market experience to her role, alongside a strong foundation of strategic business management expertise for technology companies. Sou also holds a Masters in economics and a Post Graduate degree in business management from the Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille 1, France.

Commenting on her new role, Sou said: “I am excited to join the talented team at Thalia. Thalia’s unique offering and focus on analog and mixed signal IP re-use offers unmatched value to the semiconductor industry. I look forward to taking an active role in Thalia’s growth and expansion plans.”

Thalia expands footprint in China with appointment of Business Partner Fionn Liu

Thalia has appointed Fionn Liu as Business Partner in China following its recently announced expansion plans. Thalia’s Founder and CEO, Sowmyan R., says: “Fionn will play an important role in our business growth as we introduce the AMALIA platform to China. Geopolitical tensions and the forecasted growth in 2024 in China’s semiconductor market have magnified the need for diversification within the supply chain and a robust second sourcing strategy. As a result, semiconductor businesses need to be able to reuse and migrate their IP seamlessly between foundries and this is where our AMALIA platform can help. By leveraging AMALIA’s unique Technology Analyzer and Circuit Porting capabilities, businesses can reduce IP reuse project timelines by a remarkable 40% to quickly ensure their valuable IP can be efficiently deployed across different foundries, regions, or technologies.”

“Fionn Liu brings a wealth of industry experience spanning almost two decades, making her a valuable asset as we expand our footprint in China. Together, we’re ready to assist businesses within this dynamic environment, offering a seamless bridge between IP reuse and second sourcing strategies.”

With almost 20 years of experience in the semiconductor, IIOT and automotive industries, Fionn’s career encompasses both working for established businesses and advising startups in securing business partners, clients and investors. She has extensive experience in building long-term strategy and ecosystem support for high quality companies, and previously worked as a Product Marketing engineer at GlobalFoundries. She holds an MBA, an MS in Advanced Materials for Micro- and Nano-Systems, and a BE in Material Science.

AI will be increasingly important in EDA, reducing design costs and supporting engineers

Artificial intelligence (AI) is having one of its periodic days in the sun, and dominates the conversation at almost any industry event. The Design Automation Conference (DAC 2023) was no exception, with AI seen by the semiconductor community as both an opportunity and a challenge. 

An opportunity, of course, because AI requires so many chips, from the huge and complex system-on-chips that will power the AI engines and models, to the semiconductors that will be embedded in every device to bring AI to every application.  

The complexity of the chips fuels demand for a wide variety of IP, but this is where some of the challenges are seen. Integrating many blocks of sophisticated IP to form an AI system-on-chip – which may also integrate yet more functionality such as 5G – is a long process, and it requires very advanced skills. There may be hundreds of IP blocks that need to be tested and integrated, with the results recalibrated every time one of the blocks is changed or enhanced. Identifying the cause of a fault or failure may take many engineer-weeks. 

This is true of other chip applications too, of course, including 5G. Engineers with the required skills are in short supply in many markets, and that shortage is worsened by two factors – the number of AI-focused chip start-ups that are now competing for talent, and the increasingly long design cycle for a complex chip, which will consume a growing number of engineer hours before it is ready. 

At DAC, Alberto Sangiovanni Vincentelli, from the University of California at Berkeley, said in a presentation: “The scarce resource of the future is talent. Everyone and his brother wants to study AI. But we don’t have the people to design the chips to implement that AI.” 

DAC buzzed with discussion about how to address the skills gap in electronic design and manufacturing. Some of the ideas were conventional – making electronic engineering more attractive to young people at school and college level, for instance. But of course, another option is to use AI itself, to help or even replace the engineers. 

Some attendees were positive about this development, claiming AI could reduce the time to develop new chips, by taking on some of the tasks of design assistants.  

Of course, others believe such an approach would eventually threaten jobs altogether, especially if the skills shortage eases in future, and the use of AI also entails disruption to tried-and-tested processes and organizational structures. 

But, at least with the current state of AI technology, replacement of engineers is fanciful. Where AI excels is in rapidly gaining actionable insights from huge quantities of data, such as that generated by EDA tools, and that can support the engineers and make their design and verification tasks quicker and less onerous. 

An example is Thalia’s AMALIA software platform. This is an IP re-use platform for analog and mixed-signal ICs, that allows designers to re-use IP blocks quickly and optimise existing IP for new applications. The suite of tools are designed to free up engineers’ time for complex and high-value tasks by automating key processes. The powerful combination of two of the AMALIA tools, the Technology Analyzer and Circuit Porting, which use unique AI algorithms, can be combined typically resulting in up to 70% of IP blocks needing minimal or no changes before they are re-used. This saves a significant amount of engineering time because every block doesn’t need to be manually checked and verified. 

This example shows how AI is already being incorporated into design automation toolsets in order to boost efficiency and improve commercial outcomes. In other words, AI can be a valuable way to support engineers and reduce the time to produce and test complex chips – including those that will, themselves, enable AI processing and applications in future. 

Thalia announces new additions to its senior management team and Board

Thalia, analog IP reuse specialist, has made a number of appointments to its senior management team and Board to drive its recently announced expansion plans. 


Syed Ahmad, VP Product Development

Joining as Vice President of Product Development, Syed Ahmad brings a wealth of experience, having worked with a variety of start-ups and multinational technology companies for over 15 years. Prior to joining Thalia, Syed helped companies to conceptualize, design, plan and manage the delivery of leading-edge communication and collaboration solutions, throughout Europe and USA – bringing an international perspective to all aspects of product management and solutions development. 

Commenting on his appointment, Syed said: “I am working with an excellent and dedicated software development team and looking forward to adding my own mark and supporting team Thalia in the exciting journey to igniting innovation in EDA design automation. More will be revealed as we continue to embark on our path to help our valued customers of semiconductor IPs simplify and drastically reduce time, resources, and costs by leveraging AI & ML algorithms together with some software magic to efficiently speed up IP reuse and deliver design automation.” 


Guillaume d’Essautier, Chairman

Guillaume d’Essautier has assumed the role of Chairman on Thalia’s Board. With a distinguished career spanning four decades within the semiconductor industry, d’Essautier brings an extensive track record of leadership roles in prominent companies across Europe and the USA. 

Thalia’s Founder and CEO, Sowmyan Rajagopalan, says “As Board Chairman, Guillaume will play a leading strategic role in guiding our business through its next exciting stage of growth as we broaden our AMALIA platform and expand our geographical reach. Guillaume is highly-respected within the semiconductor industry and his expertise will be invaluable to the Thalia team and business.”

Most recently Guillaume was CEO of DelfMEMS. Prior to that he was CEO of ADD semiconductor which was acquired by Atmel in 2011. Other businesses that have benefited from his leadership include picoCHIP, Cadence, IBM, Rockwell, GEC-Plessey and Philips. He also holds an MSc in Material Science and an MBA from INSEAD. 


Ron Black, Board Director

Ron Black, CEO of Codasip, a German EDA and RISC-V IP company, has joined Thalia as a Board Director. Ron has over 30 years of industry experience in semiconductors, software, design automation, and IP. He has run a total of ten global technology businesses and been a director or advisor at many more, all of which involved scaling and/or corporate transformations.

Commenting on his appointment, Ron said: “I am excited to join Thalia, which is poised for dynamic growth through its class-leading EDA tools that help customers efficiently scale and optimize their analog/RF designs across process technology nodes.”  

Thalia’s strategic leadership appointments underscore the company’s dedication to pioneering advancements in EDA design automation and transforming the semiconductor IP reuse landscape. 

Thalia Secures $2.7 Million Funding to Strengthen Position as Leading IP Reuse Partner for Semiconductor Industry

Thalia, a prominent analog IP reuse specialist, has announced the successful completion of a substantial funding round, propelling the company into its next phase of growth. The $2.7 million (£2.125 million) investment is lead by Mercia Ventures, who has backed the company since 2014, alongside continued support from Deepbridge Capital and private investor Guillaume d’Eyssautier. The funding will fuel Thalia’s ambitious expansion plans, broaden its operational scope, and drive the productization of its cutting-edge AMALIA IP reuse platform.

“With the increasing demand for second-sourcing to unlock new markets and address evolving requirements, Thalia stands as the ideal strategic partner,” says Sowmyan Rajagopalan, CEO of Thalia. “Our AMALIA platform provides a proven IP-reuse solution that enables semiconductor businesses to, for example, quickly and efficiently migrate existing IP designs into the sub-20nm range to align with the industry’s shift in this direction for better performance and power consumption.” He continues: “This latest funding will enable us to broaden the AMALIA portfolio further, expand our geographical presence and resources and so offer our customers even greater opportunities and support.”

Thalia has already embarked on sales expansion initiatives in Europe, Israel, and China and will soon announce additions to its management team including well-known experts from within the industry. The AMALIA portfolio is also being broadened to address cutting edge process technologies in 12FF and smaller. The company has also recently announced a customer evaluation program for its AMALIA software suite, which offers companies the opportunity to trial the latest version free for 30 days.

Ashwin Kumaraswarmy from lead investor Mercia Ventures added: “Semiconductor chip design is a manual and painstaking process and skilled engineering teams are rare. Thalia’s platform automates the whole process, enabling companies to diversify their product ranges quickly and cost effectively to meet evolving demand and reach new markets. It offers a comprehensive solution that no other platform can match. The funding will help the company to gain further commercial traction and establish itself as a leader in the industry.”

Commenting on their ongoing support, David Blake, Associate Investment Director at Deepbridge Capital, said: “We are delighted to continue supporting Thalia on this next stage of their exciting commercial journey. Highly innovative tech companies, such as Thalia, are exactly what the Enterprise Investment Scheme is designed to support.”

Thalia’s AMALIA IP reuse platform has received global recognition, enabling companies worldwide to enhance their product development efforts with a cost- and time-efficient solution for migrating existing product lines to new wafer fabs and process nodes. The AMALIA platform has been validated on over 50 IPs ranging from RF to Baseband to PMIC to PLL/ADC, many of which are already in commercial use, solidifying Thalia’s position as an industry leader.

TSMC’s 3nm silicon might not make it into Apple’s iPhone 14 this week, but it’s on its way with some hefty performance benefits

TSMC was last week reported to be starting mass production of 3nm silicon in September, with products based on the node from early 2023

When Intel delayed its orders, it made TSMC think twice about expansion and scaling back capex plans for 2023 but now sounds like things might be getting back on track for 3nm mass production: at least that’s what TSMC is telling investors. A lot rides on Apple deploying the 3nm silicon for its 2023 and 2024 product plans. TSMC’s new nodes usually launched in Spring, so the later launch will have its impacts.

Although Tom’s Hardware states Apple is likely to be TSMC’s first N3 customer, it seems likely that Apple’s iPhone 14 – due to be launched this week – will not contain the latest technology from TSMC.

But the benefits of the migration are clear: N3 versus N5 (5nm) – apart from its more dense logic (1.6X), it offers 10 to 15% improvements in performance and reduced power consumption over 25%. TSMC is already planning its next evolution – not a node change, but a tweak of the 3nm process (N3E).

The benefits of migration are not limited to developments at the bleeding edge. When it detailed plans for 3nm last year, TSMC was also rethinking its highest volume mixed-signal process (28nm – called N28), shifting it to N16FFC (16nm) with significant gains of up to 25%.

As specialists in IP reuse, Thalia helps mixed-signal companies plan for their migration to new nodes or different process technologies. We help to simplify and speed the migration, reducing their time to market and eliminating costly interruptions in the supply of their most important product lines.

Chip shortages, chip surpluses, or is it just a question of strategic choices…?

It’s been three months since our last blog on chip shortages, and a lot has changed in that time, so it’s worth an update and sharing some thoughts on what are the ramifications that may or may not be affecting our industry’s ability to plan in the mid- to long-term. 

Peter Clarke, a long-standing well-informed observer of semiconductor industry trends, reported earlier this month on eeNewsEurope that industry growth is slowing – we’re still talking about 13 percent growth – it’s just less growth. 

Some volatility clearly remains in the market, but the companies with the ‘right’ focus on emerging and fast growth markets are benefiting. The latest set of results from mixed-signal IC leader OnSemi were particularly healthy. It will always be the case that changing market conditions and industry shifts in terms of technologies and applications, benefit those companies that can adapt and evolve and those that simply back the right horse. 

It is also worth mentioning, as we tackled this in the previous post, the world was facing a huge supply issue post-covid and entering periods of significant demand hikes from the automotive and consumer electronics industries, in particular.  

The response to this supply issue was for the well-funded chip manufacturing giants to ramp up and speed up their development plans – and at the same time to further their globalisation plans, thus addressing geopolitical question marks. TSMC’s fabs in the US, Intel investing in Germany – are some of the moves we have seen so far. Europe’s own appetite for a bigger piece of the semiconductor pie has only been fuelled by the slowdown and capacity crunch. 

Gartner also announced recently it is expecting a small drop in chip sales in 2023, following a slowing in mobile phone sales (such a forecasted drop of around 150million, can easily create waves in the semiconductor supply chain in its own right). This is made worse by a predicted 9% drop in personal computer sales by the end of 2022. 

Given the mobile handset’s significant size and global scale, a drop in sales is likely to contribute to an easing of the chip shortage issue – probably later this year or early in 2023 – but, combined with the industry’s drive to increase its manufacturing output, could it create oversupply issues?  

Well, questions are being asked if the US Chips Act is poorly timed, when the industry is potentially facing a slowdown and oversupply issues. But a committed, long-term investment to attract or retain chip manufacturing is unlikely to be a poor strategic choice, in my opinion. 

Time will tell, but as demonstrated by OnSemi, a bit of longer-term planning and strategic marketing in terms of the growth markets, can go a long way to alleviate temporary blips in shortages and oversupply.  

If your strategy includes IP-reuse, to maximise Return on Investment, then talk to our team at Thalia. Or read more about the AMALIA IP reuse platform.