Posted by Allen Watson on February 1, 2012
When we have a choice to pick a name for something, it usually reflects some meaning for us. For example, I chose my daughter’s name as Abigail because I once saw a Mike Leigh play called ‘Abigail’s Party’ (the video below is a clip from the play). But, I also chose it because the name means ‘Father’s Joy’. Similarly, my name is Allen. It is of Scottish and Irish origin and it means ’handsome’. So, now you know why my parents chose to call me Allen.
Recently, we were battling with what to call our new partner program for the DesignWare ARC processor cores. We could have just called it the ARC Partner Program or the ARC Alliance Program or the ARC Community Program. But, I really wanted the name to have meaning.
I started by thinking about what the objectives of the program are:
• To broaden embedded industry support for the ARC Architecture and cores
• To partner with leading embedded software and hardware vendors to provide compelling ARC-based solutions
• Finally, to increase the awareness of ARC-based solutions
While these are important & noble objectives, nothing jumped out at me for choosing a name. So, I then thought about what the program means for our customers.
• Develop your ARC-based embedded processor solutions faster by leveraging compatible products from leading embedded industry vendors
• Reduce your project risk by taking advantage of design solutions pre-ported and tested for the DesignWare ARC architecture
• Save on development costs and resources by using products optimized for ARC-based designs
These are all good things. Develop faster. Reduce Risk. Save costs. I could call it the ARC Faster Reduce Risk Save Cost Program or ARC FRRSC Program. But, I thought better of that.
What to do? Thinking about what the program’s objectives and meaning for customers was not getting me to a name. That’s when I thought about how we are going to do this. We will work with partners by providing them access to ARC software & hardware development tools and provide support so that that they can optimize their product for the ARC Architecture. This, in turn, will give our customers access to a broad array of industry solutions. Eureka! Did you spot the operative word? Access. We’re providing access for our partners and, in turn, providing access for our customers.
It’s the ARC Access Program!
And so it came to be. The program launches with many valued companies: Alango Technologies, Ashling Microsystems, Embecosm Ltd., Express Logic, Green Hills Software, Interniche, Lauterbach, MiSPO, QSound Labs and SoftRISC Communications. We look forward to working with more leading embedded industry vendors to provide compelling solutions for the ARC Architecture.
P.S. The actual reason I was called Allen is because it was my mother’s maiden name. I was not given a middle name, so that my full name is the combination of each of my parent’s last names. As I said, there’s always a reason why we name things the way we do!
P.P.S. Although the play was called ‘Abigail’s Party’, we never get to see Abigail or her party.
At the age of 10 Mike begged his father to get him a computer. Never mind that at the time computers were the size of a large office and cost millions of dollars. Yes, Mike is no spring chicken and he didn’t get the computer, although his father did give him an abacus telling him that it would enable him to use the computer that he already had between his ears, which was not appreciated. Whether it was due to the trauma that resulted from using an abacus or just Mike’s love of anything electronic he has spent the last 30 years or so designing, building, and programming computers, microprocessors, and microcontrollers and developing applications that run on them. And his fascination continues with the definition of new processors and architectures in his search for the holy grail of computing: infinite performance at zero power consumption. Statistically speaking he is convinced it is just a matter of time.
Allen started in the ‘semiconductor IP industry’ before it was called the ‘semiconductor IP industry’. Back then, it was about ‘megafunctions’, ‘megablocks’ or MegaMacros™ (as trademarked by the pioneering UK IP company Allen was with… no, not that UK company). The biggest of these ‘mega’ things was an 8051! Today, of course, IP blocks are much larger and much more complex. And, it’s about the software, as well as the hardware. It’s also about working with a set of partners, sometimes called an ecosystem or community. Allen has been doing that for many years and is enjoying working with old and new friends on the ARC processor ecosystem.