Synopsys Story

VHDLSynthesis Users Manual


1991, and Synopsys was growing and getting ready to make an early release of their VHDL Synthesis and Simulation software.  But, for some unknown reason, their documentation wasn’t ready.  They brought me in as a contractor to first write their VHDL Synthesis User Manual.

After spending a week getting up to speed on style sheets fonts, manual organization, indexing etc.,  and getting to know the engineers and VHDL Synthesis, I was sent downstairs to occupy a newly constructed triple-sized cubical placed strategically in the center of an expansive carpeted area. Total isolation.  And, I was watched.  Constantly.

Maylyn,  my supervisor literally camped in front of my cubical, while Synopsys’ President and founder Aart Deguise glared down at me from his perch 25 feet above like a hunting eagle.  Every morning at around eleven he would come out of his office, lean over the outside walkway’s railing, look down, and watch … me.

Things were pretty nervous for a while.  But, with lots of help from the engineering team and other writers, I  was able to finish the VHDL Synthesis manual in around four months.   Then, after another 4 months, as I was finishing the VHDL Simulation manual,  I went out for Vietnamese Pho …

It was lunch-time Friday, and the place was packed, and the owner, Tuan pointed out a couple of young guys intensely examining their menus like they were studying engineering build drawings.  Tuan asked if I’d mind sharing the table with them.  I said “Sure, no problem.” And, amazingly, I learned that my new friends had just started an engineering team to develop VIEWlogic‘s first VHDL Synthesis product.  My story continued at … VIEWlogic.

“There are no accidents.”

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