CEO Talk: Udi Shaked, Inomize

This interview was conducted with Udi Shaked, CEO of Inomize.


Full Name: Udi Shaked

Title: CEO

Company: Inomize



Tell me a bit about your background. How did you first get started with Inomize? 


We came up with the idea of launching Inomize back in 2007, having realized there is no knowledge center here in Israel for companies who need to acquire advanced silicon design expertise. My partners Tzvika Shaked, Dudi Wolf and I had decided that the industry needs this type of service provider, and we were in a good position to respond to this need.



Tell me about Inomize


Inomize today is one of the largest independent silicon design companies in the world, with nearly 150 engineers, across all domains of ASIC and HW design, including system, architecture, front-end, verification, analog, back-end and more. The company has offices in Netanya, Jerusalem (as part of the acquisition of Verisense in 2016) and the UK. Inomize not only employs silicon engineers, but also has a training program for junior engineers who wish to become silicon engineers



What were you doing before Inomize?


Inomize was officially launched in 2008. Prior to that, I worked at Siano as one of its founders. Before Siano, I held leadership positions at Emblaze Semiconductor, Modem Art, Innowave and Comverse.



Which problem did you notice that needed solving? And what is your approach to solving it? 


Back in 2006, a company who wanted to design an ASIC had to do it themselves, and build a very expensive infrastructure to do so, even if they needed just one. Inomize offers a unique service that allows companies to focus on their core technologies, while relying on a trusted partner for ASIC implementation work.



Did any of the market consolidations (or acquisitions) affect your business? If so, how?


Consolidation is almost synonymous with the VLSI industry. In 2016, Inomize merged with Verisense, allowing us to expand our capabilities.



Which market segments seem promising to you? And why?


It’s not a secret that many industry resources are being devoted to the AI and automotive markets, and it seems this will be the growth engine for Inomize, as well as for the industry in the coming years.

AI, which combines artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and more, is where a lot of innovation and investment is happening, and Inomize is part of that.


In the Automotive industry, especially in order to comply with ISO26262 (the driving standard for this market), cars in the connected world in which we now live are becoming more and more sophisticated, and the response has been to use SoCs in more and more cars. This requires driver technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, machine learning and more.


Who is the typical customer for Inomize?


It’s difficult to characterize Inomize customers, as they are quite diverse. Nevertheless, we seem to be more relevant to either companies that have SoC capabilities but have a shortage in bandwidth, or to newcomers who do not have SoC expertise but wish to use Inomize to bridge the gap. An example of the latter is a medical equipment company that had an idea for a bionic eye, but had no ASIC expertise. Inomize took their idea and developed an ASIC for them.



Customers are focused on time to market, first time right, price, etc. Do you see a change in customer behavior in recent years? Where is the focus today, and why?


Customers are very picky with their selection of technology partners, whether for tools, IPs or services. So you need to be able to provide a unique solution in order to stand out. A “me too” strategy is not enough. Everyone wants differentiation, especially in the 16nm,12nm and 7nm era, where designs are becoming highly complex.



What are the top three things you wish your customers would do better (or differently)?


We are not in the habit of telling our customers what to do, but it would be nice if their decision processes were faster. This would help Inomize serve them better.



Are you currently hiring? For what types of jobs?


Inomize has been hiring for the past ten years. We are looking for top-notch candidates in all ASIC design disciplines, such as architecture, design (FE), verification, RF, analog and back-end. Inomize has openings for these positions in all locations in Israel and in the UK.



Where can a person find more information? 


Visit the Inomize web site, at www.inomize.com.



What is the best moment in your day?


When I feel I am able to solve a customer-related problem.



How do you keep yourself energized and engaged during the day?


That’s simple. I like what I do, and this keeps me energized!



How do you spend your non-working hours?


In our business, the days are very long, so having family time is my preferred way of relaxing outside of working hours.


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