Joe Costello
2004 Phil Kaufman Award Honoree


The EDA Consortium proudly honors Joe Costello, chairman and CEO of think3 and former chairman and CEO of Cadence Design Systems, as this year's recipient of its Kaufman Award in 2004. Joe Costello was selected to receive the Phil Kaufman Award because of his business contributions that helped grow the EDA industry. Under his leadership (1987-1997), Cadence became the world's leading supplier of EDA software and services and one of the top ten largest software suppliers in the world.

"Joe Costello was a significant force in the growth of the EDA industry," remarked Walden C. Rhines, EDA Consortium chairman and chairman and CEO of Mentor Graphics Corporation. "He displayed a savvy ability to recognize important design trends and did a great job of moving the industry forward to capitalize on those trends."

"One of Joe's greatest and lasting contributions to our industry was the way he expanded our view of what design technology really is and what it could become," commented Richard Newton, Dean, College of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley. "Through his leadership, he added new dimensions to EDA and reformulated our view of the entire industry-in the years that followed, we have all benefited greatly from his vision and the steps he took to implement it."

Newton continued, "It is not surprising to me that many of Joe's senior managers at Cadence have gone on to become very effective industry leaders themselves-both in business and in research and development."

Among the significant events in Joe Costello's EDA career were strategically planned mergers and acquisitions, as well as the emergence of Verilog as one of the world most popular open hardware design languages (HDLs).

Costello orchestrated the smooth merger of equals, SDA and ECAD, to form Cadence in 1988. The merger anticipated the importance of batch mode Design Rule Checking (DRC) for today's large, complex designs.

He foresaw the importance of standard cell routing technology with embedded blocks, and acquired companies and technology to grow his company and meet the needs of electronic designers.

He anticipated the shift from schematics to hardware description languages (HDLs) and made the acquisition of Gateway and its Verilog language just as HDLs were beginning to take off. Later, he made the decision to make Verilog an open standard.

Under his leadership, Cadence Berkeley Labs developed a faster Verilog, NC Verilog. He foresaw its potential, acquired the original ideas and launched the Labs Verilog project.

In his present role, Costello leads think3, a premiere supplier of product development solutions to mid-sized manufacturers worldwide and provider of innovative, next-generation product design solutions for the industrial design industry. Under Costello's leadership the Cincinnati-based privately-held company has grown dramatically over the past three years and currently enables more than 5,000 manufacturers to achieve significant gains in competitiveness and profitability by optimizing their product development process.

In addition, Joe Costello currently serves as chairman of Barcelona Design, BravoBrava!, Soliloquy Learning and Zamba (NASDAQ: ZMBA) and is on the board of Santa Cruz Networks. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and Physics from Harvey Mudd College and Master's Degrees in Physics from Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley.