Wally Rhines takes CEO job at 'sea-of-cores' startup

May 10, 2020 //By Peter Clarke
Wally Rhines takes CEO job at 'sea-of-cores' startup
Walden Rhines, the long-time CEO of EDA vendor Mentor Graphics Corp. has taken the top job at a relatively mature startup founded by Gordon Campbell, called Cornami.

Rhines is one of the most experienced and successful of semiconductor veterans. He led Mentor as CEO from 1993 until he oversaw the sale of the company to Siemens in 2017. Rhines continues to be CEO Emeritus at Mentor. Prior to his time at Mentor Rhines spent 21 years with Texas Instruments rising up through the organization and taking on many senior management positions.

Cornami Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) is a privately held company founded in 2011 by Gordon Campbell, Paul Master, and Fred Furtek originally under the name Sviral. Campbell was the founder of Chips and Technologies (Milpitas, Calif.) in December 1984 which was acquired by Intel in 1997.

Initially Sviral focused on the The TruStream Programming Model (TSPM), which can be added to any existing programming language tools and converts source code conforming to TSPM into executable code running on the TruStream Virtual Machine.

In about 2015 the company changed its name to Cornami and is now focused on the deployment of intelligent computing in real-time environments. The company has developed a scalable massively parallel processor architecture addressing machine learning and neural network markets.

The company claims its "sea-of-cores" processor architecture can scale from thousands to millions of cores. The architecture offers dynamically reconfigurable systolic arrays. In software Cornami can program an entire 3D topology while minimizing memory references and the architecture is self-pruning.

Cornami has reportedly raised $6.5 million across three rounds of equity funding. It is unlikely the company has yet fully implemented its ideas in silicon.

Rhines was recognized by the EDA Consortium (EDAC) with the Phil Kaufman award in 2015 for his contribution to the growth of the EDA and IC design industries.

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