President and Chief Executive Officer
Robert Blake has worked in the semiconductor industry for over 25 years. Prior to Achronix Semiconductor he was the Chief Executive Officer of Octasic Semiconductor based in Montreal, Canada. Mr. Blake worked at Altera in a variety of sales, marketing and general management roles. As Vice President of Product Planning he was responsible for defining Altera’s programmable logic product solutions. He has been developing ASIC and programmable logic for high speed telecom and network applications for over 17 years. Prior to Altera, he worked at LSI Logic and Fairchild where he developed ASIC technology. He holds a MEng. in Business and Microelectronics and BSc. in Applied Physics & Electronics from the University of Durham in England.
John Lofton Holt
Founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors
From 2004 to 2011, Mr Holt served as Chairman & CEO of Achronix. In this role, Mr. Holt raised over $120M at Achronix and led the company from its first business plan to the launch of the world’s highest performance FPGA product in 2008. From 2008 to 2011 Mr. Holt scaled the team and drove a historic partnership with Intel Corporation to build the world’s most advanced FPGAs in Intel’s 22nm process. In 2011, Mr. Holt brought Robert Blake onto the Achronix team as the CEO. In his current role as Chairman of the Board, Mr. Holt leads business development activities for the company and drives a variety of global strategic initiatives. Before co-founding Achronix Semiconductor, Mr. Holt founded and led S3, a management technology and venture consulting firm in Washington DC. Under Mr. Holt’s leadership, the firm built a multi-million dollar business with Fortune 100 and startup clients. Prior to founding S3, Mr. Holt worked as a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Booz Allen Hamilton.
Mr. Holt started his career at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in 1989 and worked as a design engineer until 1997. Mr. Holt is educated as an Electrical Engineer and Physicist with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University and a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He is a frequent lecturer at Cornell University on a variety of topics including entrepreneurship, management, and technology commercialization.
Howard S. Brodsky
Vice President of Business Operations and Chief Finance Officer
Howard Brodsky is the Vice President of Business Operations and CFO at Achronix Semiconductor Corporation and has more than 25 years of business and financial experience including nearly 20 years of experience in the semiconductor industry. Most recently he was the Vice President of Finance & CFO at ChipX, Inc., formerly Chip Express Corporation where he was responsible for all financial, IT and business operations. Prior to joining ChipX, Inc. he was Corporate Controller for C-Cube Microsystems Incorporated, where he served as a member of the management team responsible for C-Cube’s initial public offering (IPO). Mr. Brodsky has also held various controller and financial management positions at Loral Incorporated, Schlumberger Ltd. and Gould Incorporated. Mr. Brodsky received his B.S. in Accounting from West Virginia University and his M.B.A. degree from Lake Erie College of Ohio. He is a member of the Financial Executive Institute and the Institute of Management Accountants.
Vice President of Marketing
Steve Mensor is the Vice President of Marketing at Achronix Semiconductor Corporation. He has over 20 years experience in the FPGA industry. Prior to joining Achronix, Mr. Mensor was at Altera where he was Sr. Director of Marketing and led a variety of departments including FPGA Product Marketing, Customer and Channel Marketing, IP Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, and Corporate Marketing. Mr. Mensor holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and a BSEE from UC Santa Barbara.
Vice President of Sales
Steve has over 20 years of semiconductor industry experience and possesses expertise in strategic customer sales, launching new technologies and building high achieving teams. Steve has held senior management roles at his previous companies including Altera, LSI, Agere, Lucent, Samsung, Cirrus Logic and Raytheon; and has also provided sales consultancy services for emerging technology firms in enterprise networking, wireless and semiconductor IP. Acting in a variety of sales, marketing and technical roles, Steve has sold into global communications, enterprise, computing, broadcast and defense markets. Throughout the course of his career Steve has developed high revenue generating business at global accounts with FPGA, ASIC, Processor and SOC technologies
Dr. Virantha N. Ekanayake
Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Virantha N. Ekanayake has been developing multi-GHz custom and reprogrammable asynchronous logic for over 12 years. Prior to Achronix, Dr. Ekanayake was an Assistant Professor in the Department of ECE at Johns Hopkins University where he headed the Asynchronous VLSI and Architecture group before joining Achronix full-time in 2006. From high-level system specification to back-end custom and semi-custom circuit design, he has been involved in the reprogrammable fabric design for several FPGAs in advanced nodes ranging from 90nm down to 28nm and 22nm, and has numerous patents and publications in this field. Dr. Ekanayake holds a B.A and B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Dartmouth College, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Dr. Kamal Choudhary
Senior Vice President Software Engineering
Recognized as an industry veteran and renowned in the field of FPGA architecture and EDA software, Dr. Choudhary is the Vice President of Software Engineering at Achronix Semiconductor. He has over 14 years of experience in the programmable logic field and holds more than 24 patents in various areas of FPGA hardware, architecture, testing, and software algorithms including placement, mapping and synthesis. Prior to joining Achronix, Dr. Choudhary was a Distinguished Engineer at Xilinx. During his tenure he held numerous R&D positions and played vital roles such as Virtex FPGA Architect and has received numerous awards from Xilinx for his innovation and technical contributions. Before Xilinx he was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Electronics Research Lab, University of California at Berkeley focused on performance driven placement, compaction, logic synthesis and other FPGA advancements. Dr. Choudhary holds a Bachelors of Technology in Electrical Engineering and Masters of Technology in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India. He has a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Vice President Hardware Engineering
Chris Pelosi has worked in the semiconductor industry for over 12 years, with experience ranging across all aspects of chip development. Prior to joining Achronix, Chris was a hardware engineer at Nvidia, where he worked on the design and verification of next-generation GPUs, and was the post-silicon validation lead for many production devices. Chris joined Achronix in 2008 as an engineer and has been involved with the design, implementation, and productization of every Achronix FPGA to date, on process nodes ranging from 65nm down to 14nm. Chris holds a B.S. from Cornell University and a M.S. from the University of Michigan, both in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Vice President Systems Engineering
Mr. Nijssen has over 20 years of experience in the FPGA and EDA industries in various technical and management positions. Mr. Nijssen joined Achronix as Chief Software Architect to manage the software development group, define the foundations and algorithms of the software system, and architect key aspects of the company’s FPGA architectures. In his current role, he is responsible for the producization of the company’s current products and R&D for new technologies for future products. Prior to Achronix, Mr. Nijssen was at Tabula where he was responsible for placement and timing analysis of a time-multiplexed FPGA technology. Prior to Tabula, he was one of the first engineers at Magma Design Automation, and held multiple leadership positions in charge of routing and placement, data models and customer deployment of Magma’s Blast Plan Pro hierarchy hierarchical virtual prototyping and floorplanning products for very large ASIC designs. Mr. Nijssen received his MSEE degree from Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands, and after that followed its postgraduate program studying EDA for VLSI. He holds several patents related to P&R and asynchronous circuit technologies.
Vice President of Operations
Mr. Jurrat is responsible for all aspects of manufacturing and delivery of Achronix products. He brings over 20 years experience in New Product Introduction (NPI) engineering, global supply chain management, supplier relationships, import/export compliance, logistics as well as product- and reliability engineering. He also leads the quality organization driving continuous improvement to the highest quality standards for design, manufacture, training, measurement, post-sale customer support and reliability engineering. Mr. Jurrat joined Achronix in 2008 after serving in a variety of process manufacturing technology, supply chain management, manufacturing and product and test engineering and quality management positions most recently at ChipX, Infineon and Siemens Automotive. He holds a M.S. in Electrical and Microsystems Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Regensburg, Germany and Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.