SAN FRANCISCO—Ashawna Hailey, co-founder of EDA software firm Meta-Software Inc. and the creator of circuit simulation program HSpice, died earlier this month at the age of 62.
According to an obituary published in the San Jose Mercury News, Ashawna Hailey—born Shawn Hailey in 1949—passed away at home Oct. 14.
"Ashawna Hailey lived a life that we can all aspire to, one that had great professional achievements, a pioneer for gender equality and a philanthropist," said Brian Bailey, editor of EDA Designline. "She never shied away from things that were important to her, no matter how controversial. She was robbed of life when there was still so much she wanted to do and things that she wanted to change."
Hailey founded Meta in 1979 with brother Kim. The company was later acquired by Avanti Corp., which itself was later acquired by Synopsys Inc.
Prior to co-founding Meta, Hailey was a designer at General Instrument, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and others.
HSpice, one of the first commercial applications of Spice, is often referred to as the "gold standard" for accurate circuit simulation and has been used in thousands of chip designs.
According to Frank Lee, vice president of engineering for HSpice and the device modeling for circuit simulation at Synopsys' Analog/Mixed-Signal Group, HSpice is used in the design of virtually all chips, and virtually all circuit designers have used it at some point in their careers. Despite being created exactly 30 years ago, HSpice remains the "gold" circuit simulator in the semiconductor industry, an unparalleled longevity for an EDA tool, Lee said.
"Few of us have created EDA tools that have had the longevity and success of HSpice," Bailey said.
According to a page on Hailey on Wikipedia, Hailey changed her name from Shawn and Ashawna and began living as a woman late in life.
The Silicon Genesis project, a Stanford University endeavor that attempts to offer an oral history of the semiconductor industry, published an interview with the Haileys in 1997.