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FPGA Frontrunners Meet & Greet

July 13 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

The TechNES FPGA Frontrunners event returns to The Moathouse – July 13th. Bringing together the UK FPGA & ASIC design communities to discuss all things gate array. Share knowledge, find out what is going on and have a moan about the current state of affairs. All set within the beautiful Moathouse Inn. Lots of time to network, have a coffee and at the end of the day a beer with colleagues and members with a shared common interest.

The event will be similar to that in March, we will have a morning session of discussion around some key topics – followed by some interesting presentations from Gowin Semiconductor, finding out a bit more about the products and roadmap, represented by WPG – so will be interesting to hear how they plan to promote Gowin and their general plans for UK distribution. Something close to everyone’s heart is staffing, how to find new and existing design engineers and then when you have them, how to keep them. We have IC resources along to share their thoughts and ideas on this. Dirk Koch from Manchester University is going to explain all about their Open Source FPGA solution with their FABulous FPGA program. Then we have a talk from one of our sponsors - Synopsys.

Everyone is welcome, come along and get involved in what is becoming a vibrant UK community for FPGA & ASIC design engineers.


Neil Dickins, IC Resources

In 1999, a weak link existed in the UK technology industry’s internal supply chain: there was no recruitment partner working in the best long term interests of the technology community. As a co-founder of IC Resources, Neil started the business with the vision of helping individuals (our candidates) and companies (our clients) to achieve their long term ambitions within a prosperous and exciting sector. 

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Staying true to our vision is the only real business decision he ever made or, now, makes. Candidates love to have someone acting as their personal ‘agent’ and customers always value expertise and insight-led services. 

Our hard work and industry commitment have enabled us to become the recognised recruitment partner to the global technology community.

Neil now has the opportunity to focus on his professional passions, including: 1) Ensuring that we maintain the highest level of quality and customer service while we grow the company. 2) Working with NMI as their link to government on visa and immigration issues. 3) Evangelising recruitment ‘best practice’ and how the right strategies can support business success and 4) Sponsoring and participating in high profile industry conferences and supporting UKESF, the skills foundation. On a personal level, Neil still manages to get himself up and down the basketball court occasionally and has re-engaged with the Questors Theatre after 13 years away from ‘the boards’. He is also very intrigued by the intrinsic transformational potential of silly hats.

Presentation: Find People? Great Problem!

Neil will discuss the reasons for the industry-wide skills shortage, followed by advice on strategies to maximise the probability of attracting and securing the best hires

Nigel Watts, President EMEA, WPG Holdings

I Started my career in the Electronics industry as a trainee design engineer for GEC Semiconductors in 1978, Joined Memec in 1983, Sales, Marketing and Management. Started Spectrum on December 1994 with Gamil Haddad, a Rep company that we expanded to become the first pan European Representative business in 2003.

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Renamed Ismosys in 2008 went on to expand into India and USA. Sold to Astute Electronics in April 2021 to become President EMEA for WPG Holdings.

I am passionate about demand creation and finding innovative and creative ways to solving customer issues and enhancing the experience for all parties concerned.

Presentation: WPG – “Rising in the East, Settling In The West”.

Why have WPG decided to globalise and what advantages does it bring to European customers ?

1. Access to emerging Asian / Chinese technologies – e.g Gowin ( and many others ). With control of the relationship both “locally” and internationally.
2. Ability to track and also transport designs from Europe to Asian based CEM/EMS where we have long standing relationships.
3. The financial backing of the world’s largest semiconductor distributor , lines and inventory.
4. A “wake up call” to others.
5. Creative and innovative ways of delivering solutions and services to the design community.

Piyush Sukhija, Synopsys

Piyush has been working for Synopsys for last 9 years and look after Verification SW activity in UK region. Working closely with sales to support customers, collaborate with wider industry to understand complex verification challenges and work with Synopsys R&D to make improvement in Synopsys Verification offerings.

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Presentation:  Accelerating FPGA verification

Discussion on Industry-leading design, debug, simulation and synthesis for accelerating verification closure

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