43rdDesign Automation Conference, July 24-28, 2006
October 31, 2006

DAC technical program provides authors with ample choices

Gabe Moretti, editor

DAC started as a technical conference, and its Technical Program has remained the cornerstone of the conference. Experience accumulated through the years has served to improve the depth and quality of the technical sessions, adjusting to the changes produced by both semiconductor and design automation industries.
The 44th DAC, to be held in San Diego June 4 to 8 will feature papers that deal with design tools, design methods, design techniques, and embedded systems in eighteen categories. Papers in the Design Tools category cover contributions to the research and development of design tools and their supporting algorithms. Design Methods and case studies papers describe innovative methodologies for the design of electronic circuits and systems, as well as creative experiences with design automation in leading edge projects. Design Techniques papers describe the use of dsign tools and methodologies from the perspective of a specific design project. They include a brief description of the design and discussion of: methods, flow, innovative use of tools, the limits of current tools, and what new tool capabilities are required for future designs. Finally Embedded Systems papers are characterized by mixed hardware and software components with limited resources. Increases in software content introduce new system design issues. Embedded design papers describe tools, methods, and case studies for applications with specific embedded system content. Automotive electronics is the theme topic for DAC 2007. Papers that specifically refer to the theme will be highlighted at the conference.
The Technical Program committee identified eighteen categories that apply to the four paper groups. As you would expect the categories cover the entire specification, design, and implementation functions required to develop an electronic product. They are:

• System-Level Design and Co-Design
• System-Level Communication and Networks on Chip
• Embedded Hardware Design and Applications
• Embedded Software Tools and Design
• Power Analysis and Low-Power Design
• Verification
• High-Level Synthesis
• Beyond Die-integration and Package/Hybrid/Board Design
• Logic Synthesis and Circuit Optimization
• Circuit Simulation and Interconnect Analysis
• Timing Analysis and Design for Manufacturability
• Physical Design and Manufacturability
• Signal Integrity and Design Reliability
• Analog/Mixed Signal and RF
• FPGA Design Tools and Applications
• Testing
• New Emerging or Specialized Design Technologies
• Special Theme Topic: Automotive Electronics

The deadline for papers submission is November 20. You can find all of the details regarding how to write and submit a DAC paper at: www.dac.com/44th/submitinfo.html.


Inventing is more fun than innovating
By Gabe Moretti

The EDA industry has been talking about the need for a paradigm shift for a couple of years, at least since it has become obvious that it is impossible to use scaling in order to progress from one process node to the next one. Yet, we have only seen incremental additions and modification to the tools set and the design methodology. It is time to seriously think out of the box, to question sacred assumptions and to doubt the assertions of recognized industry pundits. Although you mostly read about "innovation" all significant technical and financial improvements have been the result of "invention". Synthesis, automatic place and route, hardware acceleration to name a few, have opened new markets and created new methodologies.
But the stakes now are higher than ever. The price of failure is much higher than before, given both global competition and the costs of failure. So people continue to innovate, taking baby steps that minimize the risks to both the innovator and his financial backers. It is time to shake the system, to boldly go where no EDA professional has gone before. On second thought, I should not confine myself to tools. Design and verification engineers should also challenge the way things are being designed, implemented, and verified. After all tools are the answer to requirements determined by their users, or at least all successful ones are.

The Design Automation Conference has been a catalyst for invention and innovation over the years through its highly respected Technical Program. But the challenge to invent has been implied by the competitive nature of paper acceptance. It is time for a more direct approach: so the 44th DAC will feature a new track: WACI. Wild and Crazy Ideas, or at least what seems as such, are the incubators of breakthroughs, and we want to hear about them. The WACI track will feature novel and not necessarily proven technical ideas that create a buzz and get people talking. The aim of the track is to give a forum to revolutionary and way-out ideas that inspire and generate discussion among conference attendees.

As you can tell by now a WACI paper is significantly different from the papers that will be accepted for inclusion in the rest of the Technical Program. It is a description of a genuinely forward-looking, radical idea in the area of electronic design or electronic design automation. The material should inspire controversy, it should challenge concepts and assertions considered sacred and fundamental. A WACI paper should be a couple of pages long and contain a logical exposition of your idea accompanied by insights or back of the envelope calculations that show the promise of the proposed concept. Exercise your intuitive faculty, if it seems right and at first pass appears justifiable, then it is a good candidate for WACI. Accepted papers will be published in the WACIpedia section of the proceedings.
So break the mold, shift the paradigm, and think outside the box. Create a buzz: submit to WACI by clicking on the figure above no later than November 20 at 5:00PM Mountain Standard Time.

 

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