44th Design Automation Conference, June 4-8, 2007
April 4, 2007

DAC Offers An Exciting Program

Gabe Moretti, Editor  


The program for the 44th DAC has reached its final form, and it is full of stimulating and exciting sessions.  The Technical Program Committee has chosen 161 papers from 713 submissions to produce interesting tracks covering all aspects of design.  The technical breadth of the program will offer insights and information on the latest advances in EDA for the approximately 11,000 attendees that visit DAC each year, including academics, researchers, developers, designers, managers, and executives in EDA, chip, and electronics companies. In addition there will be eight special sessions, seven full-day tutorials, eight panels, 18 Êpavilion panels, and seven Hands-on Tutorials. The complete program is now available on the DAC web site at http://www.dac.com  


The conference will feature three keynote speakers on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  The Monday speech deals with the theme of the conference, Automotive Electronics and is covered in the following section of the article.


Oh-Hyun Kwon, Ph.D., president of the System LSI Division of Samsung Semiconductor Business, will present the opening session keynote.  His talk is titled: "Perspectives on the Future of the Semiconductor Industry: Challenges and Solutions."  He will outline the complex technology and business challenges facing the semiconductor industry in this era of declining chip prices and soaring R&D costs and offer insights on the kinds of innovations that will be required to overcome them, including new collaborations and partnerships, as well as new technological breakthroughs.


On Thursday, June 7, Dr. Jan M. Rabaey, the Donald O. Pederson Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley, will deliver a special tribute to the late Richard Newton that promises to be a thought-provoking glimpse into the emerging and future applications for EDA design techniques.  These techniques, originally developed in the silicon era, are now beginning to be applied to the nano- and bio-systems that physicists, chemists, and biologists are working with.  Dr. Rabaey's keynote will show that design methodology is a legacy that will live long after Moore's Law has finally Êcome to a halt.  To quote Richard Newton, "The Future is BDA (Bio Design Automation).”


Spotlight on Automotive Electronics

The theme of this year's conference is Automotive Electronics and it will be seen in special presentations and sessions throughout the week. Lawrence D. Burns, Ph.D., Vice President of R&D and Strategic Planning for General Motors Corp., will deliver the Monday keynote speech entitled: "Designing a New Automotive DNA."


In his talk, Dr. Burns will discuss the DNA of the reinvented automobile that exchanges the internal combustion engine, petroleum, and mechanical linkages for fuel cells and batteries, hydrogen and electricity, and electronic systems and controls.  He will highlight why the new automotive DNA will be a paradigm shift for the industry and address the design challenges and opportunities presented by the requirement for new electrical and electronics-based architectures, systems, and software for our vehicles.


Attendees that are specifically interested in automotive applications will find sessions that deal specifically with this field.  On Tuesday, for example, the Technical Program offers a paper titled, “Period Optimization for Hard Real-time Distributed Automotive Systems.”  In the afternoon of the same day, you can attend the “Electronics: the New Differential in the Automotive Industry” panel.  Five special sessions directly cover issues dealing with automotive application from “Challenges for Trusted Hardware to Automotive Software Integration” to “Autonomous Automobiles.”  You can find all of the offerings that directly deal with the Automotive Theme on the web by going to the DAC home page, choosing the “Conference Program” menu item and then selecting Special Offerings and Automotive Theme.


Executives Get Their Own Day

As in previous years, DAC will offer a special seminar focused on providing middle and senior managers with a venue in which to investigate and discuss issues in the EDA industry and management techniques.  This year's event will be held on Tuesday, from 10:30 am to 6:45 pm and is titled “Innovation or Extinction -- The Choice Is Yours!”  The program will feature three distinguished speakers as well as a luncheon hosted by EDA Consortium and the Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA).  Registration for the all day event is $350.00 per person. 


Innovation is critical for the long-term success of any industry. The electronics, semiconductor and the electronic design automation industry have pursued such a strategy successfully for several decades. This was made possible by technological advances in processing, innovative design flows and methodologies, and continued improvement in design tools. However, limitations in manufacturing, increasing design complexity and design costs have started to decelerate the possible gains obtained along these directions. In the recent past, growth in these industries has slowed and it is perceived by many that these industries need to do more to capture growth. In addition, the twin forces of globalization and technology have led to changes that impact business dramatically. Globalization has enabled vast and eager talent pools to participate in business at low cost. Technology has lowered the barriers to market entry and leveled the playing field in many situations. In the current scenario, innovation is not only key but perhaps the only method to differentiate your business from that of your competitors.


The featured speakers are: Geoffrey Moore, Raul Camposano, and Jim Smith. Dr. Geoffrey Moore is a best-selling author and a managing partner at TCG Advisors. His recent book “Dealing with Darwin” has demystified the process of innovation and made innovation a key part of the corporate lexicon. Recognized for his expertise in market development and business and investment strategies, he serves as an advisor to many companies, drawing upon best practices derived from his extensive work with technology startups.


Dr.Raul Camposano served as the chief technical officer, senior vice president and general manager of the Silicon Engineering Group at Synopsys until 2006. He held multiple positions at Synopsys, among them as general manager of the Design Tools business.


Dr. Jim Smith is a general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV). He focuses on software and systems and semiconductor investments and is active in extending MDV’s relationships with leading universities and research centers. Prior to MDV, he spent six years developing computing architectures and integrated circuits for high-performance multimedia systems at Silicon Graphics.


The luncheon is themed “Changing the Dialogue between Engineers & Management,” and  will examine factors affecting engineering productivity while presenting dialogue vignettes, research and practical examples.  Kathryn Kranen, EDA Consortium and Jasper Design Automation, will host the presentation during the lunch which is sponsored by the EDA Consortium and the Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA).  In addition to the tutorial attendees, other invited guests will be able to attend the luncheon event.


A Look Into Future Breakthroughs

Although Innovation fuels the growth of an industry, invention opens new markets and significantly expands revenue.  Yet, what will become tomorrow’s paradigm shift may be today’s crazy idea.  Because of their revolutionary nature, these ideas have often found it hard to be included in a technical program because they generally do not fit an established conference structure.  Recognizing this difficulty, DAC has organized a much-anticipated new WACI (Wild and Crazy Ideas) session, providing a forum for out-of-the-box thinking.  The committee received 54 submissions presenting early expositions of new ideas. From this greater-than-anticipated response, the committee selected eight papers, which will be presented in a short-form format designed to promote discussion among attendees.  If you want to change the industry, either with your technical contributions or with your financial investments, this is a session you do not want to miss.


DAC Registration Opens


The Program is Live!  

Special Offerings at DAC

  • Pavilion Panels
  • Automotive Theme
  • Management Seminar