Contributing Editors: Peggy Aycinena, Geoffrey James, Gary Smith, Ed Sperling
Editor-in-Chief: Gabe Moretti
June 8-13, 2008, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif.
|vol.3 / issue 8 March 25, 2008|
IN THIS ISSUE:
Limor Fix, 45th DAC Briefing
45th DAC Program Now Available on the website
Call for Exhibitors:
DAC is actively expanding its exhibitor base to encompass the entire design eco-system from embedded software and system-level design tools, IP, EDA, and design services through to silicon manufacturing. The expanded scope of the show floor along with DAC's unique booth/suite combination and world-class conference and educational program makes participation a must for companies with products used in the design and development of circuits and systems.
The future of CAD and the Facebook generation
The Design Automation Conference, and one might argue EDA in general, celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. Although 45 (human) years would make it almost a “baby boomer” (if not part of “Gen X”), in conference years, it means much more than that.
The Essence of DAC
by Gabe Moretti
This issue offers an article by Ruth Stevens, well-known marketing consultant and author. Ms. Stevens teaches graduate courses in marketing at Columbia Business School, serves on the board of directors of Edmund Optics, and is a frequent contributor to a variety of marketing publications. She is past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the Direct Marketing Association and the author of "Trade Show and Event Marketing" and "The DMA B-to-B Lead Generation Handbook.”
Her article provides an insight on the role that conferences like DAC play in keeping the industry they serve vital, up-to-date, and cohesive. I want to personally thank Ms. Stevens for taking the time, while traveling for business outside of the United States, to develop her contribution to DACeZine.
As all of the readers should know by now, Limor Fix, associate director of the Intel Pittsburgh Lab, is the general chair of the upcoming Design Automation Conference. Her article gives an overview of the various ways in which attendees and exhibitors alike can find opportunities for growth, relationship building, and widening of both technical and professional horizons at DAC.
Dr. Diana Marculescu's viewpoint underscores the role that DAC has played as a harbinger of new technology to our industry and various activities planned for this year's conference to reach out to a new generation of electronics designers and EDA tool creators. Those who are deciding on a career must see our industry as one that is growing, and one that offers opportunities for both technical and financial rewards. This same industry concerns itself with some of the issues fundamental to the survival and growth of humanity on this planet and beyond.
As of today, you can find the complete schedule of the Technical Program on the DAC website. My article provides you with a taste of its rich and various content. Although a number of conferences have been launched that specialize in a specific area of EDA, only DAC fully covers all aspects of our industry. We are all familiar with the dialog of a few years ago, debating the merits of the tall skinny engineer versus the short fat one. Is it better to be a guru in one specific aspect of EDA, or to understand all of its functional parts but not be a specialist in any?
I believe that when decisions taken in one specific aspect of design can impact – at times critically – other phases or contents of the design process, it is imperative that every designer be familiar with potential shortcoming in each phase of the development process.
For example, only a system architect who knows the challenges of physical design can intelligently guide the partition of the design into coherent functional blocks that can be implemented on time and within budget. As the drawbacks of globalization show to the U.S. workforce, specialization is a cheap commodity, easily exported and underpaid, unless you are, in fact, one of the few gurus in your field. DAC provides a way, in just five days, to stay current with the complete landscape of EDA.
Finally, I received a couple of emails from people who feel that they can contribute an article to this publication. Although DACeZine is not an appropriate vehicle for white papers and technical articles, in general, I am always open to contributions that inform our readers. Therefore, everyone is welcome to send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) their contributions. Be aware that space is limited and that the contents must be relevant to DAC and its mission.
The DACeZine also has a Letters to the Editor section to allow for shorter contributions to the contents and directions of the publication. When necessary, answers to the letters will come from the appropriate member of the team (including our readers), since I do not (yet) hold the total knowledge of the industry within me. I encourage all of you to write, either a viewpoint or a letter, and state your opinions on matters that impact our industry, the contents of this publication, or, for that matter, the publication itself. Send your letters to: email@example.com.
45th DAC Briefing
by Limor Fix
DAC is the premier event for the design of electronic circuits and systems, and for EDA and silicon solutions. DAC features a wide array of technical presentations, over 250 of the leading electronics design suppliers and a large variety of events organized by leading players in our industry. For example, the 45th DAC will feature workshops organized by standardization organizations, various consortiums, user groups, and workshops. In DAC, state-of-the-art design methods and tools are presented, in addition to novel research and future technologies
DAC offers participants plentiful and effective channels to educate themselves on the latest ideas and products, to network and get to know the movers of industry, to present their research results, exchange information and identify collaboration opportunities. DAC also offers participants a cost-effective platform to position themselves, their company, present their products and reach existing and potential new customers. Last and not least, DAC offers participants an array of ways to advance their career. This ranges from authoring a paper, participating in a panel or a pavilion panel, delivering a tutorial, to contributing an article to DACeZine, submitting a letter to the DACeZine editor, organizing and/or participating in DAC’s workshops and more.
Technical Program Allows Participants To Share, To Learn, and To Inform
by Gabe Moretti
DAC's technical program is especially strong this year, consisting of 138 papers – selected from 638 submissions. The Wild and Crazy Ideas (WACIs), other special sessions, and the popular panels and special sessions round it out. The program, intended for design engineers, management, researchers and developers, showcases the latest results and emerging trends in the design of electronic circuits and systems, and electronic design automation (EDA).
This year’s theme is wireless, highlighted by an all-day track on Wednesday, including a panel that will help attendees to identify who’s ready for next-generation wireless multimedia devices, and a special session titled “business meets technology.”
The technical program contains eight topical panels, including one that details the way to verify large systems and another that assesses the current state of design of manufacturing (DFM) from the vantage point of practitioners working with cutting-edge technologies. One panel taps the expertise of researchers who will discuss issues beyond the EDA domain. Yet another will review whether custom design offers a worthwhile benefit over synthesized logic, while another panel will look at on-chip thermal problems.
Six tutorials are being offered, on themes that span modern software programming, DFM, system-level synthesis and verification, system-level design for embedded systems, low-power design and practical mixed-signal design principles. All tutorials have an emphasis on the fundamentals of technology that can be used productively in the design process. In addition, each tutorial has one or more speakers who are practitioners and use the technology on real-world designs. The theme for Hands-on Tutorials (HoTs) is “Embedding intellectual property (IP) in your design: challenges and solutions.”
The Program Committee has added the “iDesign” Track to the Tuesday schedule. The first session will address how to build a practical physical implementation flow, while the second offers hands-on aspects of SystemVerilog, the Verification Methodology Manual for SystemVerilog (VMM) and the Universal Reuse Methodology (URM).
The future of business events: Why trade shows and conferences live on
by Ruth Stevens
Are trade shows and conferences going the way of the dodo bird? I say, “No.”
I may be accused of bias, having recently spent 18 months researching the business event scene in order to write a book on how B-to-B marketers can get the most out of trade shows and conferences.
But my arguments around the vibrant future of trade shows and conference are based on three particular points. Let me outline my thinking, and see if you agree with me.
Letters to the Editor
Geoffrey James "Automatic Analog Design" generated the most responses, as I would have expected.
Bob Harris sent us this comment:
I think that the words: "analog master craftsman" say the entire story. Of course I agree that designers, especially analog designers, are smart enough not to turn down any useful tool. The problem is that EDA vendors are not consulting companies that craft a unique solution to a specific design problem. They develop tools that are useful in a large percentage of the cases. Analog design has been traditionally a personal endeavor: each designers approaches the problem in slightly different ways and solves it in an individual manner. This is not a negative observation, mind you, at least not toward each analog designer. In a previous issue Gary Smith points out that when he was a designers (yes EDA had been invented by then, but barely) " we could do 85% of the designs with what became known (unofficially of course) as good enough analog". If analog designers are still adhering to this belief, then there is hope for analog EDA by providing tools that significantly improve the development of 85% of analog designs.
Ray Perry contributes:
I find it curious that semiconductor companies in the analog market can offer a large inventory of standard analog parts and make money at it. Obviously each part is not just used in one design, so reuse of analog components must be possible in system design. The difference between my perception and Ray's may be the requirements. System level design, as it happens in board level where these components are used, allows for changes in the non-analog parts in order to achieve a working system, while in many cases, IC design starts with digital as the 800 pounds gorilla, and analog must "adjust" to a given environment. Of course digital designers are being confronted more and more with analog problems, and the EDA vendors are responding with tools that help achieve a solution. May be continuing development of those tools will result in new products that can increase the analog designers' productivity.
And finally a correction.
Our Roundtable discussion on the state of the media, edited by Ed Sperling, covers a topic that has lately been the subject of a number of presentations, articles, and blog entries. Therefore it is not surprising that it received less feedback, as the discussion is web-wide. Yet, here is a comment from Loring Wirbel:
Bravo, Ed, this may go down as one of the most valuable exchanges between information purveyors and consumers in 21st century journalism -- seriously, a lot is being said here.
Thanks Loring, we share your opinion and value Ed as a contributor to DACeZine.
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