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Look Up, Not Down When Things Get Hard
ESL is a topic that has generated much discussion in the last few years. And for a while, it looked like the volume of discussions was higher than what the topic deserved. ESL was always promising, but not delivering. As you can read in "Squeeze Play" by Geoffrey James things have changed. ESL is growing and it is promising to be a market with the potential to double, at least, the industry revenue in the short term. The Directory of ESL tools vendors show that many companies, both long established and new ones, are serving this market.
This fact is reinforced in the Viewpoint by Forte's Brett Cline. In it, he describes what he calls "The Turning Point for ESL." The coming of age of ESL tools allows designers to finally link their system-level designs with their RTL implementations in a manner that does not depend solely on intense and inspired manual work. One can design the most elegant and efficient system, but if one cannot manufacture it, then it is useless, or at best of marginal value.
Thomas Blaesi, CEO of ChipVision, provides another argument to support ESL. His viewpoint reminds us, as if it were necessary, that it is cheaper to avoid problems than to solve them. It is more efficient to design a power-aware circuit by planning and analyzing power distribution and use as early as possible in the design cycle.
"Long Term Evolution Wireless — Get Ready for Designing 1Gbit/s systems!" by CoWare's Johannes Stahl discusses a major reason for the adoption of ESL: complexity. Most people agree that today's circuits are too complex to design at the RT level. And integrating third party cores, a necessity given the development schedule required to meet market requirements, is too difficult at that level of abstraction.
Diana Marculescu's editorial contribution begins the sequence of articles from the representatives of the organizations that sponsor DAC. The article looks at the evolution of DAC and extrapolates a possible future based on the affinities of design automation techniques among various scientific application areas.
About Face Owner Nanette Sisk's "The Importance of DAC" examines the conference from the point of view of the marketing department of an EDA vendor. Various self-appointed pundits, who have never been closely associated with the conference, continue to write, aided by the fact that any one with a keyboard and a modem enjoys world wide audiences, that DAC is obsolete, that its leaders have no vision, and that the conference is on life-support systems. As the article points out, this is not true today. And it need not be true in the future, either.
In the DAC News section of the newsletter you can read about Cadence's support of DAC, the nomination criteria for the yearly Marie R. Pistilli Women in EDA Achievement Award and the opportunity to sponsor students attendance to DAC. Our industry will only strengthen by the infusion of new minds that can provide the creativity that bright new graduates can provide.