A Healthy EDA, EDAC Committees Hard at Work, Colocated Events and More
There are two important reminders I must make you aware of before describing the contents of this issue. First of all, you still have time to vote for the DAC Pavilion Panel you would most like to see. Go to www.dac.com and vote. Take the opportunity to decide the contents of the conference. It is something few other conferences offer.
And, if you are a student, note that applications to be part of the University Booth in the DAC exhibit hall will be accepted until June 20.
To outsiders, the financial profile of the EDA industry may seem highly speculative and overly dependent on the health of the electronic industry. This in spite of very factual and eloquent speeches from both Aart de Geus and Wally Rhines that clearly explain the industry dynamics and put to rest what can be only termed "old wives' tales" about EDA. The article by Geoffrey James: The Q4 2008 EDA Phantom Revenue "Meltdown" points out how an accounting change by one company responsible for approximately 25% of the total industry revenue could impact the size of the total reported revenue by the EDA industry during the fourth quarter of 2008. The revenue drop would, to a superficial observer, indicate that the EDA industry was having serious troubles, and that the worldwide financial recession had a direct and serious impact on the health of our industry. Nothing could be further from the truth: there was no meltdown, as the article quickly points out, and in fact the accounting change will mitigate future quarter to quarter swings in revenue, not only with respect to a single company, but the industry in general. Revenue recognition by quarter over the life of a license allows both a company's management and its outside analysts to better gauge the health of the company and of the EDA industry.
The article by Michiel Ligthart: Software Everybody Needs But Only Few Know How To Write (Well) describes the contributions to the EDA industry of a special group of companies. Electronic designers are, with few exceptions, unaware of their products, and yet the products play an essential role in the correct functioning of a number of EDA tools. These companies develop compilers, elaborators, interpreters, translators, and other utilities that are incorporated into a final EDA tool. They provide the computer science expertise required to deal with design languages and standards. They make a significant contribution to the efficiency and robustness of production design methods today.
The EDA Consortium (EDAC) offers important services to the EDA industry, and is a sponsor of DAC. In his Viewpoint: For The Common Good, Paul Cohen describes some of the activities of the Consortium. This is the third in a series of sponsor-supplied articles (ACM SIGDA and IEEE CEDA are the others), and you are encouraged to explore the benefits of membership in these important organizations that set the directions for our field.
The various committees active within EDAC carry on work that benefits all of its members, most of which would not have the internal resources to address critical issues individually. The approach not only puts experts at the service of the entire community, but lowers the cost to each member company of developing the required solutions. Editorial guidelines preclude Mr. Cohen from describing all of the benefits EDAC provides to its members (the EDAC member discount on DAC exhibit space, for example). Yet the work described in the article already more than justifies becoming a member of EDAC.
Recognizing the importance of DAC to the electronics industry, many technical societies and professional organizations have chosen to colocate their events with DAC. You can find the list of events and workshops in my article: DAC Attracts Numerous Colocated Events and Workshops. Topics as varied as Microelectronics Systems Education, Design for Test, Design for Manufacturability, and Bio-Design Automation will be discussed during the week. Space and time limitations make it impossible for even such a large conference as DAC to provide adequate coverage to all of the topics impacting both the present and future of our industry. Having such a number and variety of colocated events and workshops significantly improves the productivity of attendees.
Dr. Yervant Zorian has dedicated a significant amount of his time and talent to DAC for a number of years. The Republic of Armenia has chosen to bestow upon Dr. Zorian membership in its National Academy of Science. You can read the details in the article: The Republic of Armenia Recognizes Dr. Yervant Zorian.
The IEEE Council on EDA (CEDA) has several news items that are important to the industry and to DAC attendees. You can read about them in the article: News from DAC Sponsor IEEE Council on EDA (CEDA).
It is not too early to register for DAC and make your hotel reservations. It is easy to do this. Procrastination is not a trait of either the electronic industry or the EDA industry.
As usual, please send comments and suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.