FPGA and PCB Design, DAC Scholarships for Unemployed, Program Available and Registration Open
This issue of DACeZine offers articles addressing important segments of the EDA industry: FPGA design and Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design. The use of FPGA devices has increased considerably in the last couple of years. The devices themselves have tracked well the increase in number of available gates offered by the advances in process technology. And the new devices are also measurably faster than previous ones. At the same time the non-recurring costs to develop an ASIC device have grown to the point that they are a real barrier to the commercial viability of some projects, forcing companies to use FPGAs instead. The result has been that the market for EDA tools supporting FPGA devices has increased in value. Synopsys has recognized the trend and acquired Synplicity, while Mentor, historically the leader in the market, has increased its investment in the sector as well. The article by Doug Amos of Synopsys: "FPGAs in 2009: A Great Leap Forward … or a Leap in the Dark?" discusses some of the aspects in the rise of utilization of FPGA devices.
GateRocket's Dave Orecchio provides a viewpoint on the challenges of at-speed verification of FPGA designs. In his article "FPGA Design Made Easy?" Dave describes both the problem and a solution offered by his company.
Although some look at PCB design as a "low technology" activity, it is a fact that most of the problems caused by parasitic effects that impact the design of an IC are also present in PCB design. Signal integrity, power distribution, layout optimization, and manufacturing constraints, just to name a few examples, are issues that must be solved by PCB designers. Cadence and Mentor, companies that together own the majority of the PCB design market, will both exhibit at DAC. Steve Kaufer of Mentor covers the issue of Power-Integrity Analysis in his article "The Mainstreaming of Power-Integrity Analysis."
Nominations are open for the Phil Kaufman Award. Read the details in the article: Nominations Open for EDA Industry's Annual Phil Kaufman Award.
As we are getting closer to the opening of the 46th DAC, various parts of the conference are getting finalized. One thing that is new this year is the opportunity for attendees to choose the subject for a panel to be held in the Pavilion on Wednesday, July 29 at 10:00am. You can read the details in the article "Have a say in the DAC Pavilion Panels!" Vote for a Panel you would most like to see.
Registration for the conference is now open and you can also make your hotel reservations. Hotel rooms always go fast, so it is wise not to wait until the last minute. The open letter by Andrew B. Kahng, General Chair of the 46th DAC, titled "Welcome to the New 46th DAC Website, and an Invitation…" gives you both details of the event and reasons, if you still need them, to attend.
One of the ways that the DAC Committee is helping the industry is to offer a number of scholarships to integrated circuit (IC) design and electronic design automation (EDA) engineers who are between jobs and without personal resources or corporate support for their DAC attendance. The article "46th Design Automation Conference to Offer Engineering Scholarship Program" provides all of the needed details about DAC's support and the additional grant from ACM/SIGDA for current ACM/SIGDA members.
Panels are a key part of the DAC program and are always very popular with attendees. The article "Panel Sessions Explore Range of Topics Affecting Chip Design, Technology Business" gives you information about the topics being discussed by leaders of the industry during the conference, both in the Technical Panels as well as in the DAC Pavilion.
As usual, please send comments and suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.