On to Anaheim: A 46th DAC Wrap-Up
It was only six and a half weeks ago that the 46th DAC closed in San Francisco. Designers, CAD engineers, and EDA R&D, marketing and sales folks have been back in their respective worlds of tapeouts and code freezes, product launches and purchase orders. Academics, analysts and members of the press have returned to their usual pursuits. Somewhere along the way, one hopes that there have been opportunities to decompress - maybe even take a vacation.
DAC renews itself - quite literally - each year. Within a few weeks, the 46th DAC books will be closed, with any surplus or deficit shared equally by the three DAC sponsors. Into a new bank account and a new ledger the life cycle of the 47th DAC will be etched: receipts for exhibitor booth space, payments for marketing and publicity and management services, payments for travel and IT, payments to convention centers and exhibit contractors, receipts for registration fees, and so on. Committees have been renewed. Calls for submissions, proposals, and participation are now being finalized.
With this issue of DACeZine, the Design Automation Conference continues a decades-old tradition of 'wrapping up' one year, and clearing decks for the next year. And as the 46th DAC general chair, I was tagged with this "guest editor" position. Regrettably, I could not come up with a catchy title for this issue. ("Quo Vadis, DAC"? "Channeling Gabe Moretti"? Catchy titles are clearly not my forte.) But fortunately, as word spread of my predicament, a number of colleagues from across the community stepped up to contribute content for your enjoyment and enlightenment.
People stepping up from across the community ... Companies stepping up from across the industry. This is how the 46th DAC made it across the finish line in the face of a down economy, a looming H1N1 swine flu pandemic, and late July timing. These challenges made it clear very early on that DAC would have to deliver more and better in 2009 in order to attract anywhere close to its usual audience. It was very gratifying to see how the DAC community came together and delivered in 2009.
Every year, one foundation of DAC's success is its strong technical program. Authors wrote hundreds of paper submissions. Reviewers and committee members spent thousands of hours in review and deliberation, and wrote thousands of paper reviews. The result: 186 regular paper and special session presentations in the technical program. In this issue, you will find summaries of two very hot technical topics: Ruchir Puri and Dennis Sylvester recap the special session on 22nm futures, and Patrick Madden recaps the special session on Multicore and EDA.
Another foundation of DAC's success is its industry-leading exhibition. What was new and different on the show floor this year? Laura Parker gives her (and Mentor Graphics') perspective on the exhibition. Another fascinating perspective is given by Frank Nemec, a long-time IBMer who like Rip Van Winkle returned to DAC after a six-year absence, and then wrote down his impressions of how things changed in the interim.
DAC is also unique in its ability to deliver the entire 'life cycle' of design technology, from futuristic need to leading-edge research to startup to production flow. DAC has achieved this through colocated events and workshops, tutorials, panels, technical conference, and trade show - and is always evolving both scope and mechanisms (the IC Design Central pavilion, the Management Day, the Exhibitor Forum, etc.). This year, the voice of the tool user was added to DAC, via the new User Track. In this issue, Leon Stok and Soha Hassoun, co-organizers of the inaugural (and very successful) User Track, summarize feedback from two of the 38 User Track poster presenters.
Finally, DAC is all about networking. It is, truly, "the meeting place" each year for the IC design and design automation communities. And, in and of itself, DAC is a community - a fact more apparent in 2009 than at any other time in recent memory. That nearly 8,000 people came to the Moscone Center is a shared triumph of the community and the willingness of its members to reach out and support each other. ACM SIGDA and DAC sponsored scholarships for unemployed engineers. EDAC sponsored the return of Free Monday. In this issue, David Lin describes the emotions and ties associated with DAC that gave rise to the "I Love DAC" campaign. Karen Bartleson writes about the new and emerging roles of social media in the EDA world, which promises to keep us better-connected and better-aware, any time and any place. And Pankaj Mayor contributed a warm Letter to the Editor.
This signoff from the 2009 DAC could not be complete without acknowledging the three DAC sponsors - ACM, EDAC, and IEEE - who provided tremendous support for the 2009 conference amidst so many challenges. News of the 2009 Kaufman Award (co-sponsored by EDAC and IEEE), and an update from SIGDA, round out this issue.
It is only 38 and a half weeks until the 47th DAC will open in Anaheim ... See you there!