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Archive for October, 2009

Jim Hogan, Paul McLellan ponder the future of design, silicon platforms…and EDA

Monday, October 26th, 2009

A quick note:   Jim Hogan and Paul McLellan (no slouches in knowledge and expertise)  will be talking – and talking with the audience – about the future of chip design and silicon platforms from now til 2020.

This event will be held during ICCAD, on Monday, November 2, from 3 -4 pm in the Silicon Valley Room at the Double Tree Hotel, 2050 Gateway Place, San Jose 95110.

From what Liz Massingill and I hear, Jim and Paul will put several topics on the table for discussion:

__which silicon platform will become pre-dominant, ASIC or FPGA

__the role of software signoff in a traditionally-hardware world

__how these changes will affect the semiconductor supply chain (e.g., with EDA, semiconductor equipment)

This is a co-located event at ICCAD so if yo were not planning to attend ICCAD,  there’s no need to register for this event.

DAC’10…capturing the WHOLE essence, revitalizing the role of the traditional press

Monday, October 12th, 2009

(Sean Murphy, Liz Massingill and I conclude our conversation about how DAC’10 could improve.)

Sean: There are two different trends at work here, one is that we are becoming more “real time” and connected, the other is that print media and traditional journalism is withering. I do think they   interact – and perhaps reinforce – one another.

Liz: Could the press be resisting? Sean, I’d like to see the press interact more with the bloggers.

Ed: Two years ago, reporters saw bloggers as a major threat, veritable Matt Drudges that sullied the sanctity of objective reporting. This year, the reporters see bloggers as opinion makers who work off the basic reporting that the few remaining reporters do. There’s a great potential interaction there.

Liz: True. And some reporters also blog.

Ed: That’s true, Liz. We are talking in big, broad strokes, and segregating reporters and bloggers into strictly defined camps. The reality is, reporters are also bloggers. So I think we’re talking more about the traditional reporting role. Not so much the evolving nature of the reporter/blogger. How many major reporters? In the US, I can count them on one hand. In the US and Japan? Maybe 6 or seven. US, Japan, Europe? Maybe 9, 10?

Sean: So compared to ten years ago one-third to one-quarter of the number of press attendees?

Ed: Easily a third. Probably a quarter. And the remaining press are getting older. One columnist has long noted that we have no new reporters coming into EDA. How come?

Liz: So with fewer and fewer traditional press, there has to be an acceptance of the bloggers.

Ed: You have that middle group who sees the need for change and are trying to form a hybrid reporter/blogger identity. We all need bloggers, but I’m not sure bloggers will be the foundation for basic reporting. So my question: will basic reporting go away?

Liz: I certainly hope not.

Sean: Liz, I think to your earlier point, bloggers are accepted. Look at Atrenta inviting them, Synopsys now invites several to their press functions. Cadence hired Goering to blog. Synopsys, Mentor, Cadence have all unleashed dozens of their employees to start blogging and are highlighting it from their home pages.

Liz: It is a trend. But I think we also still need the more objective reporting to balance out the bloggers.

Sean: I think the way that you are going to get objectivity is through multiple reports. I think there are probably at least two dozen bloggers who feel an obligation to their audience to be objective.

Ed: But the bloggers’ very nature is to render an opinion. By definition, the opinion, while legitimate, isn’t objective. One could argue that same point with reporters, but there’s a presumption that reporters try to report without injecting an opinion or slant into the article. At least, in the US.

So Sean, it’ll be up to the reader to digest many many blogs, articles, etc and then come up with his or her own interpretation? More or less, that’s what we do now and did before…except that there no longer is that authoritative editorial voice to point to any longer.

Liz: Well, for sure, bloggers don’t want press releases. It’s crazy that so many PR people do mail bloggers with what the bloggers have always said they do not want!

Ed: Ok, So if we were to sum up our thoughts, we’d suggest to DAC that

1) they find a way to capture the essence of the conference…and that is NOT restricted to papers;

2) CC brought an energy and momentum to DAC that ought to be replicated;

3) the press room needs to become a place of activity, not of refuge;

4) the press engage those EDA folks who need to know what the press needs in order to do their reporting job.

Maybe that would help redefine the reporting job and possibly resurrect that very necessary function.

– end –

Changing DAC for 2010

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

(Sean Murphy, Liz Massingill and I continue our conversation about what DAC ought to change to keep up with the social media-infused times. Part two or three.)

Sean: I would like to come back to Liz’s sense of excitement and what she wants to capture /preserve about Conversation Central (CC).

Liz: Here’s an example of the vastly different philosophies that differentiated CC from the press room. In the press room, they had refreshments. But it was just for the press…..not open to the rest of us, like CC was. CC, by contrast, offered refreshments and snacks to everyone. What was CC’s message? It welcomed everyone who was interested in the social media role.

Sean: So, strength/limits to CC was that it’s a small conversation. One thing that the FGPA summit did last year was to run a dinner event with about a dozen round tables where at each table there was a conversation on a posted topic

Liz: I love that idea.

Sean: What else made CC different that we should build on?

Liz: I just liked having an agenda. There were planned activities that were posted for all to see.

Sean: Having someone who nominally was a facilitator was helpful as well.

Liz: The mini-lectures with discussion afterward were the best. All of us got involved, all of us gave our opinion, from our own points of view. Inclusion is the key to buzz, momentum, value. CC brought that. So knowledgeable participants, facilitation, open access is what CC brought to the DAC formula that was new, and valuable.

Sean: Another question: should other vendors run their own CCs as well? In other words, instead of trying to centralize it, should many vendors offer a similar engagement model

Ed: Not sure I understand. So no central forum like CC was, but parcel out the CC function to vendors CC?

Sean: On the surface, it could get dis-unified at DAC’10, as we try to figure out how/what bloggers will be in the EDA/DAC world.

Ed: Even if different vendors have their own CC, there still ought to be a central CC to discuss trends, issues, roles, the changing nature of EDA, DAC. I don’t think you’d get that in vendor CCs, and even if you did, there’d be no central forum to parcel it out to interested parties like a centralized CC would. Maybe that’s the differentiation. A central CC for industry wide issues. Vendor CCs for their own stuff.

Liz: I think there needs to be a central forum, and probably not hosted by an individual vendor.

Ed: Sean, what’s your two cents on the central CC and vendor CCs?

Sean: I think the Atrenta blogfest was an effort to a do a one-off CC and I think we need more like that next year

Ed: So Sean, we could see vendor CCs in Anaheim? Will Synopsys take on the central CC next year? And will you play as prominent a role as you did this year? Clearly, we all agree that a central CC s needed.

Liz: CC was a rousing success and has an indelible place in DAC. That’s where change seems to be recognized for EDA. That is what DAC exists to encourage, right?

Sean: I think Synopsys will do another CC, but that over the next two or three years it may be captured by their marketing people and become something else, a vendor CC, if you will.

Liz: How will DAC, which run the press room, feel if Synopsys runs a central CC again?

Ed: Well, DAC runs the press room and gives the press room a mandate…or should. So far, for the last 20-plus years or so, the press room’s been that sanctuary for press. Liz, you spoke about how isolated the press room, and press, were from the action.

We’re in a period when the very existence of the press gets called into question. What can or will the EDA press do to stake a claim in the changing EDA landscape?

You’d think that they’d declare their role from the highest mountain top and put in place some sort of program to prove that they are resilient, vital and essential to EDA. But that press room was a morgue, when contrasted with the activity at CC. Granted, there have been so many press layoffs.

What the press room needs to do is – like you say, Liz – become part of the conference, not to seek sanctuary from it. They do need to help educate PR folks, marcoms, startup people who don’t know a thing about what reporters need. They need to enliven their sanctuary, become active, stop being passive. Of course, this is something the press and DAC needs to discuss and decide on. But given its current state, if nothing changes, then the press room will indeed cede its function to a central CC.

Basically, they need to become an educational, conversational forum, just like CC was this year. Actually, it’d help the press room a lot if they welcomed the bloggers and imitated the hugely successful educational program CC put on.

– end of part 2 –

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