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Anne Cirkel
Anne Cirkel
Anne Cirkel is the General Chair for the 52nd DAC and a Senior Director for Technology Marketing at Mentor Graphics. Prior to joining Mentor Anne held marketing management positions at Analogy, Viewlogic, and Berner & Mattner. Anne holds a Master's degree in Business Administration with an … More »

I’m chairing DAC 52, and I want your help

July 16th, 2014 by Anne Cirkel

In the strange way that time passes, particularly in the world of tech, the 2014 Design Automation Conference is already feeling like ancient history. Was it really just last month that the Moscone Center exhibit hall was crammed with essentially all of major players in EDA? Whether or not you were there, you’re forgiven if you haven’t thought about DAC in the weeks since. In the last few weeks, the tech beat has continued to serve up big stories, including Amazon’s phone and Google’s Android everywhere announcements. It’s also the season of summer vacations. Oh yeah, and there was the small matter of a soccer tournament in Brazil.

In the years before I joined the DAC executive committee I often stopped thinking about DAC soon after leaving for the airport to head home to Portland. Not that it hasn’t always been a great show. It’s just that as is true for most attendees, the demands of my various day jobs always started to loom after several days away. This year and next, forgetting DAC is not an option for me because I’m the incoming general chair of next year’s conference. That is, in a very real way, DAC 52 is my job (or at least my second job), for the next 11 months.

Over on the DAC site, I’m blogging my way to next summer in San Francisco. My goal is to create some dialogue about the conference, still the biggest and most important in EDA. Or at the very least I’d like to keep DAC on your mind, at least occasionally, in the months ahead. When EDA Cafe asked if I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on the conference here, I quickly said yes, especially as publisher Sanjay Gangal seems okay with posts that are only loosely DAC-related. (No one ever said you couldn’t try to have a little fun as general chair too.)

Case in point are my week 4 and week 5 posts, in which I tried to string together a few comparisons between DAC and the World Cup, the latter of which I know nearly everyone has been thinking about for the last few weeks. (As a German fan still reveling in Sunday’s result, I figure I’m entitled to more than a bit of Fussball talk.) Besides, even in Brazil, there were more links to our industry than you might think.

Mario Götze

German midfielder Mario Götze with the FIFA World Cup Trophy, from his Twitter feed.

My friend and colleague Patrick Groeneveld, DAC 52 finance chair, points out that Mario Goetze, who scored the golden goal for Germany, comes from a family that almost certainly speaks the arcane language of EDA in addition to that of international soccer. Mario’s father is Juergen Goetze, an electrical engineering professor at TU Dortmund University working on signal processing and related topics. Before Mario did this, his dad wrote papers with titles like “VLSI Implementation of a Configurable IP Core for Quantized Discrete Cosine and Integer Transforms” and “A Practical NoC Design for Parallel DES Computation.”

Connections to EDA are everywhere, though it does occasionally feel like our $4 billion industry is nearly invisible, at least in comparison to many other tech sectors. This is somewhat ironic as it’s safe to say Amazon’s phone and Google’s Android push simply wouldn’t be possible without the tools and know-how our industry provides. One of my goals in blogging — and, more important, in chairing DAC 52 — is to point out and in fact strengthen some of these connections. Did you know, for example, that DAC 51 introduced new initiatives on security, IP and automotive technologies? We’ll continue these three initiatives at DAC 52, even as we attempt to simplify and streamline the conference next year. (Read my week 2 post for more on that.)

I’ll ask EDA Cafe readers the same question I’ve posed to my colleagues in the industry via casual conversations, emails, phone calls and the DAC site: What would you like to see at next year’s conference? Post a comment here or send a note through I promise to read and respond to each one. With your permission I might even use your thoughts as a topic for a future blog.

Social media is best for conversation, I know, and not for one-way communication. I’m just blogging for now but I might well try out other social services, including Twitter. And while I know I’m unlikely to garner as many followers as Mario Goetze, I do hope to hear from at least a few of you who are already looking beyond this summer. The next World Cup may still be four years away but DAC 52 will be here before you know it.


Category: DAC

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