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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 »

Tick tock goes the DAC clock

 
September 19th, 2014 by Anne Cirkel

Surely the biggest tech news since my last post is the new Apple Watch, finally announced September 9 after months of anticipation. I can’t add much to the volumes that have been written, except perhaps to issue my standard gentle reminder on behalf of our industry anytime a tech device makes a splash. Surely the new watch, and for that matter the two new iPhones that were part of the announcement, simply wouldn’t have been possible to design and test without EDA tools and expertise. The world may look at the watch and make declarations like this from Scott Stein and David Carnoy at CNET: “For fitness-lovers who want a smart connected workout device that plays music, the Apple Watch could be a slam dunk.” Or this from Farhad Manjoo at The New York Times: “The biggest news was about the old Apple: It’s back, and it’s more capable than ever.” Or even make parody videos that get the predictable millions of YouTube views (see below). Meanwhile I can’t help but think of all the hardware/software verification that Apple had to do before Tim Cook could take the stage.

Since tech news sites keep showing images of smartwatches, I’ve been thinking with increasing alarm of all the various DAC-related deadlines that loom. Now that we are a few months into the DAC year we are already feeling the press of the calendar. The biggest news: The call for contributions was announced this week. Abstracts are due November 21; manuscripts on December 2. Now really is the time to start thinking about DAC, and not just when it comes to paper submissions. Over on my official DAC blog, in my week 14 post I explain why it makes sense to sign up soon as an exhibitor or submit an idea for a panel, tutorial or workshop. (And for those of you who might be curious, in that same post I give data on how many papers came in on the day of the deadline last year.)

Indeed, the goal of my blogging on DAC.com and here on EDA Cafe remains to offer various ways you might influence or get involved with DAC. We’re specifically looking for help on our Local Committee for the Bay Area to help stir up enthusiasm in DAC’s backyard. Of course the Bay Area is home to arguably the world’s biggest concentration of design talent, all of whom I hope consider dropping by the conference, at least for a day. The wildly popular “I Love DAC” program, which allows people to attend general sessions and exhibits for free, will be back next year. If you want to visit some of the hottest tech companies in the Bay Area to help evangelize DAC, please contact Michelle Clancy, DAC’s publicity and marketing chair, introduced in my week 11 post. And don’t worry, we won’t send you empty handed. A few years back when DAC was in Austin, the local committee made a splash visiting Freescale and Samsung with its “DAC and Donuts” program. “DAC and Dessert” this time around?

We’re also specifically looking for help in reimagining the DAC Pavilion, which is the prominently featured stage on the main exhibit floor. In my week 12 post I explain how we’re moving our popular SKY (Short KeYnote) talks from the technical program, where they competed with other invited content and regular technical sessions and were open only to those with full conference passes, to the Pavilion. In the Pavilion SKY talks will be accessible to all attendees and our new plan is to schedule them during the two major daily breaks in the conference. The question is what anchor set of events would you like to see? Product teardowns have always proven popular and will likely be back, but which products would you like to see? (Okay, besides the Apple Watch.) And what else would you like to see in the Pavilion?

Despite our successful recent push into IP, security and automotive topics, DAC remains a unique venue for discussing cutting edge issues related to IC design, verification and manufacturing. Riding my Harley around Crater Lake this summer, I started musing about what might be lurking in the deep submicron below 10nm. I jotted down my thoughts in my week 13 post and included a short GoPro video captured from the helmet of my friend Terence, who joined me on the ride. Yes, some people may look at Crater Lake and see one of the prettiest National Parks in the American West. I think about multi-patterning technology, finFET transistors and the integration of CMOS with new technologies. The hazards of serving as DAC general chair, I guess!

But there are lots of benefits too, including working with a great group of colleagues on the executive committee. In fact, an EC team meeting here in Portland, Oregon is right around the corner. We’ll be starting the detailed planning of all invited content for the conference. So really, if you have any suggestions, now is a perfect time to send them in.

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