Nose around the design automation industry a bit and you’re sure to find mention of the goal to “shift left.” Basically the idea is to try to solve problems and add value earlier in the design cycle. Engineers usually first stitch together basic functional blocks of whatever they are building before moving on to higher level system integration and software tasks. Turns out this isn’t a bad metaphor for conference planning. Like chips and ICs, conferences work best when the essential elements (in this case, marquee presenters and core technical content) are in place early. I can safely report this is more or less true now for DAC 52—which is slated to be simply amazing when it’s finally “launched” this summer.