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Posts Tagged ‘DAC’

#54DAC, 1: A Welcome from General Chair Michael ‘Mac’ McNamara

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

I’ve been attending DAC as an exhibitor since 1992, and serving on the executive committee since 2012.  I am thrilled to serve as General Chair for the 54th iteration of this grand conference. (And no it’s not too early to think about DAC; the call for contributions is open now.) Through the years I have seen some big industry changes, most driven by the increasingly powerful tools and automation that this conference has been about — growth that fueled my career, as well!

My first job was as a chip designer at TRW, Sunnyvale back in the 1980s, and we had our own fab in Virginia, and my officemate wrote and maintained our chip design tools, as was pretty typical in those days. I worked at a series of hardware startups after that; and then took all that experience in hand to build better chip design tools. At Chronologic I led the engineering team that built the VCS simulator; then I started Surefire, where we built the SureCov and SureLint verification tools; we merged with Verisity and then into Cadence, where my team developed C-to-Silicon synthesis tools.  If you’re curious, LinkedIn has most of the rest of the story, including the patents I’ve been issued.

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#53DAC, 7: Fly brains, trillion-transistor devices and tales from a Steve Jobs alum

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

All of a sudden it’s nearly the end of April, high time to switch from months to weeks (just six to go now!) in the countdown to DAC, which I can guarantee is going to be a great conference. One big reason I’m confident is that, as always, we have an excellent lineup of keynoters as worthy of a stage at TED or SxSW as at the world’s premier design automation conference. See my past posts on Peter Stone (Thursday keynote) and Lars Reger (Monday) for a refresher. And don’t forget the luminaries sandwiched between the two of them:

Tuesday back-to-back big thinkers will take the main stage. One is Louis Scheffer, a researcher at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Shcheffer has spent a lifetime studying whether it might be possible to reconstruct the nervous system, a challenge given the boggling complexity in even the simplest animals. The humble fly brain that Scheffer studies has about 100 million connections. The success of Scheffer and his colleagues in mapping a small fraction of those connections, the region of the fly’s brain that processes vision, warranted a 2013 publication in Nature, likely the world’s most prestigious scientific journal.
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#53DAC, 5: AI superstar Peter Stone to give Thursday keynote

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Autonomous bidding agents to robo-soccer | What good luck that Peter Stone, one of the world leaders in artificial intelligence (AI), is right here at UT Austin. Stone will give the Thursday keynote, an excellent reason for you to make sure to stay through the final day of the conference.

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#53DAC, 4: Announcing DAC’s First Art Show

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Every year DAC features something new. For the general chair, balancing tried and true conference elements with infusions of change is part of the art of putting on DAC and keeping it fresh. This year one change has to do with art itself — #53DAC features what I believe to be the first art show in the conference’s long history.

 

No, I’m not asking you to submit that painting you’ve been laboring over, perhaps with the help of last fall’s Bob Ross marathon on Twitch. Rather, this is a call for you to send in the best, most aesthetically interesting images associated with design automation today.

 

Examples include die photoshots of silicon designs, design floorplans and placemats, 3-D wiring or clock visualizations, lithographic images and thermal maps. But that list is just the starting point. Really, any image associated with how our community is helping to create the world’s astonishing array of electronic devices is welcome.

clustering-flops

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DAC Finds a New Voice

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Mike Gianfagna is the VP of marketing at eSilicon Corporation

DAC stands for Design Automation Conference. Everyone: please stop saying “the DAC conference”. This may not be as widespread as folks calling an automated teller machine an ATM machine, but it’s still odd. But I digress…

This year, the 53rd DAC will be held in Austin, Texas starting June 5. I’ve been going to DAC for more years than I will ever put in writing. I’ve seen some marvelous things unveiled at this show. Innovations that impact IC design and manufacturing typically. This year will be different though.

shutterstock_170871293

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Why the DAC Designer Track is the best deal in town

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Memorial Day has come and gone, which means two things: summer is here and DAC is officially upon us. In just over a week the doors will open at Moscone Center with a blockbuster designer keynote: Brian Otis, director of Google’s smart contact lens project. Brian, the first Googler to ever take DAC’s main stage, is just one reason to consider registering for the designer and IP tracks if you haven’t already. Others include access to great lineup of marketing-free, engineer-to-engineer sessions, daily networking receptions (yes, you grown-up undergrads, there will be lots of free food and drink), the rest of the keynotes (did you know DAC is also welcoming a MacArthur genius this year?) and of course the exhibit floor. Not bad for just $95.

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EDA’s momentum reflected in DAC’s record breaking year

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Times are good in EDA. 2014 was a record revenue year for our industry, according to an April 13 EDAC announcement. Several technology areas (IC physical design and semiconductor IP) and geographies (the Americas and Asia-Pacific) experienced double digit growth in Q4. The number of people working in EDA is on the rise, too: a total of 31,735 employees at companies EDAC tracks in Q4 2014, compared to 29,880 employees a year earlier. This rising tide is lifting all boats — including #52DAC, which I invite you to register for today if you haven’t already.

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Breaking DAC records

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

In tech it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that you’re either growing or dying, on the way up or on the way out. I poked modest fun at Apple in an earlier post, but their latest financial results certainly illustrate the point. By now you’ve probably heard that Apple’s $18 billion quarterly profit was the largest ever reported by a public company. At DAC, we may not be selling 34,000 iPhones per hour around the clock for three straight months (wow!), but we are setting our own records.

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Tick tock goes the DAC clock

Friday, September 19th, 2014

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.

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Turning thoughts to DAC during summer’s dog days

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Here in Portland summer is in full swing. Outdoor tables are full at the restaurants in my neighborhood and there are more people on the trails in Forest Park where I walk my two Miniature Schnauzers most mornings. And this time of year it’s more than feet that wander. Even as I hurry to keep up with the dogs, my mind is often rambling elsewhere, often to matters related to DAC. Some of these musings are making it into my efforts to blog my way to next year’s conference, weekly on the DAC site and monthly here on EDA Café.

Anne Cirkel's two Miniature Schnauzers, Diesel and Kismet.

My two Mini Schnauzers, Diesel and Kismet, who usually set the pace during my morning walks in Portland’s Forest Park.

I know at this point most people are thinking, DAC? That’s a lifetime away. But as general chair for DAC 52, I’m often brought up short during my morning strolls by realizations like this: We have just 10 months to plan this conference! Suffice it to say there is lots to do and, summer and eating and trekking aside, those of us on the executive committee haven’t been idle.

Last week, a few of us met in Louisville, Colorado to audit the 2014 conference and begin budget planning for DAC 52. Yes, it’s a somewhat tedious process to go through expense reports, vendor bills and registration data. However, we take this work seriously, understanding that we’re merely stewards of a conference that has been going on since the days of time-sharing on mainframes. Indeed, just as time-sharing has morphed into cloud computing and the Internet of Things, now among the hottest topics in technology, DAC has proven remarkably adept at staying relevant and even reinventing itself through the years. All of us on the executive committee want this to continue on our watch.

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