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 The Breker Trekker

Archive for May, 2013

A Matched Pair of Panels at DAC in Austin

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

In my previous post on Breker activities at the upcoming Design Automation Conference (DAC) in Austin, I mentioned two verification panels. I’d like to dig a bit deeper on these two panels to encourage EDACafe reader to attend them and also mention a third of possible interest to verification engineers. As a member of this year’s DAC Pavilion Panel Committee, I have a vested interest in seeing a great turnout.

The two panels are:

  • “Organizational and Management Solutions to the Verification Crisis” pavilion panel to be held 1:30-2:30pm on Tuesday, June 4 in the DAC Pavilion Theater (Booth 509)
  • “Disruptive Verification Technologies: Can They Really Make a Difference?” technical panel to be held 9:00-10:30am on Wednesday, June 5 in Room 16AB

Although DAC has distinct committees for pavilion and technical panels, in practice these two groups work closely together to ensure a strong overall program. The two verification panels above were carefully coordinated so that they address complementary aspects of the “crisis” in which verification is taking up an ever-larger percentage of chip and system development time.


Blog Post, Shall I Compare Thee to a Magazine’s Lifespan?

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

There’s been some discussion recently in various blogs and forums about the value of print versus digital media for technical publications. Of course this is just a microcosm of a massive shift occurring in the publication industry overall, but I’m going to focus for this post on the sort of technical information once found in physical magazines, industry trade papers, and printed catalogs. All that began to change in the mid 90s as the World Wide Web gained traction and today we live in a very different world than we did just 20 years ago.

A lot of the recent discussion is tied to the decision by technical publisher heavyweight UBM to discontinue print copies of its magazines effective July 1. This was not a huge surprise since UBM stopped printing Electronic Engineering Times late last year. However, that publication had already gone through many changes and no longer much resembled its familiar erstwhile tabloid format. But EDN has been a part of my magazine pile almost since I became an engineer, and more recently Design News and InformationWeek have been part of my regular reading. Apparently Test and Measurement World will no longer exist even in digital form. I will miss all of them.

Of course, I get the majority of my technical and business information online. I subscribe to dozens of different digests, perusing them each morning to catch up on the industry and to cherry-pick interesting items related to SoC verification for tweeting to Breker followers. I’ve never attempted to count them up, but I probably read ten times as many words online every week as I do in print publications. So why have I kept my print subscriptions to the UBM magazines as well as Electronic Design, Chip Design, several ACM and IEEE publications, and more?


Come Celebrate DAC’s 50th Anniversary with Breker

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

If you follow EDA at all, you’re surely familiar with the Design Automation Conference (DAC). This is the biggest annual show for the industry, combining a world-class technical program with a lively and comprehensive trade show. If any company in EDA does not exhibit at DAC, rumors of serious financial troubles or even imminent death are sure to circulate. Of course Breker is very much alive and very supportive of DAC. We’ve been there for several years now, but this year in Austin June 2-6 will be special for many reasons. Please allow me to explain.

For a start, this is the 50th anniversary of DAC and its predecessor conferences, so there is a big party at Austin City Limits and a number of other special events. This is also Breker’s 10th anniversary, so we’re celebrating at DAC as never before. Furthermore, this is the first time that DAC has ever been held in the high-tech hotspot of Austin, so there will be lots of new things to do and see even for long-time DAC attendees such as me. On top of that, Breker was founded in Austin and was headquartered there until moving to Silicon Valley two years ago. As one of the few EDA companies “born in Austin” we’re excited to return for this big show.


What Would Joe Say?

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

I’m dropping a bonus post in the middle of our usual two-week schedule to share some thoughts about Joe Costello’s talk with Jim Hogan at a special EDAC event last night. For those who may not follow EDA as intently as we do:

  • EDAC is the Electronic Design Automation Consortium, the main trade group for the EDA industry
  • Jim Hogan is a well-known EDA investor and entrepreneur
  • Joe Costello is the former President and CEO of Cadence, now leading Orb Networks

These facts don’t capture the almost mythical role that Joe Costello plays in the EDA industry.  I joined Cadence long after he had departed, but in my five years there I’ll bet I heard his name brought up nearly every week. His stint as the head of Cadence is inextricably intertwined with the glory days of the EDA industry. Many are nostalgic for those days and many have urged him to come back to the EDA fold. He has done so to some extent through his investments.


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