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 The Breker Trekker
Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson is vice president of Marketing for Breker Verification Systems. He previously served as Product Management Group Director for Advanced Verification Solutions at Cadence, Technical Marketing Director in the Verification Group at Synopsys and Vice President of Applications Engineering at … More »

Guest Post: A Look at DAC through Ray-Bans

August 12th, 2013 by Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing

The electronics industry is still buzzing over the first Design Automation Conference (DAC) held in Austin in June. Bob Smith, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Uniquify, offers his perspective:

The Uniquify team looked at this year’s DAC through the Ray-Ban-like sunglasses we used as giveaways and liked what we saw. Exhibitors had cautious optimism prior to this year’s conference and Austin didn’t disappoint. All in all, everyone seemed delighted to be in the capital of the Lone Star State.

We talked with a steady stream of attendees, many of whom were DAC newcomers, who stopped by our main booth to learn more about our variation-aware DDR memory subsystem IP and our ASIC and SoC design services offerings. Even Wednesday, the last day of the exhibition, was quite busy with visits from many senior-level managers. Our informal poll indicated that there are new design starts and the industry outlook is much like Austin’s weather during DAC: sunny and hot.

We heard much of the same from other exhibitors. For example, our partners’ booths, where I spent part of each day doing presentations and talking with attendees, were busy and active all three days. Obviously, ChipEstimate, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Samsung Electronics and TSMC are recognizable companies with whom DAC attendees want to meet.

Many of the attendees were on a mission and hungry to find tools, IP and vendors able to help them. The designers we met all seemed intent on finding ways to meet their goals and all had a similar refrain: the need to create chips more easily and faster with better results.

With the percentage of IP content in a typical SoC reaching 70% or more, it’s no surprise that attendees had IP vendors’ booths circled on their floor maps, including Uniquify’s. Improving the DDR subsystem design to solve a fundamental system yield and reliability problem made us a popular destination. We demonstrated high-performance, variation-aware DDR memory subsystem IP with innovative circuitry—SCL (self-calibrating logic) and dynamic SCL for real-time static and dynamic variations—to measure precise timing windows and automatically adjust them for each system.

What’s DAC without a bit of levity and a place to relax? Many attendees took us up on our offer to play a round of iPong at our secondary booth we called the Chill Zone. The booth was directly across from the DAC Pavilion where we saw a range of thought-provoking panels, including the ever-popular Hogan’s Heroes moderated by Jim Hogan. If we had one suggestion for DAC, it would be to schedule more pavilion panels on IP. It’s a topic of conversation with almost all attendees.

Uniquify is a company made up of close to 100 mostly technical employees who work hard but like to unwind and have fun at the end of the day. What better way to unwind than to be the “Willie Nelson” sponsor of the Jim Hogan Heart of Technology’s HOT Zone within the Kickin’ It Up in Austin party? Our specialty drink was the Uniquitini, a delicious version of the Martini.

The view of DAC we saw through our Ray-Bans was a well-attended conference with something for everyone in electronic design. Austin was a welcoming host. San Francisco will be, too, next year and Uniquify will be there.

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2 Responses to “Guest Post: A Look at DAC through Ray-Bans”

  1. Bob Gardner - EDAC says:

    Thanks for the positive comments regarding DAC. Hope to see you all in San Francisco, Moscone, in 2014 & 2015, and with some luck, possibly back in Austin in 2016.

    Bob Gardner
    EDA Consortium

  2. Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing, Breker Verification Systems says:

    Thanks for the comment, Bob. If you haven’t read the older posts in The Breker Trekker, I invite you to do so. We have several other posts looking back at DAC in Austin, and I’d be very interested in your reaction to my proposal to rename DAC and EDA.

    Tom A.

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