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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 »

Report from Austin: BBQ, DAC, and Portable Stimulus

June 9th, 2016 by Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing

We’ve just wrapped up the 53rd annual Design Automation Conference (DAC), held for just the second time in Austin. As we mentioned in our show preview last week, Breker was founded in Austin so it’s always nice to return to our roots. With its live music, countless good BBQ joints, and sense of history, Austin is always a fun place to visit. The city has a large high-tech workforce, so we expected crowds similar to those in San Francisco or San Diego.

To be honest, the exhibition floor looked rather quiet at times. With the wide aisles and many attendees clustered around the Big Three EDA vendors and those booths with entertainment or giveaways, other parts of the floor seemed forgotten. Fortunately, our booth was on the major cross aisle and we had the industry momentum around portable stimulus in our favor, so we had a very good show. We’ll discuss our results as we fill in a few highlights from the four days we were there.

As usual, Sunday night featured the 27th annual update on the EDA industry from Gary Smith EDA, presented by Laurie Balch. This was the first update since Gary passed away, but the talk was very well attended so the tradition lives on. The main point made was that EDA needs to expand into adjacent domains or risk players in those domains moving into ours. The first part is clear given EDA’s current slow growth, but not all the attendees agreed about the risk of encroachment by others.

Breker Hanging Sign

Monday was a good day on the exhibition floor, not as crowded as the old days of “Free Mondays” at DAC but we still talked to a number of interesting companies. For the first time, we invested in a big hanging sign so that no one who was looking for Breker, or for companies offering portable stimulus solutions, would have trouble finding us. We were pleased with both the number and interest level of the engineers who visited us.

Monday was also Tutorial Day at DAC. We co-organized “How Portable Stimulus Addresses Key Verification, Test Reuse, and Portability Challenges” and our CEO Adnan Hamid was one of the five presenters. The audience asked numerous good questions, showing that they were engaged and intrigued by this relatively new evolution in functional verification.

Tuesday was probably the busiest day on the show floor, including some excellent discussions with people who had attended the tutorial and wanted to know more about our solutions and how we could help them verify their most complex designs. As always, we were impressed by the range of innovative products the electronics industry continues to develop. We noted that we had several inquiries about analog/mixed-signal verification, one of the possible future directions for portable stimulus.

At the first DAC in Austin in 2013, we hosted a river cruise for customers, attendees, partners, and members of the press. We had such a great time that we planned to do it again, but the weather did not entirely cooperate. Heavy rain caused high water and significant flooding, resulting in all boats being banned from the river. So we had a (docked) boat party instead and had a great time anyway. We’d like to thank those of you who were able to join us for this event.

On Wednesday we went from flood to fire, as DAC was interrupted by a fire alarm and the Convention Center was evacuated for a time. Apparently either a hanging light or the motor for a rotating hanging sign began smoking from a small electrical fire and so the area was cleared until the problem could be resolved. This didn’t put a damper on our day at all; we still had some great discussions and wound up the show on a very positive note.

Our only regret was that we were too busy in our booth to break free and attend more than a couple of the interesting sessions that we mentioned in our first post about this year’s technical program. Otherwise, we had a lot of fun, gathered some very promising leads for new users, and observed that “portable stimulus” is clearly a big draw. That’s all good, because DAC returns to Austin for 2017. Thanks again if you stopped by this week, and we look forward to seeing you all in the Texas Capital next year.

Tom A.

The truth is out there … sometimes it’s in a blog.

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