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Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

Design West: Center of the Engineering Universe

March 28th, 2012 by Peggy Aycinena

The folks who run Design West, happening this week at the San Jose Convention Center, modestly call it the Center of the Engineering Universe. In truth, they may not be so far off.

The show used to be Embedded Systems, parts of which still survive therein, but now it’s really so much more. Design West today includes tracks entitled Android, Black Hat, DesignMED, Designing with LEDs, Multicore, and Sensors in Design – some of which used to be shows in themselves. Now they’re all living side-by-side under one Big Top, and seeming to enjoy the synergy.

With well over 200 exhibitors, and over 300 sessions, that synergy seems to translates into energy and the conference is well worth the visit. Don’t expect to find a single focus for the show, however, which is not surprising given the breadth of topic material.

To confirm that impression, I asked numerous people in the very crowded Press Room what the show was about. There were three types of answers:

1) The show is an opportunity for UBM to pull together disparate pieces of their conference portfolio, capitalize on economies of scale, and benefit from that synergy/energy thing.

2) The show is about embedded systems with those other things – hardware security, LEDs, multicore stuff, and sensors – thrown in to spice things up.

3) Anything that doesn’t operate with some sort of keyboard and screen is an embedded system, ergo anything is possible and/or probable at Design West.

That’s why the San Jose Convention Center is awash this week in everything from next gen automobiles, to hardware cryptography and hardware/software partitioning, MEMS, Smart grids, FPGAs and RTOSs, a Playstation tear down, a Chevy Volt teardown, Intel’s whacky Industrial Music Machine, big semiconductor booths, small software and/or consulting booths, lots of in-between sized booths, including Synopsys, Cadence, and Mentor Graphics, and tutorials on everything from programming in C++, to how to be more of an entrepreneur.

Everything at Design West is designed to either to demonstrate the greatness of the companies on hand, or to showcase the greatness of the customers those companies sell into.

Design West is indeed the Center of the Engineering Universe. Or it’s DAC.

Same content. Same size. Better location.

chevy volt

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