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 What Would Joe Do?
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at www.aycinena.com. She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

D&VCon: A labor of love for Krolikoski & Co.

 
February 13th, 2014 by Peggy Aycinena

If ever there was a year when you thought to attend DVCon, this should be it, according to a recent phone call with Cadence Fellow Stan Krolikoski, serving as General Chair for the second year in a row. That’s because DVCon 2014 will be serving up the D and the V in equal measure, and won’t be skewed towards the V in DVCon as it has been [perhaps] in the past.

Per Stan, “We’ve gotten feedback every year from attendees that they want more emphasis on design. They say they like verification, but they want more design, so last year I gave marching orders to the Technical Program Committee [headed by Paradigm Works’ Ambar Sarkar] that they should add more people on the review committee who represent design.

“It’s actually been a long time in coming. Although last year was the 25th anniversary of the conference, 10 years ago the name was changed to DVCon. Prior to that, it was HDLCon and the content reflected that name. When the name was changed to DVCon it was supposed to include both design and verification, but [functional verification emerged as the larger focus].”

That focus meant that those types of experts tended to dominate attendance, according to Stan, but that’s been fixed this year: “We will still have excellent functional verification sessions at DVCon – everything for the beginner through to the guru, it’s all there – but we will also have sessions on low-power design, on analog/mixed signal, and on system-level design, as well as IP integration. We’re clearly moving away from just verification in adding lots of design content to the program that’s of interest to our audience.”

On a different topic, I asked Stan about the scheduling conflict this year between DVCon happening at the DoubleTree in San Jose from March 3rd to 6th, and ISQED happening at the Santa Clara Convention Center from March 3rd to 5th – the two conferences possibly duking it out for the first time for attendance.

Stan said the overlap is a reality, but it’s also not really a problem: “It’s true, typically DVCon takes place in the last week of February, but this year that wasn’t possible at the DoubleTree. Nonetheless, ISQED is more focused on the design chain at the circuit level, whereas DVCon is more focused on the RTL and above.”

Okay, so how about one of the most-anticipated events each year at DVCon, the Thought Leaders Panel? For many years it was moderated by John Cooley, I had a hand at it in 2009, and since that time JL Gray – formerly at Verilab and now a Senior Architect at Cadence – has been at the helm. Stan said JL will be organizing the panel again this year, but Extension Media’s John Blyler will at the podium on Wednesday, March 5th.

Stan also noted that the 2014 panel will be particularly excellent, “because it’s going to include some very high-level verification people – among them, Mentor’s Harry Foster and Synopsys’ Janick Bergeron – and it will highlight a discussion linking the verification and the design process.”

“As would be expected given our new re-emphasis on design,” he added.

Always a dicey question for the conference chair, I asked Stan which DVCon sessions here in 2014 will be of special interest to him. He answered reluctantly.

“We’re having several system-level design sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday which will be very interesting, focusing on SystemC and the SoC, where functional verification has a major role in the design. Those sessions certainly go back to my roots, so I am happy to point them out, along with the Tuesday session on hardware-software co-verification.”

Stan emphasized, however, that the entire DVCon schedule is interesting and full of excellent content. He also pointed out that the conference this year will be showcasing a record number of exhibitors, a total of 40.

“These guys don’t show up and pay for a booth at a conference like this,” he said, “unless they know that quality people will be attending. This year, the exhibit hall is full, and we’ve got so many exhibitors they’re going to be spilling out into the hallway.”

Among those exhibitors, 13 first-timers and 9 who are international, which per Stan offers additional evidence of the quality of the conference, along with the expanded exhibit hours – Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during the all-important cocktail hour after the regular sessions have ended.

Those robust exhibitor numbers and hours, plus the fact that Monday’s content offers a full day focused on Accellera – an update on UVM, a focus on low power, a discussion of the historical connection to IEEE standards in the areas of analog/mixed-signal design, and a lunchtime “town hall meeting” on mixed-signal design – all point to the fact that DVCon 2014 is a must-attend event.

Stan Krolikoski & Co. have been associated with DVCon for a long time and they want people to know that the conference continues to cling to its differentiation from other confabs.

“The difference between us and the larger conferences,” Stan said, “has not happened by mistake. It has always been our idea to create an environment where people can chat about heavy technical topics in an intimate environment – not the huge stages that [characterize conferences] like DAC.

“At DVCon, you can hear excellent talks and visit with vendors you may never have seen before talking about their products and maybe even meeting with their CEO.

“For all of us leading DVCon, this is a total labor of love. I am always very happy when the day arrives when the conference actually begins!”

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DVCon Steering Committee …

General Chair .. Stan Krolikoski, Cadence
Vice Chair .. Dennis Brophy, Mentor Graphics
Past Chair .. Karen Bartleson, Synopsys
Program Chair .. Ambar Sarkar, Paradigm Works
Program Vice Chair .. David Black, Doulos
Program Vice Chair .. Martin Barnasconi, NXP Semiconductor
Poster Chair .. Shankar Hemmady, Synopsys
Tutorial Chair .. Yatin Trivedi, Synopsys
Panel Chair .. JL Gray, Cadence
Accellera Rep & Finance Chair .. Lynn Bannister, Accellera Systems Initiative
Publicity/Marketing Chair .. Barbara Benjamin, HighPointe Communications
Conference Manager .. Kathy Embler, MP Associates

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