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DVCon 2017: Lessons in Learning and Life

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

 


If you’re going to chair a conference
, according to DVCon 2017 General Chair Dennis Brophy, don’t do any work. Instead just delegate, because if you’ve done that properly, the committees will craft a great program and a great gathering.

Hence, per Brophy, this year’s DVCon is going to be great. He’s done nothing, the committees have done everything, and their work has been inspired.

You must bring something to the effort, I insisted.

Brophy chuckled and deflected my question: “I’ll defer to Wally Rhines’ thesis: The learning curve definitely doesn’t stop, even though Moore’s Law is slowing. And there will be a lot of opportunity to learn this year at DVCon.

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Kaufman Award Dinner: The Equality of Kindness

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

 


If you were to attend only one Kaufman Award dinner
throughout your career, tonight’s might have been the right choice: a lovely meal in downtown Silicon Valley, and presentations full of warmth, respect, humor and clear-eyed admissions, all in honor of CMU’s Dr. Andrzej Strojwas, long-time CTO at PDF Solutions.

Having interviewed Prof. Strojwas some months ago when he was first named the 2016 Kaufman Award winner, and knowing the event was in the capable hands of the ESD Alliance, this evening’s ambiance was not a complete surprise. But the display of emotion and palpable affection with which Dr. Strojwas is held by colleagues and family was almost mesmerizing.

In fact, as PDF CEO John Kibarian hit his stride at the podium, detailing the lifetime of achievements and leadership at the core of Dr. Strojwas’ award commendation, there could be no looking away.

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DesignCon: From Pragmatic to Dramatic, it’s all there

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

 


Next week, DesignCon 2017 will be underway
at the Santa Clara Convention Center. As always, the program will include a lot of practical advice across a variety of design silos: Analog & mixed-signal modeling and design; modeling and analysis of interconnects.; PCB design, simulation, and fabrication; chip/package design and signal integrity considerations; EM interference; and various aspects of high-speed design.

DesignCon clearly continues to provide a learning venue for working engineers who deal with real-world problems, and again this year there will also be a lively exhibit hall.

Featured among the 185 exhibitors will be multiple companies offering tools for design – Cadence, Altium, Ansys, SiSoft, Mentor Graphics, Applied Simulation, EMA, DipTrace, Polar Instruments, SPISim, Valydate, XJTAG, and SpeedIC, among them.

Also exhibiting this year at DesignCon will be our own EDACafe.

Sanjay Gangal, President of IBSystems, and his team will be in Booth #1349 where they will be recording video interviews.

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Synopsys: Is 40 the new 20?

Thursday, January 19th, 2017


Synopsys is undergoing a massive reset.
Where not so long ago, it self-identified as the largest EDA company in the world, other words are now used to describe the enterprise: “Synopsys is at the forefront of Smart, Secure Everything with the world’s most advanced tools for silicon chip design, verification, IP integration, and application security testing.”

As compelling as that description may be, some observers are questioning whether the marked differences between maintaining expertise in chip design, verification, IP, and IP integration versus maintaining expertise in software integrity are too wide to make for easy co-habitation under one corporate roof.

Some would say putting EDA and chip design together with software security is not a good recipe for the long-term success of the company. But are these critics correct?

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Reverie: All That Glitters is not Past

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

 


As we embrace a New Year
, it is always a toss-up as to whether we are drawn to look to the past to understand our future, or to the future itself. The blank page. The untested waters. The mysterious frontier. Danger and opportunity seemingly mixed in equal proportions within the murky fog a-swirl in that not-so-crystal ball.

It’s within that spirit that I recalled this week a reverie that unfolded several years back while sailing the waters of Lake Gatun midst the Panama Canal. A reverie that attempted to synchronize the muscular optimism at the turn into the last century with the somewhat more tenuous outlook at the turn into this one.

That earlier reverie was tempered by remembering innovations such as the Vienna Secession, Futurism, Fin de siècle, Dada and Cubism – movements that propelled some observers from the nineteenth century into the twentieth – could hardly be said to reflect a stridently cheery outlook. Inversely, the angst and anxiety that oft-times characterize the narcissism of our own here-and-now – trends that have sometimes accompanied our complex journey from the twentieth century into the twenty-first – are profoundly repudiated by the engineering marvels that define this equally muscular New Age.

In truth, the past was never as rosy as we remember and rarely does the future fulfill our darkest premonitions. It’s simply the nature of the human comedy that we so thoroughly believe they do.

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UNH-IOL tackles IoT: It’s a jungle out there

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

 


Are you building the IoT?
Then you already know it’s a jungle out there.

Happily, the University of New Hampshire is offering an interesting service that should help. They’ll test your IoT device to see if it meets current Internet Protocal standards. Of course, understanding such a service presumes there are any standards in the first place – there are many, some very controversial – and also presumes you know how those standards are described within a veritable jungle of acronym-laden jargon.

But before we run through that rain forest of gobbledygook, let’s first review what the goals of the UNH InterOperability Lab are in establishing their IoT IP Testing Service. Those goals were laid out during an online press conference in December  when the folks at the lab explained what they want to accomplish: Foster industry-wide collaboration, provide an extensive testbed for evaluating IoT devices, and train the engineers of tomorrow who want to help build the IoT.

These are clearly commendable goals, and the people behind the effort seem nothing if not cheerful and upbeat, but to fully understand what they’re doing you’ll first need to slog through the acronyms. Buckle your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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Kaufman Award Dinner: Why you should Attend

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

 


IEEE’s CEDA and the ESD Alliance
– with help from their friends at PDF Solutions, Cadence, Mentor, Synopsys and ACM SIGDA – will host a dinner on Thursday, January 26th, in honor of the 2016 Phil Kaufman Award recipient: Dr. Andrzej Strojwas, Keithley Professor of ECE at Carnegie Mellon and long-time CTO at PDF Solutions.

Unfortunately, the last several Kaufman Award dinners were such over-the-top events – the 2014 event in honor of Dr. Lucio Lanza awash in glamour and luminaries, and the 2015 event in honor of Dr. Walden Rhines replete with zany zeitgeist and a roast from Intel-legend Craig Barrett unparalleled in the annals of EDA history.

The organizers of this year’s event may, therefore, find it impossible to craft something anywhere close to the previous two dinners, if the metrics of energy and frenetic glad-handing are the only ones of importance.

Of course, these are not the only two metrics of importance and nothing is ever impossible in EDA or IP, so do not despair.

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Calendar 2017: Tech Conference Opportunities Abound

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

 


The New Year promises to be a dramatic one on many fronts
, not the least being the ever-quickening pace of change in technology. Evidenced by the continued and enthusiastic attendance at conferences around the world, there are clearly so many opportunities to network, learn, and develop sales leads at these events. Bets are on that you’ll be attending at least one of these. Happy New Year!

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* CES2017: Consumer Electronics ShowJanuary 5-8 – Las Vegas

No one need tell you what CES encompasses: Here in its 50th annual edition, it will include everything. The 2017 keynotes will include addresses from the CEOs of Qualcomm, Huawai, Nissan Motors, and Nvidia. But the topics covered in this massive 100,000-attendee show will cover cars, wearables, healthcare devices, and every conceivable type of consumer clutter.

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Madam President: IEEE’s Bartleson brings honor to EDA Nation

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

 


For the first time ever, a citizen of the EDA Nation will be President of the IEEE
, with 400,000+ members, the largest professional organization in the world. Karen Bartleson is serving as IEEE President-Elect here in 2016, and will serve as IEEE President starting in January 2017.

Prior to her current role at IEEE, she was President for two years of the IEEE Standards Association, a group with total membership exceeding 17,000. And prior to her leadership there, as every citizen of the EDA Nation knows, Bartleson honed her myriad skills through 20 years of distinguished service at Synopsys.

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Retail Therapy: Jump starting Black Friday

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

 


It’s no secret that my 5-year old laptop died recently
; the cries of anguish could be heard a mile away. What to do?

Step 1: Boot the system off Fedora on a data-stick, recover the lost files, and move on.

To do that required the mechanical workaround of duct-taping the power supply, which wouldn’t stay seated, to the chassis because the battery wouldn’t hold a charge, and laying the laptop on a squishy bag of ice to keep it cool enough long enough to do the off-loading. Happily, the tired old hard drive coughed up the goods, then sputtered one last time and said adieu.

Step 2: Buy a new laptop, which is far easier said than done if you’ve been out of the market for a while. Too many choices, too many price ranges, and too many metrics to consider.

To my great luck, however, my old HP died just days prior to CEDA’s Design Automation Futures Workshop. Right there on the Mentor campus in Fremont in late October, therefore, I had the opportunity to do some critical [secret] market research: What are the brightest minds in technology using these days by way of laptops?

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DAC2017



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