DAC 2008 – Trepidation to Triumph

SRC’s Bill Joyner came to the Women’s Workshop this year to present the 2008 Marie Pistilli Award to IBM’s Louise Trevillyan. Trevillyan could not be in Anaheim to accept her award, but sent a brief and sincere taped address thanking the many people she has worked with over the years during her long and distinguished career at IBM. It was a great and poignant moment.

* Number 2

Speaking of Bill Joyner, if you didn’t stick around Thursday afternoon for the final DAC panel from 4:30 to 6:00, you might as well have not come to Anaheim at all. It was simply perfect. Joyner launched into a roast of the topic – “Custom is from Mars and Synthesis is from Venus” – and went on to position his four panelists ala candidates in a Presidential Debate. It was a riot, excellent theater, and played to a packed house. Did you know that Custom and Synthesis, like Mars and Venus, are actually in love but just don’t know it?

Intel’s Shekhar Borkar, TI’s Ty Garibay, ADM’s Jonathan Lotz, and IBM’s Bob Montoye clearly were empowered by Joyner to play the topic to the hilt. And they did. You think technology is dull? Boy, have you been missing out! Bravo to Joyner et al for a marvelous wrap at DAC.

* Number 3

For dynamic, over-the-top keynote energy, Qualcomm COO Sanjay Jha delivered one of the best I’ve ever heard. You know you’re in the presence of superior public speaking when you completely forget to look at the PowerPoint and listen directly instead to the individual at the podium. Talking about the future of all things electronic, and all that needs to happen across the technical and geo-economic landscape to make it a reality, Jha gave us yet another acronym: PCD, Pocket Computing Device.

Those of us who have been around for a while, wondered if this was just a re-packaged and re-positioned IA, Intelligent Appliance (darling of high-tech in the late 90’s). No matter, really, because Jha says we’re well on our way at last, through the magic of better design, hardware/software co-design, better materials, and massive collaborations to have a PCD in every pocket, and a docking station in every home. Great news.


What’s left …

Actually, there’s a whole bunch of stuff not covered in this column that happened at DAC. Wally Rhines conducted another panel on ESL, and to my astonishment, we still have define ESL, decide which is better, C++ or System C, and need to get the tools in shape to move up to the next level of abstraction.

Thursday’s keynote from The MathWorks Co-founder, Jack Little, was factual and waxed poetic about the Golden Equations in engineering. He also emphasized an issue that’s gaining huge traction in design, MBD. Model-based design ties in with the OSCI work on TLM, which also reminds me that the 7th annual Symposium on ESL Design with SystemC took place on Sunday and Monday in Anaheim, co-located with DAC. Unfortunately, I missed it. I know it’s great that a lotta stuff is being co-located with DAC, but it does make it somewhat harder to get to things.

Meanwhile, I had a chance to meet in Anaheim with just a handful of companies: Xyalis, Critical Blue, Forte, CoFluent, and SpringSoft about a host of different topics in the industry.

Beyond all this, however, there was tons of conversations all over everywhere about publishing and who's going to cover EDA in this Brave New World of Brave New Media. SpringSoft's Scott Sandler moderated a panel on the topic on Thursday morning, which served as a complex, highly-charged counterpoint to the Bloggers Birds of a Feather get-together the previous evening, which was MC'd by JL Gray from Verilab, with presentations from David Lin from Denali and Steve Leibson of Tensilica. I think there was probably lots of ill-will generated at both of these meetings (not the least being by me), so it will be interesting to follow the fall-out going forward.

Q – What constitutes the Press?

This is a tough one. For now, my answer would be: a) anyone who likes to write; b) anyone who’s been laid off at one point or another since 2000; c) anyone who gets access to the Press Room; and d) anyone who thinks they’ve seen everything and thinks they know everyone who’s anyone.

Q – What is a Blogger?

Again, a tough one, but for now I’d say it’s: a) anyone who likes to write; b) someone who probably has a day job that’s not exclusively about blogging; c) someone who didn’t get access to the DAC’08 Press Room; and d) anyone who doesn’t think they’ve seen everything or think they know everyone who’s anyone.

Meanwhile, did you know that Sean Murphy has got a list of 60 (that’s six-oh) people who are currently blogging about EDA?

Q – Are Bloggers members of the Press?

This is a great and glorious question, for which I have no answer whatsoever. The only real way we’ll all discover the answer, in fact, is to wait for DAC’09 in San Francisco. At that point, we’ll find out who’s in the Press Room, and who isn’t.

Or even more amusingly, if there’s a Press Room at all.

Stay tuned!


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Review Article
  • Nice article about DAC. Well done. June 16, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Bill'
    Nice article about DAC. Well done.
    I do think that the DAC organizers should think about the way the show is organised and I don't feel that the actual numbers of attendees is accurately reported. It would be good to have the numbers of people who were physically there. I hope you will have a chance to check that out since they have the RFID to interrogate.

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  • Fact Check - Blogging BoF June 16, 2008
    Reviewed by 'JL Gray'
    Enjoyed your writeup of DAC. You've got a couple of factual errors in your discussion of the Blogging Birds of a Feather session, though. I (not David Lin) MC'd the event and gave the opening presentation. David Lin followed with an excellent presentation on corporate blogging. Steve Leibson gave the final presentation. Also, I work for Verilab, not Veritools. Check out my discussion of the BoF (with links to other writeups) on my blog at:
    Take care,
    JL Gray
    Verilab, Inc.
    www.coolverification.com (blog)

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  • To blog or not to blog June 18, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Dave Kelf'
    Hi Peggy
    As usually, I enjoyed your DAC write up, now post-DAC mandatory reading. Your insights on the blog sessions were particularly interesting. My question… where were the marketing guys? I expected to see 20 editors, 20 bloggers and about 100+ marketing folks from the exhibitors. EDA, and indeed journalism itself, is evolving on so many levels, so getting to grips with the shifting sands of opinion leadership has to be front and center on many marketing todo lists. Maybe I am wrong but I was surprised at the apparent lack of interest. Maybe that is another sign of EDA evolution, or in fairness maybe they were all too damn busy with the rest of the show.
    Dave Kelf

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  • BoF on Blogging June 18, 2008
    Reviewed by 'John Blyler'
    Hi Peggy. Liked your last query concerning bloggers as members of the press. If all those of us had to do was blog, our lives would be so much better. Unfortunately, with access comes responsibility. But your conclusion said it all, namely "will there be a press room at all." C'est la vie!
    P.S. For some odd reason, I can not increase the size of the "Discussion Mode" windows. So have of my text is invisible, at least to me. So there's bound to be a few grammatical errots.

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  • # of DAC attendees June 17, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Yves'
    To continue on Bill's point, I suggest to compare the audience in similar locations, i.e. Anaheim 2008 vs. 2005. To my knowledge, the number of people is usually proportional to the inverse of the distance with the Bay area. That could affect your conclusion at the start of the article.

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