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 Bridging the Frontier
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith is Executive Director of the ESD Alliance responsible for its management and operations. Previously, Bob was senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Uniquify, responsible for brand development, positioning, strategy and business development activities. Bob began his … More »

The ESD Alliance at DAC

June 15th, 2016 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

boots hatsThe Design Automation Conference is over. The cowboy boots, 10-gallon hats and “Keep Austin Nerdy” T-shirts have been put in storage until DAC returns to Austin next year. For those of you from the electronic system design ecosystem who didn’t get to Austin this year, here’s a look at what you missed.

The parties –– from the opening reception, Jim Hogan’s Heart of Technology and IPextreme’s annual Stars of IP party hosted by Silvaco to the not-to-be missed Cadence’s Denali evening –– were lively, the Pavilion panel sessions and keynotes well attended and the giveaways were first rate.

Exhibitor feedback was positive, from my sampling, though you may have heard that attendance was down in Austin. While the attendee numbers haven’t been posted as yet, exhibitors didn’t seem phased by the perceived lower attendance. In fact, many noted that while the traffic at the show was smaller than in San Francisco, it provided higher quality attendees and more highly qualified prospects.

DAC was a great opportunity for the new Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance to “strut our stuff” (minus the cowboy boots and Stetsons). Attendees and exhibits showed loads of interest in the new organization and stopped by our booth to learn more about our new, expanded direction and initiatives. Better yet, several companies committed to joining the Alliance based on our refreshed mission and momentum. Many others have asked us to follow up over the coming months.

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to capture everyone’s imagination, especially at DAC where everyone agreed it’s important and an exciting new market segment. Another highly discussed area of widespread interest was system design and the general consensus that we are entering this world. Historically, the EDA industry could be characterized as being “chip centric.” From what I saw last week, there’s plenty of evidence that a sea-change is happening across the design ecosystem as we recognize that the real target is system design. The ESD Alliance is well positioned to support this shift.

Two of our new initiatives got positive reviews from DAC attendees. Our work in IP fingerprinting is garnering attention and great feedback. Kudos goes to Warren Savage, formerly CEO of IPextreme, now general manager of Silvaco’s IP Division. And, our efforts in the system scaling area are getting notice as well as new scaling techniques begin to take hold, especially as the move to advanced process nodes stretches out. Our new System Scaling Working Group is headed by Herb Reiter of eda 2 asic. Stay tuned to the ESD Alliance for learn more about developments in this area.

Of course, I covered only a small part of the week-long DAC activities –– so much more went on, including a small fire above a vendor booth that forced the evacuation of the Austin Convention Center. No one was hurt, the damage minimal and, after a short break, everyone at DAC got back to business. Much like our industry has always done.

The ESD Alliance Facebook page offers a glimpse of this year’s conference through photos. Find it at:

Lee WoodWhile it’s a bit early to start planning for next DAC, consider adding the dates to your calendar: June 18-22, 2017 at the Austin Convention Center. Cowboy boots, Stetsons and T-shirts optional.

For more information about the ESD Alliance, visit:

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