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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 »

Stepping out From Behind the Shadows …

January 24th, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

What’s this about an “alley” on the DAC floor this year? It’s true –– the Design Infrastructure Alley –– is for exhibitors and presenters to highlight the information technology infrastructure, a fundamental element that allows the creation and design of complex electronic systems and components. 

We all hear about the achievements of chip design groups. They wouldn’t be able to work their magic, though, without an army of professionals that make sure that the design environment is optimized for fast turnaround and up and running 24×7. The “army” is made up of IT and design specialists who apply and manage sophisticated hardware and software to keep computing bandwidth, availability, licensing, security and storage in good working order. Without this group and their powerful tools that allow complex systems to be created and designed, new innovation would never happen.

The Design Infrastructure Alley is the brainchild of Derek Magill, senior manager of IT at Qualcomm, and the ESD Alliance’s Paul Cohen and me. Derek also is chair of CELUG (Centralized Enterprise License User’s Group) that provides enterprise user input to the ESD Alliance’s license management committee. Together with DAC, we invite companies that are part of this vital and expanding area of electronic product design to participate and exhibit in the Design Infrastructure Alley.

With a dedicated Design-on-Cloud Pavilion theater for presentations and panel discussions, a limited number of 45-minute speaking slots and panel discussions are available. Five focus areas will cover:

  • License management
  • Grid computing
  • Storage management
  • Data security
  • Cloud computing

Exhibitors located in the Design Infrastructure Alley have priority for available slots –– the cost of a speaking opportunity is included with each exhibit space rental. Additional participants are invited to apply for the remaining speaking or panel slots.

If you are interested, please consider submitting a presentation or panel proposal that describes your experiences, best practices, innovations, limiting factors and future directions. Proposals should be focused on furthering the discussion and the exchange of ideas. They should not be product-focused sales presentations.

The organizing committee will evaluate each proposal for its relevance to the topic of Design Infrastructure and reserves the right to solicit invited speakers to present in the theater. Selected proposals are subject to a $4,000 speaking fee.

All presentations and/or panel proposals must be received by Wednesday, February 21.  For more information about submission requirements and deadlines, visit:

Meet me and your peers in the Alley at DAC, June 24-28 at San Francisco’s Moscone West Center, the gathering spot for the electronic system design community. The Design Infrastructure Alley will be the meeting place for suppliers and professionals who manage the complex hardware/software infrastructure that keeps the electronic product design ecosystem running.

For more information on DAC, its technical program and exhibits visit

REMINDER: The Phil Kaufman Award Ceremony and Dinner

You have a few more days to register for the Phil Kaufman Award Ceremony and Dinner at The GlassHouse in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, February 8. We will honor Dr. Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for Research at the University of Pittsburgh, the recipient of the 2017 Phil Kaufman Award for Distinguished Contributions to Electronic System Design.

Sponsors include Arm, Cadence, Mentor, a Siemens Business, PDF Solutions, Synopsys and ACM SigDA. The evening is presented by the ESD Alliance and the IEEE Council on EDA (CEDA). Attendance is open to member companies at a substantial discount, though you don’t need to be a member to attend. Registration is open and information can be found at:

You or your company is welcome to join the ESD Alliance as either a voting or associate member. Please visit the ESD Alliance website to read about our committees and other ongoing initiatives, or contact me for more specifics on ROI or other justifications for joining. I can be reached at

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