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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 »

A Successful Design Infrastructure Alley

July 5th, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

Enthusiasm at this year’s DAC was especially keen along Design Infrastructure Alley on the first floor of exhibits, a new initiative driven by the ESD Alliance and the Association for High-Performance Computing Professionals. The one long aisle highlighting the information technology infrastructure to design chips and systems was full of eager attendees. Many were DAC first timers checking out the offerings of 16 exhibitors, many of whom were also first timers, including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Azure/Microsoft and Metrics. ESD Alliance members exhibiting along Design Infrastructure Alley were Altair, Cadence and IC Manage.

The ESD Alliance Booth sat at the entrance to Design Infrastructure Alley, giving us an unobstructed view of the activities and a chance to talk with a wide variety of attendees with varying interests. IT managers were at DAC to gather information on ways to address electronic design’s unique computing and storage needs. The CAD managers we met needed to better understand how to manage and support the increasing use of cloud computing.

At the end of the aisle sat the Design-on-Cloud Pavilion full of useful presentations and talks by experts with answers to many of these challenges. A recurring theme in many of the often standing-room-only discussions was design in the cloud, a theme carried throughout DAC’s two floors of exhibits. However, cloud wasn’t all attendees heard about. Other presentations covered license management, grid computing, storage management and data security.

Credit for this new DAC initiative goes to Derek Magill, the architect of Design Infrastructure Alley and the emcee for the Design-on-Cloud Pavilion, with the full backing of the DAC Executive Committee. Derek has first-hand knowledge about the new IT infrastructure as engineering cloud architecture lead and global EDA license infrastructure lead at Qualcomm. He also serves as executive director of the newly formed Association of High Performance Computing Professionals and as chairman of the Centralized Enterprise License User Group (CELUG). The ESD Alliance has worked closely with Derek and CELUG, and for many years sponsored its co-located meetings at DAC.

Derek Magill, architect of Design Infrastructure Alley and emcee for the Design-on-Cloud Pavilion, as he welcomes attendees.

It was natural for us to partner with Derek and share his vision for Design Infrastructure Ally to start the discussion and raise awareness about what it takes to manage the chip design IT infrastructure. As he wrote in a recent blog post: “Design Infrastructure Alley bridges the gap between potential and execution and allows IT professionals, engineers and EDA suppliers to have a conversation about how best to enable design and verification.”

From all accounts, the first Design Infrastructure Alley was a great success and Derek’s vision was realized. In fact, his vision was celebrated at the well-attended networking event at the Thirsty Bear Brewery sponsored by AWS, Cadence, Elastifile, IC Manage and the ESD Alliance.

We’ll be at SEMICON West next week –– Tuesday, July 10, through Thursday, July 12 –– in Booth #5364. Please stop by to say hello if you will be there as well.

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