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Anne Cirkel
Anne Cirkel
Anne Cirkel is the General Chair for the 52nd DAC and a Senior Director for Technology Marketing at Mentor Graphics. Prior to joining Mentor Anne held marketing management positions at Analogy, Viewlogic, and Berner & Mattner. Anne holds a Master's degree in Business Administration with an … More »

Why not submit to the DAC Designer Track for a change? It’s all I want for my birthday!

January 9th, 2015 by Anne Cirkel

Technical conferences change over time. Consider CES, wrapping up now in Las Vegas after generating the expected spate of headlines, mostly about wearables. (I have a Pebble so I can safely claim to be on the cutting edge, or at least the bandwagon.) For starters is the issue of the conference name. You won’t see many references to the “Consumer Electronics Show” on the official conference site this year. Consistent with tech’s global ambitions and love of acronyms, the official handle now seems to be “International CES,” though the media doesn’t seem to have caught onto this yet. More significant is how content at CES has evolved, even recently. As recently as 2011, the show reliably featured a slew of new Android phones. Now, most of the big announcements about smartphones — I think there is little argument these are still the hottest consumer devices on the planet — take place at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

DAC of course is not immune from the same basic phenomenon. However in our case we’ve tried to preserve our core focus on highly technical research-oriented content while at the same time expanding into new areas, including our highly popular Designer Track. The deadline for submission is Tuesday, January 20, so it makes sense to call your attention to it here. (And while my focus in this post is on the Designer Track, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the deadline for the IP Track is that same day.) Sorry, the New Year doesn’t mean my old habit of reminding you about DAC deadlines is going to change anytime soon.

Launched several years ago, the Designer Track is based on a simple fact: Practitioners doing the lion’s share of the work in our industry – EDA tool users, hardware designers, software engineers, application engineers or consultants – don’t necessarily have an inclination to prepare lengthy academic papers but still could greatly benefit from a place to hear and share pragmatic information about day-to-day design work. The Designer Track is this place at DAC.

There are three submission categories: front-end silicon design, back-end silicon design, and embedded systems and software (ESS). It’s vendor-independent and thus qualitatively different than the many user group meetings throughout our industry. And while we do practice peer review to exclude overtly promotional presentations, it’s incredibly easy to submit content. To be considered, all you have to do is submit a title, short abstract and six slides. Don’t sweat this! Your biggest risk is not that you’ll sink a lot of time into a paper but rather that you’ll miss a great opportunity to present to and learn from your peers about the design work you’re doing right now.

If you’re interested, probably the best thing to do is to browse a few presentations from last year. Here are three, demonstrating both the subject matter and geographic breadth represented at DAC. (Hey, CES…you’re not the only international conference around!):

  • “Efficient IP Design Flow for Low-Power: High-Level Synthesis Quick & Accurate Power Analysis and Optimization Flow,” by Asher Berkovitz and colleagues at Freescale in Israel (.PPTX slides)
  • “Achieving 50% System Speedup in a Video Encoding Application Using Custom Instructions and Multi-Threading,” by Kaiming Ho at Fraunhofer IIS in Germany (.PPTX slides)
  • “Using Emulation for RTL Performance Verification,” by Daeseo Cha and colleagues at Samsung in Korea (.PPTX slides)

Attendance by in-the-trenches designers now easily exceeds 1,000 people, a sizable supplement to the many thousands more who come to hear DAC’s more traditional research content, still a vibrant part of the conference. However there’s always room for more so why not consider submitting to the Designer (or IP) Track today, if for no other reason than as a birthday present to me. The submission deadline is just three days before my big day, and no, I won’t tell you how old I am. Alas, one thing that never changes is the steady march of time!

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