The Breker Trekker
Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
Tom Anderson is vice president of Marketing for Breker Verification Systems. He previously served as Product Management Group Director for Advanced Verification Solutions at Cadence, Technical Marketing Director in the Verification Group at Synopsys and Vice President of Applications Engineering at … More »
Which Conferences Do Verification Engineers Like Best?
November 26th, 2013 by Tom Anderson, VP of Marketing
The Breker Trekker has been publishing for about seven months now, with 32 posts to date, so running just about once a week. When we started, we committed a new post every two weeks so we’ve been running well ahead of our own expectations. We’re very happy with the growth of our readership and we’d like to take this chance to thank every one of you reading this.
Frankly, we have not been as successful at driving an ongoing dialogue via comments. We’ve had a few comments here and there but not nearly as many as we would like to see. So for this week’s post we’re trying something different: posing a question directly to our readers and heartily encouraging all of you to share your thoughts by leaving a comment at the bottom. Today’s topic: which conferences and trade shows do you find most useful?
Trade shows are near and dear to the hearts of Marketing and Sales folks since they have the potential to generate new leads, new tool evaluations, and new sales. Buyers and EDA managers like to see all the vendors in one place at one time for easy comparison. Investors, press, and industry analysts also like the ability to visit with many companies in an efficient fashion.
Hands-on engineers, including the verification team, might also enjoy wandering the show floor, but their focus is on technical content. They want to see detailed demos and get into spirited discussions with any of the vendor’s engineers who are helping in the booths. They see the Sales folks all the time, so they relish the chance to dig deeper into products, technology, and methodology.
In EDA and electronics in general, a trade show is almost always accompanied by a technical conference. It’s surprising how much detail some vendors reveal about their products’ algorithms, so competitors can check each other out and potential customers can judge the technical capabilities of tools they might use. Strong technical content in a conference helps to establish a company as a thought leader and helps to recruit talented candidates.
EDA has three kinds of shows to satisfy this demand. The Design Automation Conference (DAC) forms a category all by itself, with both a large three-day exhibition and many parallel technical tracks. This year marked the 50th DAC event, and its first time ever in Austin, so there was a lot of celebration. DAC comes to San Francisco for the next two years, and then returns to Austin.
The second major category are shows focused on particular roles or technologies in the electronic engineering process. These include DesignCon in Santa Clara, the Design and Verification Conference (DVCon) in San Jose, and the SoC Conference in Irvine. There are conferences devoted to processors, graphics, memories, supercomputers, embedded systems, chip test, and many other specialties.
Finally, single-vendor conferences have come into their own in the last 10-15 years, often providing technical depth on a par with the broader industry events. Intel, Microsoft, and Oracle are examples of companies that pioneered this approach. Within EDA, Synopsys has its series of SNUG meetings, Cadence its CDNLive events, and ARM its TechCon.
As does any vendor, Breker has to decide each year in which shows and conferences we will invest and participate. These decisions are not trivial; a show can cost anywhere from a few thousand to more than a million dollars for a major vendor at DAC. This year Breker exhibited at DAC, DVCon, SNUG Silicon Valley, CDNLive Silicon Valley, ARM TechCon, and the SoC Conference.
We may do more events next year or we may do fewer. It all depends on which ones are the most effective at connecting us with our current and prospective customers. So this is where we really would like to hear from you!
We thank you in advance and will be sure to post any comments that we receive.
The truth is out there … sometimes it’s in a blog.
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