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 What Would Joe Do?
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

DAC 2013: Zorian’s powers in Austin

January 16th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

There are three reasons why DAC will be spectacular come June in Austin: It’s the 50th instantiation of the conference; for the first time ever DAC is coming to the home of Office Space; and Synopsys Solutions Group Chief Architect Yervant Zorian will be General Chair, which means the 2013 Design Automation Conference has got the very best in the business at the top, a guy who’s CV includes leading committees of all shapes and sizes, IEEE Standards initiatives, and a variety of conferences, big and small.

Zorian’s track record in the industry is well known. My own article, Yervant Zorian: Grand Master of Time Management, was published on the DAC website in 2007. But all that said, it’s a personal recollection of Yervant Zorian that I prefer.

In 1999, I was tasked with writing my first Focus Report for ISD Magazine, a now-defunct publication of Miller Freeman CMP UBM, on the subject of DFT, Design for Test. Tets Maniwa was Editor in Chief of the magazine at the time and he suggested that I call Yervant Zorian for some technical background on DFT, BIST, and all that jazz.

At the time, Zorian was at Logic Vision, and undoubtedly as busy as he is today. Nonetheless, he took several long phone calls from the then-Managing Editor of ISD Magazine and was endlessly kind and patient in answering my many questions on the subject of Test. Given the high standards that Tets Maniwa had for ISD Focus Reports back in the day, it was only Yervant Zorian’s assistance that gave me half a chance to produce the kind of article that Tets demanded.

Since that time, I have attempted to return the kindness by agreeing to moderate a number of Business Track Panels organized by Zorian at both DATE and DAC. Because of that, I’ve also repeatedly had the chance to see his abilities in front of some of the most sophisticated gatherings of high-tech leadership, and know I am not alone in my admiration of Zorian. He is clearly respected widely by experts in both industry and academia, and from all corners of the world; I’ve seen it first hand.

At last year’s DAC in San Francisco, I had a brief chat with Zorian in a busy hallway at Moscone Center. I asked him if he had any concerns about attendance at the 50th DAC, given it would be in Texas and a long way from Silicon Valley. He did not hesitate for a moment, but responded with the greatest enthusiasm, listing many of the companies who are based in Texas, specifically in Austin, who would benefit from having DAC in their own backyard.

Given that Zorian will be General Chair in Austin, his optimism was perhaps not surprising. What is worth noting, however, is that I’ve never had a conversation with Dr. Zorian when he wasn’t both enthusiastic and optimistic.

These are marvelous characteristics in any individual, but they’re worth their weight in gold when found in the leadership of the Design Automation Conference, particularly at this juncture when DAC feels to some of us lesser mortals to be a lot more like Office Space and a lot less like the distinguished crossroads of EDA. Kudos to Zorian for keeping things at a higher level of professionalism and positive thinking, at DAC and in all organizations lucky enough to benefit from his involvement.


DAC General Chair bio …

­Yervant Zorian, chief architect in the Solutions Group, will lead the 50th Design Automation Conference executive committee for next year’s conference, to be held at the Austin Convention Center from June 2 to 6, 2013.

­Yervant Zorian received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, an MBA from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, and an MSCE in from the University of Southern California. Zorian has served as a DAC executive committee member for the past seven years. He has authored four books and more than 300 refereed papers. He has received more than 30 U .S. patents in the domain of embedded test and repair, and a number of Best Paper Awards. As the general chair of the 50th DAC, he believes that next year’s conference will mark a major milestone in innovation.


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