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The thing everyone always wants to know about CDNLive EMEA, since it is held in Munich in May, is "Will Bayern München be staying at the hotel?" during the conference, like they did a couple of years ago. The good news is that Munich is still in the European Champions League, with semifinal matches coming up against Real Madrid on April 25th (at home) and May 1st (in Spain). If they win, they go through to the final, but like the Superbowl, that is not played at the ground of either of the teams involved, This year it is in Kiev (or Kyiv as people seem to write it these days, or Київ to be truly authentic). In any case, it's not until May 26th. So whatever happens, CDNLive EMEA will take place without them.
CDNLive will take place on May 7th to 9th at the Infinity Hotel in Unterschleißheim, in the suburbs of Munich, not far from the airport. The format will be the same as previous years, starting at lunchtime on Monday to allow people to fly in that morning, then a full day on Tuesday from opening keynotes to dinner in the evening (and this is Munich, so I think I'm on safe ground predicting beer), and then sessions on Wednesday morning until finally wrapping up at lunchtime.
The keynotes start the day on Tuesday. There are two. The Cadence keynote is by an Englishman called Paul who studied computer science at Cambridge University. But although those things are all true about me, here's one that's not. The keynote speaker is very tall.
Paul Cunningham is corporate VP and GM for R&D, responsible for the software verification products and integrated platform teams for our Systems and Verification Group (SVG). Prior to this, Paul led the digital front-end R&D team for the Digital Systems Group (DSG). Paul joined Cadence in 2011 when Azuro, a company where he was co-founder and CEO, was acquired by Cadence. They produced clock tree optimization tools that are now somewhere in the brains of our Innovus Implementation System.
In English, we generally don't pile up qualifications. We assume professors have PhDs, and that engineering professors are...well...engineers. But Germany likes to keep them all, like a protocol stack. I checked with my colleague Stan Krolikoski, who is the only person I know with two PhDs, whether it's true that he is "Herr Dr. Dr.", and he said it is, but maybe it's "more a case of a double negative."
Anyway, the invited keynote is by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Philipp Slusallek. It is titled Understanding the World with AI: Training and Validating Autonomous Vehicles Using Synthetic Data.
He is the Scientific Director at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), where he has headed the research area "Agents and Simulated Reality" since 2008. But he has a second hat. He is also Director for Research at the "Intel Visual Computing Institute,” a central research institute at Saarland University founded in 2009 in collaboration with (surprise) Intel, but also DFKI, and the two local Max-Planck-Institutes.
Saarbrücken is basically in France. I jest, but it's about 20 miles from the border, and the nearest big city you've probably heard of is Strasbourg, which despite its German-sounding name, really is in France. This part of France, Alsace, has had a turbulent history and changed hands between France and Germany several times. But everywhere the Germans go, the beer goes too, and that is where the big French breweries that you've might have heard of, like Kronenbourg, are based. It's actually the same in China, Tsing Tao (Qingdao) was the German equivalent of Portugal's Macao, and home of the only Chinese beer you've likely heard of.
At Saarland University he has been a professor for Computer Graphics for almost 20 years, and a Principal Investigator at the German Excellence-Cluster on “Multimodal Computing and Interaction” for over 10. He's also an honorary Silicon Valley guy, having been a visiting professor at Stanford, and a visiting professor at NVIDIA.
Looking over his publications, his recent interest seems to center around ray-tracing and rendering. But several are on tomography. If you've ever had a CT scan, (or CAT scan) then that's what the T stands for. There is a sort of reverse computer rendering problem involved: given the signal strength of the beam as it is rotated around the body, reconstruct what is inside.
I've not seen more than the title of his talk, but increasingly one of the ways of training AI programs is not to use the real world, use a virtual world. I wrote about this in the context of chess in Deep Blue, Alpha Go, and AlphaGo Zero where AlphaGo Zero got good enough to beat the best chess programs in the world training against itself for a day. Humans are trained this way too. Apparently, for many pilots, the first time they fly a real plane, not on a simulator, is their first flight with passengers (of course they are not the Captain, but they do most of their training in a virtual world). For autonomous vehicles, one team creates the virtual world, a model of roads, other cars, and traffic lights, a bit like those driving video games. Then the autonomous car software is tested against the model of the world. The two big advantages are that in a short time, millions of miles of driving can be accumulated in faster than real time, with more vehicles than it would be feasible to construct. And secondly, bugs don't cause expensive damage or injury (or worse).
CDNLive kicks off at noon on Monday with what is described as a "light lunch buffet." But this is Bavaria, where the word "light" rarely appears in the same sentence as food. Then at 1.30pm parallel sessions start, and run until 6pm. This is followed by a networking buffet (perhaps heavier than lunch?) until 8pm in the expo area, where partners will be showing their products and services.
Tuesday is the big day of the conference. Coffee is served from 7.30am, and the keynotes start at 8.45am. Parallel sessions start at 10.30 after more coffee. From 12.30pm to 1.30pm, lunch will be in the designer expo area. The parallel sessions then restart and run until 5.30pm. The designer expo will then be open again (and I'm guessing beer). Dinner is 6.30pm until 8pm, followed by an "evening event" which I'm not allowed to tell you about but I bet you can guess. But it's Bavaria, so...beer.
Wednesday has a number of parallel techtorials during the morning. Lunch is the last time to see the designer expo, 1pm until 2.30pm. Then it's a wrap. We'll see you again next year, probably in the same place.
In the expo, there are 24 exhibitors. If you take your passport to 10 of them, you can get a mobile phone holder for your car. The two most important markets in semiconductor are mobile and automotive, so win something that brings them together in a small way.
Full details, including registration, hotel information, how to get to the hotel, and more are available on the CDNLive EMEA page.
If you are planning on going to CDNLive in Munich, then be sure to download the CDNLive App. It contains the complete schedule, and if there are last minute changes they will be udpdated and communicated through the App. It's also the way you give feedback on speakers, and vote for best paper. Plus there will be prizes to be won. Look for "CDNLive" in the App store or on Google Play. You don't need to wait until the event itself, the schedule all seems to be loaded up already so you can start planning your days.
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