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By now, you've probably seen that Cadence is participating quite heavily in DAC this year. Many of my fellow bloggers will be there, as will I. This will make DAC #22 for me, and I'm still looking forward to it...
(Parenthetical comment: I know that I'm dating myself in this post, but in the Internet Era anyone can easily search my name and see that I had my first IEEE publication way back in 1981. So can I indulge myself with a bit of reflection?)
I attended my first DAC shows, from 1988 to 1995, as an EDA manager who kept on the leading edge of technology. My rule back then was simple: I never wanted to be surprised by new vendors at DAC. I was among the very first customers of many EDA pioneers so I felt bad if I wasn't already aware of the next big thing.
My most memorable year was when I was working for a startup and was approved to attend DAC only if I kept the cost to an absolute minimum. So I stayed well away from the main DAC hotels at a low-budget motel and I cadged every single meal from EDA vendors. I still remember submitting my expense report with $0 for all the meal entries!
The next three years found me in the IP business and so in transition. I was an exhibitor at DAC, but also still a customer of EDA vendors. In 1999, I made the leap to EDA with 0-In Design Automation. Since then, I've attended DAC as an exhibitor although for two of those years I was a full-time consultant with an EDA company rather than a regular employee.
So I've experienced DAC in multiple ways - hands-on user, EDA consumer, EDA vendor, IP vendor/EDA consumer, and consultant. DAC is never boring, although there are times in the middle of a long day of booth duty when it gets hard on the feet. When I started attending the show, it was mostly about chip and board layout, SPICE, and schematic capture. Today, functional verification and high-level design are key topics and so DAC is very relevant to my day-to-day job.
If you're reading this blog, you must have some interest in verification. I invite you to attend DAC if you possibly can, and to look for me either in the Cadence Enterprise Verification suite or the OVM World booth. With all due respect to online information, social networking, and virtual events, there is still significant value in meeting face-to-face at a trade show or technical conference. Hope to see you at DAC!
The truth is out there...sometimes it's in a blog
The truth is out there...sometimes it's in a blog
My first DAC was 1992, my 3rd day at Synopsys. I still recall the Saturday night pre-DAC party, at the Anaheim Hilton, where inexplicably the cocktail party bartenders left the room and left the alcohol in the room. Our DAC coordinator ended up in the hospital that night and Aart and Harvey had to have a talk with many people who were out of control. "Wow", I remember thinking, "EDA is a lot more interesting than design work."
I love Sean Murphy's one sentence summary of DAC:
"The emotional ambience at DAC (the Design Automation Conference) is what you get when you pour the excitement of a high school science fair, the sense of the recurring wheel of life from the movie Groundhog Day, and the auld lang syne of a high school re-union, and hit frappe."
I'll see you there!