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week was the 48th Design Automation Conference (DAC), held in lovely
San Diego. This was the 24th DAC in a row I've attended, which
sounds impressive although I have a number of colleagues who go back even
further. This year's attendance was significantly higher
than last year's by just about every metric, not surprisingly since the economy
has picked up a bit and San Diego is more of a draw than Anaheim. I don't
understand why DAC just doesn't alternate between San Francisco and San Diego,
although I see that in two years it will be in Austin so it should be interesting
to see how that works out.
always, I returned from DAC determined to pump out a blog post or two
summarizing my experiences but then got sucked up into other activities such as
our continuing seminar
series. But better late than never, so let me say that I thought this was an
excellent DAC all around. We did not have a dedicated booth for the Universal
Verification Methodology (UVM) this year but it was still clearly one of the "buzz"
topics at the show. Cadence and our customers presented UVM-related content in
the booth demos, the demo suites, the EDA360 Theater, two Accellera events, and several partner
own Sharon Rosenberg discussed UVM and its impact on the industry as part of the
video streaming coverage provided by EE Times. I don't see Sharon's interview
on the archive site
yet, but please check for it because interviewer Brian Fuller started by
playing a clip of Sharon singing "I'm a Believer" at the "EDA360's Got Talent"
competition. That contest was held at "The Denali Party Sponsored by Cadence"
which was great fun. Any concerns that Cadence would let a great tradition wither
away evaporated with this event, which entailed closing off an entire city block
in addition to filling a cool retro club. My colleague Joe Hupcey has all the incriminating
floor traffic seemed good to me, not back to the glory days but considerably better
than last year. I walked the floor several times and chatted with friends and
partners. Many smaller vendors also seemed happy with the show; Blue Pearl, NextOp,
and Real Intent in particular told me that the booth attendance met or exceeded
their expectations. A few folks off in the corners didn't seem as pleased but
traffic patterns at any trade show are always a bit erratic and hard to
predict. There is no doubt that giveaways are effective at drawing a big crowd
although I'm not sure whether they necessarily generate more qualified leads.
aspect of the Cadence booth that surprised me was the level of interest in
formal analysis. We did not have a dedicated demo for Incisive Formal Verifier
(IFV) or Incisive Enterprise Verifier (IEV) but we talked quite a bit about how
these tools fit into our broader solutions such as metric-driven verification
(MDV) and verification of low-power designs. Suite attendees were intrigued by
the new technologies we have for linking formal and simulation together, and a
number of people stopped by the booth specifically to ask about what we're
doing in formal. I interpret this as a good sign of formal's continuing
advancement into mainstream usage.
can't possibly summarize everything that happened in four intense days. There
was the EDAC reception followed by Gary Smith's annual review of the EDA
business, interesting panels on the floor, lots of customer meetings, and more. I've
decided that DAC is a great show as long as you don't have to spend too much
time physically staffing the booth. Sure, some good leads come in that way, but
for me the suite sessions, customer meetings, and general industry hobnobbing
have the most value. Feel free to leave comments about what DAC means to you,
and I'll see you all next year in San Francisco.
The truth is out there...sometimes it's in a blog.