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I am sitting in the theater of the convention center. The over-enthusiastic air conditioner is blowing refrigerated air on the few of us who have taken our seats before the rest of the attendees had drunk their coffee and swallowed down their convention pastries and melon slices; by 10:30, the theater is packed with a standing-room-only crowd. Most individual attendees have melted into the crowd of cheerful EDA enthusiasts.
Strange to be here, to be honest. My background isn’t in the EDA world. I’ve been gone a long time.
For most of my career, I have been a tech writer, producing content for a half-dozen different industries, including EDA. Starting my career in manufacturing, I wrote maintenance manuals for manufacturing equipment and then high-precision equipment for lasers; I spent three years at Altera in the mid-00s, “co-writing” – editing, really – the Quartus II Handbook with AEs who actually knew how to use it.
From there, I took a breath (along with every other tech writer in the valley in late 2008) and learned about waitressing, writing advertising copy for a boating company based in Watsonville, underwriting announcements for a public radio station in Santa Cruz, writing fiction, writing shopping lists, writing my kids' research papers, and spending time with my kids. To be honest, I learned more about the craft of writing by describing clothing and safety equipment and fishing poles than I ever did writing about tab a, slot b, click OK, use this wrench, caution: pinch point, and don’t shine the laser in your eyes, Dummkopf.
Finally made it back to Silicon Valley in 2012, this time re-focused to write about mobile and networking software. I also learned a lot about streamlining the UX for people who may not be familiar with technology, which further honed the talking-with-engineers-and-translating-them-for-the-rest-of-us skills. Three years of this, followed by a couple of years of contracting (most notably at HPE’s Data Security group), I am back here in the biz, trying like heck to remember everything I forgot since 2008, and researching like mad to catch up again.
Which leads me to CDNLive, where this year, it seems, verification is king, but the Cloud goes beyond all that the king can touch, and machines are learning everything as fast as we can throw at them.
Lip-Bu Tan, President and CEO of Cadence, spoke about “Enabling an Intelligent, Connected World” and is, as ever, excited about the five emerging, customer-driven technology trends that will be impacting EDA:
To me, this last part was the most interesting. Since coming back to Cadence and catching up on what’s been going on in semiconducting in the last few years, I have concluded that machinelearningdeeplearning has the greatest capacity to affect all the other trends that Lip-Bu mentioned.
That said, after the presentation by Kushagra Vaid of Microsoft’s Azure division, I’m not entirely positive that it won’t go the other way around, with the Cloud; maybe we can’t have one without the other? Kushagra spoke about the interconnectedness of these two behemoths, in his talk titled “The Future of Intelligent Computing”.
I know that Paul will be blogging about Kusagra’s talk, so I won’t steal his thunder – except to say that while he said that machine learning is “the biggest innovation in computing,” he practically lives in the cloud. He is working to ensure that all humans have access to unlimited computing resources. It wasn't clear to me whether it was his goal or Azure's goal or Microsoft's goal – but regardless, it's some lofty ideals. (See what I did there?)
But the reality is that the scale of the cloud, however you define it, will become ubiquitous and functions in diversity – until it becomes invisible, just as electricity is now. (I hope that Paul mentions Kushagra's digression into the mice taking over the world. Artificially intelligent mice. True story.)