SAN FRANCISCO--Design Automation Conference 2014, more than ever, was about SoC design challenges and solutions, IoT, automotive, embedded market opportunities and how they electronics ecosystem is joining to push ahead into advanced nodes.
If you missed DAC 2014 (and even if you were there and couldn't shape-shift to follow multiple events in parallel) here are some highlights:
- Automobiles won't be autonomous on a grand scale any time soon, but, as a class, they're going to get a whole lot smarter quickly in ways you can't imagine. That was the take-away from a unique dual keynote from by James Buczkowski, Henry Ford fellow and director of EE systems at Ford Motor Company, and Jim Tung, fellow at MathWorks, a provider of model-based design tools.
- Has the center of electronics design gravity shifted to China? A panel explored the question in depth.
- System design, of course, was a key thread here at the Moscone Center. Frank Schirrmeister touched on many of the highlights notably in low power design and automotive systems design.
- Tap new revenue streams. Mentor Graphics CEO Wally Rhines, in his keynote, said new budgets and new challenges (security, embedded, system-level design) are where the EDA can expand in the coming years.
- Speaking of automotive, Cadence CEO Lip-Bu Tan, in his keynote, cited the area as one of the emerging opportunities in "system of systems" design. But how is it changing relationships among various ecosystem players?
- Karim Arabi, vice president of engineering at Qualcomm, called on EDA vendors to stem a slowdown in process node scaling. He knows EDA well, having co-founded an analog automation startup, Opmaxx, in the 1990s.
- Computer vision is a red-hot area of growth for electronics design, but it can't be exploited without engineering flexibility and creativity, according to a panel of experts.
- How do we as an industry take advantage of all this design opportunity? By developing new skills, new marketing strategies and new organizational thinking, according EDA analyst Gary Smith of Gary Smith EDA.
- What do engineers really think of UVM? It's not for the faint of heart, but these panelists give the industry an earful.
- Approximately 100,000 new pieces of malware emerge in the world every day. That's a security challenge that the electronics industry needs think differently about--and quickly--according to Intel Chief Security Architect Ernie Brickell.
- Mixed-signal IC verification is fraught with challenges that can cause tapeout delays or failures. But there are tools and methodologies that can help, according to panelists at a Cadence-sponsored luncheon.
I was exhausted at the end of that week and now I know why! My editorial colleagues Schirrmeister, Richard Goering, Sarah Adams, Lani Wong, Christine Young and Sean O'Kane executed a full-court press on DAC to make sure we covered all the bases. Kudos to them and to the team at the ARM Connected Community Brad Nemire, Lori Kate Smith, Leah Schuth,Alban Rampon and all the other ARM CC rock stars!