Design Automation Conference preview

Unless you have been hibernating through the winter (which some days seems to still be going on) then you know that DAC is coming up on 13th June through Friday if you stay all the way through the tutorials.

So what’s new this year?

The DAC party has moved from Wednesday to Tuesday, and is now sponsored by Denali. This is not to be confused with the Denali party itself, which is now on Monday night (and, remember, you must register at their website to get a “ticket,” actually a wristband if history is any guide, or you will not get in). And in this compressed world, Cadence has an event for press and bloggers; Mentor has an event for press and bloggers; and Synopsys has an event for anyone connected with their system portfolio. All of these events are early Monday evening. It looks logistically impossible.

The exhibits are no longer free. Atrenta, Denali, and Springsoft created the “I love DAC” movement to sponsor 500 free exhibit passes. But they’ve all gone. So if you don’t have one, your initiative test is to find an EDA vendor who you know well enough to get you in. Or become a blogger and you count as press.

Also on Monday, Ed Sperling is hosting a discussion on “What’s broken in EDA?” at 11am and I am one of the participants. Not sure where yet. But you know that this is a subject that I can talk about for longer than anyone would want to listen.

On Sunday, in previous years, there has been a long Workshop for Women in Design Automation that you had to pay to attend. Although formally not restricted to women (probably not legal anyway) it was basically attended by, yes, the women in EDA.

This year’s recipient of the woman of the Marie Pistilli award is Mar Hershenson. Now at Magma, she is perhaps most well known for being the founder and CEO of Barcelona Design, a company in the analog IP space that never quite got traction. She then founded Sabio Labs and sold it to Magma.

But the big change is the format of the Women Workshop has now changed to be a DAC 2010 Career Workshop, and men too are encouraged to attend (hey, we have work-life balance issues and other things like that too). The keynote speaker is Patty Azzarello, author of a new book “Off the Org Chart” about taking control of your career. Two other big changes are that the workshop is now much shorter, from 11.30am to 2pm, so no longer requires the investment of most of a day. Plus, it is free thanks to the sponsorship of Atrenta, Axiom, Cliosoft, Eve, Jasper, Mentor, MP Associates, Real Intent, SpringSoft, and Synopsys. However you must pre-register for it to get in free.

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