DAC 2004 — It’s all time and place!

I took a day trip to San Diego to check out Design Automation Conference 2004’s exhibits on Mon 6/7. The best part about the travel is that the convention center is barely 10 min away from the airport. As expected there were so many DAC visitors on the plane that I piled on with three others on a taxi ride!

  • As always I renewed a number of old contacts and made a few new ones. I thought the attendance was a shade better than last year.
  • Logicvision didn’t turn up (either they are saving on cash or don’t find this conf. useful anymore) this year. The last time I noticed a company that didn’t show up was Get2Chip. It was acquired shortly thereafter.
  • The EDA industry hasn’t changed much from an outsider’s perspective. Still a $3-4B industry. Very critical to the semiconductor industry, but can’t seem to get paid more for the value they provide. Three large players (Mentor, Synopsys, Cadence) and one up and coming large player (Magma). Then a whole slew of startups, all mostly providing niche products and hoping to be acquired by one of these big three.
  • Mentor acquired 0-In and Matrixone acquired Synchronicity.
  • An interesting perspective from Intel CTO. There could be some interesting changes in the industry with some new stuff coming up to address the issues he talks about. As chips get smaller, designing them efficiently so they turn out in high quality in a predictable fashion is not going to be easy. I suspect there are some new opportunities here. I also think that there is a huge opportunity in education/training. So much of new tools and technologies that are going to fundamentally transform design methodologies and so many people the world over to be trained and supported!
  • Most of the standup folks hired in the booths were pretty lame.
  • The Cadence booth was perennially full, thanks to the free food. Unlike last year no free beer was served after 4.00 pm.
  • Lastly, I shook hands with Art de Geus, Synopsys CEO when he came by to meet my publisher (I happened to be talking with him). I also shook hands with the Cadence CTO, Ted Vucurevich (again, I happened to be talking with an old acquaintance at the Cadence booth). My moment of glory and brush with fame, ladies and gentlemen! …..it’s all about time and place 🙂

    Author: Pran Kurup

    Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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