If the Research Track is the soul of the Design Automation Conference, the Designer Track is its beating heart. And as we’ve seen in recent years, that heart beat is only getting stronger.
I’m so excited to be the co-chair for the Designer Track for the 56th DAC because it’s really where the rubber meets the road for systems designers, where deep and fruitful conversations happen between presenters and audience members and where the near-term future of design is laid out completely.
This year – my first as Designer Track co-chair – I’m honored to be working with Renu Mehra from Synopsys and Ambar Sarkar from NVIDIA. Renu is overseeing the back-end design topics, such as design flow and verification, while Ambar is looking after the front-end: architecture, design and verification. For my part, I’m responsible for the embedded system and software aspect of the Designer Track.
The Designer Track has evolved in recent years to be a more practical application of the technology; it fits perfectly with the tagline “learn today, create tomorrow,” and the track is focused on the practical side of design, targeting hardware and software developers and EDA tool users. All three sub-tracks of it are focused on the usage and benefits of EDA tools, as well as design processes and flows, all rolled up into compelling, insightful presentations.
Evidence of the increased popularity in the Designer Track is clear. From its inception nine years ago, the Designer Track submissions have steadily grown 5-10% each year. DAC 2018 received 180 submitted presentations with 141 presentations accepted.
What will you hear when you visit us in Las Vegas next June? You’ll hear from design experts about trends, techniques, tools and methodologies that can light up the most intriguing applications of our day, from robotics, to autonomous vehicles; from AI and machine learning to connectivity (WiFi, BLE, NB IoT, Zigbee and more), to hardware and software modeling.
So, what do we need from potential presenters? The papers that we look for are everything from innovative approaches to designing SoCs, GPUs, DSPs to applications of those technologies in areas like edge computing, ML and security. The call for participation is now open.
We’ll drive for more submissions this year, specifically more from Europe, where there is a wealth of untapped knowledge that should be shared with the DAC audience. We’re reaching out more to communities where this is good opportunity we haven’t tapped. We’re already beginning to do some outreach in those areas.
In the past, we’ve had good interest in modeling hardware/software specifications design from those guys, and we’re looking for more insight this year. We are pushing for some new themes in 2019, that haven’t made it into previous programs but are interesting. For example, we’re looking for invited content in the area of reverse engineering. These would be different from your classic teardown presentations, which are fine, but people don’t know how to do them in a practical way.
Another area we’ll emphasize again this year in the Designer Track are case studies. We like to sprinkle a few of those into these tracks because the attendees find case studies very compelling. We typically don’t get a lot of these types of submissions (hint, hint, nudge, nudge!), but the audience demand is clearly there for them.
Lastly, one thing that’s fundamentally changing the industry is the whole concept of open source, both hardware and software. There’s a general trend of openness across the board, and we saw this more than ever in the 55th DAC at San Francisco in 2018. And when we talk about open-source, we’re not just talking about RISC-V either. There’s an open-source EDA movement as well that deserves to be heard (that’s another hint, hint).
How do you manage technology that’s open? A lot of people don’t know how to do that. Open source as a technology is a topic that’s worthy of discussion.
So, join us in Las Vegas, June 2-6, 2019, for the Designer Track, which exemplifies DAC’s tagline: “Learn today, create tomorrow.” I guarantee a valuable learning and networking experience in the desert.
And for those of you who want to share your insights and submit to the Designer Track, there is still time. The submission period is open, all you need to do to is submit a 100-word description along with six slides. The Designer and IP track submissions are intended to be free of marketing and sales pitches and tuned to the needs of today’s designers. Submit today! And see you in Las Vegas.