Leon Stok and Patrick Groenweld were interviewed at DATE by EEtimes about the upcoming DAC (less than 3 months to go everyone!).
For the 48th edition of DAC, Stoke said he is seeking more interaction. An initial move consisted in replacing the traditional DAC party into four smaller, less formal receptions in the form of get-togethers. Also, Stoke said, the DAC committee has tried to minimize the one-way presentation time to encourage constructive dialog. "Q&A will promote open dialog. There will be a more intimate setting and people will be less hesitant to ask questions."
THere's Patrick on the lack of startup companies at DAC specifically but in EDA in general:
"This is purely a financial issue," commented Patrick Groeneveld, chief technologist at Magma Design Automation Inc. and vice chair at Design Automation Conference. "Now, we are at the bottom of a cycle. We can force the ecosystem but we can't force the money. VCs are more focused on facebook-like companies rather than on technology startups but it will come back. We will see more in the future. People care a lot about their mobile phones; embedded systems, software and low power issues are essential for these to work. We have a rule to play here."
I'm not so sure. It is true that it is a financial issue, but it is really a valuation issue. When companies like Ambit, Silicon Perspective and others were acquired for hundreds of millions of dollars then the financial math worked. Now, apart from companies bootstrappped with very little money in, it doesn't. It's not cleer that the old ecosystem will really return in anything like the form it used to take.