Preparations for DAC

What are you hoping to see and hear at DAC this year? Perhaps some new tools or IP? We even have some stealth companies included.


The 53rd DAC is just days away now and the program is pretty well established at this point. It is returning to Austin after a couple of years in San Francisco. In 2013 it was held in this location for the first time and there was a herculean effort to bring the local design community to the event. They did amazing well and while attendance fell slightly compared to the previous year in San Diego, it was probably one of the best DACs for a long time. Lots of new ideas, new session types and plenty to interest the new audience. They even managed to show a 37% increase in attendance for the keynotes.

The promotion does not appear to quite so strong this time around and many of the exciting new program features have started to fade a little. For example, the SKY talks are down to one per day and are now in the pavilion panel rather than part of the conference sessions. While this is good in some ways in that it is trying to bring more academic interest into the industrial part of the show, the subjects of the talks just don’t seem to have the magic of that first year.

The beginning of DAC will be somewhat sad. For as long as I can remember, DAC officially started when Gary Smith provided his update and analysis of the EDA industry. Last year was his last, although he will never be forgotten. Laurie Balch will be continuing the tradition and I am sure you will all join me in wishing her the best of luck in that endeavor.

One of my passions is startups. I have helped a number of them navigate their way through the treacherous waters of EDA and I am pleased that a majority of those I have been involved with have found themselves in the arms of one of the big three and their products survived. But it has been a while since there were that many new startups and we are getting quite thin on the mid-sized EDA companies as well.

The DAC catalog lists 32 new exhibitors this year which at first blush looks like a very exciting number. Let’s break those down a bit.

New Tools

I will start with what I believe are the most important, those with new tools. DAC lists five first time exhibitors in this category, but I have managed to find another three that you won’t find in the official program.

The first is ATEC Technologies who have a sequential equivalence checker on display in booth 2131. Their website indicates that the tool is free and you pay for service.

COSEDA Technologies is showing a design environment based on SystemC and SystemC AMS. They are targeting the design and verification of heterogeneous safety-relevant hardware and software systems for the automotive industry. They will be in booth 2119.

Intento Design was featured in our Startup Corner and offers tools for the reuse and migration of analog and mixed-signal designs. They will be located in booth 329.

Sigasi provides an IDE for VHDL that includes design assistance. They will be in booth 2019.

SoCScape has an IDE for Verilog. They are in booth 2530.

Finally, there are some new companies that even the DAC organizers don’t know about. They will be tucked in with Verific Design Automation who are supporting Austemper Design that can automatically insert safety features required to meet medical, automotive and industrial industry regulations; Innergy Systems who have some power estimation and analysis software; and Tortuga Logic, also featured in the Startup Corner, who provide a way to verify the security of designs. Two of these companies are still in semi-stealth mode so you may be one of the first to hear about what they have to offer in booth 538.

IP Companies and Services

Six of the new exhibitors are in the IP pavilion. They include Aegis, a joint venture between Adapt IP and Methods2Business. The Joint Venture was formed to integrate IP from suppliers into complete subsystems, and provide a single point of purchase, support and maintenance for easy deployment of these subsystems into ASICs and FPGAs. Then there is Amphion Semiconductor who has a video codec, Jama Software who have some product development software that can keep track of requirements and verification through the design cycle; Seamless Devices who have a family of analog front-end solutions to enhance the effectiveness of LTE, WiFi and microwave applications; and UltraSoC, another Startup Corner featured company, who will be showing their on-chip monitoring and analytics IP. Finally, Toshiba Information Systems will be there but it is unknown what they will be showing.

Granite River Labs is an engineering services firm focused on high-speed connectivity technologies; IC Enable is a layout and design service company focused on full custom IC layout, analog circuit design, and technology development test chips; Kapik Integration is a provider of mixed-signal design services and IP focused on sensors and UI components; and Photeon Technologies is a European design services company that started life in the optics field but has migrated to more generic systems. They are clustered in booth 1541.

NEWRACOM is a developer of wireless IP, specializing in 802.11XX solutions. They will be in booth 2230.

Pacific Microchip is a design services provider specializing in RF, analog, mixed signal and digital functions. They are in booth 2231.

Silab Tech is a developer of analog IP in the field of high-speed interfaces and analog/mixed signal IP. They will be in booth 1442.

Spectral Design & Test specializes in tools for embedded memory development. They target memory IP not served well by the IP marketplace. They will be in booth 1922.

Maker Faire comes to DAC

For those who love to tinker, the Maker’s Market will be home to another seven new exhibitors including Arduino with their open-source electronic prototyping platform; Digilent with FPGA development boards; Evothings who have mobile application platforms for Industrial IoT; Hackster, a community dedicated to learning hardware, from beginner to pro; iFixit a global community of people helping each other repair things; Krtkl who will being showcasing their Snickerdoodle development board; and Random Designs who can do things with 3D printers.

Fabs, Marketing, Infrastructure

Consensia is a channel partner of Dassault Systèmes and will be in booth 2219.

EMC wants EDA to move to the cloud and perhaps for EDA vendors to get more interested in big data solutions. They are in booth 1239.

Shanghai Huali Microelectronics Corporation has a 300mm IC foundry that ranges from 55 down to 28nm in mainland China. They will be in booth 1723.

Technical Marketing Solutions provides marketing communications, public/press relations, channel management, event planning, and collateral development services. They are in booth 1721.

Teraproc contributes to multiple open-source efforts, and plays a role in the development of OpenLava, an open source version of IBM Platform LSF. You can find them in booth 1925.

Real Silicon would rather not say anything about themselves. Maybe they will talk to you in booth 2220.


Philippe Faes says:

Hi Brian! I wanted to point out that we support SystemVerilog as well. I look forward to seeing you again next week. — Philippe

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