It is a curious thing, which I have written about before [here and here for example]: almost every electronic device that has been designed in the last 15-20 years has contained a microprocessor or microcontroller in some form – they are embedded systems. This means that, by definition, a significant part of the design and development process is the creation of software. And yet hardware design and embedded software design have been largely considered to be two separate worlds. But maybe that is about to change …

Mentor Graphics recognized the synergy between the two disciplines about 15 years ago, when the Embedded Software Division was created, and this has been a steadily growing part of the business. The other major electronic design [EDA] companies have been slower to catch on, so we remain unique in our ability to offer a truly complete solution.

In the embedded software world, there are a couple of major conferences that punctuate the year: the Embedded Systems Conference, Silicon Valley and Embedded World in Nuremberg. For the EDA folks, the big show is the Design Automation Conference [DAC], which takes place annually in various locations. This year, DAC is in San Diego, CA on 6-10 June. This year, the organizers decided to make a strong focus on embedded. Maybe things are about to change …

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/embedded-software/2011/05/25/dac/