Thought Leadership

After DAC

By Colin Walls

I reported before on my plans to attend the Design Automation Conference in San Diego last week. It was an interesting event and I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my experiences and impressions. By my standards, DAC is a large event. If you are familiar with the various shows focused on embedded, DAC is bigger than any of the ESC events, but smaller than Embedded World. It does illustrate that the EDA world is very much alive and kicking.

Looking back, I ask myself two key questions: Was the goal to include a greater proportion of embedded at DAC achieved? And what technology [related to embedded] seemed to be on people’s minds? …

My impression was very clear: DAC was not inundated with embedded software people. The conference program included some suitable topics and I heard informally that they were well attended. But, on the show floor and in the “Embedded Theater”, things were quieter. I did meet people whose primary interest was embedded. Many of them were coming at it from the hardware standpoint, even if they were interested in software. Next year, the show is in San Francisco, which is close enough to Silicon Valley. So, with the right strategy, maybe things will be different at DAC 2012.

In terms of technologies on people’s minds, I think the big one was multicore. There was healthy interest in our Sourcery System Analyzer product, which is designed to give a developer a clear view of what is happening in a multicore system. There was also a keen interest in virtual platforms, where again multicore comes to the fore. Our recent announcement of the integration between Sourcery CodeBench and Vista Virtual Prototyping seems to have been timed to perfection.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at