And over those years, DAC has become, in my opinion, the industry’s foremost bridge between highly technical communities—ACM and IEEE in particular—that make tomorrow’s innovation happen.
This is not only important to me personally, but it’s important to ACM. ACM is itself a wonderful community of students, industry practitioners and academics. It ensures there is continuity across generations, theory and practice and looks at how design automation can help make a better world, literally. That’s ACM’s interest in investing in DAC, and that’s why there’s such synergy between the two.
How do I quantify the spirit of this partnership in other ways? In some ways it’s intangible and in other ways, it’s pervasive. When I get a student going through the exhibits and sharing research ideas, there is a sudden spark. The intangibles with how it pervades the system are hard to quantify. A paper or presentation may inspire another engineer to overcome a hurdle or think differently about a thorny problem. You also can imagine a few concrete examples. His or her idea sparks a collaboration that leads to further refinement of a technology direction. Maybe it leads to an investment.
DAC’s uniqueness lies in making these discoveries and innovations pervasive.
So, as we’re about to kick off the 55th DAC in San Francisco in June, there are a lot of things about the event that excite me this year.
If you think about the technology, it’s becoming clearer that design automation has a life beyond chip design. Innovations are driving machine learning, for example. And in this, there is a rejuvenation of understanding EDA’s impact. Machines may become autonomous, but there is an element of human engineering and design that will not go away. There are new approaches to crafting automation tools to make the autonomous systems work together.
One area of my own personal interest is drawing a line from functional verification to how you actually drive training sets in machine learning.
Here’s an analogy: If you do your testing on a simple adder and you’re doing addition, well in my world there are only integers. The first time someone comes with a fractional number, I’m doomed, right?
Making these new bridges and finding new opportunities for design automation are important. The duality of keeping our traditional strengths and getting better electronics systems and looking at new frontiers is the exciting stuff.
The Under 40 awards are a huge reflection of this. We have younger people in biology, for example, and in devices using CAD to do amazing things.
So, we have this year, as in years past, experience, youth, industry, academia, contributions from around the world, much of which is tackling the most pressing challenges of design today. It’s amazing.
ACM, DAC and the IEEE bring in people who can bridge divides and close gaps in our technical understanding. This is more important than ever because when things get more uncertain, the value for design automation tools becomes more valuable. This is because the cost of mistakes and lost opportunities becomes much higher the more mature and sophisticated technology—and the business of technology—become.
In the context of DAC, organizations like ACM and IEEE bring connections and knowledge to these communities that is beyond your day-to-day work. Here you meet and work together with people you might never have met otherwise. This is a collective experience for multiple individuals that collectively transforms how we work together as a community.
Whether you are from a large corporation, a startup, a premier research institution or an independent enthusiast, together, we form the vibrant community to design for a better future. I look forward to meeting and working with you in San Francisco at DAC!