(Pallab's Place) At the end of July, in San Francisco, is the 46th Design Automation Conference (DAC). For the past couple of decades, the show has been dominated by its exhibit floor and the display of new EDA tools and IP. Concurrent with this large exhibit floor, has been the on-going technical conference composed of papers, panels, keynotes and workshops. The harsh worldwide economy and the cost of chip development at leading edge process nodes, has impacted the viability for a single, once a year gathering of the industry as the primary method of introducing new and improved tools to the world wide audience. This is now a continuing task, that is increasingly taking place on a direct channel.