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DAC 2010 – First Impression

This is the first time I am going to the Design Automation Conference (DAC) conference or any industry conference. It is really an eye opener for me. When I first started working in PMC during the dot-com bubble days, the company promised send us to a conference every two years. Unfortunately before my turn to go, the bubble burst and the company is on survival mode for almost a decade. Finally, we are back on the growth track and the company has money to invest in developing the employees and budget to send us to industry conference.

There is a few reason I picked DAC to go. First, it is the biggest conference of the EDA industry. It has 3 days of exhibition and 2 more days for tutorial and workshops. You can see everything under the same roof, all the tool venders, 3rd party IP provider, the big names and new start up that you never heard of. Second, there are many workshops and tutorials sessions specified for verification, so I can learn what’s new other there, what other companies are doing. In fact there are so many interesting sessions that I could not see them all. Last, the conference is in Anaheim, right next to Disneyland. I am flying Pat down here and spend a weekend after the conference as a mini-vacation.

The latest technology presented by the exhibitors are amazing, but I am equally amazed by the registration system. After you have registered on-line, you can pick up your badge in the registration desk. The process is very smooth, just scan the bar code and your card is printed right in front of you. The card has built in RF chip. You no longer have to hand out business cards to exhibitors, they have a cell phone like device scan your card and print out your information automatically.

There are lots of freebies in DAC. It’s only the first day of the exhibition, I only covered 1/3 of the exhibition and I already got the following freebies: 1 backpack, 3 T-shirts, 4 balls, 2 highlight pens, a measuring tape, A battery powered cell phone charger, a pair of waist band and a book “The ten commandments for effective standards”. Other than freebies, there is free beer. Last night we have the kick-off reception sponsored by Intel. Tonight I went to the Denali party in Disney Downtown. Although, there is the beer is bottomless, no one is abusing the kind offer and got drunk. It is an industry conference after all, you don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of potential clients and employers. The industry is a small world after all.

I am looking forward to the rest of the week. I am going to write about what new technology I learn in DAC every day. Stay tuned.

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