Gary Smith EDA Gary Smith EDA (GSEDA) is the leading provider of market intelligence and advisory services for the global Electronic Design Automation (EDA), Electronic System Level (ESL) design, and related technology markets.

    "DATE 2009"

    DATE 2009

    • Probably the most horrible thing about DATE 2009 was that there were not nearly as many competitors visiting your booth this year. EDA vendor attendance was down significantly. There were 60 booths though and they were crowded. DATE set the traffic pattern so you almost had to go through the show floor to get to the next session. Probably the saddest thing about DATE 2009 was how few editors are left covering EDA and semiconductors in general. As far a paid attendance that was down 5; not 5% but 5 engineers from the DATE show in Munich last year, and we always expect the number of engineers to be lower than we get at Munich. So much for the dire predictions we were hearing prior to DATE.

      The technical show was excellent and my favorite part of DATE, the hallway conversations, was as active as always. If you want to stay in touch with the progress in EDA technology, these DATE hallway conversations are a must. Basically the gang was all there, the only exceptions were IBM and Intel due to the no-travel policies currently in effect at both companies.

      Some of the sound bites taken from the Keynotes and Panels were:

    • • Mike Muller from ARM – “It’s the System Stupid” then ended up with “It’s the Service Stupid”. (My “It’s the Software Stupid” was quoted on a panel the next day.)

    • • Again Mike Muller – If you want to know about multi-core, don’t ask a hardware engineer. I’ll have to admit that one resonated.

    • • The Multi-Core panel – The number of processor cores used is determined by the software. We seem to forget that a lot. Critical Blue has a nice tool that will look at your code and tell you how many cores you can use.

    • • On Peggy’s Disaggregation/Re-aggregation Panel – Disaggregation of any market is progress. Specialization is how you make a profit.

    • • On Wally’s User ESL Panel – ESL Methodologies are maturing and as they mature they are moving from a hardware-centric approach to a software-centric approach.


      It’s interesting that the flip side of the big vendors, “We don’t have to have a booth; we know who our customers are,” is “We don’t go to conferences to see the big guys; we just pick up the phone and tell
      them to visit us. We go to conferences to see what new technology the little guys have.” This seems to have been overlooked by the major EDA players.

      Another practice that puzzles me is the “all or nothing” approach to these shows. The attitude is that, “I won’t go to DATE because we didn’t get many RTL or IC CAD leads last year.” So that means you didn’t show up with your ESL offering this year, and DATE is the leading ESL show today. Let’s face it -- the EDA market is splitting again. Most engineers involved in System Design couldn’t care less about a layout tool, and visa versa for the Layout Engineer. You can have division specific booths and they don’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. That’s the way it’s done in the semiconductor world.

      Keep in mind most of your customers of tomorrow are not your customers of today. And remember Mentor almost went under during the inflection point from Gate Level to RTL by listening to their customers. That is a practice that has been very carefully augmented by also listening to their noncustomers, more specifically their future potential customers, since Wally joined Mentor.

      Gary Smith

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