Beyond the world of language and format standards for electronic design automation tools is a whole universe of other technical standards. One area that I haven't written much about is standards that affect IP products. (By IP, I don't mean internet protocol or intellectual property as ideas or inventions. In my industry, IP refers to the building blocks that are used in computer chip design.)
My colleague, John Swanson, recently wrote a good article about new standards for audio/video bridging, or AVB. He describes the advancements in entertainment and home networking, which bring us more amazing electronic products every year. More products mean more opportunity--or need--for interoperability. More need for interoperability means more standards.
The venerable IEEE Standards Association is addressing the need for these AVB standards. They will affect the entire supply chain, starting with IP such as Synopsys' DesignWare Ethernet QoS IP core. While you might never see the standards, you'll certainly see the benefits.