DAC is off to a fast start and no one is talking about the numbers, they are talking about how many great things there are see and do here at the 50th DAC here in Austin, Texas and how packed the schedule is. But before we get to that, I have to say a word or two about Austin. The reason is that Austin has the slogan keep Austin weird, which also happens to be the slogan for the city that I call my hometown Portland, Oregon, which I have to say, is a lot weirder. Since I got here, I have seen nothing weird. There was a mention that on Sunday evening, there was a topless woman on 6th street, but lets compare that to what I missed while down here for DAC The world naked bike race, where thousands of people ride their bikes through Portland without a stitch on (they do still recommend helmets). Now Austin that is weird!
During the first day I attended two keynotes, two visionary sessions, a breakfast panel, a lunch panel, did one presentation, interviewed three companies, held a round table, attended an award ceremony, went to Austin City Limits and walked about 5 miles. That was what I did, and it was a fraction of the things that I could have done. The DAC committee is trying many new things this year, in addition to the location. One really nice touch was with the Keynote this morning. It was a talk from Wally Rhines, CEO of Mentor Graphics that presented a vision of the future which include some very encouraging news for the semiconductor industry and for the EDA industry that drives it. He was of course talking about the growth that would come as a result of the Internet of Things, an explosion of small, low-power devices that will soon be connecting everything and performing functions that we cannot even dream to think about today. Wally says that the EDA industry has been around 2% of the size of the semiconductor industry for many years now, and that semiconductors are set to grow to become a $1.9 trillion market, and that means big growth ahead for everyone. I asked him after how long this would take and he responded that it will be in our lifetime (for you youngsters, that means fairly soon).
I will of course be doing write-ups about all of these events when I return from DAC. Of course, what everyone asks me is: what have you seen so far that has surprised you? My answer so far is that DAC is normal, healthy and it may have been a very good decision to bring DAC to a new community.Brian Bailey
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