** The keynote address delivered on Tuesday morning at DATE by Dr. Wally Rhines, Chairman and CEO at Mentor Graphics and Chair of the EDA Consortium (EDAC) was nothing short of a magnus opus. Rhines simply said it all - simply.
With the best slides I've ever seen, Rhines laid out the reality of the EDA landscape today - the types of companies, the economics of large companies versus small, the financial and technical impact of the innovation/acquisition cycle within EDA, how capital flows in and about the EDA ecosystem, how the tools are purchased and incorporated into the design flow, how the distribution of design starts between gate arrays, cell-based ICs, ASSPs, and FPGAs has varied over the last decade, and how the process technologies have evolved over the last 15 years.
Then, he illustrated the CAD tool purchase-and-use ecosystem structure within a company, and how the tensions are arrayed between software and hardware designers, system architects and chip designers, analog and digital designers, and designers and manufacturers. (see Saving the Best for Last below.) That complete, he graphically illustrated how EDA bridges all of these paradigms and eases the tensions therein. Now that last may have been more about the idealized EDA than the gritty reality, but the clarity of Rhines' presentation excused what might have been perceived as a simplification.
His keynote was simply great, and how do I know? Every single subsequent conversation that I heard at DATE referenced back to Rhines' talk on Tuesday morning. It was that simple, and it could not have been a better intro to everything that followed at DATE, particularly if you're interested in EDA. -- Peggy Aycinena