August 14, 2006
Letters to the Editor: DAC et al
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In sum: "good one!" I don't recall ever responding to a tech article, but I found yours to be unexpectedly engrossing ... Anyway, thanks for the article.
Letter No. 7
Thanks for your questions, comments and general curiosities. Here are a few quick responses to your comments/questions:
* In analog design, many say that when there is a level of automation and ease in analog design that's anywhere close to the levels available in digital design, folks would celebrate that as progress.
* "Apologies" to OpenAccess, because so many vendors have made so many admirable commitments and contributions there.
* My paraphrasing of Costello's keynote would include a) innovate at all costs, because b) you can't afford not to, and c) set unreasonable goals for yourself and then surprise yourself by reaching them.
Letter No. 8
You covered a lot of events that I missed, but you missed one that I thought was a real top 10 moment. Forte sponsored a student design contest in Brazil, the winner getting a trip to DAC to present his/her paper at the Forte booth, and also at the NASCUG meeting, if the paper was accepted. We had 4 entries, and the winner, Felipe Portavales Goldstein, was an undergraduate. He presented his paper at the NASCUG meeting on Monday afternoon, and did a really good job. The project was an MP3 decoder which he did by himself in the space of 3 months, producing working hardware which had better performance characteristics than an RTL implementation done by a team of 6 in 11 months.
He read his talk from a script, since he said he was unsure of his English, or maybe because it was his first time giving a technical talk. At any rate, the work was outstanding, and the talk was clear, concise, understandable, and interesting. This kid is going to go far.
We also sponsored several of the other contest entrants, since the projects, which didn't win were almost as good as Felipe's. Those students were Rodrigo Pimentel, Romulo Bruno, Patricia Lira, Vinicius Kursancew, and Vitor Schwambach. Vitor is a graduate student, the others are undergraduates. They had a station in the Forte booth and gave presentations about their projects (using our Cynthesizer, of course). It was really fun to have them around, and they gave us a good feeling that new blood is on the way.
Letter No. 9
As usual, I enjoy reading your article. By the way, there's a typo in our company name - it should be "Nanno SOLUTIONS", not "Nano Solutions"
Letter No. 10
I just finished reading Peggy Aycinena's article. I didn't have the opportunity to actually attend DAC this year due to college search trips with my high school age son. So, there was definitely the feeling that I had missed out by not attending DAC this year. But while reading Peggy's article, I felt like I was there. I'm definitely predisposed to enjoying anything that she puts on paper, but with this article in particular, I wanted to let you know that she really helped all those that, for whatever reason, were not able to get to DAC this year. Two things about the article really stand out. First, it is so comprehensive. I don't know how she covers it all. Caffeine, I suspect, has something to do with it. The second is her own personal perspective that she injects as an observer. Looking forward to more articles from Peggy in the future.
Letter No. 11
Regarding your comment:
" the notable exception of one technologist who is bravely enduring the transition to becoming a woman, although her contributions to the industry happened a long time ago, when she was still a man."
Can I assume that this comment refers to one of the speakers at the event you mentioned earlier in your report:
"briefly enjoyed Synopsys' hospitality over breakfast on Tuesday (before rushing off to the opening conference keynote)"
I found myself in the same position, leaving for the keynote and not sticking around for the end of that breakfast presentation to see if my eyes were deceiving me from the back of the room. I scoured the web looking for any references to what I thought I saw, and so far have found absolutely nothing. In fact, as recently as 1997, this person (if it's who I think it is) gave a video interview with his long-time wife.
Could you at least please let me know if I'm correct about this? It has been a gnawing question in my mind for the last week and I'd like to put it to rest.
Letter No. 12
Yes, I had confirmation from the Synopsys folks. This has got to take so much courage for someone to show up in a public forum while working through such an intensely personal transformation. Thanks for your note.
Letter No. 13
To be honest, I am really not sure what to think about this. For those of us that knew and worked with [him] over the years (I don't know how many in the room fell into that category, but I assume there were at least a few of us), I think some sort of explanation was in order. "Explanation" is probably not the right word, but I'm sure I was not the only one to be confused. I think it reflects quite poorly on Synopsys that the situation was not handled better. Somehow.
Letter No. 14
I was told that it was a confusing moment for several, but who has the responsibility? If someone is suffering from cancer these days, and is emaciated and sans hair due to chemo, it's a courtesy for the individual to put those around them at ease by openly acknowledging their situation so that people can express concern and support, and then move on to other topics. So, I'm not sure if Synopsys is the entity that overlooked their responsibility.
Letter No. 15
Good point. However (and my memory is already a bit fuzzy) there was an empty seat on the podium while the first one or two speakers was talking. Then a bearded gentleman in a suit took his seat, and I assumed that was [ ..] (not having seen him since the late 80's). If the [prior] speaker (a Synopsys manager, as I recall) had simply said "I would now like to turn the microphone over to [ ..]" that would have helped. I don't believe he did.
When the (apparent) woman on stage started talking, it took a few minutes for me to figure out what was going on. Having had no advance notice of the situation, my first thought was that he was suffering from a neurological disease of some kind. Which I did not rule out until reading your article yesterday.
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-- Peggy Aycinena, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.
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