This seems to be the year for milestone events in the EDA industry, though calculations show some of the “anniversary” designations to be premature. Nevertheless, the first big EDA event of the year is the Design and Verification Conference (DVCon), held in San Jose, CA every February. DVCon celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, after a transformation from HDLcon in 2003, which followed the earlier union of the VHDL International User’s Forum and International Verilog HDL Conference. Those predecessor conferences trace their origins back 25 years and 20 years, respectively.
After DVCon, EDA marketers quickly turn to preparations for the June Design Automation Conference (DAC), perhaps with a warm-up at Design, Automation, and Test in Europe (DATE) in March. DAC is the big show, however, and this year marks the 50th such event (and its 49th anniversary). Phil Kaufman Award winner Pat Pistilli received the EDA industry’s’ highest honor for his pioneer work in creating DAC, which grew from his amusingly-named Society to Help Avoid Redundant Effort (SHARE) conference in 1964.
Milestones inevitably lead to some reflection, but also provide an opportunity to look forward to what the future will bring. In our 2nd annual EDA Digest Resource Guide, we will be asking EDA companies to share what they see as the biggest challenges facing the industry in the next five years, and how the industry will change to meet those challenges. Will future innovations be able to match the impact of the greatest past developments in EDA, which enabled the advances in electronics that we benefit from today?
To put that question in perspective, I’ve been developing a Top 10 list of the most significant developments in the history of EDA, based on my personal experiences over the course of my career. That doesn’t go back quite as far as Pat Pistilli’s, but I have seen many of the major developments in EDA first hand, going back to when I started as an IC designer at Texas Instruments. (This was a few years after we stopped cutting rubylith, in case you were wondering.)
We will also be conducting a survey of readers, and will publish the results in the EDA Digest Resource guide in time for DAC-50. To get things started, here are the first five EDA breakthroughs on my list, roughly in historical order.
1.CALMA GRAPHIC DATA STATION
3.THE LEVEL 28 TRANSISTOR MODEL, AND HSPICE
4.HARDWARE DESCRIPTION LANGUAGES: VERILOG AND VHDL
6.ROUNDING OUT THE LIST