DesignCon Presents 2020 Conference Programming

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DesignCon, the nation’s largest event for chip, board, and systems design engineers, today announced its 2020 conference schedule presenting 14 newly refined and reorganized tracks covering a broad range of highly technical sessions, boot camps, tutorials, and more to fit the needs of the hardware design engineering community. Hot topics of interest for this year’s programming include signal integrity (SI) and power integrity (PI) for single-multi die, interposer and packaging, modeling and analysis of interconnects, featured within a breadth of sessions. DesignCon returns to Silicon Valley for its 25th year, taking place January 28-30 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. 

The DesignCon premier educational conference is curated by the Technical Program Committee (TPC), an expert panel of more than 90 industry professionals who review and update the curriculum each year to meet the needs of the ever-evolving high-speed communications and semiconductors industry for 25 years running. With more than 100 technical paper sessions, panels, and tutorials spanning 14 tracks, DesignCon’s three-day conference program covers all aspects of hardware design, including high-speed serial design, machine learning, and much more. For more in-depth information on each track, please visit here.

DesignCon 2020 will additionally welcome a number of leading industry experts as panel and session speakers, including recently elected I/O Buffer Information Specification (IBIS) Open Forum chair, Randy Wolff. As chair, Mr. Wolff provides leadership for this influential discipline and is a valued partner of DesignCon.

“DesignCon provides unrivaled access to today’s leading experts who are advancing high speed communications, technology and design across a variety of applications,” Wolff said. “To continue solving problems and enabling new technologies, a broad community of skilled engineers need to come together to share a breadth of knowledge and information—DesignCon is the ideal forum for this exchange, and IBIS is proud to be a partner and to support the continued innovation within this industry.”

Featured conference content of interest at DesignCon 2020 include:

Under the Hood: Understand the Software that Drives Electromagnetic Simulation Tools (Boot Camp)
In this full-day boot camp, presented by SI experts, David Correia and Raul Stavoli from Carlisle IT, attendees will learn different numerical techniques ranging from computational electromagnetics to frequency and time-domain conversions. See how S-parameters are created in a full-wave solver, how they can be converted between time and frequency domains, and what type of information is relevant in each domain. Also focused on is how to start with a simple finite-difference time-domain solver, followed by a finite-element solver in frequency domain to show the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Finally, the boot camp will address the information contained in an S-parameter file, and how to extract relevant content in both frequency and time-domains.

Open-Source Software Tools for Signal Integrity (Tutorial)
This session will introduce engineers to a Python-based open-source software tool called Signal Integrity released last year on the Python Packaging Index. This software is ideal for calculating single-ended or mixed-mode s-parameters of interconnected networks, frequency and time-domain de-embedding, and linear simulation of systems. Peter Pupalaikis, vice president, Advanced Technology Development, Teledyne LeCroy will walk-through several use-cases, teaching how to use the tool to solve various problems, along with providing other educational content on s-parameters.

Automatic Channel Condition Detection & Tuning Using Machine Learning Surrogate Models for 56G PAM4 Channels (Technical Session)
Machine-learning expert Chris Cheng presents the follow up to their previous paper on accelerating channel optimization using principal component analysis. In this session, Cheng will create families of surrogate models in the reduced dimension PCA space based on various channel conditions. When a new system topology is encountered, random points within the PCA space is sampled. The resulting performance is compared against the families of surrogate models and the closest solution is considered the nearest channel condition model. The optimal operating can then be easily set based on precomputed optimal setting for that surrogate model. Alternatively, the precompute settings can be used as seed values for circuit level auto tuning.

Component Design Specification Study for Electrical Serial Links Beyond 112G (Technical Session)
Based on compatibility and scalability requirements, electrical solutions for beyond 112Gbps need to be evaluated in PCB-based, orthogonal and cable-based backplane configurations. However, the design goals of the key components for beyond 112G are unclear. This paper serves as a trailblazer to explore the key component requirements. A top-down method is introduced for decomposing end-to-end link performance requirements from Salz-SNR analysis under PAM-based modulation schemes, down to the performance requirements for each individual component, such as connector, cable and PCB. Two sets of component design guidelines for 224G copper transmissions are proposed for smaller chassis/boxes and large chassis as examples. A series of highly esteemed Industry experts from Xilinx, ZTE, and more will guide attendees throughout this technical session.

Optimized Wireless System Design with Minimal RFI Using Antenna Near Field Approach (Technical Session)
From the Amazon Lab 126 team, RF interference is one of the major problems in modern day consumer electronics. This deep dive of their paper presents a workflow that provides a new perspective on RFI mitigation by observing the antenna’s near field as opposed to manipulating the noise source. By making changes to antenna structure and its near field characteristics considerable RFI improvement can be achieved.

DesignCon 2020 is also supported by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), offering its accreditation to conference attendees. Each conference hour is equivalent to one professional development hour (PDH), and 10 PDH’s result in one continuing education unit (CEU) and an official IEEE certificate. IEEE accreditation can be used to meet training requirements, stand out to future employers, and maintain an engineering license.


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