DesignCon Celebrates 25th Anniversary with 2020 Keynote Lineup


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DesignCon 2020, the nation’s largest event for chip, board, and systems design engineers, today announced three keynote speakers that will headline the conference and expo set to take place January 28-30 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. With representation from industry leading organizations including II-VI, Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security, University of Maryland/DARPA, and Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and Mission Operations of NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), keynotes will speak to the electronics market’s top challenges and highlight real-world applications and solutions. 

  • Chris Cole, Vice President, Advanced Development at II-VI, will examine trends in fiber optics for datacenter and mobile.
  • Warren Savage, Visiting Researcher, Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security, University of Maryland/DARPA will address security frontiers for smart silicon.
  • Zaheer Ali, Senior Manager at USRA Science and Mission Operations for NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), will explore microchips in space.

The electronics industry is forecasted to see strong growth in 2020—in fact, according to IC Insights, 26 of the 33 main product categories classified by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization are set to show gains next year, with the top five expected to enjoy double-digit growth in 2020. “Celebrating its 25th in 2020, DesignCon plays a foundational role in the continued growth of the design engineering and electronics markets, providing the engineering community a dedicated space to connect with and learn from top minds shaping the industry on an annual basis,” said Suzanne Deffree, Intelligent Systems & Design, Informa Markets. “As we look to a future brightened by electronics and engineers, we are thrilled to offer this year’s attendees a comprehensive keynote lineup from the industry’s leading companies and associations, speaking to the central trends that are inspiring continued innovation in this dynamic industry.”

Full details on this year’s keynote presentations, which are open to all event attendees, can be found below:

"The Future of Fiber Optic Communications: Datacenter & Mobile"
Presented by Chris Cole, Vice President, Advanced Development, II-VI

In this keynote address, past trends in fiber optics for datacenter and mobile will be reviewed and new developments predicted. Major technical advances in lasers, ICs, parallel, wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM), FEC, and DSP will be related to key link parameters including rate, reach, and link budget. Cole will investigate two major trends of fiber optics replacing copper and coherent replacing direct detection and will survey the major limitations of power and density, and new technologies like Silicon Photonics (SiPh), and co-packaging. Lastly, Cole will compare previous predictions to what actually happened, and then boldly make predictions for several future generations of fiber optics, including how these could be disrupted by unexpected developments.

Cole’s keynote presentation will take place Tuesday, January 28 from 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. in the Elizabeth A. Hangs Theater with an exclusive press conference following.

"Design for Security: The Next Frontier of Smart Silicon"
Presented by Warren Savage, Visiting Researcher, Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security, University of Maryland/DARPA

With the ubiquity of smart silicon surrounding our personal lives, designers now face an additional challenge to design to protect not only intellectual property, but also the personal information of customers who use these devices from hackers and nation states that aim to profit from their data or do them harm. Savage will present an overview of the threats to our silicon today and the research programs that DARPA is funding to develop new “Design for Security” technology and methods to better protect us all.

Savage’s keynote address will take place Wednesday, January 29 from 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. in the Elizabeth A. Hangs Theater with an exclusive press conference following.  

"Microchips in Space: How Device Design Enables Amazing Astronomy"
Presented by Zaheer Ali, Senior Manager for the USRA Science and Mission Operations at NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

For NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the flight morning meeting each day ends with "Let's go get the data!" Rarely, however, do most of the mission team pause to consider what that really means. The scientists and engineers are the ones who know that our systems are reliant upon an intricate network of systems at the core of which are a huge variety of microprocessors of every type. Whether it is computation, imaging, spectroscopy, or controls, micro-devices are critical to every tool that astronomers use.

In this talk, Ali will look at how microchips have brought astronomy from the eye and image plates as main tools to elegantly designed micro-systems with 3D architecture that are taking the most famous images of our universe. Ali will also cover the earliest single pixel detectors that first measured intensity of stars, to the microchips that first imaged the pillars of the universe, and also look at the newest cutting-edge devices that are going to be launched soon.

Ali’s keynote presentation will take place Thursday, January 30 from 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. in the Elizabeth A. Hangs Theater with an exclusive press conference following.  

DesignCon 2020 is also supported by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), offering its accreditation to conference attendees. Each conference hour is eligible for 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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