DesignCon 2023 Opens With Strong Attendance

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As George Costanza would say, “DesignCon is back, baby!”

The show opened Wednesday morning, and it really felt like old times again. The aisles of the Santa Clara Convention Center were busy, and the classrooms for the technical conference were nearly full. And I spoke—or tried to speak—with quite a few engineers who spoke almost no English. That’s a good sign; in recent years, there were very few attendees from outside the U.S. because of Covid restrictions. The Pacific Rim is well represented this year.

The welcome reception Tuesday night was literally packed inside the Santa Clara Grand Ballroom. There must have been 150 people eating tacos and drinking IPAs and wine. It was so loud that you couldn’t hear the person next to you. Good problem to have, though!

AI is in the spotlight at DesignCon 2023. The Chiphead Theater hosted a panel on AI in EDA tools. One of the main challenges seems to be getting AI from proof of concept into production. Everyone agrees that AI has a role in EDA, but how to get there is up for discussion. But EDA companies are demonstrating their tools’ AI functionality this week, particularly in simulation and analysis software. AI is here to stay.

This is a good omen for the rest of 2023. People are ready to get back to in-person trade shows and conferences. To use an overused turn of phrase, it seems like old times, but with the latest technology.


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