DAC previews: WACI and bio-design automation

By Paul Dempsey |  No Comments  |  Posted: May 31, 2011
Topics/Categories: Blog - EDA, - General  |  Tags: , ,

That age-old issue of ‘space consideration’ prevented me from highlighting a few other interesting parts of the DAC 2011 program in this month’s print issue, so I’ll try and pick some out of the necessary omissions as the conference begins on Sunday (June 5) in San Diego.

The Wild and Crazy Ideas (WACI) session is always very fertile, offering valuable insights into what’s coming down the chip design line (Tuesday, June 6, 4-6pm, Room 31AB).

This year’s papers include a couple on what we could call ‘Design Judo’. This isn’t simply about the workarounds and tricks that allow us to overcome inherent challenges, but actually taking those challenges and using them to our advantage.

So, a team from UCLA will present on using device-aging to enhance security (Paper 17.5) while a troika of researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Greece’s University of Thessaly and Indiana’s Purdue University will address energy efficiency for unreliable platforms (Paper 17.6).

Those both come towards the end of the session, but you still might want to get there early as WACI also features a presentation from Vikram Jandhyala of the University of Washington on applying design automation techniques to social networks and web searches (Paper 17.1). That takes us into this area of translating skills from one domain into another, one that’s becoming increasingly important as we look to exploit new concepts and more systems-based innovation.

And that in turn links into my next highlight, the co-located International Workshop on Bio-Design Automation, held also at the San Diego Convention Center for two days (Monday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 7).

It brings together design automation experts with researchers in synthetic biology and systems biology and reflects what could be one of the most exciting technological areas over the next few years.

What makes this workshop particularly interesting is the sense that work here has now reached a sufficient level of maturity “where it calls for computer-aided design tools”. So not just emerging ideas, but also an emerging market—and one that is likely to cross-fertilize our thinking in electronics as we move further into the Post-Moore era.

Following the course set by DAC a few editions back, there is a whole host of conferences and workshops taking place alongside the main event.

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