We are just under 12 weeks away from the inaugural ES Design West, a design-led event to be co-located with SEMICON West at San Francisco’s Moscone Center (July 9-11). It is a new high profile gathering backed by the ESD Alliance, the first since it became a SEMI Strategic Association Partner in 2018. But it has already been a year of “exploration” for alliance executive director Bob Smith and his team.
“We’ve been increasing our presence around the world,” he says. “For example, we had a design reception at SEMICON Taiwan only shortly after we concluded our agreement with SEMI. They were really eager to get us in there. SEMI has now joined as a sponsor of DATE in Europe. And in March, we put together an executive session for SEMICON China in Shanghai.”
For Smith, the whole point of the agreement with SEMI is positioning EDA, IP and the other design activities represented by his organization much more closely to the rest of the electronic product and semiconductor supply chain. “We are in a system design era where the connections between all the parts of the process are being brought together and we have more customers who look at things in that way – a lot of them, different types of customer to what we’ve seen in the past,” he says.
This is not just about the FAANGs – Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. But also, automotive companies taking a much greater role in chip design, and a host of traditional and disruptive industrial giants looking to ‘own’ tailored implementations of artificial intelligence. It almost certainly does not stop even there.
To reflect that, Smith believes that the earlier initiatives have begun to furnish a more visible and broader showcase for alliance members, but that ES Design West is the first “big push” toward that goal. And there is more to come. There has to be.
“I think of this last year as one of exploration because we are still learning,” Smith says. “Things will evolve. We will change and improve the presences we have had [at SEMI events] and we are already looking to add more – SEMICON Europa is another possible stop. Because we are reaching out to a new set of attendees through these exhibitions and conferences, there will be a process of finding out what does work and what doesn’t.”
For ES Design West, alliance exhibitors will have their own area and theater with a number of sessions. These will include two daily ‘Meet the Experts’ sessions with topics such as ‘More than Moore’, ‘Security’, ‘Silicon Design in the Cloud’, ‘Design for Low Energy’, ‘Machine Learning, AI and EDA’ and ‘Advanced Applications.
But alongside a key feature will involve taking EDA and IP figures into the main SEMICON West program to achieve that much needed crossover, and bringing those considered SEMI players nearer to the electronic system and semiconductor design community. “There are a number of important verticals that go across the whole event – for example ‘Smart Automotive’ – and we will have our people participating in those alongside more traditional SEMI speakers.
Keynoters for ES Design West include Synopsys chairman and co-CEO Aart de Geus with the program continuing to firm up. A finalized line-up is due in May.
“It’s all about increasing the audience because things are changing and that reaches deep down into EDA, IP and the other segments of the design ecosystem,” says Smith.
“At the same time, the demands on design are going up. Everybody thought the venture capital market for semiconductors was slowing down, but with AI now fueling things – Wow!” says Smith.
Tech Design Forum will be previewing speakers at ES Design West (from EDA and beyond) and providing updates on the program regularly between now and early July. But if your interest has already been sparked, registration is now open.
Also check out Bob’s own thoughts on the system design evolution in his recent Expert Insight here.