Taken for Granted

ESL, embedded processors, and more

Day 3 of DAC 2009: User Track

Filed under: Uncategorized — July 30, 2009 @ 11:57 am

I was able to attend session U7 of DAC 2009 yesterday (Wednesday July 29): I had a vested interest, in that one of the papers discussed mapping a video codec to Tensilica’s video subsystem. But I also wanted to see the other papers in this session, “Front-end development: embedded software and design exploration” as they all sounded interesting. And they were.

The user track is new for DAC this year, encouraging practical application presentations, especially from industry, and based on submissions of extended abstracts, not research style papers. According to the call for papers, the judgement is made in two stages – on the extended abstract (2 pages) and then on the presentation submitted. The materials are supposed to be posted on the DAC web site after the conference, which is useful – but it would be more useful if the extended abstracts were on the proceedings DVD, perhaps as an appendix. During the presentations I wanted to see if there were some follow up references for a couple of the presentations, but found that the proceedings DVD which was in my lap top did not cover the user track. Maybe next year!

DAC is following the path of DATE in adding a user track. DATE had one many years ago. It started as a totally separate track and then was folded into the main stream of the conference albeit with different criteria. However, by observation I have seen the DATE user track become “captured” by academic papers (since academics have a very strong urge to publish, far stronger than the industrial one) and I hope DAC finds ways to avoid this happening.

As well as the interesting paper on mapping the AVS codec to the Tensilica heterogeneous two core video system, the session I attended had interesting papers on use cases for microcontroller code development from Cypress, an ESL design methodology from STMicroelectronics, an experience-based paper on high level synthesis from TI, and a TLM2 modelling paper from Intel. All practically grounded (even though the AVS codec work was done at a university in Greece, it was very pragmatic), all either industrial or with very strong ties to industry, and quite interesting. There were 30-40 people in attendance even at 6 pm in the day, so I would judge this a pretty reasonable crowd.

I think the User track is one thing DAC should continue next year, and at the beginning of the session, Soha Hassoun of Tufts (who help organise this in particular as Design Community Chair on the DAC executive committee) said it is planned for 2010 and asked for industrial help to help make it happen. I would congratulate her based on what I saw and encourage anyone who could help out to do so.

Soha Hassoun of Tufts, DAC Executive Committee Design Community Chair

1 Comment »

  1. SKMurphy » DAC 2009 Blog Coverage Roundup:

    [...] Grant Martin on “Day 3 of DAC 2009: User Track“ [...]

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