Overall I was impressed with DesignCon. I still see it primarily as a show for chip and IP designers, but I could agree with anyone who says it is a show for electrical engineers involved in the entire design process. To me, the conference was lacking in practical design topics in the PCB space. Granted, there were only about eight sessions in the “PCB Summit” portion of the program, but aside from the Lee Ritchey, Eric Bogatin and Bruce Archambeault sessions it was pretty thin.
I do have to mention a panel I attended called Science Fiction…Is it Really Fiction? The panel was chaired by Gabe Moretti and included Eric Bogatin, Gentry Lee and Charles Pfeil. It may please you to know that, according to Gentry Lee, by the year 2200 we will have unlocked the keys to immortality and be able to choose how long we live. Something tells me I won’t live long enough to see it.
Exhibitors in the PCB space included laminate suppliers, a couple of board shops as well as EDA companies. The thing that impressed me most was the traffic. The show was busy every time I was on the floor. In fact I did not get to see some people I wanted to see because they were always busy with potential customers. Some may think that exhibitors are always glad to see the press, but customers – even potential customers – always come first.
Even though the PCB portion of the show was very small compared to the total conference and exhibition, overall I give DesignCon a thumbs up, with one exception. Somebody needs to talk to whomever put the show directory together. I thought at first it might just be me, but talking to other people the consensus was that this was the most difficult to use directory we’d ever seen. If there was a rhyme or reason to the way the directory was organized I couldn’t find it.
The best thing about DesignCon for me this year was reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in years. Some were people from the publishing world and others were from the EDA industry. It was good to see and talk to them all.
All in all, DesignCon was worth the trip.