DesignCon Day 2

Yesterday was the typical busy day for media types like yours truly. A quick breakfast with a couple of the exhibitors and then some editorial meetings. It has been several years since I wore the editorial hat at a trade show and I’d forgotten how distracting it can be to have a business conversation in an open space. Especially when people I hadn’t seen in 8 years or so would walk by and wave. The only thing that saved me was the fact that this is such a small and incestuous industry that the same thing was happening to the person I was interviewing.

I was reminded in one of the sessions Tuesday that the whole EDA market — boards, chips everything EDA, is smaller than Wal-Mart. Just an fyi to put things into perspective.

A couple of notes on the tech conference. DesignCon is trying to address the PCB side of the design world. They’ve put most of the emphasis on signal integrity, bringing in heavy-hitters like Bruce Archambeault, Lee Ritchey and Eric Bogatin. I also saw Rick Hartley on the show floor but don’t think he is speaking this week.

Some things I learned Tuesday. Rogers, the laminate supplier known for RF and microwave applications, is committing considerable resources to the digital market with its Theda products. I want to specifically thank Sean Mirshafiel, a market development manager at Rogers, for a conversation that educated me to some of the finer points of of copper laminate. Sean provided me with the seeds of several articles topics that we’ll talk about in PCDF soon.

Bhavesh Mistry and Vince Accardi of National Instruments brought me up-to-date on release 11 of the Multisim simulator for both academia and the commercial marketplace. Multisim is integrated with National’s NI Ultiboard layout software and its NI LabVIEW measurement software.

Today I have a couple of test drives with some EDA people and I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty.