Everyone else will be diligently reporting about what Gary Smith said at DAC this year, so you wont find that here, instead, I will talk between the lines.
For almost as long as I can remember, Gary Smith has stood up at DAC, either with Gartner or with his own company and started DAC off by saying that next year is the year that ESL will finally take off. This year was different. He did not mention ESL at all. Mary Olsson talked about the myths and realities of 3D TSV (Through Silicon Vias) and Gary talked about how EDA needs to work on productivity so that companies can make money with chip design again. He did not say that ESL was the answer, he did not talk about how ESL can affect productivity, he did talk about synthesis, implying RTL synthesis, is perhaps the biggest bottleneck in the process. So by not singling out ESL, we are led to two possible conclusions:
1) ESL is dead and not worth talking about anymore or
2) ESL is now a reality and not worth talking about anymore
I believe that 2) is closer to the truth but it is so worth talking about and the fact that Gary no longer wants to talk about it means to me, that the issues are now a little more complicated. What needs to happen in ESL to allow it to evolve further, faster? I think the answers to that lie in the reluctance and inertia of the big EDA companies. I will be talking to a lot of large and small companies over the next few days, and I hope to hear some about what they are really up to. Stay tuned…
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