3 min read

DAC 2018 Review w/Anupam Bakshi– Must-have tools in System Development

This was an intriguing DAC. Hardware-Software Interface (HSI) is increasingly emerging as an area of importance, and because of this Agnisys has begun to emerge as a must-have toolset in the system development toolchain.

It still surprises me that some are just now waking up to this critical area of design. Teams are realizing that the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and a design is only as robust as the weakest automation script. They are replacing their internal scripts with off-the-shelf professional tools. Agnisys, I’m proud to say, provides just that – professional products to replace register automation scripts.

One thing I did hear many times from attendees is that they are no longer satisfied with just creating register models. They want a test suite that automatically verifies the IP/SoC registers using a variety of techniques including C, UVM, and Formal. We nearly ran out of brochures for ARV-Sim™, ARV-Formal™, and ISequenceSpec™, as these products are intentionally built for exactly that.

Functional Safety driven by the ISO 26262 standard continues to be another hot area. Designers are looking for certified tools that can help them create autonomous vehicles and embedded electronics for automobiles. We shared our solution that fits in the intersection of Functional Safety and Electronic Design.

We’d hoped to perform a dramatic demo by having a drone crash without the benefits of functional safety support, but this was not allowed by DAC organizers. So our functional safety demo involved hacking the wireless controls of a toy car. With it, we demonstrated how IDesignSpec’s built-in Parity/CRC Sniffer can detect cosmic rays that may have wreaked havoc on the stored bits within the controller.

At DAC this year there were several educational opportunities on the topic of hardware design for AI or Machine Learning (ML) applications. Our booth was no exception as we wholeheartedly agree that Machine Learning matters.

We also co-sponsored OneSpin’s Verified party Monday night at the Golden Gate Tap Room for the first time. It was great fun to see our customers dancing and having a good time. We enjoyed the opportunity to support the EDA/Semi community, and look forward to co-sponsoring it again next year in Las Vegas.

When I had a moment away from the Agnisys booth, I took the opportunity to participate in Cadence’s contest to create Portable Stimulus using their Perspec product. I won a Raspberry Pie, but then again I was the only contender. (Thanks to Sharon!)

As you know Accellera released version 1.0 of the PSS. They are now preparing to tackle the HSI problem – something we have been dealing with for the last 10 years. We will look forward to supporting the release that Accellera comes up with.

Earlier this year, at DVCon and other conferences, several attendees recalled our SVA quiz from years past and encouraged us to revive it. In response, this year at DAC we offered a quiz – this time focused on Hardware-Software Interface.

Conference meet

Big luminaries in the EDA/Semi industry stopped by to take our quiz in hopes of winning our grand raffle prize, a da Vinci 3D printer. To keep it interesting (but still fun), we added the caveat that quiz takers must score at least 40% to be eligible for the drawing. After a drum roll and some fanfare, we had two happy winners at DAC.

If you missed us at DAC, you still have the chance to take the quiz online and enter the drawing to win your own 3D printer. Update: The quiz ended on August 16th. Congrats to our winner Deepak P. 


I also had the opportunity to sit down with Sanjay Gangal from EDACafe to discuss the many ways Agnisys is solving HW/SW interface problems. If you’d like to check out that interview please visit the link here on EDACafe.

Overall, it was a great DAC for us. We rolled out our new website and introduced our new look at our booth with a straightforward, uncomplicated design and logo that better matches our brand.  We spoke to many interested attendees, chatted with current customers, several partners, and as always enjoyed the opportunity to connect. We look forward to the next show as we continue traveling globally for the rest of the year to a show near you.

If you missed us at DAC and would like to learn more, you might want to sign up to attend our upcoming webinar, HSI Specification, and Productivity Improvement, on September 27, 2018. I’ll be presenting and I look forward to seeing you there.

As always, we invite you to contact us for a free evaluation or to learn more about our high-performance ASIC, FPGA, and SoC Software to solve complex design and verification problems for system development.

ic designer's guide to automating design through implementation of semiconductors