Design Automation Conference to Feature Automotive Electronics

The Design Automation Conference (DAC), the electronic design automation (EDA) industry’s premier event, will feature a special theme of automotive electronics, focusing on an exciting segment of the electronics industry that is revolutionizing the automobile with a variety of new technologies. The thousands who attend the 44th DAC at the San Diego Convention Center June 4-8 will hear from leading automotive manufacturers and suppliers on the latest trends and issues in automotive electronics, and see first-hand some of the automotive industry’s latest technology advancements. Technical presentations and panel discussions throughout the conference will cover a broad range of theme-related topics ranging from fuel cells to electric drivetrains and advanced entertainment and safety systems.

“Today, both automotive manufacturers and their suppliers integrate sophisticated electronics into their products, and therefore use state-of-the-art EDA tools in their design processes,” said Steve Levitan, general chair of the 44th DAC executive committee. “The electronics content of automobiles continues its rapid upward trend. It is predicted the electronics cost of a vehicle will grow from 25% today to 40% in 2010 showing the importance of electronic design automation solutions in the automotive market.”

During DAC, two unique demonstration vehicles will be on display in the DAC Pavilion booth 6360 on the exhibit floor at the San Diego Convention Center. Attendees can view the Chevrolet Sequel, General Motors’ most technologically advanced hydrogen powered, electrically driven fuel cell vehicle. The Sequel, which uses renewable hydrogen for fuel and emits only water vapor, has an unprecedented range of 300 miles between fill-ups and can go from 0 – 60 mph in 10 seconds.

DAC attendees will also have the opportunity to see the X1, a one-of-a-kind prototype high-performance electric vehicle from Wrightspeed, Inc. Featuring an electric drive train which eliminates the need for a clutch, the X1 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds and reach 112 mph in first gear. Developed as a proof-of-concept vehicle and a test platform, the X1 is part of Wrightspeed’s development efforts toward a production car in the future.

Monday Keynote: Driving into the Future
On Monday, June 4, Lawrence D. Burns, Ph.D., Vice President of R&D and Strategic Planning for General Motors Corp., will deliver a keynote speech entitled “Designing a New Automotive DNA.” In his talk, Dr. Burns will discuss the reinvented automobile that exchanges the internal combustion engine, petroleum, and mechanical linkages for fuel cells and batteries, hydrogen and electricity, and electronic systems and controls. He will highlight why the new automotive technologies will cause a paradigm shift for the industry, and address the design challenges and opportunities presented by the requirement for new electrical and electronics-based architectures, systems, and software for our vehicles.

Technical Sessions and Panels: Steering into Automotive Electronics Design
Throughout the conference, attendees will be able to hear from leading representatives from academia, the automotive industry and semiconductor and EDA companies in 12 presentations featured in the four technical sessions on automotive topics. A special session on “Virtual Automotive Platforms” will explore the design requirements of a virtual automotive platform used to reduce the number of hardware processors in automotive electronics.

A session on “Distributed Computing: Automotive Network Design and Analysis” will present a variety of work being done to model safe yet efficient distributed architectures. An invited session on “Silicon, Safety and Self-Driving Cars” will discuss automotive electronics from silicon design to the most advanced end-use applications, with an emphasis on safety. A panel session on “Electronics: The New Differential in the Automotive Industry,” chaired by Walden C. Rhines of Mentor Graphics Corp., will explore whether the ability to conceive, design and implement electronic systems is now the key competitive differentiator within the automotive industry, and the impact of future automotive electronic technologies.

Pavilion Panels: Next Stop, Lively Discussions to Keep Engines Running
The dynamic Pavilion Panels on the DAC exhibit floor will feature four panels focused on automotive related topics on Wednesday, June 6. First at 9:30 a.m., in “The Urban Challenge: Paving the Way for Driverless Automobiles,” Dave Ferguson of Intel Corp. and Carnegie Mellon University will present a multimedia presentation and demonstration of Carnegie Mellon University’s entry into the Urban Challenge, a competition for the development of fully-autonomous passenger vehicles that conduct navigation missions in urban environments.

Next at 11 a.m., representatives from Hitachi America, Ltd., Delphi Electronics and Safety and The MathWorks, Inc. will discuss “Improving Automotive Competitiveness: New Methods and Tools for Embedded Design,” exploring issues around the growing software component in today’s vehicles.

The Pavilion Panel, “The Key to Disruption of Automobile Powertrain Technology,” at 1 p.m. will feature Ian Wright, founder of Wrightspeed, Inc. discussing a new approach to powering automobiles, replacing mechanical complexity with electronics for radical gains in efficiency and performance. Wright will explore the technological choices and their disruptive impact to the industry.

Finally, at 3:15 p.m., David Smith of Synopsys, Inc. will moderate a discussion titled, “On a Crash Course: Validation and Testing of Automotive Software.” Featuring representatives from Carnegie Mellon University, General Motors Corp., and Ford Motor Co., the panel will explore the special needs for correctness and reliability in automotive software.

About DAC
The Design Automation Conference (DAC) is the premier educational and networking event for Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and silicon solutions. More than 11,000 designers, developers, researchers, academics and managers from leading electronics companies and universities from around the world attend. DAC features close to 60 technical sessions covering the latest research on design methodologies and technologies, EDA developments and trends selected by a diverse committee of electronic design experts. A highlight is its Exhibition and Suite area with approximately 250 of the leading and emerging EDA, silicon and IP providers.