EDA: Back to the Future Dinner and Auction

EDAC is sponsoring an event at the Computer History Museum to celebrate five decades of EDA. As I wrote previously, I only have 43 years in EDA and, in fact, when I started in 1968 it was called Computer Aided Design (CAD). For the purists, like myself, the technology became EDA with the introduction of commercial logic synthesis tools. For me there is a difference between using computers to aid in the design process and having computer programs perform functions based on algorithms as a substitute for human skills. But let's not look for precise semantics.

Some Historical Facts
The early use of computers to aid in the design and layout of integrated circuits and printed circuit boards has some of its parts wrapped in the fog of myths and legends.
I am sure that in 1963 some company had developed schematic entry, although Dr. De Mari and myself introduced graphics design using a general purpose IBM computer to TRW Systems only in the first half of 1969. The same company, in its Systems and Space plant in Redondo Beach, California where I worked, had a Gerber photoplotter by 1969. It was such an advanced machine that the entire building in which it was housed was classified secret!

I remember that as late as 1979 rubylith cut by hand was still a common tool in the layout process for integrated circuits, and that is fifteen years since the "official" birth of EDA.

So I do have to take exception to a portion of what is stated in the EDAC webpage: "Before EDA, integrated circuits were designed by hand and manually laid out." It is clear that the transition to full computer based design and layout of integrated circuits did not happen overnight. Between introduction and full adoption there is a period of gestation, which at times can stretch into years.

Let's Celebrate
In any event, on October 16th from 5:30 to 9:30 ED many EDA and electronics visionary and investors will attend a get together organized by EDAC to celebrate this cornerstone birthday for the industry and to help raise funds for a permanent EDA exhibit at the museum. For those who are still wandering where the Kaufman Award dinner went, this is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the winners, who certainly had a hand, individually and as a group, in the advancement of EDA.

Plan to attend this sure-to-be unforgettable party hosted by the EDA Consortium to recognize the EDA industry and its rich history. Special guests include industry luminaries and alumni who will join with present day members of our community to celebrate the past, look to the future, connect with old friends and make new ones. Festivities include a retrospective from Bill Joyner, entertainment, and an auction to raise funds for the preservation of EDA history by the Computer History Museum.
To reserve your place and purchase a ticket go to the EDAC web page