Written by Steve Perkins, Software Engineer at Octopart.
A few weeks ago, several members of the Octopart team headed out to lovely Santa Clara, California for DesignCon 2017. It was our first time exhibiting at DesignCon, so it was a great chance for us to meet many of the engineers and see some of the technical content. The conference is largely focused on signal & power integrity, testing and simulation. With content for both silicon designers and system and board designers, DesignCon really is Where the chip meets the board.
Our booth in the Expo hall stood out from the rest in its sparsity. While most booths were packed full of amazing scopes, demo boards, and other awesome new products to demo, ours was quite minimal with a white carpet, blue backdrop, and a few screens. That’s because Octopart is in the cloud. But the open space drew people in, and often after a quick demo many guests quickly recognized how helpful Octopart can be when sourcing or buying parts! Many existing Octopart users also stopped by as well to say “Thanks,” and we were able to show a few newer features, such as the BOM tool, specs view, our parametric filters, and sorting at price breaks.
As someone with more of a software background, the content at DesignCon was way over my head! Signal & Power Integrity is Serious Business… a far cry from the more “maker” level projects that I typically work on. It was really fun to attend sessions and try to understand as much content as I could. The design challenges with multi gigabit data rates are intense. There are so many physical factors it is clear why advanced simulation and optimization software is a big topic at this conference, and several talks discussed the use of machine learning in board design. My favorite session was probably the panel discussion Why do we love and hate dc-dc converters… everyone can relate to power problems.
Hopefully we’ll be back again next year for DesignCon 2018. In the meantime look for our booth at EmbeddedWorld 2017.