Looking Ahead: Edible Packaging, Calmer Commutes and Advanced EDA

The recent New York Times Magazine piece, “32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow” offers an intriguing look at ideas to improve our work, play, health and home.

Think you’re hot stuff?  If a new fabric invented by physicists at Wake Forest University catches on, we could be charging our electronic gadgets with our own body heat. Going green but thwarted by complex food packaging? A Harvard bioscientist is mimicking Mother Nature with food packaging that we can wash and eat like an apple, or that would biodegrade like an orange peel.

My personal favorite is the adaptive cruise control – A.C.C.  Studies show that simply maintaining adequate distance between vehicles can play a major role in reducing the stop-start congestion that turns our daily commutes into crawls. This technology would maintain a set distance between vehicles, and suggests some traffic jams can be avoided altogether even with just 20 percent of vehicles employing A.C.C.

Traffic may be jamming more than usual this week in San Francisco as the electronics industry converges to celebrate its own innovations at the annual Design Automation Conference (DAC), now in its 49th year.  Looking at tomorrow is a major theme: the event’s first keynote on June 6 will explore the changes and challenges of “Scaling to 2020 Solutions,” as the expanding Internet of things creates requirements that span tiny sensors to cloud-capable servers.

DAC is a major event for our client Cadence, which will be sharing insights through panels, papers, poster sessions, booth presence and meetings with media and other influencers. Cadence’s innovation in electronic design software, hardware, IP and services is key to creating the integrated circuits and electronics used in semiconductors, consumer electronics, computing devices and core technologies that power our telecommunications and data networks.

One of Cadence’s innovations, the Virtual System Platform, has been honored as a finalist in the software category for the 2012 TechAmerica Foundation American Technology Awards.  It automates the process of creating a virtual prototype and debugging software —allowing software development to begin months earlier and preventing schedule slips in prototype delivery.

Winners will be announced on June 13th — Good luck, team Cadence!