As a long-time attendee of the highly respected IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference, I've developed a great admiration for the researchers who present their work every February. After all, they have to submit that work to stringent peer review and then survive the judging process. In past years, Electronic Design has previewed and prepared post-conference analyses of what our editors feel are some of the landmark research results presented in the conference papers. This year, the conference seems to be more popular than ever, with near record-breaking attendance exceeding 3600 people.
Once again this year we will continue to provide detailed coverage. However, we decided to add some extra coverage by including details of what was discussed at many of the evening panel sessions. By pulling together our analyses of the key developments in the paper sessions, along with our commentary on many of the discussions in the evening panel sessions, we bring you the most comprehensive overview of the semiconductor industry's premier event.
We've roughly divided our conference coverage into five theme sections: Analog/Mixed Signal, Communications, Digital, Imaging and Sensing, and Networking and Test. Each area focuses on the most important advances. Also, each editor provides his insight on those developments, delving into their impact on both the designers and the circuits' potential levels of performance.
The papers present the leading edge of circuit design and architectural development. Although many of the circuits that they describe may never make it to production, the concepts they embody will survive: to achieve shorter cycle times, more precise conversion, higher power output, higher-quality image compression, etc. These ideas will serve as the "spark" for the next generation of ideas and circuits. That's what it's all about—ideas. Take a concept, add to it, turn it inside out, and make something totally different or 10 times better. The lifeblood of engineers is to grab a concept, improve on it, and return something to the community that moves the industry a step forward.
In putting together this year's coverage we had to make a tough decision (as if evaluating all of the papers wasn't tough enough) regarding our coverage. Should we split the coverage to publish the paper portion closer to the conference and provide the panel session details separately? Or, do we delay the paper coverage slightly so that we could deliver a "complete" package in single issue? Or, should we only use the web to provide coverage? This year we opted for the single printed package. But give us your feedback. Which approach would you prefer—split coverage or web-only stories to provide more timely paper coverage, or this type of more cohesive package? Drop us a note with your opinion.