Conversation Central, Season 3: Accelerating Knowledge Sharing

Way back at the turn of the decade, at DAC 2009, Synopsys held kitchen-table style conversations in its booth about semiconductor and EDA technology and about the industry. The goal was to share knowledge in a casual, conversational format. The response was so positive it inspired us to find a way to make this type of conversation accessible to engineers everywhere on a regular basis.

The result was Conversation Central, a monthly audio podcast featuring conversations between hosts, Synopsys’ Karen Bartleson and Yvette Huygen, and industry luminaries, academics, technologists, standards experts, members of the media, and business leaders. Since it was launched in 2010, guests have included winners of the Phil Kaufman award such as Pat Pistilli and Randall Bryant, IBM Fellow Bernie Meyerson, UC Berkeley’s distinguished professor Jan Rabaey, founder of eSilicon Jack Harding, EE Times’ Brian Fuller, and IEEE Standards Association President Steve Mills. Up-and-coming technologists such as Broadcom’s mobile platforms engineer Manish Gajjar, AMD’s verification engineer Paul Tobin, NVIDIA’s design implementation manager John Busco, and Cavium’s semiconductor engineer Brian Hunter have also participated. Each guest has provided unique insights on a range of subjects including time-to-market challenges of systems on chip, embedding chips in brains, experiences in the 2011 Japan earthquake, improving education and corporate giving.

Fast forward to 2012. Today everyone is trying to do more and do it faster, especially in the semiconductor industry. With that in mind, we’re making updates to the format as we kick off season three of Conversation Central. This year, we’ll be video recording our conversations for a more engaging audience experience, and shortening the shows to fifteen minutes to accelerate knowledge sharing. Audio podcasts will continue on iTunes for the “listen in your car” and “whenever/wherever” convenience.

To see the new format in action, watch the 2012 season premiere of Conversation Central’s videocast featuring Jeff Ravencraft, president and COO of USB Implementers Forum.

In this episode, recorded at the Soup Freaks restaurant in San Francisco, Ravencraft explains that while USB has become a household word, there is an important engine behind USB that consumers never see. Says Ravencraft, “Consumers love USB because it’s easy to use—it just works. From a standards side, the standards are open, you can download them from our site. We have certification compliance testing that we help the industry with, [and] we do a lot of education at the developer level so they can build technology that makes it easy for the consumer.” He’ll also share where he believes the future generation of USB will take us.

Get in on the conversation: Watch Conversation Central on YouTube or visit our show notes website. Go to the website and post your comments on this and other episodes, or suggest topics for future episodes. Send us email at Check back at the beginning of every month to join in on what the industry is talking about. Even easier, subscribe to Conversation Central via RSS or iTunes so you’ll get every show delivered directly to you.

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