This week I was away at the 2017 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference (DATE) in Lausanne, Switzerland, where my collaborator and former staff member Kevin Murray was presenting our joint work with Andrea Suardi and Vaughn Betz.

In this blog post I note a couple of personal highlights from the conference.

Apart from Kevin’s paper, which I describe in accessible form in a previous blog post, Jie Han and Marc Riedel‘s tutorial on stochastic computation was thought provoking. It’s an old idea, which I’ve seen a few times, but it was interesting to catch up with the recent thinking in this area: results on synthesis using Bernstein polynomials and a de-randomisation of the logic.

The theme of approximate computing pervaded the conference. Newcastle had an interesting paper on approximate multiplication where multiple partial products are compressed by replacing (implicit) summation with Boolean or operations. This complements more traditional approaches like I’ve worked on, where we just throw away partial products. It seems like there could be a few interesting generalisations of this approach.

It was also, of course, great to see the many colleagues I often meet at these conferences, and to spend some time in the laboratory of Paolo Ienne and meeting his PhD student Lana Josipovic, who is doing some very interesting work on high-level synthesis.

EPFL also has possibly the best underpass in the world:

DATE remains one of the best conferences to catch up with the various diverse directions in which EDA researchers have gone in recent years.