Posted by Richard Solomon on August 18, 2015
I swear “IoT” must be the most overused term of 2015, so I’m coopting it in protest – though I’ll change the capitalization out of sheer orneriness 😉
At least for the next few days, I shall use “IOT” for my “IDF Of Today” report. I’ll be honest, I a) couldn’t figure out HOW to “live blog” on this system and b) couldn’t keep a good internet connection so you’re spared from my play-by-play… which today would have gone something like this:
10:30 Showed PCIe 4.0 demo to folks from a big-name storage company.
11:00 Show opened
11:01 Gave away first Synopsys pen to a member of one of the local retirement communities.
11:15 Showed PCIe 4.0 demo to folks from a big-name server company.
11:30 Ate boxed lunch (“beef” – although it engaged in a spirited debate with me on whether it was from a cow or not)
11:35 Promised Synopsys pen to gentleman with “Media” badge if he’d come by the booth.
12:20 Showed PCIe 4.0 demo to folks from a big server company whose name doesn’t rhyme with much of anything.
13:30 Showed PCIe 4.0 demo to engineers from a high-performance SSD manufacturer.
13:45 Showed PCIe 4.0 demo to fellow from a controller company specializing in high-bandwidth storage fabrics.
14:00 Showed PCIe 4.0 demo to marketing manager from a new startup SSD company.
14:45 Showed PCIe 4.0 demo to someone from a company which sells PCIe PHYs. Managed to refrain from asking such rude questions as “How can you claim to make a PCIe PHY when you’re not even a member of PCI-SIG?” and “Can you even spell ‘compliance’?” Inadvertently tripped young woman in stiletto heels (which would be classified by TSA as deadly weapons*) while patting self on the back for professionalism.
15:00 Roamed show floor in search of snacks while Scott manned the booth. Returned to booth empty-handed and ate a Synopsys mint.
16:00 Beer bar setup about 8 feet away from Synopsys booth. Barman deluged with attendees asking for beer – told to come back at 16:15.
16:15:01 Growing line of beer patrons told beer bar would open 16:30.
16:30 Beer line begins. Attendees quickly tire of my offer to “Buy you a beer if you’ll listen to me talk about PCIe 4.0!” (No takers for the record.)
16:35 Scott brings by a pretzel – shares half with me. We bemoan lack of salt on pretzel and lack of mustard. Spend several minutes sketching out new DesignWare IP for Pretzel Twisting, decide the TAM is too low and scrap the idea.
16:40 Scott kicks me out of the booth to quell my grumbling stomach – which is apparently disturbing the line of attendees for beer.
16:44 I’m informed by the hot food servers that hot food will be available at 17:00.
17:00 Hot food station opens
17:00:15 Hot food line is confirmed by a fainting-from-hunger Steven Hawking** to be “longer than the event horizon of a black hole”.
17:10 End of hot food line is finally visible with naked eye. I get in line only to see the serving station being wheeled away. My tears of frustration move a hot food server to suggest I get in line for the Risotto “before the milk curdles”***
17:20 Gentleman with “Media” badge comes by looking for promised pen – puts up with my PCIe 4.0 demo and asks reasonable questions. I give him the secret “upgraded” pen *AND* a Synopsys “these are not the ‘droids you’re looking for” USB stick. (You too can get one of these if you come by the booth and tell us you read the blog – of course you’ll have to listen to the demo spiel first.)
17:30 I go get in line for ice cream sundaes. One poor server is valiantly struggling to serve two lines of attendees.
17:40 I reach front of ice cream line just as ice cream scoop breaks. Overworked server runs away to replace scoop, angry murmuring begins among attendees in line. New server arrives with scoop, I choose ice cream flavors which are less likely to break scoop (after loudly calling for an engineer to repair same).
17:45 I share ice cream with Scott and Norma – to the envy of staff of nearby booths (one of whom allegedly fainted from hunger while trying to reach front of Risotto line).
18:00 Show PCIe 4.0 demo to another media member, we talk about likely spec timelines and various factors affecting the spec adoption.
18:15 With all food apparently gone, attendance drops significantly. Booth staff now appear to massively outnumber attendees – perhaps a dozen of whom now roam the show floor relentlessly bombarded with demo offers and freebies.
18:59 Gave away 87th Synopsys pen to a member of one of the local retirement communities.
19:00 Show closes.
19:10 Demo shutdown, booth closed up – I walk over to Super Duper Burgers for a Super Burger with cheese & bacon, fries, and a vanilla shake.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s exciting episode of IOT…
P.S. So the takeaways from today are: 1) a *LOT* of folks are excited to see that PCIe 4.0 is really truly alive and running, 2) Either IDF got a MUCH smaller food budget this year, or a LOT more attendees than they planned!
*Ok, I made up the part about tripping someone – but the stiletto heels *DEFINITELY* would have been ruled deadly weapons by TSA, and I’m willing to take bets on this bit!
**I made that up, no physicists were harmed in the making of this blog posting.
***Yeah, yeah, I made that up too – no milk was harmed in the making of this blog posting. (I’m pretty sure I really did guilt-trip the server though.)
I’ve been involved in the development of PCI chips dating back to the NCR 53C810 and pre-1.0 versions of the PCI spec so have definitely lived the evolution of PCI Express and PCI since the very beginning! Over the years I have worked on variations of PCI, eventually moving on to architecting and leading the development of the PCI Express and PCI-X interface cores used in LSI’s line of storage RAID controller chips. For the last ten plus years I've also had the honor of serving on the PCI-SIG Board of Directors and holding a variety of officer positions. I am still involved in PCI-SIG workgroups and I present at many PCI-SIG events around the world. Back before the dawn of PCI, I received my B.S.E.E. from Rice University, and hold over two dozen U.S. Patents, many of which relate to PCI technology.