Express Yourself


IDF Wrapup (aka Thursday’s IOT)

Yes, yes, I noticed that it’s not Thursday any more, thus the title change.  I feel like the IDF wrapup is somewhat anticlimactic though, so I hope you all weren’t hovering over your keyboards waiting for a grand finale.

Free day went about as expected – with hordes of interesting characters wandering around scarfing up giveaways.  (The guy with the waving monkey doll on his shoulder wasn’t even the most interesting one.) 


Norma ran intercept so we didn’t give away quite as many pens as I thought we would – the radius of retirement communities stocked with Synopsys pens might have decreased to 50 miles from last year’s 100 miles 🙂

With fewer “real” attendees on hand I actually had a chance to walk around the exhibit hall a bit.  PCI Express storage was definitely one of the dominant themes!  NVM Express (NVMe) SSDs, NVMe RAID controllers, NVMe fabric adapters, etc…  I didn’t see any NVMe toothbrushes, but that might only be because I didn’t get to every booth!  All the NVMe folks I talked to were eager to see PCIe 4.0 come out soon, but there was a lot of mention of “the elephant in the room” – namely that with no PCIe 4.0 “Gen4” platforms, designers would have a tough time validating their designs.  Imagine my surprise then when I returned to the booth and found this guy getting a demo!  (I think his shirt might have said “Gen4” there where it’s folded up, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking…)


Show hours were only 11-2 which was good because my voice was starting to give out from all the Gen4 demo spiels I gave this week.  (This should actually be the best indicator of how many attendees found the demo interesting, because I can just picture a good half of you exclaiming “What? They wore Richard down to silence?!?!?!?“)  Teardown was uneventful – I’m happy to say there was no emergency room visit this year!  Scott and I spent quite a while poring over the demo takedown and repacking trying to figure out how Torrey had gotten everything into one packing case.

We managed to cram both cases into Scott’s trunk and he kindly gave me a lift to the San Francisco airport – a good deed which apparently did NOT go unpunished 🙁 as he got stuck in one of California’s famous traffic jams* on his way from there home. 

So our takeaways from IDF 2015 are:

  • PCI Express storage, and NVMe in particular, are clearly dominating the direct-attach storage market
  • Despite any elephants (whether in hotel rooms or board rooms), there is a steadily building demand for PCIe 4.0’s 16GT/s “Gen4” data rate
  • Synopsys is able to deliver working 16GT/s “Gen4” solutions right now, so you can join the ranks of designers building their PCIe 4.0 products as the spec works its way to completion
  • Richard’s voice really is finite, and he should take a taxi to the airport next year

Thanks for following us here at ExpressYourself and please feel free to leave us comments with any insights YOU had at IDF.  If you’re reading this forwarded from a friend (or enemy I suppose) or if your email swap to Outlook365 broke your subscription, or you just have been putting it off for too long, please subscribe to ExpressYourself by clicking here for RSS or here for email so you don’t miss any future episodes.


*I wish I’d made that part up, hopefully Mrs. Scott will forgive us for messing up their plans!

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