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Open source EDA software defeats Lock-in: Dream on

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aanjhan
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re: Open source EDA software defeats Lock-in: Dream on
aanjhan   6/17/2009 9:41:09 AM
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Hi Peggy, Nice article too. Though I have a very similar opinion regarding Open source EDA software and Open source software (I will not differentiate the way Chitlesh Goorah has done though) as I go with Jeremy's view that most other Open source software require domain knowledge. For. eg. you cannot be a core gimp developer without knowing anything about photos and images, you cannot be a "Step" developer without knowing physics etc etc. Another point I would like to make is Open Source is a great way to increase learning about a particular system (how it works, etc) and is very important for a student to get to know the nitty gritty of such complex systems. And I disagree with Jeremy's comments that there is more money in services to software than to software itself. I am sure people like Microsoft and Adobe, get a huge percentage of money from selling software than providing services to it (ofcourse it is a considerable part, but not as big as the former) Interested in seeing others thoughts on this too. Aanjhan

jeremybennett
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re: Open source EDA software defeats Lock-in: Dream on
jeremybennett   6/17/2009 7:36:18 AM
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Hi Peggy, Excellent article, but I don't buy Chitlesh Goorah's interpretation. EDA open source software is just like any other open source software - in other fields they also require domain specific knowledge from the user and implementer. Open source does represent a challenge to the main EDA players. IBM and Red Hat do open source (at least at the corporate leve), because it makes money. Remember that IBM, the world's largest patent holder, makes more money from open source than it does from its patents! Open source often moves into a mature market, where established commercial vendors are making excessive money from a static technology. Verilog/VHDL are in this state. They haven't changed greatly in 15 years, yet the big three make hundreds of millions of dollars from front-end tools. Open source is fundamentally a service business model. So it tends to succeed in areas where there is a lot of opportunity for support - big domain specific knowledge and high value product dependency. EDA tools designing ASICs fit exactly this profile. As firmware becomes the dominant factor in SoC development, the business models of embedded software tooling start to impact on EDA. This is an area with far greater reliance on the economically more efficient open source business model. Think Eclipse and GNU, IBM, Red Hat and CodeSourcery. It is only a matter of time before the big three find they have to follow suit and open source their mainstream front end tools. Maybe then, like IBM, they will find there is more money to be made providing services for simulators than form the simulators themselves. Open source will have a big impact as it moves into the realm of hardware design. Readers may be interested in a recent article I wrote, exploring the impact of open source on the hardware design world: http://www.embecosm.com/articles/ear1/open-source-hardware.pdf Jeremy

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