Apollo 11 landed with the first humans on the moon forty years ago July 20. The same year, in 1969, CAD industry pioneer Computervision took it first steps in computer-aided design.
Just like that achievement by the human spirit to land on and take that first step on a different body in the universe, so was the Computervision CAD system a giant leap for automating electronics design.
In those days, CAD and computer-aided manufacturing
were a novel way to use computer-based software tools to assist engineers and machinists in manufacturing or prototyping products.
Today, sophisticated EDA tools almost design million-gate chips by themselves.
Yet the quest for more speed, accuracy and efficacy in EDA never ceases. All kinds of business models have been explored and yet we still are not able to shrink the gap between the density of chips that are possible and the design tools that barely keep up.
The tools are very costly, barely interoperate and yet are essential tools in the food chain for producing sophisticated ICs.
So what is next? Cloud computing for EDA tool users.
A free workshop coincident with the Design Automation Conference later this month is providing expert training and best practices for users of HPC clusters.
Experts from Sun Microsystems, eXludus and Univa UD will lead the lunchtime session, which takes place on July 27th from 12pm to 2pm.
"In just a few hours, we provide the tools and expertise users need to confidently plan a migration project to a more comprehensive, affordable computing environment." explains Gary Tyreman, vice president and general manager of Infrastructure at Univa UD.
You can register for the workshop here.
I'm not sure if cloud cumputing is the future of using EDA tools, but I would be willing to give it a chance if software as a service (SaaS) would be the enabler for less costly and faster designs.
I think that the EDA world has something to learn from the IT industry about servicing designers using the cloud.