>> Linux for Electronics Design Automation
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(Industry Specialist)
06/09/03 10:04 AM
Welcome to the Linux EDA Forum new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

James Lee

I am your host and moderator James Lee. EDA has been available on the Intel platform since the days of DOS. In 1997, I started benchmarking traditionally Unix based EDA tools such as Verilog-XL and Synopsys Design Compiler on NT platform. The EDA companies in 1997 were persuaded to port to Windows-NT by the marketing machine in Redmond Washington. Previously, I had been using Linux as a hobbyist for many years. I knew from my experience at Cadence that even though the company did not have a Linux port in the mid-to-late 1990, many of the tools were "unofficial ports" to Linux done by R&D engineers who did development at home on their home Linux machines.

At DAC 1998 we had a NT vs. Linux panel. A simplified summary of the panel was: the end users said, ? we want Linux?, and the EDA vendors said they supported NT. If you are familiar with the EDA business, you can understand both arguments. First, a simplification of the EDA vendors? decision- the cost of creating a Linux port was minimal (particularly compared to NT when porting from other Unix variants); the cost of the port was in the support. The full tool regressions were needed and the support staff needed to understand the Linux operating system. Although Linux at that time was quite stable, the EDA vendors fueled with some fear, uncertainty and doubt from the Redmond machine, believed there were too many variants and Linux was too unstable to support.

A simplified version of the users argument is they did not want to pay Bill Gates when Linux was free and Unix EDA users wanted underlying Unix shells and scripting facilities.

?Fast forward to 2003. Most if not all Unix based EDA tools are available on Linux. What has changed? The following is a condensed summary. EDA vendors have generally decided to support Red Hat Linux as a release. Personally, I haven?t any problems using EDA tools on other than the officially supported distributions and releases, but, I know if I have a quirky problem I'm on my own if its a platform related problem.

Secondly, the momentum and urging of the users has paid off along with the EDA vendors themselves enjoying a low cost development platform.

Although I started this discussion group with a bit of a history lesson, my role as host and moderator is to keep the discussion lively and to maintain relevance to Linux and Linux related topics. Let me kick off this discussion by posing a few questions.

1) Does your company currently use Linux? If so, are you replacing other Unix platforms or Windows platforms? If not, what are the barriers to adoption?

2) What are the barriers to your company replacing all windows platforms with Linux?

Until next time,


Edited by jameslee on 06/09/03 11:17 AM.

(Industry Specialist)
07/22/03 11:24 AM
Re: Welcome to the Linux EDA Forum new [re: jameslee]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

When users speak, vendors listen. This fundamental truth has yielded most EDA tools now being available on Linux. This Linux forum is meant to be an EDA users forum for Linux. I will take it that there were no barriers to your adoption of Linux for your EDA needs.

There are some interesting footnotes about EDA performance on Linux, tools with dependencies on performance of the C compiler or TCL/TK tend to out perform the same tool on proprietary hardware.

I have a number of interesting questions and topics to discuss. The vendors have all had their say in response to Sanjays posting, with responses from we support Linux, spending just the proper amount of resources on Linux. As I recall only one vendor said we don?t currently support Linux. Vendors are always happy for a chance to tout their products.

Unfortunately, there is more to an engineering desktop than just the EDA tools. There is email, office productivity, project tracking and documentation tools. I have selected several of these as topics and will start threads, around once a month on some of these EDA and related topics. This thread remains the general Linux adoption users forum. I understand there?s an interest in project management tools. You can follow up here or in the project management thread which I has been started in parallel.

I started using project-planning tools many years ago while I was a project manager. Has anyone used a project-planning tool on Linux? What was it and how did it work? Is the lack of a project planning tool on Linux keeping windows on your desktop?

Remember, we need your voice. Your opinion counts. The experience you have to share makes a difference.

If I don?t see your comments here, perhaps I will see you and hear your comments at the Linux World Expo at the Moscone Center August 4-7.

Founder and President of The ASIC Group

(Stranger )
09/06/03 04:36 AM
Re: Welcome to the Linux EDA Forum new [re: jameslee]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Hmmm . . . It doesn't look like much is going on in here. I'll try a response to this & see what happens.

1) Does your company currently use Linux? If so, are you replacing other Unix platforms or Windows platforms? If not, what are the barriers to adoption?

In the places I've worked, Linux was being adopted by many engineers (including me) as a guerilla (sp?) platfom. I was told explicitly by IT "you're on your own; we don't support Linux". This did not stop any of the Linux adaptors.

The company had a software group, a board design group, and an FPGA/ASIC group. In software, most people developed on Sun boxes for an embedded OS which was very Linux like. The board design people were stuck with NT machines 'cause the board design SW (i.e. Viewdraw) only worked on this platform. The ASIC group used Sun boxes, but many of the people there were running their own Linux boxes. The software and board design tool vendors were not that interested in Linux ports, wheeas the chip EDA companies were the most clueful about porting their products to Linux.

The most usual strategy for Linux users was to place a second machine running Linux on their desks besides the primary Windoze/Sun box. Nobody just dumped their primary machine. In my case, the primary machine -- running Windoze -- became my Exchange and Word machine; all other work migrated to the Linux box.

As an aside, many people wish that Xilinx would get a clue and port WebPack to Linux so that you don't hvae to use it under wine. Hello! . . . is anybody at Xilinx listining?!?!?!?

2) What are the barriers to your company replacing all windows platforms with Linux?

Forget about the EDA stuff -- the barrier in most companies is the presence of legacy, entrenched Windoze files. Scores -- if not hundreds -- of design docs are written in Word, countless presentations are in ppt, and all the managemnet spreadsheets are already in Excel. Nobody wants ot port these, particularly mnaagement, who view any such project as a wooly-headed diversion from their primary business.

Yes, we all know that OpenOffice / StarOffice exist. However, that doens't help with the legacy file problem . . . .

Therefore, the best place for Linux to make inroads is in newly established businesses. If I was a RedHat sales dude, I'd be concentrating my cold-calls on startups (if any exist these days), and not necessarily on long-established businesses.

That's not to say that established businesses won't eventually transition to Linux; rather it will just take them a while to get to it. They may do it the next time they have to upgrade Windoze, and realize that Bill G & Co hvae discovered yet another wheeze to extract money from their customers while locking them every more tightly into their Windoze installations.


p.s. If you could edit your "textarea" tag so that it enforced a 12pt font, thant would be a great thing. I am typing this on my RH7.2 system using Mozilla 1.4a, and the default font I get in the textarea box is an eye-killing 6pt. If my post is full of typoes, it's cause I can't see what I am typing.

If anybody is reading & moderating this forum, that is . . . .

(Stranger )
10/14/03 09:27 AM
Re: Welcome to the Linux EDA Forum new [re: jameslee]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

We are starting to use Linux at my company. IT has said they will support it, they have a bunch of firmware developers on Linux workstations, our FPGA designers look like they will be first to start using Linux heavily with the new Xilinx ISE 6 and Synplicity. Our ASIC designers are starting to take some interest in it.

I don't see the company replacing all workstations with Linux ones ever. I think we are too much in love with MS. I do almost everything in Linux, even looking at managers' powerpoint and excel documents with open office. The one thing I can't do in Linux is the outlook shared calendar stuff. I VNC over to an old pitiful windows machine for that.

(Industry Specialist)
02/20/04 11:41 AM
Re: Welcome to the Linux EDA Forum new [re: jameslee]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

A previous post wonders if this is active! Yes this is active, I think it could be more interesting with more reader participation. It is safe to say at this time that all major EDA players and even EDA startups are supporting Linux. How is it going at your company? What are the remaining hurdles? Has your IT staff been fired due to virus and worm plagued Microsoft infrastructure?

Today along with nudging this thread, I, opening two new threads to see if we can get some dialog going. Take a look at the AMD Operton thread and the documentation Thread.

If you read this and have comments, go ahead and sign in and post them. It makes it more interesting for everyone and it does not even hurt!!

James Lee
Founder and President of The ASIC Group

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Re: Welcome to the Linux EDA Forum new [re: jameslee]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

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Re: Welcome to the Linux EDA Forum [re: jameslee]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

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(Stranger )
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Re: Welcome to the Linux EDA Forum new [re: edwardcollin]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

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12/03/19 10:46 AM
Re: Welcome to the Linux EDA Forum new [re: jameslee]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

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