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.