A very nice article by Gabe Moretti pushes back against the caustic comments vilifying the EDA industry these days. It particularly refers to growing attacks, using the EDAC 2005 Market Statistics Service (MSS) report.
However, the most interesting part of the story was referring to an article in EETimes where the reporter quotes
Dataquest estimates that such in-house development investment increased to 27 percent, the highest since the inception of the commercial EDA industry in the early 1980s
That is interesting - more so because going by the DATE 2006 presentation by Dr. Wally Rhines (CEO, Mentor Graphics), it seems that equity funding in EDA companies has been increasing year on year (see page 10 and ignore the aberrant 2000 bubble-era funding).
Now, seems to me, ‘tis very hard to explain the continuing naivete of venture capitalists - given that in-house development in increasing.
But I think it is very easy to explain - a large part of the charter for any in-house T & M (Tools & Methodologies group) is to define design flows and validate new tools. Defining a flow is how a tool actually gets used inside a design house. Now there are two reasons why EDA companies cannot do that:
- In EDA we do not trust - Design companies like to keep details of how they go about their design process a close IP. This includes workflows for engineers, testing, QA processes, etc. The last thing they would do is to bring in EDA companies into the loop, giving them tools to go and implement somewhere else. I personally think that this fear is unfounded - design flows have as much to do with the personality of the company as much as the technology behind it. Replicating one design process in another place is, in my opinion, impossible.
- Format Wars - OpenAccess, BLIF, Liberty… and so on. All vendors have different formats - and not just to create a walled garden, but because their specific data structures are optimized for those formats.
27% of what is a good question - that has to be answered before the EDA industry gets panned.