Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blue Light Special on Software

KMart Software is on sale in China! So says Software Companies Lower Prices to Fight Piracy in China, which reports that Microsoft and Autodesk are slashing prices of their OS and CAD software, respectively, in an effort to capture some revenue for their otherwise widely-pirated software.

Does the same thing happen with EDA software? The state of the EDA business in Asia is something I only know from the occasional rumor. How widespread is EDA piracy? How common is it to "crack" FlexLM? And, is EDA software already heavily discounted in Asian markets?

The last point most concerns American workers. Not only are American competing from a higher wage/cost-of-living, but what if the essential tools of our trade are cheaper overseas, as well? Strike two!


Restaurant Scheduler said...

If EDA want to increase their sale than they have to decrease their software cost.

Anonymous said...

FlexLM is a decades-old system with many hacks available (as a quick search will show), and company spokespeople have been saying for years that it is not intended to be secure. If the EDA vendors want to actually secure their products they would need to upgrade their licensing to a more modern system.

Anonymous said...

Restaurant Scheduler is evidently unaware that most EDA software is already sold at >90% discount. Decrease the cost anymore and EDA companies and the EDA industry will become non-profit.

Just think what EDA revenues would be at a 75% or 50% discount! Do a comparison of semiconductor revenues and tell me there isn't a disproportinate delta between EDA companies and their customers.

Unfortunately the EDA industry created the situation at the beginning of it's existence with huge discounting to compete. Then their customers took advantage by bidding for the lowest cost solution rather than the best price / performance solution.

Without EDA the electronic devices, PCB's and IC's would not exist. Yet the EDA customers pay virtually nothing for the software products that enable them in comparison tot he revenues they received for their products.

The EDA customers need to share the wealth with a shared risk sales model where EDA companies earn based on the success and revenue of the customer products sold while at the same time sharing the risk it if fails.

As for licensing, I agree that FlexLM is a root cause of the piracy and should be changed with more secure licensing. Go to any software market in Asia and you'll find pirated EDA software at consumer software prices. This has got to stop!

Anonymous said...

I doubt any serious/large semiconductor company uses cracked EDA software, even in China.

For one thing part of the cost of an EDA license is for support/tool-updates/etc. and this is an essential part of the service an EDA company gives you for the cost of the license.

In any case if FlexLM can be cracked who's to say only small companies in China are doing it? Maybe small US companies do it too?...