Our main goal was clear since the beginning : Secure Fedora a place as an opensource EDA provider.
The risk of being shifted from the main goal is very high.
Most of the reasons converge to the culture clashes between opensource software community and the EDA community. The opensource software community prioritizes its opensource philosophies, while the EDA community believes their designs are their core competency. Bringing these two worlds together and making an electronic design and simulation platform out of it in an effective way is very difficult.
At the same time, commercial vendors are making full use of opensource tools to build business models around it. Eclipse is a very good example in the embedded design. So FEL steps in to take the role of showing the opensource community, that these opensource tools are being employed in the industry and that we have many reasons to succeed in our goals. Thereby, to assemble the best team together is crucially important for FEL’s success.
The paper “Panel: The EDA Start-Up Experience: The first product” explains some ground rules for such success. However I didn’t focus on “the first product” as mentioned in the paper. We focussed on “the first design flow”, “RTL+analog to GDSII”. This is a luxury opensource community has over EDA vendors. Dean Drako’s list of ingredients to launching a successful EDA company was followed during our very first FEL release. This list is:
- 1) Solve a real customer problem that no one else is solving
- 2) Stay focussed on solving the customers’ problem
- 3) Assemble the best team
The opensource userbase was missing a quick deployment of the design flow “RTL+analog to GDSII”. We made it our “first design flow” and we stayed focus on improving it. As for our team, Fedora already has quality class contributors and we continue to strengthen our relationships with our upstream developers. JoergSimon, for example, uses his marketing experience to “recruit” new contributors for FEL. ShakthiKannan is using his experience to spread our goals in India. Fedora ambassadors extend our marketing coverage to all major geographic regions. We are constantly looking for contributors who are willing to lead our design flows deployment and strategies, especially in the field of embedded design.
Since RHEL being a EDA consortium compatible OS, Fedora remains a perfect OS for deploying our EDA solutions. We are providing some tools to RedHat5/CentOS5 users via EPEL repositories. GarySmith’s paper on “Software As A Service in EDA – Time Again” has reminded us that since we don’t have any licensing strategy, being a newcomer in the EDA community Fedora has all the reasons to succeed with our approach.