Gary Smith has published a short research paper authored by Sharon Tan that explores one possible avenue to increase EDA revenue by expanding the service aspect of the business.

You can read the report here .

The major obstacle cited in the report is the concern on the part of IC design companies that they will loose control of proprietary information by providing they methods and flows to third parties. This is particularly worrisome when the people that would see the proprietary information are employees of an EDA vendor that deals with direct competitors and can, although involuntarily, transmit some of the information and thus negative whatever competitive edge one had.

As the report notes, third party companies had been created to try to circumvent this problem. They looked like a combination of the old data center that provided the computing engine, and consulting organizations that provided the skill required to run the flow of programs necessary to complete the design job. The approach did not solve the problem, and the companies went out of business.

I wonder if the Lynx product just introduced by Synopsys may not provide an approach that would minimize some of the worries. Using Lynx it may be possible to encapsulate the code that controls the flow of EDA tools and controls design parameters in an encrypted "black box". This would allow a company to use time-based licenses for EDA tools as well as decrease the cost of computing equipment, and their increasing overhead costs, by using third party machines.

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