Tuesday, January 21, 2020

MSD: A Red Hat-like business for Open Source EDA (Verilog, VHDL, etc.)

I have been working with commercial EDA tools (Verilog, VHDL, etc.) for years and always found them to be quite overpriced and frustrating.  Whenever I bring up the idea of using open source tools I get responses just like I got when first brining up Linux in the workplace back in 2001.  Things like, "you get what you pay for" and "it's only free if you don't value your time."  Red Hat (and SUSE/Novell) addressed those concerns for business people and made Linux mainstream (and put UNIX out of business and made a lot money for themselves in the process).  Maybe a similar business could do the same for open source EDA.

To that end, I have quit my job and I've spent the past few week putting this business together.  What do you think?

https://millenniumsoftwaredesign.com (AKA, https://msd.llc/)

2 comments:

Unknown said...

It would be fantastic to have an open source software flow for hardware development. A key component after compilers would be the simulator. There's a huge gap between the open source tools available and commercial EDA tools. Bridging that gap will require years of work, I don't get what customers are paying for while the tools are being developed?

Bryan said...

Thank you for your feedback! Millennium Software Design is focusing on pre-silicon verification, simulation first and foremost. There are many applications that don't require the features that are in the gap between open source and commercial tools. Do-it-yourself types already get great mileage out of verilator, taking advantage of it's speed and low cost. Millennium is here to help those who are less do-it-yourself inclined, or those who work for businesses that desire or require that their tools be backed up by a business.

We do plan to close the gap between the open source and proprietary tools too. In my mind, the biggest need from the open source tools is mixed-language support. What improvement do you think is most important?