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The User Perspective on Electronic Design Automation

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This chapter gives the EDA tool users' perspective on the tools and the industry, and guidance in choosing tools.
This chapter is from the book

In this chapter...

  • Introduction

  • Four Key EDA User Decisions

  • How to Buy EDA Tools—Five Key Issues

  • Standards Efforts—Who, What, and Why

  • Personnel—The Key to EDA Support

  • University Connections

  • Summary

  • Quick Quiz


This chapter gives the EDA tool users' perspective on the tools and the industry. Who are the users? They are the electronic systems, semiconductor, or ASIC development engineers who design ICs. They are also the engineering design and EDA administration and support managers.

New EDA tool customers need to be aware of the significant costs and risks involved. We will consider tools, tool integration, computer choices, and staff.

Since the IC technology shrinks so rapidly, EDA tools are continually updated or replaced to handle more complexity and new design issues. Tools are normally rushed to market with increased capacity for more complex chips, speedups, and new capabilities.

Users need to expect some frustration in evaluating tools, tool performance, vendor support, in-house support, and documentation. As one might expect, users often find problems which the tool designers never imagined. Everyone is learning at the same time.

Nora's supervisor Sanjay has sent her to Hugo, an EDA tool user manager at Fabless Design, Inc. Nora will be working on his account for Sandbox. Let's listen in as Hugo shares his experience with Nora.


Hugo, thanks for taking the time to explain what EDA users need. What kind of problems do you deal with?

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