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Messages from 9250

Article: 9250
Subject: Re: The case for Linux and EDA
From: adyer@MCS.COM (Andrew Dyer)
Date: 4 Mar 1998 16:42:00 -0600
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
In article <gogoEpB6EG.IzL@netcom.com>,
R. Mark Gogolewski <gogo@netcom.com> wrote:

>
>BTW, I _love_ the idea of Linux.  However, if I ran a pure
>Solaris group, the only $$ I would really save would be on hardware.
>The EDA software won't get cheaper on Linux.  The admin support
>won't get cheaper, etc. , etc.  In fact, I'll have to support
>both for awhile when switching, so my admin costs go up.
>

I too want linux versions of the apps I need at work - viewlogic viewdraw,
VCS, altera and xilinx tools, timing designer, etc, etc...

I suspect that part of the problem is that EDA companies want to charge 
UNIX CAD prices for Linux software, rather than NT CAD software prices 
which seem to be much less (for less functionality in most cases).


-- 
| Andrew Dyer                       <adyer@midway.com> or <adyer@mcs.net>     |
| Sr. Design Engineer               (773) 961-1751                            |
| Midway Games, Inc.                (773) 961-1890 (fax)                      |
| 2727 W. Roscoe Ave., Chicago, IL 60618                                      |
Article: 9251
Subject: Re: The case for Linux and EDA
From: rjwalsh@Eng.Sun.COM (Robert Walsh)
Date: 4 Mar 1998 23:09:16 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
I'm not too sure whether we represent a "typical" design house here, but
I can tell you one thing: our hardware budget every year is significantly
smaller than our CAD software budget.  And don't get me wrong here: we're
not stuck for hardware.  We've get new 8-, 16- and more processor
UltraSparc Servers to burn every quarter, with more memory and disk than
you can shake a stick at.

The point I'm trying to make here is that:

  1) Linux is not necessarily cheaper to maintain than Solaris.
     They're both Unix's at the end of the day.  Unless you have a lot
     of them, in which case it's nice to be able to use Solstice network
     administration software, but something comparable probably also
     exists for Linux.

  2) CAD software will be expensive anyway.

  3) Hardware is still relatively cheap (I know of one CAD company that
     was giving away a free SS5 with every CAD license sold.)

To add to this you have the reasons not to run CAD software on a
Linux box:

  1) How is Linux's MP support these days?  I haven't checked the source
     tree in a while, so I really don't know.  We actually use our MP
     UltraServers for heavy-duty DRC checking, etc.  I'd prefer to give
     the entire UltraSparc-III layout database to an 8-processor machine
     than to a 1-processor machine, since I'd like to see it checked in
     my lifetime :-)  Likewise for other heavy-duty CAD software that we
     (and I'm sure a LOT of others) use.  It's not just Linux at fault
     here - PC MP hardware is in it's infancy.

  2) How much memory can you stick in a PC?  Most machines here at SME
     have at least 512MB of memory in them.  Most of our processor ranch
     machines are configured with a lot more than this.  The machines
     we use for large hspice, drc, rce, etc. runs have 4GB+ in there.
     Not many PC's can handle this king of configuration unless you pay
     a premium for it.

  3) I know there are houses out there than run many different OSes on
     different hardware platforms.  We're not really very typical in
     that regard - we run Sun hardware with Solaris everywhere - there
     are no other machines used in SME.  This makes our life simpler,
     to some extent.  I'd hate to throw another architecture/os into
     the mix, and I'm sure most houses would feel the same way.

Running Linux on some other hardware might aleviate some of the above
issues, but this seems to me to be a "I'm doing it because I can" kind
of thing - I can see no reason to run Linux on a Sparc, say, since you
pretty much can't buy a Sparc without Solaris pre-installed anyway.
Likewise for Alpha, etc.

I actually like Linux a lot - I may work for Sun, but that doesn't bias
me against the Linux in anyway.  I use it at home.  I also use Solaris
and Win95 at home - different boxes for different tasks.  I see a place
for both Unix's, but if I was to form a design house startup right now,
I'd be very wary about running whatever CAD software that exists for
Linux - I'd rather stick to a Sparc box.

Of course, give the option of Linux v. NT, I don't think I need tell
you which one I'd rather have...

Regards,
 Robert.
--
Robert Walsh,                           Email: rjwalsh@eng.sun.com
Sun Microelectronics,                     Tel: +1-408-774-8116
901 San Antonio Road, MS USUN02-301,      Fax: +1-408-774-8680
Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA.                 (PGP Key on Request)
Article: 9252
Subject: Re: Analog crossbar switch matrix IC?
From: Keith Wootten <Keith@wootten.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 23:12:30 +0000
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
In article <c7m6acpej.fsf@ite127.inf.tu-dresden.de>, Achim Gratz
<gratz@ite.inf.tu-dresden.de> writes
>
>Is there such a thing as a programmable analog switch matrix/crossbar?
>I find digital ones (Lattice, Aptix FPIC), analog muxes and complete
>switch boxes for measurement equipment, some for analog mixers, but
>both extremely expensive.  I'd like to use these with a Zetex TRAC
>device for lab exercises, so fmax=4MHz, crosstalk -60dB, Ron
>uncritical if tightly distributed.  Before I forget, programmable
>resitors/capacitors would be a boon, too although I could use analog
>muxes for these.
>
>
>Achim Gratz.
>

AD75019 from Analog Devices is a remarkable 16x16 analog crosspoint
switch comprising a matrix of 256 switches.  It's serially configured
with a simple protocol and runs from +/-12V supplies, switching signals
of nearly rail to rail amplitude.  I don't know the frequency or
crosstalk specs offhand.  Interestingly, the serial configuration
bitstream has a minimum bit rate specification.  We use a PIC16C84 to
control ours, providing a parallel interface to the host system while
keeping a copy of the configuration for readback. 

The device we use is (IIRC) in a 44 pin plcc and costs around $30 for
one. 

Hope this helps.

-- 
Keith Wootten
Article: 9253
Subject: Re: Viewlogic file format for schematic symbols
From: "rk" <stellare@erols.com.NOSPAM>
Date: 4 Mar 1998 23:32:58 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
paul:
: I'd like to find the file format for the symbols created in Viewdraw.
: These are ASCII files, and I've already done some reverse-engineering
: and found some of the info. However, as long as this format has been
: around, I'd be surprised if the information isn't already available.

rk:
and i'd like to have a good definition of the sch and wir files too.  i'm
writing a program to do some automagic and semi-automagic editing of a
design.

paul: 
: I've put in a request to Viewlogic, but haven't gotten a response yet.

rk:
i have received the silence, too.

--------------------------------------------------------------
rk

"there's nothing like real data to screw up a great theory" 
- me (modified from original, slightly more colorful version)
--------------------------------------------------------------
Article: 9254
Subject: Re: The case for Linux and EDA
From: "rk" <stellare@erols.com.NOSPAM>
Date: 4 Mar 1998 23:34:53 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
andrew:
: I suspect that part of the problem is that EDA companies want to charge 
: UNIX CAD prices for Linux software, rather than NT CAD software prices 
: which seem to be much less (for less functionality in most cases).

rk:
thought i just read in ee times that synopsys will charge same $ for unix
and NT (marvelous).  also said they would not do linux, no customer demand.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------
rk

"there's nothing like real data to screw up a great theory" 
- me (modified from original, slightly more colorful version)
--------------------------------------------------------------
Article: 9255
Subject: Re: The case for Linux and EDA
From: gogo@netcom.com (R. Mark Gogolewski)
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 00:03:03 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Furthermore, why is there an expectation that NT software should be
cheaper than UNIX?  And why, if Linux is essentially UNIX, would
Linux be cheaper?

It's the same functionality/code, right?

Mark

In article <01bd47c5$c95a2720$6e84accf@homepc>,
rk <stellare@erols.com.NOSPAM> wrote:
>andrew:
>: I suspect that part of the problem is that EDA companies want to charge 
>: UNIX CAD prices for Linux software, rather than NT CAD software prices 
>: which seem to be much less (for less functionality in most cases).
>
>rk:
>thought i just read in ee times that synopsys will charge same $ for unix
>and NT (marvelous).  also said they would not do linux, no customer demand.
> 
>--------------------------------------------------------------
>rk
>
>"there's nothing like real data to screw up a great theory" 
>- me (modified from original, slightly more colorful version)
>--------------------------------------------------------------


Article: 9256
Subject: Re: Xilinx X3000: Does XACT6 accept the "L" or "SC=n" attribs?
From: z80@ds2.com (Peter)
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 02:19:51 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Reno,

Thanks for the posts. 

I know there are quite a few attributes one can attach to nets, and to
blocks, etc. My basic concern is whether XACT6 actually supports
*any* of the net attributes.

I have only ever used the L and SC= on nets. I have also used pin
numbers, and they certainly work; IIRC a constraint file gets
generated which contains the pin numbers.

I have a good reason to think that both L and SC don't work. Next time
I do a design, I will run XACT.EXE and have a look at the layout.
That's always a pig of a job.

>I think I should say it a bit more precisely (referring to my last mail):
>
>using vertical longlines:
>Constrain all critical components (CLBs) in one column and lock the critical
>net to a fixed pin of these CLBs with either the 'P' attribute or the
>'MAP=PLO' resp. 'MAP=PLC' attribute combined with the use of CLBMAP mapping
>symbol. The disadvantage is the effort to map and constrain your design (or
>parts of it). But for best results you should always constrain 3K designs.
>If you fix critical nets to B or C inputs of CLBMAP you have the biggest
>chance to persuade PPR/APR to use a lonline (more resources are available in
>3KA ICs). If PPR/APR doesn't it's now easy to correct the result in XDE.
>
>using horizontal longline:
>Use a 'dummy'-TBUF (WAND) or feed your critical net through a TBUF (need the
>'X' attribute) and PPR has to use a longline. If the extra delay is a
>problem you can remove the TBUF in XDE.
>
>you see XDE is a nice tool.


Peter.

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Article: 9257
Subject: Re: Help with ViewLogic 4
From: z80@ds2.com (Peter)
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 02:19:52 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>

And *I* thought I was the only one on earth still running Viewdraw
4.1... :)

I never tried win95 but can confirm Viewlogic 4 doesn't run under NT,
as fully expected given the dongle, the DOS extender, and the video
modes.

>I am using rather old version of VL as a front end for XACT6.
>Does anybody know how to make VL 4.1.3 running under DOS7 (from W95)?
>Works fine with DOS5.0 and QEMM6.0 as memory manager.
>I spent a lot of time testing different configurations but I failed.
>There is no (or I can't find) info about it on ViewLogic home page.
>Any help will be appreciated.


Peter.

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Article: 9258
Subject: Re: The case for free operating systems and EDA
From: olsenc@kodiak.ee.washington.edu (Clint Olsen)
Date: 5 Mar 1998 02:27:51 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On Sat, 28 Feb 1998 13:24:07 +0000, Jay Darmon <jdarmon@worldlink.nsp.net>
wrote:
>* The decision by Netscape to release the source code for Communicator 5.0
>has brought a lot of attention to Linux as well.  See:
>http://www.mozilla.org/
>
>So far, though, the EDA market has been a tough one for Linux to move
>into.  It seems that the engineers (the users of EDA apps ) are quite
>willing to use Linux, but the EDA companies want to push NT.  The case for
>EDA applications on Linux is compelling:
>
>4) Stability. Linux typically has uptimes measured in months while NT
>crashes about twice a week (in my experience, and in the experience of
>others I've talked to).
>
>5) Performance.  When NT is doing any kind of disk access it seems to be
>very unresponsive.

[snip]

Although what you state is a step in the right direction for free software,
I have to point out that even Infoworld and the CAD/CAM community have
severe tunnel vision.  People seem to use free software and Linux
interchangeably.  Unfortunately, this is a little shortsighted since
there are other efforts in the free software community going on, namely
FreeBSD.

As a user of both operating systems, I can testify that in a networked
environment, you will get much better performance and stability out of
FreeBSD than your average Linux distribution.  Linux is the rage since
software development is going on at a frenetic pace.  Bugs are squashed at
lightning speed.  However, bugs are created in a similar fashion as a
result of the Linux development model.

As a CAD tool user, you want to be able to install an operating system and
not mess with it.  I'm not sure if managers would be excited about playing
the kernel patch game to get the functionality they need.  I realize that
I'm being slightly unfair to Linux, but this is not that far off the mark.

As a testimonial to the stability of FreeBSD, it is currently the operating
system of choice for one of the largest FTP repositories on the Internet
ftp.cdrom.com (wcarchive.cdrom.com) housing 1G of memory and 224GB of disk
running on a P6/233.

I'm pointing this out since Linux will be the OS that probably makes or
breaks the free software reputation in the CAD industry.  If I had to put
my money down on an OS based on your bullets above, I'd bet on FreeBSD.

To find out more about FreeBSD, I suggest you point your browser at
http://www.freebsd.org.

-Clint
Article: 9259
Subject: Re: The case for Linux and EDA
From: "rk" <stellare@erols.com.NOSPAM>
Date: 5 Mar 1998 03:18:09 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
andrew:
: >: I suspect that part of the problem is that EDA companies want to
charge 
: >: UNIX CAD prices for Linux software, rather than NT CAD software prices

: >: which seem to be much less (for less functionality in most cases).

rk:
: >thought i just read in ee times that synopsys will charge same $ for
unix
: >and NT (marvelous).  also said they would not do linux, no customer
demand.

R. Mark:
: Furthermore, why is there an expectation that NT software should be
: cheaper than UNIX?  And why, if Linux is essentially UNIX, would
: Linux be cheaper?
: 
: It's the same functionality/code, right?

rk:
unix versions of software have traditionally cost far more than the dos/win
versions.  yes, same code and all (in principle).  but it is a different
market.  and, i believe, it will continue to be a different market.

the unix boxes will probably stay ahead in performance of the win/intel
boxes, although perhaps that may change in the future, who knows?  in a
recent benchmark done by integrated system design, march '98, showed that
for verilog-xl, "in most cases, the sun workstation outperformed the pcs. 
from a cost/performance perspective, though, the PCs generally won.  still,
if you need the performance, the choice is clear."

again, my opinion, chime in your $0.02, i think the larger and more
demanding asics will require the fastest machines they can get.  and for
engineers designing those sorts of chips, the cost of the hardware platform
and the expensive software for the design/analysis/simulation of state of
the art chips relative to the cost of runs of the chips themselves, will
not be the driving factor in tool selection.  for a LARGE chip, simulation
run times will be critical adding costs.  and at the price per gate i've
seen quoted, it's an expensive business.  they will pay to stay on the
leading edge, have the fastest and best software, and software companies
will charge to keep them there.

now, on the pc side, you will see the small to medium sized developments. 
these include people doing fpgas where the nre per gate is essentially
zero.  and people who will transfer their fpgas to asics for production. 
and you will see people designing this stuff in small businesses, where
their model is investing only a moderate amount in tool sets.  like my
business, real small, just me!  this is not the market for the best, most
expensive tools.  most people can get into business for perhaps $10,000.  a
fast pc, schematic entry package, say viewlogic, some backend tools, and an
inexpensive or vendor supplied vhdl compiler.  throw on a small laser jet
and you're ready to go.  ok, this stuff isn't as good as the latest
synopsys tool, or ambit tool, and doesn't have super-duper networking and
clustering (although i have a 100 mbps network to the wife's laptop ;) but
here better is the enemy of good enough.  and this market will never buy
$90,000 tool sets in volume.  however, there are a lot of people who can do
this sort of work and vendors can sell moderate volumes of s/w at reduced
prices and make more $.  that's why it's expected.  this will apply to
regular businesses too.  for example, at day job, i work for a "large
company" of over 2,000,000 employees (not kidding U.S. Government).  and i
have bought the expensive tools but those purchases are few and far
between.  but inexpensive s/w for windows, not a problem, we can put a copy
on everyone's desk (or get enough licenses or whatever).

this has been the traditional model for stuff for at least the last 15
years or so.  in eda, for example, during the '80s, people were buying
apollo/mentor or their competitors.  for the time, quite sophisticated, for
the s/w and the os (apollo had some nice stuff).  we were all well
networked, still better than windows is today.  and it cost about $35,000 a
seat or so.  very expensive.  and then along came orcad at $500.  simple. 
straightforward.  and we could put a copy on everyone's desk for board
design.  i seem to remember that mentor was getting into the pc software
for a bit, didn't really follow it.  perhaps someone can remember what they
did, how they did it, and how it worked out.

--------------------------------------------------------------
rk

"there's nothing like real data to screw up a great theory" 
- me (modified from original, slightly more colorful version)
--------------------------------------------------------------
Article: 9260
Subject: Re: The case for Linux and EDA
From: ptkwt@user1.teleport.com (Phil Ptkwt Kristin)
Date: 4 Mar 1998 20:59:53 -0800
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
In article <gogoEpB6EG.IzL@netcom.com>,
R. Mark Gogolewski <gogo@netcom.com> wrote:
>Rick, 
>
>Great points.
>
>You are very correct on the following two things:
>
> [] A port from any other Unix OS to Linux is essentially cake.

Yep.
>
> [] Unix houses can very easily switch to Linux while NT houses
>    would have more difficulty.
>
Also true.

>BTW, I _love_ the idea of Linux.  However, if I ran a pure
>Solaris group, the only $$ I would really save would be on hardware.
>The EDA software won't get cheaper on Linux.  The admin support
>won't get cheaper, etc. , etc.  In fact, I'll have to support
>both for awhile when switching, so my admin costs go up.
>

Not really since there is a lot of overlap in the admin of Solaris and
Linux - they're very similar.  The Solaris admin's could easily pick up
Linux admin, in fact they probably run Linux at home.  NT and Solaris are
very different though.

 phil



Article: 9261
Subject: Re: The case for Linux and EDA
From: gogo@netcom.com (R. Mark Gogolewski)
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 05:07:53 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
In article <01bd47e4$f45b9480$3280accf@homepc>, rk 
  <stellare@erols.com.NOSPAM> wrote:

>rk:
>unix versions of software have traditionally cost far more than the dos/win
>versions.  yes, same code and all (in principle).  but it is a different
>market.  and, i believe, it will continue to be a different market.

  <snip>

Ahhh....  I completely agree here that there are certainly two
major design markets:  high-end (needing the best tools), and smaller
companies/startups/groups/consultants who are less interested in
having the very, very best (or really in spending the very, very
most...).

>From a software standpoint, I think the line you are drawing is not
really the line between PCs and UNIX machines, but between differing
goals in purchasing for the overall design environment.  There is 
certainly a correlation given that the high-end market will pay the 
$$ for the best machines - and the best tools - given that the time 
spent running the tools must be kept to a min.  The other portion of 
the market, in looking for a low-cost alternative, will actively 
pursue PCs and low-cost software as well.

It seems that large companies, having a need for both types of 
projects, are following both approaches and use both NT and UNIX.

Now, back to what I said before...

>R. Mark:
>: Furthermore, why is there an expectation that NT software should be
>: cheaper than UNIX?  And why, if Linux is essentially UNIX, would
>: Linux be cheaper?
>: 
>: It's the same functionality/code, right?

I still believe that there should not be a price difference in 
the exact software running on two different OSs.  However, it does
seem that it is wise to offer different software packages for
high-end (primary, but not limited to, UNIX) and low-end (primarily NT
and desirous of Linux).

Given all that, what we're we talking about?   ;)  

Mark

Article: 9262
Subject: Any not-so-buggy design software?
From: "Prof. Vitit Kantabutra" <vkantabu@computer.org>
Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 23:27:06 -0700
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Is there any relatively bug-free design software out there?  I've tried
Xilinx Foundations and Altera Max Plus II, and have found both of them
to have incredibly annoying bugs.  Most of the worst bugs are not those
that occur when my own designs are error-free.  Rather, they are bugs
that occur when my own designs have bugs, or when they don't obey some
arcane rules.  For example, in Foundations, if I name a state diagram
file using more than 8 characters, I'd get a weird result instead a
warning about the file name.
Article: 9263
Subject: Re: The case for Linux and EDA
From: Kai Harrekilde-Petersen <khp@nospam.dolphinics.no>
Date: 05 Mar 1998 09:22:39 +0100
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
gogo@netcom.com (R. Mark Gogolewski) writes:
> You are very correct on the following two things:
> 
>  [] A port from any other Unix OS to Linux is essentially cake.
> 
>  [] Unix houses can very easily switch to Linux while NT houses
>     would have more difficulty.
> 
> BTW, I _love_ the idea of Linux.  However, if I ran a pure
> Solaris group, the only $$ I would really save would be on hardware.
> The EDA software won't get cheaper on Linux.  The admin support
> won't get cheaper, etc. , etc.  In fact, I'll have to support
> both for awhile when switching, so my admin costs go up.

We, essentially, are running a Solaris EDA shop (We also run NT, but
that's mostly the Software guys).  Simulations, Synthesis, etc are
running on Ultra's.  However, we are getting more and more Linux
boxen, which are generally used as 'personal workstations' and fast X
terminals.

As for the admin support cost, we generally find it easier to admin a
Linux box than a Solaris box, but that's related to previous Unix
experience.

I'd love to have DAI's Signalscan (and similar tools) running locally
on the Linux box.  Simulation is not as interesting, given that you
need to beef up all the Linux boxen with lots 'o RAM.

Kai
-- 
Kai Harrekilde-Petersen  <khp@dolphinics.no>  #include <std/disclaimer.h>
http://www.dolphinics.no/~khp/
Article: 9264
Subject: Re: Viewlogic file format for schematic symbols
From: z80@ds2.com (Peter)
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 09:46:14 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>

I have no extra info beyond what you can work out by looking at the
files. However, do please post your final results - ESPECIALLY if you
can work out how the magic number is calculated. 

This magic number is used to stop things like e.g. using a Xilinx/LCA
version of Viewdraw to open a sch or lib file which was created in the
unrestricted version.

I believe that unless you can generate the magic number, you will not
be able to generate valid Viewlogic files.

The sch file starts with something like

V 50
K 257863394400 FRED
Y 0
D 0 0 1653 1169

Where the 2nd line, after the "K", has the magic number. This, I
believe, is computed with an algorithm which takes in the filename
("FRED" above), a text string identifying the company selling the
restricted version (e.g. "Xilinx") and some other stuff I don't know.

I doubt Viewlogic will tell you, since they went to a lot of trouble
to prevent the restricted versions (sold for much less than their own
full version - $30k at one time) being used to design normal stuff,
with general libraries like LSTTL.

>I know this is a bit off-topic for this group, but I know there are
>many of you who use Viewlogic Viewdraw for schematic-based FPGA designs.
>
>I'd like to find the file format for the symbols created in Viewdraw.
>These are ASCII files, and I've already done some reverse-engineering
>and found some of the info. However, as long as this format has been
>around, I'd be surprised if the information isn't already available.
>
>I've put in a request to Viewlogic, but haven't gotten a response yet.
>Also, does anyone know of any newsgroups such as this which are focused
>on schematic capture, or EE-directed EDA tools in general.
>
>I've done some searching using AltaVista, but no cigar so far.


Peter.

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Article: 9265
Subject: Re: The case for free operating systems and EDA
From: z80@ds2.com (Peter)
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 09:46:15 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>

>>4) Stability. Linux typically has uptimes measured in months while NT
>>crashes about twice a week (in my experience, and in the experience of
>>others I've talked to).

This is simply not true. I am the last one to defend MS but NT is very
reliable. I use it all day. If you find regular crashes, as some
people indeed do, you very probably have hardware problems, or you
need a decent UPS.

>>5) Performance.  When NT is doing any kind of disk access it seems to be
>>very unresponsive.

Not true.

There are lots of stupid things in NT but none of them make it in any
way unsuitable for EDA.


Peter.

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Article: 9266
Subject: ++ TMS320C6x DSP info website ++
From: Andrew Phillips <andrew@scs.ch>
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 11:06:27 +0100
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
Hi,

Are you looking for information about the Texas Instruments TMS320C6x
digital signal processors? Please check out my website:

http://www.scs.ch/~andrew/c6x.html

Here you'll find the latest documentation and silicon availability
information. There is plenty of stuff about doing hardware and software
design with these processors, some application notes and a comprehensive
bug list. Also, stacks of info about commercially available 'C6x
processor boards and lots of other stuff .....

Have a look and please send me any comments. Don't forget to join my
mailing list if you want to be notified when the site is updated ...

Cheers,

Andrew Phillips
Supercomputing Systems AG
Zurich, Switzerland
Article: 9267
Subject: Re: Questions about creating personal package
From: Jan Zegers <janz@easics.be>
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 11:18:30 +0100
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
> The Questions are:-
> 
> 1)      What file name should I use to contain the listing given above? Should
> it be my_pkg.vhd, comp1.vhd, comp2.vhd or something else?

There is no relation between the filename and the VHDL object(s)
in a filename. So, a very bad idea could be to put everything
in one file. Best is to have a "convention" and to split in
multiple files. E.g.: 
  - entities are stored in <entity_name>_ENT.vhd,
  - architectures are stored in <entity_name>_<architecture_name>.vhd
  - package definitions in <package_name>_PCK.vhd
  - package body in <package_name>_body.vhd
  - configurations in CFG_<entity_name>_<architecture_name>.vhd
Or some other convention, as long as you have a convention, it's ok.

> 
> 2)      In my main program (in a separate file), how does it know where to
> find the component definitions defined in the above listing?

Look at the library concept in the LRM. You can analyze your
entity/architectures in a library, e.g. MY_LIB. Then in your
code you can access objects from that library with the
  - library MY_LIB;
  - use MY_LIB.MY_PKG.all;
(Note that in your code you have "use IEEE; use IEEE.std..." !
The first of these two should be "library IEEE; use IEEE.std...")

The library has to be bound to a certain directory, for most
simulators. Look in the user's manual of your simulator.

> 
> Thanks for any help and comments.
> 
> C. Fung

-- 
===================================================================
Jan Zegers                ===              Easics               ===
General Manager           ===  VHDL-based ASIC design services  ===
NEW Tel: +32-16-395 601      ===================================
NEW Fax: +32-16-395 619  Interleuvenlaan 86, B-3001 Leuven, BELGIUM
mailto:janz@easics.be              http://www.easics.com
Article: 9268
Subject: Re: The case for Linux and EDA
From: "rk" <stellare@erols.com.NOSPAM>
Date: 5 Mar 1998 11:34:30 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
rk:
: >unix versions of software have traditionally cost far more than the
dos/win
: >versions.  yes, same code and all (in principle).  but it is a different
: >market.  and, i believe, it will continue to be a different market.
: 
:   <snip>

mark:
: Ahhh....  I completely agree here that there are certainly two
: major design markets:  high-end (needing the best tools), and smaller
: companies/startups/groups/consultants who are less interested in
: having the very, very best (or really in spending the very, very
: most...).
: 
: From a software standpoint, I think the line you are drawing is not
: really the line between PCs and UNIX machines, but between differing
: goals in purchasing for the overall design environment.  There is 
: certainly a correlation given that the high-end market will pay the 
: $$ for the best machines - and the best tools - given that the time 
: spent running the tools must be kept to a min.  The other portion of 
: the market, in looking for a low-cost alternative, will actively 
: pursue PCs and low-cost software as well.

rk:
agreed.  but today, the unix s/w is generally more expensive.  and the pc
s/w is generally cheaper.  and, the high end tools tend to run on unix. 
and the low end tools tend to run on pc.  but the goals are, as you say,
the key, not the OS.  but with the volume of win machines in general as
compared to unix boxes, it's simple economics that the $5k package can make
more $ than the $90k if they both can do the job.  and here do the job
means process in a reasonable amount of time with a reasonable amount of
hassle.  and, actually getting back to my last msg, the small to medium
sized designs are not as sensitive to performance as the million gate asic.


mark: 
: It seems that large companies, having a need for both types of 
: projects, are following both approaches and use both NT and UNIX.


rk:
yup, at day job, that's what i got.  admittedly, most of the pc's in our
design group are running '95, with a few NT machines, mostly for easing the
transition.  the NT machines require about twice as much ram and wouldn't
just upgrade on older dos/win 3.11 machines.  also, the programming of
custom h/w on the backplane for our home-brew add-on cards was more hassle
in NT than '95.  however, for the next upgrade, we'll probably all switch
to NT since with memory cheap we all bought a lot and we have the software
ready to program NT, including our custom h/w.

mark: 
: Now, back to what I said before...
: 
: >R. Mark:
: >: Furthermore, why is there an expectation that NT software should be
: >: cheaper than UNIX?  And why, if Linux is essentially UNIX, would
: >: Linux be cheaper?
: >: 
: >: It's the same functionality/code, right?
: 
: I still believe that there should not be a price difference in 
: the exact software running on two different OSs.  However, it does
: seem that it is wise to offer different software packages for
: high-end (primary, but not limited to, UNIX) and low-end (primarily NT
: and desirous of Linux).

rk:

in principle, yes, i agree.  same s/w guys.  they don't get paid more for
unix coding than win programming [perhaps they should ;) ].  but, as i said
earlier, marketing generally forces the prices down for windows.  and that
generally has been the case.  perhaps someone with some extra time can look
at eda and other s/w applications written for both win and unix and see
what the differences are.  and yes, i was surprised that synopsys will have
identical pricing.  especially with the competition on the win machines,
with packages from synplicity, for example, that seem to be pretty good and
run pretty fast.  and, with vendor supplied tools being either free or
inexpensive.  for example, actel will give you a free vhdl synthesizer.  it
works.  it's not synopsys but it works.  and you don't have to go into the
boss and ask for a big pile of $.  cypress/quicklogic was selling theirs
for $99.  what does synopsys cost? $90,000 per license?  synplicity is ~
$20,000 or so?

it'll be interesting to see how it all works out.

of course, i would like to be platform/OS independent and run the same
tools for different size jobs.  s/w learning curves are expensive to pay
for.  viewlogic and actel, for example, run on both unix and win '95/NT,
and it makes it practical for designers working on either platform/OS to
communicate.

over to you, chet!

--------------------------------------------------------------
rk

"there's nothing like real data to screw up a great theory" 
- me (modified from original, slightly more colorful version)
--------------------------------------------------------------





: 
: Given all that, what we're we talking about?   ;)  
: 
: Mark
: 
: 
Article: 9269
Subject: Re: The case for free operating systems and EDA
From: "rk" <stellare@erols.com.NOSPAM>
Date: 5 Mar 1998 11:41:46 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
someone said:
: >>4) Stability. Linux typically has uptimes measured in months while NT
: >>crashes about twice a week (in my experience, and in the experience of
: >>others I've talked to).

peter: 
: This is simply not true. I am the last one to defend MS but NT is very
: reliable. I use it all day. If you find regular crashes, as some
: people indeed do, you very probably have hardware problems, or you
: need a decent UPS.

rk:
at day job, i'm running two NT machines.  basically never shut them off and
rarely do they get in trouble.  however, bad software can crash them, it's
NOT crashproof, but that's another story.

someone said: 
: >>5) Performance.  When NT is doing any kind of disk access it seems to
be
: >>very unresponsive.

peter:
: Not true.

rk:
we haven't witnessed this problem.  in fact, our #1 test engineer (day job)
remarked positively how fast the NT machine seemed to run.  was using it
for real-time data acquisition and storing to disk (and we considered just
adding more memory and storing to ram but having the disk grind away wasn't
an observed problem).

--------------------------------------------------------------
rk

"there's nothing like real data to screw up a great theory" 
- me (modified from original, slightly more colorful version)
--------------------------------------------------------------



Article: 9270
Subject: Announce - Stuart jumps ship
From: s_clubb@die.spammer.netcomuk.co.uk (Stuart Clubb)
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 12:15:11 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
It gives me great pleasure to announce that I now have no ties to any
programmable logic vendor. As some of you will recall, I have been
working for a Lucent distributor, Eurodis Bytech, but following my HDL
'convictions', I have (this week) changed jobs to work for the HDL
solutions company, Saros Technology.

Hopefully my views on programmable logic can now be treated with a
slightly less sceptical view than they may have been in the past. ;-)

Naturally, I look forward to working with all vendors, and their UK
distributors in the provision of HDL solutions for ASIC and PLD to
their customers, both present, and future.

www.saros.co.uk

Modelsim, Exemplar Leonardo/Galileo, Turbowriter, IP cores, TransEDA,
etc.

Stuart
For those who don't give a stuff, sorry for the time-waste.
Article: 9271
Subject: Re: Die Size Comparison of competing FPGAs
From: s_clubb@die.spammer.netcomuk.co.uk (Stuart Clubb)
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 12:15:14 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On Tue, 03 Mar 1998 12:28:12 -0800, Peter Alfke
<peter.alfke@xilinx.com> wrote:

>Don't  believe what Marketing says about its competitor. You can be sure
>that the facts have been massaged. There are hundreds of ways of
>manipulating the truth without necessary creating outright lies,
>although even that happens. ( Would you be so naive to  believe what
>Ford says about Chevrolet, or Toyota about Honda, or McDonald about
>Burger King or vice versa ? )

Amen to that, but a sticky wicket approaches...

>Be careful when you evaluate "equivalent" devices. One observer's
>equivalence is another one's big difference.

You could always just cut to the chase and count the number of 4ip
LUTs. Or maybe the number of registers? Imperfect, but better than the
marketing "specmanship" that has been going on recently.

Let's try it shall we?....

Xilinx XC4062 - 4608 4ip LUTs, and a total of 5376 registers, of which
768 are internal. I/O is 384 maximum.

Altera FLEX10K100A - 4992 4ip LUTs, and a total of 5398 registers, of
which 406 are in the I/O blocks. I/O is 406 maximum.

Similar devices yes?

Courtesy of http://www.arrowsemi.com/

EPF10K100ARC2403 is $165 for 100-499 quantity.
EPF10K100ARC2401 is $335 for 100-499 quantity.

Courtesy of http://www.marshall.com/

XC4062XL-3HQ240 is $472 for 100+ quantity.
XC4062XL-09HQ304 is $1218 for 100+ quantity.

Trying smaller (5V this time) devices again such as the 10K20, 4013E,
and OR2C12A:

EPF10K20RC2084 is $42.50 for 100-499 quantity.
EPF10K20RC2083 is $63.50 for 100-499 quantity.

OR2C12A2S208DB is $51.50 for 26-100 quantity. 100+ not listed.
OR2C12A4S208DB is $74.00 for 26-100 quantity. 100+ not listed.

XC4013E-4PQ208C is $110 for 100+ quantity.
XC4013E-1PQ208C is $270 for 100+ quantity.

if I let an XL creep in :

XC4013XL-3PQ208C is $64.60 for 100+ quantity.
XC4013XL-1PQ208C is $113 for 100+ quantity.

I tried for Spartan :

XCS30-3PQ208C is $57.45 for 100+ quantity.

Oh, and a EPF6016 is $22.95 in 100-599 quantity.

Now, I know there is some speed grade difference, and your mileage may
vary, but there is, shall we say, a "difference".

>Don't equate chip size with cost. There are many other factors affecting
>cost, some of them technology-oriented, some not. Cost is what matters,
>not square microns.

Agree. However, when a company runs on NET margins of 60%+, the
product must be costing them buttons to manufacture. Perhaps some
people are just prepared to make a lower margin? I wonder if the
reverse applies where Xilinx is attacking the CPLD marketspace? Now if
only people published revenue by density and product family...

>Don't compare devices on the basis of today's single-quantity price, but
>don't blindly accept high-volume futures either.

Agree, although 100 up generally gives a reasonable finger in the air
in distribution land.

Stuart
Article: 9272
Subject: Re: Die Size Comparison of competing FPGAs
From: s_clubb@die.spammer.netcomuk.co.uk (Stuart Clubb)
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 12:26:16 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>
On Thu, 05 Mar 1998 12:15:14 GMT, s_clubb@die.spammer.netcomuk.co.uk
(Stuart Clubb) wrote:

>Xilinx XC4062 - 4608 4ip LUTs, and a total of 5376 registers, of which
>768 are internal. I/O is 384 maximum.

Duh, I meant 768 are in the I/O blocks.

Stuart
Article: 9273
Subject: Re: Announce - Stuart jumps ship
From: z80@ds2.com (Peter)
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 14:14:15 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>

>Modelsim, Exemplar Leonardo/Galileo, Turbowriter, IP cores, TransEDA,
>etc.

Have fun. All nice expensive stuff :)

Peter.

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Article: 9274
Subject: Re: The case for free operating systems and EDA
From: z80@ds2.com (Peter)
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 1998 14:15:58 GMT
Links: << >>  << T >>  << A >>

>at day job, i'm running two NT machines.  basically never shut them off and
>rarely do they get in trouble.  however, bad software can crash them, it's
>NOT crashproof, but that's another story.

It is not crashproof, of course. It is easily crashed when there are
hardware-related problems. It is very hard to crash it with most
normal windoze apps though.



Peter.

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