What if I could save you 50% on your $1M annual budget of EDA tools, IT infrastructure and CAD group expenses? Would you be interested?

Today I had a briefing with Vishal Kapoor at Cadence to learn more about their SaaS story. Over the past 8 years the services group at Cadence has been working closely with EDA clients to help them better manage tools, flows and methologies in a secure way using networking. In September 2008 we learned that Cadence was offering SaaS. In May I wrote about SaaS and using Xuropa to evaluate new EDA tools.

When I first started thinking about SaaS for EDA the kind of tools that came to mind were batch-oriented for tasks like: DRC, OPC, LVS, P&R, logic synthesis, Logic verification, ATPG, regression testing, etc. However now that we have higher speed networking connections it is even becoming possible to perform interactive tasks like IC Layout and waveform viewing.

You’ll get the biggest cost savings by choosing an all-Cadence tool flow, although the services group will certainly integrate any tool that you’d like. You also get to decide the version of software that you want to design with.

Small IC design groups that don’t have any existing tools will quickly benefit from this SaaS approach although I can see that even the medium and global design teams should also consider outsourcing their design environment. Imagine signing a contract and being able to start your design team working in a day or so with tools that work together in proven IC design flow, without having to invest in your own IT and CAD groups.

My concerns about security, uptime and flexibility were all addressed by the SaaS offering at Cadence. I see this as a real innovation in how IC design can be done in the future, so my next question is, “When will Mentor, Synopsys and Magma follow the leadership of Cadence?”