Abstraction to the ESL really is happening, after years of evangelism from leading analyst Gary Smith and a number of key tool providers. But his company Gary Smith EDA warns that we will not see mainstream adoption until users start paying for the tools for real.
“Still the sales forces of all [big] three companies [Cadence Design Systems, Mentor Graphics and Synopsys] are giving away their ESL tools for free, bundled in with their RTL tools, and until that stops there is no hope for the traditional hockey stick curve as the new methodology takes over,” says GSEDA’s latest executive summary on 2012 EDA Market Trends.
There is solid progress, the note adds. Atrenta’s RTL virtual prototyping tools within SpyGlass have filled out the ESL flow. Both Cadence and Mentor are intensifying competition with Synopsys in the software virtual prototyping space, though some format confusion may persist. The ESL tool market has a value of more than $0.5B, on track toward $1.5B by 2016.
ESL still waits for the ‘hockey stick’ (Source: Gary Smith EDA – click image to enlarge)
GSEDA says that Cadence has moved back into the number two vendor slot in its latest review of market share. However, the battle between Cadence and third-placed Mentor remains fierce and is likely to intensify.
“Mentor remains the company with their eye on the future, where Cadence’s future direction is still uncertain. However it’s now obvious that [President and CEO] Lip-Bu [Tan] is building a team to set that direction,” GSEDA says. “Both companies have a long way to go before they threaten Synopsys’ number one position.”
The note is free to download. You can also get previews of GSEDA’s latest sector-by-sector analyses. Click these links for teasers of the research on ESL, RTL, IC CAD, and PCB. The latest forecast by sub-application is also available.
And don’t forget Gary’s joke list, if you’re not on it already.