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*RANT* Ridiculous EDA software "user license agreements"?

 
 
license_rant_master
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2004
I am an ASIC engineer who frequently 'takes work home' with me.
Recently, I began using ssh to remotely login to our company's
servers to run some Verilog/VHDL simulations. Launching
sims (from the UNIX command line) is fairly easy and painless,
but any kind of interactive (GUI) operations are pitifully
slow over an WAN/internet connection. In the past, I
haven't needed to do much more than check on running jobs,
restart them, then logout. Now, I find the need to do some
interactive debugging work (waveform viewing, code editing,
etc.)

So I thought, ok, I'll just install Linux at home and check
out a license remotely from the company. The system
administrator told me "NO!" this is forbidden, due to the license
agreements of just about every EDA-tool vendor. According to the
language/legalese of the license-agreement, a license 'seat'
is tied to a physical location called 'site.'

There are minor differences among the 'site-radius', but the
end-result is the same ... no executing the tool on hardware outside
of the radius:

Cadence : 1 mile radius within licensed machine-node
(Sysadmin told me this...didn't double-check myself.)

Synopsys: 5 mile radius within licensed machine-node
(couldn't find the agreement, but found this on Solvnet.)

Model/Mentor: 800 meter (0.5mi) radius within licensed machine-node
(Download the user's manual for any Modelsim product.)

....

At this point, I think, well alright, most of these EDA tools
are $100,000 USD and up, so it's reasonable for the vendor to impose
these terms. EDA companies don't want 1 company buying a huge site-wide
(100+) licenses, then randomly 'renting' them out over the internet.

I mentally used this analogy to convince myself this is ok:
I buy broadband internet service for my household.
It's "unlimited" for my household -- not my neightborhood or someone
driving by on a WiFi laptop. Fair enough...

Since I can't use the company's tools on *my* home machine, I
started investigating various low-cost Verilog simulators to run
under Windows. (I can't use Icarus because it fails to compile a
lot of our company's Verilog RTL.)

/RANT ON

1) Modelsim/PE "Personal Edition" -- *exact* same license agreement
as their premiere Modelsim/SE.

"Mentor Graphics
grants to you, subject to payment of appropriate license fees, a
nontransferable, nonexclusive license to use
Software solely: (a) in machine-readable, object-code form; (b) for your
internal business purposes; and (c) on
the computer hardware or at the site for which an applicable license fee
is paid, or as authorized by Mentor
Graphics. A site is restricted to a one-half mile (800 meter) radius."

*RIDICULOUS* If I were a design-consultant, and my laptop were
my primary compute platform, how am I supposed to comply with a
'site' radius? By their language, I can't run Modelsim
if I drive more than 0.5mi from my home-residence/business?!?

2) ok, so next I move on to Cadence's "Verilog Desktop"

Wow, same story -- the language of their license agreement brings
me to the same conclusion. Install on laptop -- automatic
non-compliance with their agreement (unless you 'lock down' the
laptop with a 1-mile chain.) Funny how their salesman now use
x86-laptops for nearly *all* customer-site product demos?!?

3) I may investigate Verilogger Pro or Simucad, but I figure why bother.
I'll probably just end up getting angrier...

....

/RANT OFF

Any comments?
What ****es me off the most, is those Cadence/Synopsys/Mentor
"travelling salesman." They come to our company-site, armed with
laptops and LCD-projectors -- then show off how a small x86-laptop
now runs jobs faster than a low-end Sun/IBM RISC workstation.
These EDAs need to be sued for false advertising. At a minimum,
someone needs to challenge their ridiculous license agreement
for products aimed at 'personal' use.

For now, I've simply told my supervisor 'project schedule slip.'
And I've given up on doing real work at home (now mostly just
catching on documentation and inline RTL-comments.)

 
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Allan Herriman
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2004
On Thu, 01 Jul 2004 04:46:42 GMT, license_rant_master
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I am an ASIC engineer who frequently 'takes work home' with me.
>Recently, I began using ssh to remotely login to our company's
>servers to run some Verilog/VHDL simulations. Launching
>sims (from the UNIX command line) is fairly easy and painless,
>but any kind of interactive (GUI) operations are pitifully
>slow over an WAN/internet connection. In the past, I
>haven't needed to do much more than check on running jobs,
>restart them, then logout. Now, I find the need to do some
>interactive debugging work (waveform viewing, code editing,
>etc.)


Have you tried tightVNC on maximum compression? The lossy compression
leads to some visible artefacts on bitmaps (e.g. your modelsim wave
window), but it's a lot better than anything else I've tried over a
voice band modem.

http://www.tightvnc.org/

Regards,
Allan.
 
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Uwe Bonnes
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2004
In comp.arch.fpga license_rant_master <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
: I am an ASIC engineer who frequently 'takes work home' with me.
: Recently, I began using ssh to remotely login to our company's
: servers to run some Verilog/VHDL simulations. Launching
: sims (from the UNIX command line) is fairly easy and painless,
: but any kind of interactive (GUI) operations are pitifully
: slow over an WAN/internet connection. In the past, I
: haven't needed to do much more than check on running jobs,
: restart them, then logout. Now, I find the need to do some
: interactive debugging work (waveform viewing, code editing,
: etc.)

Look at NX. It what LBX (Low Bandwidth X ) promised, but NX
delivers. Probably not to easy to set yet, but worth a try.

Bye
--
Uwe Bonnes http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)-darmstadt.de

Institut fuer Kernphysik Schlossgartenstrasse 9 64289 Darmstadt
--------- Tel. 06151 162516 -------- Fax. 06151 164321 ----------
 
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Just an Illusion
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2004
Hi license_rant_master,

For Mentor Sales Man, that not seems violated their license, because the
program and the license can be attached to the laptop, or can be
authorized by them.

I don't know very well all license aspect but do you said that the
maximum physical distance between the license server and the computer
which run the program must be the site-radius, don't you ?

That strange because I know some worldwide companies which share their
licenses all around the world (in the different company centers).

Another question, in the Mentor Graphics license, you have:
"(c) on the computer hardware or at the site for which an applicable
license fee is paid, or as authorized by Mentor Graphics."

If your company provide you a computer which have a license (the
computer must be the license server for this program too? I don't
know). That can solve your problem, no ?

In the license that you give, nothing seems said that you couldn't
shared the run between different computers, as clusters.

A last solution can be transmit the result in standard format, and use
different tools.

Example:
* to analyze waveform, you can use the vcd format and gtkwave. The vcd
format has lot of limitation (i.e. can't handle enumerate type...)
* to edit vhdl, that depend of what you do. Me I like Xemacs and the
vhdl-mode. But if you use only schematics that can be a problem.

The file exchange can be very time consuming, but you are generally
software independent.

Bye,
JaI

license_rant_master wrote:

> I am an ASIC engineer who frequently 'takes work home' with me.
> Recently, I began using ssh to remotely login to our company's
> servers to run some Verilog/VHDL simulations. Launching
> sims (from the UNIX command line) is fairly easy and painless,
> but any kind of interactive (GUI) operations are pitifully
> slow over an WAN/internet connection. In the past, I
> haven't needed to do much more than check on running jobs,
> restart them, then logout. Now, I find the need to do some
> interactive debugging work (waveform viewing, code editing,
> etc.)
>
> So I thought, ok, I'll just install Linux at home and check
> out a license remotely from the company. The system
> administrator told me "NO!" this is forbidden, due to the license
> agreements of just about every EDA-tool vendor. According to the
> language/legalese of the license-agreement, a license 'seat'
> is tied to a physical location called 'site.'
>
> There are minor differences among the 'site-radius', but the
> end-result is the same ... no executing the tool on hardware outside
> of the radius:
>
> Cadence : 1 mile radius within licensed machine-node
> (Sysadmin told me this...didn't double-check myself.)
>
> Synopsys: 5 mile radius within licensed machine-node
> (couldn't find the agreement, but found this on Solvnet.)
>
> Model/Mentor: 800 meter (0.5mi) radius within licensed machine-node
> (Download the user's manual for any Modelsim product.)
>
> ...
>
> At this point, I think, well alright, most of these EDA tools
> are $100,000 USD and up, so it's reasonable for the vendor to impose
> these terms. EDA companies don't want 1 company buying a huge
> site-wide (100+) licenses, then randomly 'renting' them out over the
> internet.
>
> I mentally used this analogy to convince myself this is ok:
> I buy broadband internet service for my household.
> It's "unlimited" for my household -- not my neightborhood or someone
> driving by on a WiFi laptop. Fair enough...
>
> Since I can't use the company's tools on *my* home machine, I
> started investigating various low-cost Verilog simulators to run
> under Windows. (I can't use Icarus because it fails to compile a
> lot of our company's Verilog RTL.)
>
> /RANT ON
>
> 1) Modelsim/PE "Personal Edition" -- *exact* same license agreement
> as their premiere Modelsim/SE.
>
> "Mentor Graphics
> grants to you, subject to payment of appropriate license fees, a
> nontransferable, nonexclusive license to use
> Software solely: (a) in machine-readable, object-code form; (b) for
> your internal business purposes; and (c) on
> the computer hardware or at the site for which an applicable license
> fee is paid, or as authorized by Mentor
> Graphics. A site is restricted to a one-half mile (800 meter) radius."
>
> *RIDICULOUS* If I were a design-consultant, and my laptop were
> my primary compute platform, how am I supposed to comply with a
> 'site' radius? By their language, I can't run Modelsim
> if I drive more than 0.5mi from my home-residence/business?!?
>
> 2) ok, so next I move on to Cadence's "Verilog Desktop"
>
> Wow, same story -- the language of their license agreement brings
> me to the same conclusion. Install on laptop -- automatic
> non-compliance with their agreement (unless you 'lock down' the
> laptop with a 1-mile chain.) Funny how their salesman now use
> x86-laptops for nearly *all* customer-site product demos?!?
>
> 3) I may investigate Verilogger Pro or Simucad, but I figure why bother.
> I'll probably just end up getting angrier...
>
> ...
>
> /RANT OFF
>
> Any comments?
> What ****es me off the most, is those Cadence/Synopsys/Mentor
> "travelling salesman." They come to our company-site, armed with
> laptops and LCD-projectors -- then show off how a small x86-laptop
> now runs jobs faster than a low-end Sun/IBM RISC workstation.
> These EDAs need to be sued for false advertising. At a minimum,
> someone needs to challenge their ridiculous license agreement
> for products aimed at 'personal' use.
>
> For now, I've simply told my supervisor 'project schedule slip.'
> And I've given up on doing real work at home (now mostly just
> catching on documentation and inline RTL-comments.)
>


 
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Joseph H Allen
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2004
In article <SGMEc.2916$(E-Mail Removed)> ,
license_rant_master <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>According to the language/legalese of the license-agreement, a license
>'seat' is tied to a physical location called 'site.'


I've heard that this is to prevent on-site consultants from sharing their
personal license (or more likely, the consultant's company's license) with
their customer. Otherwise only ASIC consulting companys would be buying the
$500K licenses.

--
/* http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (192.74.137.5) */ /* Joseph H. Allen */
int a[1817];main(z,p,q,r){for(p=80;q+p-80;p-=2*a[p])for(z=9;z--q=3&(r=time(0)
+r*57)/7,q=q?q-1?q-2?1-p%79?-1:0%79-77?1:0<1659?79:0>158?-79:0,q?!a[p+q*2
]?a[p+=a[p+=q]=q]=q:0:0;for(;q++-1817printf(q%79?"%c":"%c\n"," #"[!a[q-1]]);}
 
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bko-no-spam-please@ieee.org
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2004
license_rant_master <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> I am an ASIC engineer who frequently 'takes work home' with me.
> ... According to the
> language/legalese of the license-agreement, a license 'seat'
> is tied to a physical location called 'site.'


Here's a hint: like a lot of things in life, these restrictions are negotiable
if you are a big enough customer.
 
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Lasse Langwadt Christensen
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2004
Joseph H Allen wrote:
> In article <SGMEc.2916$(E-Mail Removed)> ,
> license_rant_master <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>>According to the language/legalese of the license-agreement, a license
>>'seat' is tied to a physical location called 'site.'

>
>
> I've heard that this is to prevent on-site consultants from sharing their
> personal license (or more likely, the consultant's company's license) with
> their customer. Otherwise only ASIC consulting companys would be buying the
> $500K licenses.
>


or an america and european company could get together and share licenses, with
a 7-8-9 hour time difference they wouldn't need the licenses at the same time

I think some companies (big ones) can a special license, I know one that share
worldwide and I would think they have a pool of licenses

-Lasse

 
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Rudolf Usselmann
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2004
license_rant_master wrote:
> I am an ASIC engineer who frequently 'takes work home' with me.
> Recently, I began using ssh to remotely login to our company's
> servers to run some Verilog/VHDL simulations. Launching

[SNIP]
> For now, I've simply told my supervisor 'project schedule slip.'
> And I've given up on doing real work at home (now mostly just
> catching on documentation and inline RTL-comments.)



I'm glad you did speak up ! I wish more people would -
preferably not anonymously ...

Here is another free Verilog simulator, you might find
it will run the more serious verilog jobs:

http://www.pragmatic-c.com/gpl-cver/

Runs on Linux ...

Good Luck !

Best Regards,
rudi
================================================== ======
ASICS.ws ::: Solutions for your ASIC/FPGA needs :::
...............::: FPGAs * Full Custom ICs * IP Cores :::
FREE IP Cores -> http://www.asics.ws/ <- FREE EDA Tools

 
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Rene Tschaggelar
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2004
The whole is solved by a notebook being the work machine at
the expense of reduced performance.

But yes, the whole is a bit silly.

Rene


license_rant_master wrote:
> I am an ASIC engineer who frequently 'takes work home' with me.
> Recently, I began using ssh to remotely login to our company's
> servers to run some Verilog/VHDL simulations. Launching
> sims (from the UNIX command line) is fairly easy and painless,
> but any kind of interactive (GUI) operations are pitifully
> slow over an WAN/internet connection. In the past, I
> haven't needed to do much more than check on running jobs,
> restart them, then logout. Now, I find the need to do some
> interactive debugging work (waveform viewing, code editing,
> etc.)
>
> So I thought, ok, I'll just install Linux at home and check
> out a license remotely from the company. The system
> administrator told me "NO!" this is forbidden, due to the license
> agreements of just about every EDA-tool vendor. According to the
> language/legalese of the license-agreement, a license 'seat'
> is tied to a physical location called 'site.'
>
> There are minor differences among the 'site-radius', but the
> end-result is the same ... no executing the tool on hardware outside
> of the radius:
>
> Cadence : 1 mile radius within licensed machine-node
> (Sysadmin told me this...didn't double-check myself.)
>
> Synopsys: 5 mile radius within licensed machine-node
> (couldn't find the agreement, but found this on Solvnet.)
>
> Model/Mentor: 800 meter (0.5mi) radius within licensed machine-node
> (Download the user's manual for any Modelsim product.)


[snip]

> /RANT OFF
>
> Any comments?

 
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Petter Gustad
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2004
Rene Tschaggelar <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> The whole is solved by a notebook being the work machine at
> the expense of reduced performance.


I don't think his company is too happy about spending multi $100,000
for licenses exclusively to a single users notebook...


Petter
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