Today I spent the whole day in meeting, from 10a.m. to 4p.m., lunch inclusived.? Our tool vender, Candence, visited us to give us update on their latest tool.? The license fee of those tools cost more than my salary by a two to one factor.? This is one reason why my job is fairly safe from outsourcing to India.? The Indian guys still have to use the same number of license as me, which drawf the cost saved in salary.? The meeting first start with us complaining the problems with their tools, we have gave them a long list of features enhancement.? Then followed by some presentation of their project roadmap.? They keep telling us the new features in the next version of their products.? I doubted the credit fo those semi-sales pitches.? From our past experience, we are manage to stress the new feature to their limits and crash the tool within a few weeks.? Then we spend endless time learning how to work around those limitation.? The products are just never as good as advertised.? The final section is a close door meeting between the managers to dicuss the pricing details of the tool.? I think we are simply paying too much.? The problem is there is no real alternative.? There are only two major EDA tool vender, and each tool has a very steep learning curve.? We are basically locked in with them.? On the flip side, the EDA is not a very good business either.? The are only limited number of customer specified in semiconductor design would by their tools.? In their road map, they call it major milestone for product deployment when they got 10 cusomters!