It was SEMICON China last week, and I've written a couple of posts about it this week. Talking about semiconductor manufacturing equipment a lot recently reminded me of a friend who used to work in the semiconductor equipment industry (and I did some consulting for him years ago). When I was having lunch with him, we got to discussing why EDA and semiconductor equipment sales processes are so different.
At first glance, there are a lot of parallels between semiconductor equipment and EDA. Most notably: many of the same customers, the same technology treadmill, and a small number of large suppliers. There is also not a huge amount of differentiation in the product offerings, at least in terms that are easily assessed by the customer. To a first approximation, all plasma etchers etch, and all Verilog simulators simulate Verilog. A better assessment requires deciding more precisely what you want to do, and then running detailed tests.
But there are also big differences, the two big ones being lead time and cost.
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