A Message for the New Year

January 10, 2009

Holiday season is gone, the new year is just starting and I am into preaching mood.

I get many, many emails from people asking me to help them with their designs, interview questions or just give advice. Sometimes, if I am not fast enough in replying, I even get complains and emails urging me to supply the answer “ASAP”. This is all OK and nice, but I would like you the reader to stop for a second and think on how much YOU are contributing to our community?

Not everyone can or likes to write a technical blog, but there are other options one can utilize – one of my favorites is posting on a forum. Even if you are a beginner in the field, post your questions, this is already a big help for many. I personally post from time to time on EDA board. Just go through that forum and have a quick look, some questions are very interesting while others can be extremely stupid (sorry) – who cares! What matters in my eyes, is that the forum is building a database of questions and answers that can help you and others.

I assume that most of my readers are on the passive side of things (just a hunch). I hope this post will make you open an account on one of the forums and start posting.

p.s. please use the comments section to recommend your favorite design related forums or groups.


  1. I usually recommend the comp.arch.fpga newsgroup for people interested in FPGAs and perhaps comp.lang.(verilog|vhdl) as well. I find that these groups usually have fairly good signal to noise ratio although it seems like some of the more knowledgeable participants have grown quiet lately.

    I’ll take a look at EDA board to see if it is interesting.

    By the way, do you know about a good Wiki for ASIC or FPGA based design?

  2. New forums are coming online over at http://www.xuropa.com. It is a new electronic design community, so it goes beyond a simple forum.

    Most interesting are the online labs. Cadence is carrying out final testing on a verification centric lab. In there is the Incisive Platform and VIP for you to use directly via your browser (no downloads or plug-ins). There is also a forum for discussion and building a knowledge base as you suggest.

    You are correct, most people are passive in their participation on the web, but there are a few people like yourself that make the community vibrant providing online content and help. Keep up the good work!

    Understanding that people are busy, there are other simple ways for people to participate on Xuropa – like voting for a product or technology. All you need do is register the product and then vote on it. You can write a review as well if you’d like. It would be great to have this build up as a resource for engineers to use when considering a new tool or IP to license. Kind of a first level screen.

    Anyway, check it out and let us know what you think. We’re always looking for ways to improve the platform.

    – James

  3. Hello Nir,

    I’m a contributor of the Fedora project and we are striving to provide a quick and simple deployment of opensource EDA tools on Fedora Linux. Our contribution to the community lies in providing interoperability between opensource tools and ship a design and simulation platform for free each 6 months.

    Please do check it out.
    Recently with the help of James Colgan, we also opened a booth on Xuropa.

    Kind regards.

  4. I really appreciate your posts and puzzles. I’ve dabbled in FPGA development off and on in my career, but I’ve always been interested n ASIC design and am still tossing around the idea of going back to school for it. I am learning many new things from your website.

  5. Hi Nir,
    I’m a passive follower of your blog. But I use edaboard widely for my knowledge upgradation and for helping others. I’m a member of edaboard for the past six years. You can find my posts by checking my profile. My user name is “kumar_eee”.

    Keep in touch.


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