FEL: Product oriented and Marketing

Last week, I’ve got ill and that is still killing me. However, I meant an old friend Larry. At one point, Larry said “Everywhere you go people talk about innovation, but in the end if you really look deeper it is only mentioned by websites and marketing agents. The development team does not employed the word “innovation” in their daily sentences.”

Then, the discussion got into a serious tone where we were concluded that the word “innovation” is no longer attractive to us. We started thinking about how to present FEL efficiently. Fedora is an innovative technology and Fedora Project deserves the use of word “innovative” here. FEL is a subset of Fedora. So here is no actually meaning or advantage FEL will have if FEL mentioned “innovation” too. But only the other hand, if some people come to seek FEL without knowing Fedora on the first place how could that particular person know that we are the actual leader in opensource EDA deployment.

After those thoughts, Larry and I were shocked to hear us talking like this. It is not us. So what actually does FEL ? We provide a mature environment to rapidly implement, deliver and evolve the technology. While our users bet their success on EDA tools(under the FEL umbrella), our roles at Fedora become serious in order to keep our ecosystem healthy.

Just like, larger EDA companies need to focus on their sales pipelines for existing products and cost-control staff, FEL has to provide manpower for both maintenance of existing RPMs together with manpower to provide new set of EDA solutions to FEL community. So from a top level, view we are feeding the ecosystem and ecoculture with opensource tools and solutions.

Our goals during the F8 and F9 timeframe was to provide RTL-GDSII design flow for both analog and digital. We did it, but still we(FEL) are not satisfied yet, we could do much better. But time limits us.

During the F10 and F11 development cycles we were focussing on “technology-to-product” transition. The user should be able to make a hardware product out of FEL. Thus, we are bridging the real world and this puts on more pressure on our shoulders. It should be noted that technology-to-product transition is not only about package updates, but extending our existing supported design flows into a specific use model with a clear roadmap. Because we are “technology enthusiast”.

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  1. Did I understand this correctly? To put it another way, you’re aiming to “productize” the FEL technology? I know this term is anathema to technology enthusiasts, but this does not mean “putting a price on and selling” the technology. From the little I have seen, adoption of the technology would benefit from the creation of product components that go around the technology. Collaterateral, tools, manuals, etc. that would introduce and ease use. Did I misunderstand?

  2. This is where troubles come.
    – On one hand we are free & opensource oriented (we will continue to do so).
    – On the other hand, we can only achieve our goals if we "behave" as if we are a real EDA vendor, but we don't sell anything.

    This word "behave" here will give us feedbacks about what we are lacking in our existing platform, compared to the users' need.

    But if we "behave" like an ordinary opensource community that limits itself to software only, FEL will not be able to find its weakness. It is crucial for us to know where FEL is failing to meet user's expectations, so that we can work on it.

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