Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 31st Aug 2010 22:26 UTC
Apple "When it comes to Apple products, the iPad and the iPhone get all the headlines. But in recent years, the company's Macintosh line of computers has enjoyed a remarkable revival that has been vital to Apple's emergence as the most valued technology company on Wall Street. In the latest sign of that comeback, Autodesk plans to announce on Tuesday that it is bringing its flagship AutoCAD design and engineering software to the Mac for the first time in nearly two decades."
Permalink for comment 438873
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Where is version for Linux?
by tylerdurden on Wed 1st Sep 2010 04:30 UTC in reply to "Where is version for Linux?"
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

CAE is not 100% linux, but pretty close. For certain tasks, like large routing and placement jobs, which require globs of memory and as many computing cycles as you can throw... linux clusters are very cost effective approach. Also most major EDA packages were for the most part Unix programs (HP-UX and Solaris being the major platforms I remember), so porting them over to linux was a relatively trivial process.

I have seen many places with windows workstations as the front end, and large linux clusters to do the back end. Engineers prefer linux, because most of them cut their teeth in solairs (which used to be the main platform for most CAE packages) and they prefer unix, so that is where the adoption of linux for the front end is coming into place.

Think of it as a similar situation from large animation studios, which started doing modeling in windows and the rendering on linux farms, and are now some of them moving more and more of the modeling into linux as well. There is a similar break down between 3D animation and CAE in regards to the modeling/fronted and rendering/backend.

Also CAE is traditionally associated with EE and CE types, so they are more likely to be also fairly educated with regards to computing, so there is not a problem of adoption regarding Unix. Where as most mechanical, and architectural professionals do not have a similar level of proficiency with computers, or are that interested, thus windows environments have been the preferred system for a lot of these CAD packages like AutoCAD.

There are some exceptions like CATIA, which used to be the "killer app" for AIX, and some other CAD tools. But most of them moved over to Windows a while ago anyways.

Also, one of the big disadvantages of linux is how diverse it is, so CAE tools only support very specific distro configurations. It is OK for large organizations which can afford to set a large number of CPUs to a specific version of linux (in most cases it is also a fairly outdated distro). And most CAE shops tend to be relatively large, chip design being a very expensive proposition. Whereas small mechanical design and architectural shops usually have the CAD computer also being used for word processing, spreadsheet, etc.

I have worked in places which had servers with different distros each running a very specific EDA tool.

Probably the main obstacle to the adoption of OSX as a viable mainstream EDA is that OS is not that attractive when it comes to the server/backend part of it. Alas, since it runs X fine, you can always run most linux tools on a remote X session, since they are not that graphically intensive anyways.

Edited 2010-09-01 04:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5