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Explorer
Explorer
9,922 Views
Registered: ‎11-13-2007

What's New 11.1

It's a sad statment when reading this document that the first thing they talk about is the licensing scheme.

 

http://www.xilinx.com/support/documentation/sw_manuals/xilinx11/whatsnew.htm

 

I would think they would talk about the good stuff first. Faster compile time, dual processor support, ANYTHING besides the crappy new licensing.

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8 Replies
9,897 Views
Registered: ‎07-15-2008

Re: What's New 11.1


I think that’s a little harsh, to be fair it does say

New ISE Design Suite Licensing and Product Configurations
What’s New in Logic Design Tools
What’s New in Embedded Tools and IP
What's New in DSP Tools and IP
What's New in CORE Generator and IP
Technical Support

I guess you have to turn it on first, so licensing is at the top of the list, next id the logic design tool (that’s the core application), then embedded (on top of the core) and so on,,,,,seem a perfectly logical to me.

Bobster
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Explorer
Explorer
9,894 Views
Registered: ‎11-13-2007

Re: What's New 11.1

I just hate flex licensing...I'll be glad when someone cracks it.

 

I have my EDK/ISE tools one 1/2 dozen machines in my lab so I can go from bench to bench working on different things at different times.

 

How are  we supposed to have that setup without buying 6 licenses, one for each machine??

 

How do they propose to use a Linux farm with flexlm? I have a bunch of quad core processor systems that I wanted to set up to run multiple passes of P&R, but I don't know how that's going to work out now with this new license change.

Contributor
Contributor
9,818 Views
Registered: ‎01-06-2009

Re: What's New 11.1


akleica wrote:

I just hate flex licensing...I'll be glad when someone cracks it.

 

I have my EDK/ISE tools one 1/2 dozen machines in my lab so I can go from bench to bench working on different things at different times.

 

How are  we supposed to have that setup without buying 6 licenses, one for each machine??

 

How do they propose to use a Linux farm with flexlm? I have a bunch of quad core processor systems that I wanted to set up to run multiple passes of P&R, but I don't know how that's going to work out now with this new license change.


This in interesting indeed. ISE 10's normal (non site) licensing was notably different. I've included an except of the relevant section below.

 

Named User License. Except as indicated in Section 3(a)(2) below, Licensee may permit Named Users (up to the total number thereof issued to Licensee by Xilinx) to install, reproduce, access and use such Software for the sole purposes of developing, synthesizing, testing and verifying designs only for Xilinx Devices. Any Named User may simultaneously operate multiple copies of such Software on one or more computers for such purposes, provided that no one other than such Named User may operate such Software

Now compare that to the new licence options:

(1) Node-Locked (per-User) Seat. If Xilinx has issued to Licensee a (FLEXlm) node-locked Seat, then Licensee may allow the Software to be (a) installed on and accessed from only the specific machine(s) allowed by the applicable Authorization Codes, (b) used by only one User (at a time) for each one Seat for such Software that has been issued to Licensee by Xilinx, and (c) used for the sole purposes of developing, synthesizing, testing and verifying designs only for Xilinx Devices.



(2) Floating (concurrent-User) Seat. If Xilinx has issued to Licensee a (FLEXlm) floating Seat, then Licensee may allow the Software to be (a) installed on and accessed from only the specific machine(s) allowed by the applicable Authorization Codes, (b) used by up to the number of concurrent Users that is equal to the number of Seats for such Software that have been issued to Licensee by Xilinx, and (c) used for the sole purposes of developing, synthesizing, testing and verifying designs only for Xilinx Devices.


So let me explain in plain English what those mean.

 

The old ISE 10.1 license was bound to a specific person. The software could be installed on any number of machines, and each licensed user could run any number of copies simultaniously. The only restriction was that those without a license could not operate the software.

 

The new license has two options.

 

The first, which is a node locked license, allows to software to be installed on a single machine. Now anybody can run the program on that machine, as long as only one person is using the software at a time. (The flexlm's node locked feature matches this fairly well.)

 

The second license is a floating license. This allows the machine to be installed on specific computers (since (as I understand it), flelm floating license authorization codes do not restrict the installation of the software, this means an unlimited number of machines. However, by the nature of the flexlm system (again AIUI), the authorization code only allows one specific machine to act as the license server.). The number of users allowed to operate the software simultaniously is equal to the number of floating licenses owned.

 

So far so good. By the agreement, a single floating license allows a single user to run the software on any number of mchines simutaniously. Now here comes the problem. The flexlm system does not enforce this. AIUI it enforces a maximum of one running copy of the software per license. 

 

Hm... Definately not an improvement for some users. It might be an improvement for some corporations, but even that is not certain.

 

Explorer
Explorer
9,810 Views
Registered: ‎11-13-2007

Re: What's New 11.1

And here's another use case that doesn't work. We're an engineering team in the US, and have another group in Switzerland. A few times per year, I have to go to Switzerland to co-develop something. It's a requirement that I have my full working tool chain on a notebook. None of the new schemes will allow that.

 

1. Fixed license: I don't want the notebook to be the main system because the notebook is not nearly as fast as my desktop.

2. Floating license: A notebook cannot connect to the floating license because the license server would be back here in the US and not accessible when I travel.

 

The old scheme worked perfectly. The new scheme is nothing but trouble.

Historian
Historian
9,807 Views
Registered: ‎02-25-2008

Re: What's WRONG in 11.1 -- SUPPORT.


kcathcar wrote: 

The new license has two options.

 

The first, which is a node locked license, allows to software to be installed on a single machine. Now anybody can run the program on that machine, as long as only one person is using the software at a time. (The flexlm's node locked feature matches this fairly well.)

 

The second license is a floating license. This allows the machine to be installed on specific computers (since (as I understand it), flelm floating license authorization codes do not restrict the installation of the software, this means an unlimited number of machines. However, by the nature of the flexlm system (again AIUI), the authorization code only allows one specific machine to act as the license server.). The number of users allowed to operate the software simultaniously is equal to the number of floating licenses owned.

 

So far so good. By the agreement, a single floating license allows a single user to run the software on any number of mchines simutaniously. Now here comes the problem. The flexlm system does not enforce this. AIUI it enforces a maximum of one running copy of the software per license. 

 

Hm... Definately not an improvement for some users. It might be an improvement for some corporations, but even that is not certain.

 


First, keep in mind the distinction between "installed on" and "running on."

 

A node-locked license allow the software to run only on a machine with that proper license. 

 

When you go for the floating license option, you pay for a number of license tokens. A license server must be set up. This server can be any machine on your network.

 

Any machine that can access the license server can check out a license token and use it. The license server keeps track of the number of tokens in use. If you pay for three tokens, and three users are running the software, a fourth user's license token request will be rejected.

 

Now, it is not clear if a license token is taken when the ISE application is started, or if a user starts a particular process (like synthesis). If the former, then what usually happens is someone goes to lunch and leaves the software open (taking a token) and that license is tied up even though the software isn't doing anything.

 

I remember that back in the day, the only license available for Unix and Unix-like operating systems was a floating type. Why? Because anyone with a login on the machine can ssh -X into a Unix box and run the software!

 

Some site licenses have an additional, onerous-yet-stupid restriction. By "site," they literally mean "the building." An user is forbidden from using a VPN connection to access the server from home, or a customer site. One reason for this restriction is to force global companies, with workers all over the world, to buy more licenses. Consider: a company has a staff of engineers in the US, Japan and Europe, and they have ten license tokens. The US crew works from 9 am to 5 pm local time and uses all of those tokens. But after 5pm, those tokens are not used. So the staff in Japan can use those same tokens when the US staff does not. And when the Japanese crew are finished, the European guys can work. So this means that the ten tokens can be in continual use.But if the license terms restrict "site" to mean "the building" or "the campus," this sort of continual global use is forbidden, which means that the company must buy thirty licenses, not ten.

 

Gee, isn't that swell!

 

Anyways -- after all these years, Xilinx still fails to understand that the only use for their tools is to enable the users to basically buy Xilinx FPGAs. That is all it is good for.

 

An argument is always made that "you're paying for the support, not for the tools." Except that falls flat on its face -- ask anyone who's had a serious WebCase. And ostensibly, paying for ISE/EDK gives us some higher level of support, but quite frankly, we haven't seen it. (We find it easier to go through an FAE or rep to get help!)

 

Xilinx should really reconsider their whole software licensing/pricing structure. Make the software free (as in beer). Anyone may download it and use it. 

 

But person-to-person technical support should be available for a fee. This can be either on a per-incident basis, or on a subscription basis.  If my company subscribes, I get the site number and call in and they validate the support call and off we go. Here's the deal, though --if I'm paying four figures per year for a tech-support license, I want the phone number of a support person assigned to my account, and I want to be able to reach that person (or a designated alternate) during business hours without exception. I want this person to be highly trained and not a first-level newbie who knows less about the tools than my cat. And yes, I want this person to be fluent in my spoken language. Now I do understand that this person will be busy, so phone calls may not go through immediately, but a call back before the close of business the next day is a requirement. My end of the bargain? I will have created test cases that clearly show the problem at hand, and will have thought through the whole process which lead me to believe that a flaw exists.

 

Why do I think this is a good idea? Simple. Charging for the support raises the bar. It means that the user is serious and professional, and not a time-waster. It's really as simple as that. I am convinced that if the Xilinx support staff wasn't plowing through all of the ridiculous questions like those posted on this forum, we would see an increase in the quality of support for serious users whose livelihoods depend on these tools and products.

 

FlexLM is a step in the wrong direction. 

 

-a

----------------------------Yes, I do this for a living.
Explorer
Explorer
8,373 Views
Registered: ‎05-30-2008

Re: What's New 11.1

The one thing that is definitely not new is the lack of documentation. I have been searching for information on the FlexLM server installation. Still have yet to find anything with any sort of useful explanation.

 

Anyone know of any documentation on setting this up?

 

I do not want to generate my license file for a server that is not going to work out. The little documentation I did find for Flex said you must have ISE installed on the server first. This sounds totally wrong and I want to run the server on a server, not a development machine.

 

Also not new is the continued lack of Windows 64 bit support. In a webcase Xilinx highly reccomended I purchase a 64 bit machine since that is the "industry standard". I did this only to find out that EDK is only supported in 64 bit linux. I like linux, but my other software is windows only. Thanks for mentioning this when telling me to buy a 64 bit machine, Xilinx. Of course I should have looked this up myself, but I falsely assumed the FAE would tell me something like that, especially in light of me working in windows xp on my web case.

Message Edited by thirdeye on 10-09-2009 11:11 AM
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Visitor larrycalmar
Visitor
8,361 Views
Registered: ‎01-06-2009

Re: What's New 11.1

It took our company a couple weeks of hard effort with support by Xilinx and several Avnet field engineers to get the new licensing scheme "working".

 

Even now, we still get a false error saying the license is not valid when we try to work our licensed EDK from the WebPack ISE. But everything works now in spite of the error.

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Explorer
Explorer
8,339 Views
Registered: ‎05-30-2008

Re: What's New 11.1

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