Author Topic: Efinix toolchain is now free !!  (Read 4215 times)

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Offline mon2Topic starter

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Online up8051

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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2023, 08:15:55 pm »
Isn't it based on Yosys? Or am I confusing with another vendor?
 

Offline glenenglish

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2023, 11:00:13 pm »
No big deal.
you just had to buy a $50 eval kit .

If a $50 eval kit is stopping you, then you cannot afford to play with FPGAs....
-glen
 

Offline mtwieg

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2023, 12:43:46 pm »
It's still an extremely bizarre business practice. If I'm looking to get into low/mid range FPGAs, and I have 3-4 decent options in front of me, I probably won't have time to evaluate all of them. A small obstacle like this could easily be enough reason for Efinix to not make the cut.
 

Online tszaboo

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2023, 01:02:05 pm »
No big deal.
you just had to buy a $50 eval kit .

If a $50 eval kit is stopping you, then you cannot afford to play with FPGAs....
-glen
If you only had to buy an eval kit for 50 EUR, might as well remove the license and make it a freeware.
There are always issues with licenses. Like you want to run it on more than 1 PC, compile on a server, VM it, or loose the dongle. And then it's a trip to customer service, delays and annoyance.
The worst is when the license crap was written to windows 98 and nothing works from it anymore.
 
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Offline mon2Topic starter

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2023, 02:21:13 pm »
1) The license is free.

2) There are no security key dongles required.

3) The license can run on any machine or multiple.

4) The updates are available for 1 year with a valid license. After this time period expires, you can request another free updated license.
 

Offline asmi

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2023, 07:56:03 pm »
4) The updates are available for 1 year with a valid license. After this time period expires, you can request another free updated license.
Yeah, we've all seen this game. "oh, you want to extend your license. We would like to inform you that one of our top managers has developed a bad itch in his private parts, and as a result he decided to change license conditions, and now you need to sign away your kidney to us in order to extend the license. Oh, and by the way the free license now only allows you to run a synthesis, so you've got to pay $OMG in order to actually create a bitstream".
Sorry, but more and more people don't buy this BS anymore. Of all FPGA vendors Xilinx/AMD has the best licensing scheme, when you can export your license into a file and use it till the rest of times even if entire Xilinx/AMD company vanishes into the ether tomorrow. I for one will never even consider using such "free" software for anything important. And neither should you!

Online tszaboo

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2023, 08:13:13 pm »
4) The updates are available for 1 year with a valid license. After this time period expires, you can request another free updated license.
Thank you, you just made my point for me.
 

Offline julian1

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2023, 10:56:53 pm »
Can it be targeted with yosys directly? What's needed for flashing the bitstream?
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2023, 11:46:06 pm »
4) The updates are available for 1 year with a valid license. After this time period expires, you can request another free updated license.
Yeah, we've all seen this game. "oh, you want to extend your license. We would like to inform you that one of our top managers has developed a bad itch in his private parts, and as a result he decided to change license conditions, and now you need to sign away your kidney to us in order to extend the license. Oh, and by the way the free license now only allows you to run a synthesis, so you've got to pay $OMG in order to actually create a bitstream".
Sorry, but more and more people don't buy this BS anymore. Of all FPGA vendors Xilinx/AMD has the best licensing scheme, when you can export your license into a file and use it till the rest of times even if entire Xilinx/AMD company vanishes into the ether tomorrow. I for one will never even consider using such "free" software for anything important. And neither should you!
I have not tested it but the way I read & understand the Efinix license is that the license itself doesn't expire. So it should allow the use of the tools without a time limit. You only need to fill out the forms again if you want a software update after more than a year. The latter sounds like nothing more than collecting information about their users. Either way, it would be nice if someone can actually verify how long the license can be used before making assumptions.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline mon2Topic starter

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2023, 02:52:54 pm »
My small complaint against YOSYS is that encrypted IP sections cannot be applied into the project. At least that is what we have seen with the YOSYS and the Gowin support. Otherwise, it is a great tool.
 

Offline mon2Topic starter

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2023, 12:57:39 pm »
Yes, the license allows for the tool upgrades but the tool chain does not expire. If you require updates after the 1 year license expires, then ping them for another free license. Was not aware of the bitmap tool generation having any restrictions but will ask once we are back to this project again. BTW - do ask your local factory reps for the same clarifications at Efinix. The support has been excellent for the USA team. They also have an active support forum on their website where you can raise your concerns. Hearing it from the grapevine is not recommended.
 
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Offline gnuarm

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2023, 04:51:31 pm »
No big deal.
you just had to buy a $50 eval kit .

If a $50 eval kit is stopping you, then you cannot afford to play with FPGAs....
-glen

When you work in a company, all purchases have to be approved.  Even a $50 throw away board needs a signature. 

Don't be silly.  Your needs are not the same as everyone else's.
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Offline gnuarm

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2023, 05:05:29 pm »
I was trying to log into the support center to see about getting a license and I can't get in.  They won't let me create a new account with the same email and they won't let me reset the password using the email.  It says to "contact your administrator".  They don't answer their phone in California, even after 10 am their time.  I had to leave a message.  When do you think they will get back to me?

Maybe I don't want to use their parts after all.   :P
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Offline gnuarm

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2023, 05:08:18 pm »
It's still an extremely bizarre business practice. If I'm looking to get into low/mid range FPGAs, and I have 3-4 decent options in front of me, I probably won't have time to evaluate all of them. A small obstacle like this could easily be enough reason for Efinix to not make the cut.

When you say you have multiple decent options in front of you... which ones are they?  I find it very hard to find product still.  I need to build 1500 units this year and have zero confidence in using parts from anyone other than Efinix.  I might be able to work with a Lattice part, but not the ones I'd like to use.  Every time I check stock of Xilinx or Altera, I am scraping the bottom of the barrel.

The reason a company does this, is to eliminate the small time users and hobbyists.  They are still new, and want to focus on the larger customers. 
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Offline gnuarm

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2023, 05:11:54 pm »
1) The license is free.

2) There are no security key dongles required.

3) The license can run on any machine or multiple.

4) The updates are available for 1 year with a valid license. After this time period expires, you can request another free updated license.

I used to do this with Lattice.  The problem I would have was I would always be starting a new project on a weekend and had to wait until Monday to get the license updated, which often took a day.  It sucks, but I could have kept the license updated if I bothered to give it enough attention.
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Offline gnuarm

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2023, 05:14:57 pm »
4) The updates are available for 1 year with a valid license. After this time period expires, you can request another free updated license.
Thank you, you just made my point for me.

I don't get your concern.  Even if you pay for the tools from Xilinx or Altera, they make you download a new license file every year.
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Offline asmi

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2023, 05:38:25 pm »
I don't get your concern.  Even if you pay for the tools from Xilinx or Altera, they make you download a new license file every year.
Not with Xilinx for sure. I still use my K325T license I got like 4 years ago, never needed to "download" anything.

Offline gnuarm

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2023, 06:19:03 pm »
I don't get your concern.  Even if you pay for the tools from Xilinx or Altera, they make you download a new license file every year.
Not with Xilinx for sure. I still use my K325T license I got like 4 years ago, never needed to "download" anything.

Ok, but you don't get updates, right?
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Offline asmi

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2023, 06:43:21 pm »
Ok, but you don't get updates, right?
No, because I chose to not extend the license.

Offline gnuarm

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2023, 07:25:26 pm »
Ok, but you don't get updates, right?
No, because I chose to not extend the license.

Exactly
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Offline mon2Topic starter

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2023, 10:22:00 am »
Re: post #16

Let me clarify, even if the license expires, the tool chain does not. You can continue to operate the tools and the programmer. You just cannot download the latest updates / patches (till you have an active license in place).
 
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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2023, 07:44:26 pm »
I haven't taken a close look at Efinix license stuff, but I would find it a bit odd that said license could even expire while the whole toolchain is based on open-source tools.
Anyway.
 

Offline gnuarm

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Re: Efinix toolchain is now free !!
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2023, 03:53:38 am »
I think I was not hitting on all cylinders.  I didn't realize that Efinix is now giving the tools away, no license required, full stop!  From a recent email from their support guy.

Quote
FPGA development made easy.  No license needed, install the app where you need it, it will work forever.  No timeout.

It's hard to beat that!
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