Valid Logic Systems Inc has introduced software that enables users to configure network systems of electronic design automation software based on expected usage, rather than the traditional turnkey approach of purchasing application-specific design software for each workstation. Access makes the Mountain View company’s design automation software a network resource, with each application tool available to each user. When an application is needed, for instance schematic capture, the user checks it out from the network server, uses the program at his node, and returns the software to the library when finished with that portion of the design. With Access-configured design environments, each workstation on the network is general-purpose rather than being dedicated to a specific application. As a result of recent hardware trends, especially the move to industry standard platforms and falling hardware prices, design software and its management represents the largest portion of total design automation cost, says the guy in charge of the product, Joseph Prang. By making software a shared network resource, Access allows maximum software usage at minimum cost. And since hardware prices have dropped to a point where each engineer can have a desktop workstation now, each engineer also has access to the entire range of electronic design software available on the network. Valid points out that an installation with 35 desktop workstations may require $700,000 or so of design software but with Access, the same installation may only need $575,000 of software, and it would better match the customer’s actual software usage. Available now on Sun workstations Valid’s Access-based systems can be bought in hardware+software configurations, or as a software-only upgrade to the customer’s existing installation. All of Valid Logic Systems’ application software is available through Access, but there is a per-node fee to install the product.