Scansion is now Free and Unrestricted

Scansion 0.91 removes the time limit that was in place on the previous betas and is now available for free download. No charge. No restrictions.

I have been developing ASICs for about 12 years now, and switched to Macs as my primary machine about 3 or 4 years ago while I was still developing PC chipsets at Intel. I started Scansion nearly a year ago after getting pretty tired of looking at GTKwave via X11 on my Mac. Nothing against GTKwave per se, but it just doesn’t look or feel right in an OSX environment. So one rainy morning... Anyway Scansion has grown over the last year, and will continue to grow in the future. I use it everyday, developing SoCs for digital video applications at the moment, and keep adding to the list of features I want to add to it. So you can still expect the same responsiveness in addressing bug fixes and feature requests.

So why give it away at this point? Two reasons: speed and students.

First, the underlying architecture that makes it so fast to work with, also makes it unusable for extremely large files, which are typical of commercial applications. This is because it keeps your entire data set loaded into system RAM. Thats great for speed and responsiveness for smallish files, but for larger files the system will crawl due to the limitations of system RAM capacity. This needs to be addressed in a significant overhaul that may take a little while; I want to keep the zippiness for moderate sized files, while providing scalability to very large file sizes, and I expect getting that right to take some tweaking and experimenting.

And that leads to the second reason. While the file size limitation is prohibitive for some commercial applications at this point, it is much less of an issue for students or others working with smaller data sets. Scansion has a lot of student users, and all along I had intended to make a deeply discounted version available for students. Today, I am just making it really deep. Free actually. So while the size issues will likely be addressed in a forked version of Scansion in the future (which I’ll charge for), there will always be an up to date and freely available version that is more tailored toward smaller data sets. That seems like a good balance.

I hope you enjoy Scansion. Please continue to send me feedback with your experiences and any issues or feature requests. Many of you have done this through email in the past, but I would really like to start using the forums for this, so please sign up and post away. Getting a good community discussion going will help to develop the right tools for all of us going forward.


Logic Poet