Imera’s is relatively unknown, but it was recently touted as providing secured communication channels between EDA vendors and their customers.
Imera has shut down its operations, leaving behind a number of customers (Broadcom, TSMC, Qualcomm, Sandisk, Infineon, Synopsys, Cadence, Mentor, etc).
Usually a customer requiring support means that some design data need to be sent over to a vendor for debugging. This is obviously a concern for most customers, who are unwilling to send sensitive data to any 3rd party. Thus debugging needs to happen on-site, which means the EDA vendor has to bring up its code source at the customer’s location. This is time consuming, and vendors are reluctant to move their source code outside of their premises for the same reason their customers want to keep their design data within their walls.
Imera’s solution enabled a secured end-to-end channel allowing an authorized 3rd party to access the customer’s data. Practically, the secured channel (aka “Virtual Fabric”) was obtained by installing two physical gateways, one at the customer site, and the other at the vendor’s. Once setup, a virtual private network is established, and data can be exchanged between these two endpoints only.
Of course, people liked having an actual piece of hardware: anchoring the security message into a physical medium made it more real.
However this solution was limited to very simple transactions, which may explain the company’s restricted outlook that led to its demise.
With more collaborative efforts between customers, vendors, and third party infrastructures (e.g., cloud providers), the need for secured data exchange is only becoming greater. Imera had pioneered a solution, however limited, in the EDA field. More will come, and will hopefully be more flexible.