Server Certification Protocol

Last week, SEMI announced plans to begin licensing its server certification protocol in Q3 2023. The protocol is an industry-developed solution to combat software piracy.

We’re relishing the news at the ESD Alliance because we managed the joint development partnership with Cadence Design Systems, Siemens EDA and Synopsys all participating. For added measure, it was reviewed and approved by an independent group of semiconductor companies that rely on EDA tools in their business operations, giving the announcement even greater heft.

The significance of the protocol cannot be overstated and a welcome development that underscores the EDA industry’s commitment to prevent unauthorized software usage, a problem that impacts both end users and software providers. It will help close a major loophole often exploited to gain unauthorized access to software costing the industry billions of dollars annually according to industry reports.

With an ability to uniquely identify each customer license server, the protocol assures that access to licensed software can only be issued by authorized servers, reducing unauthorized use of software licenses. While it is being implemented by several large EDA companies in their license management systems, the protocol is not EDA specific and can be employed for use in any license management system for high-value software products.

My description of the SEMI License Server Certification Protocol only scratches the surface. An ESD Alliance webinar on Wednesday, September 27, from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. P.D.T. will offer more information. It will outline how the protocol works to prevent unauthorized software usage and how it can be implemented in a software license management system. Registration is free of charge.

We plan presentations from Sashi Subramanian, Cadence’s Senior Group Director, Licensing, Downloads and Release Operations, and me. I will describe the impact of software piracy on both software vendors and users, while Sashi will give an overview of the protocol and its scope. He will explain how it addresses software piracy by reducing the unauthorized use of software licenses, assuring that access to licensed software can only be issued by authorized servers. Sashi will also offer several use cases to explain how it can be integrated into a software license management system and review how the protocol can be applied in different environments. We’ll close the webinar with a Q&A session.

About The ESD Alliance

The ESD Alliance, a SEMI Technology Community, represents members in the electronic system and semiconductor design ecosystem as the marketing advocate and addresses economic issues affecting the entire industry. We act as the central voice to communicate and promote the value of the semiconductor design ecosystem as a vital component of the global electronics industry.

Companies that are already SEMI members, can become members of the ESD Alliance by submitting a short application with no extra fee. Companies not SEMI members can apply at the same time to join the ESD Alliance. Again, no extra fee is associated with being a part of the ESD Alliance. Contact me at Bob Smith at with questions.

Bob Smith

 Robert (Bob) Smith is Executive Director of the ESD Alliance, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner.…

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