Google offers a very interesting service which lets you plot a graph of how the world has searched for a particular term. Even better, you can plot a few terms against each other and see how they compare. It’s called Google Trends.
Some search terms are just not going to be useful. For example, I can’t compare the popularity of “Xilinx Vivado” against “Lattice Diamond” because the results get massively skewed with gemstone searches. Some queries work moderately well though. In 2017, I tried it out with terms like “Vivado” vs. “Quartus” and “VHDL” vs. “Verilog”. A sample is shown below.
This plot is for a 5 year period from 2012-2017 with “Xilinx” in blue and “Altera” in Red. What’s interesting is that you can clearly see the December holiday season. You can also see the spike of interest in “Altera” as Intel acquired them and that people are still searching for “Altera” over a year after Intel acquired them.
Take these results with scepticism and ask yourself why people search for things? Maybe it’s because it’s more popular (good), maybe it’s because it harder to use (bad), or maybe it’s something else entirely. I don’t pretend to have the answers.
I recently updated the presentation with results from March 2019. Has anything changed in 2 years? The full presentation is here:FPGA_Trends_2019.pdf [1.00 MB]