Well, the hot-off-the-press news is that the guys and gals at Altium have announced their intention to buy Morfik. The interesting thing here is that Morfik is not an EDA company – it's an Australian software company....
Morfik's products are used by professional software engineers to design, engineer, and deploy cloud-based software applications. Morfik’s software engineering approach to web-application development makes it suitable for building web-based systems for domains such as electronics design that involve large amounts of complex, dynamic content.
The folks at Altium say that their objective is to help electronics designers expand their role from designing the electronics in devices to the larger role of designing and engineering web-based 'device ecosystems'. As discussed in their whitepaper What’s Next for Electronics Devices?, these ecosystems will consist of a platform comprising the actual electronic devices, connected via the Internet, along with cloud-based software applications that run on this platform.
Altium has been using Morfik's technology and development tools for a number of years as key elements in the development of its own web-based infrastructure for the electronics design process. Now, Altium is moving to acquire Morfik to strengthen Altium’s engineering team and technological capabilities in the web application domain, and accelerate the development of this platform for Altium’s customers. When developed, this platform will form the basis of the tools and infrastructure required to help electronics designers develop their own ecosystems of intelligent, connected devices, running their own cloud-based applications.
Combined with the forthcoming new release of Altium Designer, this will provide a framework for the creation of a web-based content delivery model. One result of this will be an expansion of the value and the content delivered by Altium's subscription services. Electronics design content, including new design features, reference designs, and component libraries, will be delivered using this cloud-based framework.
Altium will continue Morfik's existing business model, which sells software tools and subscriptions for building web-based applications, for Morfik’s existing customers. Altium believes that Morfik's existing business model is fundamental to the development of the distributed applications that provide the intelligence in future device ecosystems. Historically, Morfik has focused on providing tools for building cloud applications where the client devices are conventional personal computers (desktop and mobile). This focus will expand over time to include the more intelligent, application-specific devices created by electronics designers that will be part of the next generation of the Internet.