Now that the news is out, the question of why has to be asked. Is it to create a new product category or are they just completing a product line?
People have been talking about a hookup between Synopsys and EVE for a long time. I have specifically asked people in Synopsys in the past why they didn’t buy them and the answer I was given was that they would only buy them if they saw a way to make the product different from what the others were selling. Instead, Synopsys went down the FPGA prototype route and have had a friendly cooperative relationship with EVE when emulation was a necessity.
It is also helpful to look back in time. Synopsys tried to get into the emulation space back in 2001. At that time Synopsys made an offer to buy Ikos – in the future. There was a five-year non-compete agreement from a prior sale of verification technology and that would not be up until June of 2002. Mentor used that window to swoop in and buy them, in part to take a competitor out of the market and also to acquire the Ikos patents that would be necessary for the next generation of their emulation product line. Synopsys did not make any counter offers as it was in the throes of the Avant! merger.
Given that EVE was being quite successful and that all vendors were showing good growth figures for emulation, it is reasonable certain that EVE was not in any kind of trouble. Also given that Synopsys says that it will not materially affect results would sort of confirm that. Also, this was kept very quiet and the only official announcement is for the closing of the deal. Perhaps Synopsys was scared that Mentor might swoop in again.
Has Synopsys decided that it needed to round out the product line or have they found a way to combine this technology with their prototyping product line to make a product that neither Mentor or Cadence currently has an answer to? Mentor has no presence in the prototyping market at all and Cadence is only there by OEMing Dini boards. Perhaps a prototyping system with the power and capacity of an emulator? They most certainly have all of the software pieces in place.
The only clue is that EVE is being merged into the verification group whereas prototyping is in the solutions group.Brian Bailey
– keeping you covered
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