NEW YORK, N.Y. With a $1.9 billion backlog in orders, the near-term outlook for electronic design automation vendor Synopsys Inc. looks strong, according to its chairman and chief Aart de Geus.
In an interview here with EE Times earlier this week, de Geus said Synopsys (Mountain View, Calif.) was continuing to see strong orders and is well positioned to grow revenue-wise in the second fiscal 2006 quarter ending April.
"We don’t know of any other software company with this level of commitment," de Geus told EE Times. "The market appears to be solid," he added, noting that the semiconductor industry is projected to grow by high single digits in 2006.
In its previous quarter, Synopsys earned $1.7 million on sales of $260.2 million, beating analyst’s expectations. de Geus attributes the upward trend to the company’s business model shifting from perpetual licenses to subscription licenses, which he said ensures a more consistent revenue stream.
de Geus reiterated that the well-documented industry shift toward 65-nm technologies is continuing to drive growth. He added that older 180-nm designs are decreasingly rapidly expect in China.
Asked about a future to shift to sub 65-nm technologies, de Geus said Synopsys is developing toolsets in parallel with companies developing 45-nm and possibly finer process geometries.
de Geus tried to dispel doubts surrounding the company’s next-generation, physical design system, called IC Compiler. "More than a dozen customers have said its results in chips that run faster," he said. He added that the same customers say they’ve gotten "40 percent better productivity from the compiler in fewer manhours doing physical design".
Productivity, rather than performance enhancements, have become the measuring stick for product and technology development in EDA, de Geus said. "Productivity is becoming an economic statement." He noted that over the past year there has been an upsurge in the adoption of System Verilog, a high-level language for physical system verification that proponents argue increases design productivity.
On the legal side, de Geus reiterated his belief Synopsys would prevail in its bitter patent dispute with EDA rival Magma Design Automation. "There’s undisputed evidence (in our favor)," de Geus said. The trial is slated to occur in April, he noted.