SAN FRANCISCOWeeks after speculation surfaced that once promising startup Blaze DFM may have closed its doors, the company's CEO said it is in the midst of a merger with an unnamed company and would have more details in coming weeks.
In an email to EE Times Wednesday (Jan. 7), Blaze CEO Jacob Jacobsson said the company signed a merger term sheet last month and hopes to have the agreement completed sometimes in January. Jacobsson declined to provide further details, other than to say that the company would have a detailed statement available when the merger is finalized.
Speculation about the fate of Blaze first emerged Dec. 18 in a posting on EDA tool users' site Deepchip.com. In the following days, EE Times tried to reach Blaze representatives, including Jacobsson and other members of the company's board of directors. Voice and email messages went unreturned, prior to Jacobsson's email Wednesday.
In the email, Jacobsson apologized for the delay in responding, saying the holiday season "is just not a great time for dealing with rumors."
It is not immediately known who might be involved in a transaction with Blaze. Mentor Graphics Corp. was rumored to be interested in acquiring the company and/or its technology. A spokesman for Mentor Wednesday declined to comment, citing company policy of not responding to merger and acquisition rumors.
There has also been speculation that foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC) could make a play for Blaze if the company were in trouble. Last April, TSMC announced an exclusive agreement with Blaze and said it would offer a new service that utilized a patented Blaze power optimization technology with special variations of TSMC's advanced manufacturing process. A spokesman for TSMC did not immediately respond to a request for comment about that agreement in view of speculation that Blaze may have shut its doors.
When design for manufacturing (DFM) was EDA's hot button topic a few years ago, Blaze and Aprio Technologies (which merged into Blaze in February 2007) were considered to be among the most promising of a flock of "popup" companies that emerged to address the challenges of making designs more "manufacturable." Most of these companies have either been acquired or faded away.
Despite efforts to contact the company, EE Times has still received no confirmation about the fate of another EDA startup mentioned in the Deepchip post as a possible casualty, Knowlent Corp. The company's listed phone number has been disconnected.
A third company mentioned in the post, Stone Pillar Technologies, is alive and well, according to Tim Crandle, Stone Pillar president.