SANTA CLARA, Calif.Delivering the keynote address at a user group event here Monday (March 16), Aart de Geus, chairman and CEO of Synopsys Inc., touted the company's new products and said the semiconductor industry would remain critical to the world after emerging from a recession expected to be long and deep.
De Geus predicted that economic conditions in the semiconductor industry would remain difficult for the next 12 to 24 months, but said there is no question that silicon technologies will play an important role in the future.
"I have no doubt that the semiconductor industry will continue to be an important pivot for mankind going forward," de Geus said.
Synopsys is very aware of that many companies and individuals are under enormous stress due to the global recession, de Geus said, and has taken steps to reduce costs for customers. But the company also continues to invest heavily in R&D so that its products will be ready to enable future designs, he said.
Asked about plans for Synplicity, the FPGA design and verification tool provider that Synopsys acquired last year for $227 million, de Geus said at least in the near term it would remain a separate business unit and that its Synplify Premier and other products would remain standalone.
But de Geus wouldn't rule out rolling Synplicity technologies into other Synopsys products in the future, saying the acquisition had brought side benefits to the tools such as alignment with IP and verification.
"We don't want to go to the mega solution where everything is put in and nothing is quite as good as before," de Geus said.
De Geus presented data from a Synopsys Users Group survey showing that advanced design tape-outs have slowed in recent years. Whereas the industry crossed the 250 tape-out threshold for the 90- and 65-nanometer nodes at two year intervals, according to the data, the 250th 45/40-nm design is expected to tape-out this quarter, more than two years since the 250th 65-nm design taped out in the fourth quarter of 2006.