LONDON Component distributor Premier Farnell plc (Leeds, England) wants to become a supplier of PCB layout software, including a free-of-charge lightweight edition. This should allow the company to get closer to engineers and to be able to sell chips direct to them from the design tool as it is in use.
Premier Farnell has announced an agreement to acquire CadSoft Computer GmbH, supplier of the Eagle graphical layout editor software, for 7 million euro (about $10.3 million) with an additional sum, not exceeding 5 million euro (about $7.3 million), payable based on subsequent performance.
Premier Farnell said that CadSoft has 40,000 electronic design engineers as customers across Europe and the U.S. and it plans to extend the CAD software's capabilities by linking it to product databases.
These provide access to over 4 million items from 3,500 manufacturers, all with data and pricing in local language and currencies.
The high-end version of the CadSoft software handles board sizes to 1.6 meter by 1.6 meter with a resolution of 0.1-micron, 16 signal layers, 999 schematic sheets, and offers semi-automatic routing, Premier Farnell said.
The acquisition is in line with a strategy to provide engineers with technology, information, tools and software while using the internet for international reach, Premier Farnell added.
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