SBN is taking a look back at some of the big -- and unusual -- news events of the past in a weekly series called "Memory Refresh".
Five years ago EDA company Avant! was still riding high with its Aquarius place-and-route software in use by, "close to 1000 design groups worldwide". It took the best part of the intervening five years for the company to be dragged through the courts, discredited over code theft and copyright infringement, and eventually sold to Synopsys.
This article first appeared on SBN's website on November 26, 1997.
FREMONT, Calif., November 26, 1997 -- In a bitter legal battle over rights to IC design software, Avant! Corp.'s chairman here has responded angrily to statements made by rival Cadence Design Systems Inc., which promises to seek an injunction against Avant!'s Aquarius place-and-route tools after a favorable appellate court decision last Friday.
On Tuesday , Cadence said it will ask for an injunction against the Aquarius products during a Dec. 12 hearing in U.S. District Court in San Jose, which is now set to issue judgment in a copyright infringement case against Avant!'s older ArcCell design software (see Nov. 25 story ). Cadence claims Aquarius is a re-named version of ArcCell and the current software still violates its copyrights.
Avant! denies those charges. "Cadence continues to send out distorted information about the legal process to confuse customers while we continue our focus on serving the customers by developing new and innovative very-deep-submicron technologies to solve their toughest problems," said Gerald C. Hsu, chairman, president and CEO of Avant!. "We hope that Avant! and Cadence can put this legal dispute behind them and compete professionally in the open marketplace."
The Fremont-based EDA supplier said its Aquarius family of place-and-route software is now used by close to 1,000 design groups worldwide. The company noted that each design group is typically using multiple copies and is involved in designing complex deep-submicron chips including microprocessors, memories and application-specific ICs (ASICs).
Avant! claimed that the success of its Aquarius products has largely been due to the company's patented place-and-route technologies, which enable the designers to create the smallest and the fastest ICs in deep-submicron manufacturing processes. Avant! said it is estimated that over $30 billion worth of semiconductor chips worldwide that will be shipped this year have been designed using Aquarius family of products.