SAN MATEO, Calif. -- The design automation industry's first-quarter 2003 revenues fell 6 percent from the year-ago quarter, according to the EDA Consortium's latest market statistics survey. But EDAC officials claimed the numbers may actually point to a recovery, since they show sequential growth over the fourth quarter of 2002.
The EDA industry recorded global revenues of $908 million in the first quarter, down from the $962 million in the first quarter of 2002, according to EDAC, an industry group with more than 100 member companies. But the sequential growth over last year's fourth quarter was unusual, said Walden Rhines, chairman and chief executive officer of Mentor Graphics Corp. and the current chairman of EDAC. First-quarter EDA revenues are usually seasonally lower than in the fourth quarter- traditionally the industry's strongest-so the results are heartening, Rhines said.
"It was a very encouraging quarter," he said. "The rate of year-to-year quarterly decline has substantially decreased, from 13 percent a year earlier to 6 percent. And if you take out the consulting business, the quarterly decline was 4 percent."
In a breakdown of revenues, the EDAC report shows that product and maintenance revenues constituted 93 percent of the industry's total for the quarter. That category, which excludes consulting and other services, totaled $849 million, down 4 percent from $880 million in 1Q a year ago.
Services hit hard
Revenues for computer-aided engineering, the EDA industry's largest tool category, were $443 million in the first quarter, down 6 percent from $473 million in the same period of 2002. IC physical-design tools generated revenues of $288 million in the first quarter, compared with $290 million for last year's first quarter.
Pc-board and multichip-module layout tools accounted for $80 million in revenues, down from $88 million in the year-ago quarter. Design services, which have been hit hard by the industry downturn, fell 29 percent, from $82 million in the first quarter of 2002 to $58 million this year.
The EDAC report also states that revenues for semiconductor intellectual property grew faster than other categories, rising 36 percent, to $38 million, from a modest base of $28 million a year ago. The change could reflect the acquisition of IP providers by EDA companies. Synopsys Inc. bought InSilicon in July 2002, for example.
Sales followed their traditional regional pattern and were strong in Japan, which accounted for 26 percent of the worldwide total market. North America, the industry's largest customer base, bought $425 million of EDA products and services in the first quarter, down 24 percent from 1Q last year.