SAN MATEO, Calif.Continuing the consolidation in the PCB-tools market, Zuken Inc. has purchased German-based PCB CAD and analysis tool vendor INCASES Engineering GmbH. The deal, which includes INCASES' U.S. subsidiary, INCASES North America, Inc., is worth approximately $3.5 million.
The move continues a string of PCB acquisitions over the past six months in which four players have jockeyed for the PCB lead. In that time, Cadence purchased OrCad, Mentor Graphics purchased Veribest and, most recently, Protel purchased Accel Technologies.
In this latest acquisition, Zuken Inc. and its U.S subsidiary Zuken USA, gains INCASES' well-noted signal integrity analysis tool EMC WorkBench, the Theda PCB design system, and 1.3 percent of worldwide PCB/MCM market share.
"The main reason we purchased INCASES was to provide added value to our customers by integrating signal integrity and EMI technology from INCASES into our physical design tools," said Paul Ewing, Vice President North American Operations of Zuken USA, Inc. "In this way we create a better channel to market INCASES simulation and analysis technology. Additionally we will benefit from synergetic features in the area of PCB design, Advanced IC Packaging and a stronger market presence."
Ewing said increasing edge rates of today's IC are driving a greater need for PCB signal integrity and radiation analysis. The company hopes by adding the EMC Workbench into its physical design suite, it will one-up competitors Cadence Design System and Mentor Graphics, which are fighting Zuken for the worldwide PCB/MCM market share lead.
Gary Smith, Chief EDA analyst at research firm DataQuest, said Cadence had taken the overall market share lead from Zuken in 1998 and with its OrCAD acquisition was attempting to put some distance between itself and Zuken.
Smith said in 1998, Cadence had 15.7 percent, Zuken had 14.5 percent, and Mentor had 11.1 percent of the world wide market share. "But when you add Orcad 5.7 percent, Veribest's 3.3 percent to Mentor, and now INCASES 1.3 percent to Zuken, they are all pretty close together. For 1999, I think it will be a neck and neck race," he said.
Daya Nadamuni, technical software analyst at DataQuest, said the purchase of INCASES should strengthen Zuken's presence in European PCB CAD market. In years past, Zuken had gained European market share on the strength of its Recal-Redac merger but had of late been losing European market share to Cadence, said Nadamuni.
"This is a great buy for Zuken because they were not growing as fast as their competitors in the European market," said Daya Nadamuni, technical software analyst at research firm DataQuest. "This buy should help them a great deal."
The drive for No. 1
"The key objective for the Zuken Western division is to become the No. 1 PCB/MCM solutions provider in Europe and No. 4 in the US within 3 years," said Ewing. "This will be achieved through significant investment in people, technology and acquisitions. This acquisition is a part of a $10 million investment being made by Zuken to achieve these stated goals."
Ewing said the company plans to support Theda and its customers for the forseeable future.
"Zuken is totally committed to support INCASES customers moving forward," said Ewing. "We believe the advanced technology from Zuken will only strengthen their ability to deliver a quality product in less time."
Rod Waage, vice president of sales INCASES, said the Zuken merger should expose INCASES technology to a larger audience. "We think it is a great opportunity to expand our visibility and develop the technology," said Waage.
Ewing said in addition to the tools, Zuken also gains 75 new employees.
"There is a need to keep staffing levels at the appropriate level to fulfil Zuken's pledge to support the Theda customers," Ewing said. "Any resources that are not required for maintenance will be used for merging core technology and by this the Theda R&D organization will become an integral part of the core development team for our next generation solution."