SAN FRANCISCOSynopsys Inc.'s definitive agreement to acquire IP vendor Virage Logic Inc. for $315 million in cash, as well as an agreement by Cadence Designs Systems Inc. last month to buy memory model company Denali Software Inc. also for $315 millionrepresent the most recent and perhaps boldest steps yet by large EDA vendors to broaden their focus and emerge from a "myopic view of what EDA is that was killing the industry," according to a prominent EDA analyst.
"The thing that excites me is that one of the biggest things in embedded computing is going to be the development of concurrent memory," said Gary Smith, principal of Gary Smith EDA. "If Cadence and Synopsys want to get involved in parallel computing, they picked up two companies that are capable of doing it."
According to Smith, these acquisitionsboth of which are still pendingand others in recent months show that EDA vendors recognize that their future growth is depends not just on providing design tools, but other elements such as IP and embedded software tools that reflect the growing complexity of creating systems-on-chips (SoCs).
"The designers today need both the hardware and software to solve their problems," Smith said.
EDA has struggled for years to overcome trends of stagnation and even contraction. In 1999, EDA posted a then-record revenue of $3.4 billion, according to the EDA Consortium (EDAC). By last year, that number had risen to $4.55 billionbut that increase was largely reflective of changes to EDAC's accounting procedures, such as beginning to lump in silicon IP with EDA.
The Synopsys-Virage deal, announced Thursday (June 9), is scheduled to close by late October. According to Synopsys Chairman and CEO Aart de Geus, Virage products complement Synopsys's interface analog IP portfolio, adding embedded memories, standard cells and programmable cores for control and multimedia subsystems.
The Cadence-Denali deal, announced last month, is expected to close by the end of this month. The acquisition will expand Cadence's customers’ ability to model and validate their systems, as well as accelerate IP integration, according to the company.
Smith applauded both deals. He noted that the Cadence-Denali deal was announced not long after Cadence introduced its EDA360 initiative. This initiative, which some in the industry dismissed as marketing hype, centers on three components: system realization, SoC realization and silicon realizationproviding the components required for developing hardware/software platforms, SoCs and getting designs into silicon.
"That has a lot to do with parallel computing and embedding computing," Smith said. "Cadence came around a couple of weeks later and got a memory company."