LONDON – Intel has done a deal to acquire CoFluent Design, the vendor of the CoFluent Studio EDA software that supports system-level design and time-behavioral modeling. CoFluent also supported design from UML [Unified Modeling Language] and multicore performance analysis. The move, reported in a Japanese language report, has been confirmed by a source, formerly of CoFluent now of Intel, .
Under the terms of the deal CoFluent Studio has become the property of Intel, all CoFluent employees have been picked up by Intel and they will continue to provide customers with support, the report said. This has been confirmed by the source who said that customers had been informed.
CoFluent Design (Paris, France) was founded in 2003 as a spin-off from the University of Nantes by Jean Paul Calvez, Stephane Leclerq and Vincent Perrier. The company raised 2 million euro (about $2.6 million) in 2007 from Emertec Gestion, BNP Paribas Private Equity and UFG Private Equity.
CoFluent probably ran out of money and was looking for a savior.
It's also a big tax write-off for Intel. They will shut down the company except for a few engineers to support Intel projects. Intel has a lot of in-house tools, this is just another one.
Intel is in other markets, with McAfee for security and Wind River (including Virtutech) for software and EDA.
In your scenario, the theory is that Intel considers Cofluent technology strategic for its own use and thus take ownership of it. We can't know that without having terms of the deal (which do not look to be revealed). However, I'm wondering if there have been other examples of an EDA firm acquired by an electronics house rather than another EDA company?
What remains to be seen is if Cofluent is taken entire in-house or if it remains out in the world to sell and compete. The other examples make the latter seem more likely ... but we will see!
I don't know for sure. I have put the question into Intel's communications people but no reply as yet.
But here is a scenario: suppose Intel liked CoFluent Studio and had bought lots of seats and was doing multicore design work and software parallelization work using the tools.
And then CoFluent said they needed more money to continue and asked if Intel Capital would lead an investment round.
So Intel thought about it and said why not just buy the company and cut off other chip and systems companies from access to the technology in the longer term -- obviously established contracts would be honored.
After all in February of this year Intel was boasting it had moved up to being the fifth-largest software company in the world.
I understand all CoFluent's customers were informed about the deal so perhaps one of them could comment on Intel's motivation?