A Brief and Personal History of EDA, Part 5: The Acquisition Era

EDA’s acquisition era arrived close on the heels of the EDA era. SDA merged with ECAD to form Cadence in 1987, and the new company’s first acquisition was in 1989. The company has made nearly 40 acquisitions to date. Synopsys incorporated in 1986, and its first acquisition was in 1990. The company has made more than 100 acquisitions to date. Mentor Graphics metamorphosed from a dying CAE company into a vibrant … Read More → "A Brief and Personal History of EDA, Part 5: The Acquisition Era"

A Brief and Personal History of EDA, Part 4: Cadence, Synopsys, and Mentor Graphics – The EDA Era

Rising complexity drove the creation of ever-more-powerful tools for electronic design. When circuit board and IC layouts escaped the bounds of pencil, paper, and manual dexterity, CAD tools from Applicon, Calma, and Computervision appeared. When polygon representations no longer sufficed as the first gate arrays appeared, CAE tools from Daisy, Mentor, and Valid appeared. These CAE companies attempted to provide all-in-one design suites for ICs and circuit … Read More → "A Brief and Personal History of EDA, Part 4: Cadence, Synopsys, and Mentor Graphics – The EDA Era"

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Are you involved in developing SoCs? Are you banging your head against the wall, desperately trying to determine why you aren’t obtaining the performance promised by the providers of your processor, interconnect, and DDR memory controller IPs? Do I have good news for you? (Spoiler alert. The answer to the last question is a resounding “Yes!”)

In many ways … Read More → "Understanding and Optimizing SoC Hardware Performance"

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Posted on Apr 22 at 11:49am by arnim
A subset of this EDA acquisition game has been the development of FPGA tools. NeoCAD did the tools for AT&T's clones of Xilinx FPGAs, doing it so well it embarrassed Xilinx, so they acquired them. I still have the NeoCAD coffee cup.
Posted on Apr 22 at 11:26am by Daniel Payne
A walk down EDA memory lane, we also have a list of mergers at SemiWiki, https://semiwiki.com/wikis/industry-wikis/eda-mergers-and-acquisitions-wiki/
Posted on Apr 10 at 7:53am by Max Maxfield
Hi Tom -- thanks for sharing -- I'm hoping to meet up with Ben when I visit the UK this summer to see my dear old mom :-)
Posted on Apr 9 at 5:56am by Steven Leibson
Thank you for the compliment, metasequoia. I hope you find the series useful. There are five more articles to go in this EDA history, with a few things that surprised me, and I was there!
Posted on Apr 8 at 9:21pm by metasequoia
Steve, You do an absolutely outstanding job researching and writing your articles! Thank you.
Posted on Apr 6 at 4:19pm by Tom Kaneko
I followed a similar train of thought as you after the invasion of Ukraine. I was moved enough to try to deal with this drone problem. I found Ben Cook and spoke in depth to discuss an idea that I couldn’t get out of my head - a way ...
Posted on Apr 4 at 1:12pm by Karl Stevens
This all sounds good ... if they are making paper weights or boat anchors. They are totally ignoring the fact that electronics must do more than consume power and dissipate heat. Space heaters are much less expensive. There once was a dream of Intel developing some kind of language/tool to ...
Posted on Apr 3 at 5:57pm by Steven Leibson
Indeed, a funny story. I'd have to ask you to cite references to Calma's being the "most popular IC layout platform" in the 1980s. If you're referring to custom IC layout, especially analog, especially at Datel where you worked (I used Datel parts as a design engineer), then sure. If ...
Posted on Apr 3 at 3:00pm by Mike Demler
So, I have a funny story of the time Welch brought the BoD to tour the labs. My team had setup a demo in the Calma room, but because the PR folks thought it would be undignified for them to bend over to see our screens, we propped each one ...
Posted on Apr 3 at 12:35pm by Steven Leibson
Mike, thanks for writing about your personal experiences. Jack Welch became GE's Chairman and CEO in 1981 and GE's semiconductor businesses seem to have wound down swiftly after that. I've no doubt that it took years to run out Calma's leadership, but I've seen no evidence that Calma was a driving ...
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