Ed: What does the Atrenta acquisition of NextOp and the Synopsys acquisition of Springsoft mean to EDA?
Mike: It probably goes without saying that these two acquisitions are very different, both in their objectives and impact on the industry. The bottom line on the NextOp acquisition is that it represents strategic maneuvering by Atrenta as they attempt to emerge from their 10-year gestation period, which is generally the limit for VC-funded startups. I provide a more detailed analysis in an Analysis Brief, which is available from the EE Daily News.
The Synopsys-Springsoft acquisition may finally fill the hole in analog/custom implementation that Synopsys has had. When the Laker tools came on the landscape, they immediately gave Cadence some competition for Virtuoso. Synopsys has never been able to accomplish that with Galaxy Custom Designer, nor its predecessor (Cosmos).
Ed: What sort of new day does it herald for EDA?
Mike: As far as meaning to the EDA industry overall, again there are two different answers. For Atrenta-NextOp, this serves as a bellwether for the entire group of ~10-year old EDA startups. What are their exit strategies?
For Synopsys-Springsoft, the answer is more complex, and goes beyond the immediate impact in the analog/custom design space. With ~$1B in acquisitions in less than a year, Synopsys is looking more and more like a huge EDA conglomerate. They are separating themselves further from the 2nd and 3rd place companies, at least in terms of size. The industry dynamics will inevitably change as a result.
Ed: What’s the significance?
Mike: In a nutshell – the EDA industry continues to shrink. Acquisitions mean lost jobs. With 10-years or more now the norm to grow an EDA company, other industries look more attractive, both for capital investment and for skilled engineers.
Lee PR does work for Atrenta