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Posts Tagged ‘Semiconductor IP’

NextOp and Springsoft…..Mike Demler wraps it up for us

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

We’ve heard from Jim Hogan and Gary Smith on recent acquisitions.  Now industry analyst Mike Demler weighs in.

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

Gary Smith on NextOp, now Springsoft

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Yesterday we heard from Jim Hogan on the NextOp acquisition.  Today Gary Smith chimes in on NextOp and the recent Springsoft buyout.

Ed:  What do the Atrenta acquisition of NextOp and the Synopsys acquisition of Springsoft mean to EDA?

Gary:  Technology wise the Atrenta acquisition means that the Silicon Virtual Prototype is becoming a reality.  Business wise it could be the start of the roll-up in the middle.

Springsoft was always a possible roller-upper but generally thought of as a long shot because of theirTaiwanheadquarters.  Springsoft certainly makes Synopsys stronger, especially with the Laker analog product, but doesn’t affect the SVP or the RTL sign-off tool market.  Debug is just being rolled up into the simulator.

Ed:  What sort of new day does it herald for EDA?

Gary:  With the creation of the SVP we now have the RTL sign-off established. This then is the breakpoint between design and implementation, just as the gate-level netlist was in the past.  This will free up a large group of designers, and enable a new larger group of designers, which in-turn will cause the explosion of new systems development.

Ed: What’s the significance?

Gary:  Growth, opportunity, money; the usual stuff.





Lee PR does work for Atrenta




Hogan on Atrenta’s grab

Monday, August 6th, 2012


We’ve seen several acquisitions in the past month or so…and wanted to get a sense of what these purchases might or might not indicate about where EDA is going.   So we went to the premier visionary and investor to get his take on how the EDA world will be affected by this apparent consolidation.

Ed:  What do these acquisitions over the past month or so mean to EDA?

Jim:    I like the Atrenta NextOp acquisition for several of points of view.  In my world mergers are successful in EDA if:

1. there is no product overlap

2. the sales channel can immediately sell the product.  Usually this means that the AEs support it or at least will be product within 30 days of purchase.

There is a ton of synergy with the Atrenta sales channel. This is important to ensure the ROI is met, typically a two to three year process.

3. customers support the merger.  In other words, they see that the product is going to be continued to be supported with R&D and AEs.

4. the team remains at least two years to ensure intellectual property transition. In the case of Atrenta and NextOp,  I believe all conditions are being met.  Thus I expect a successful integration of NextOp and ROI.

In addition it speaks to Atrenta’s forward progress to being an IPO candidate.  One issue for EDA is that companies exiting over the last ten years have been through acquisition.     If we can see an IPO of a well-run and well-performing company, it attracts the attention of shareholders but also ensures an exit other than acquisition for other EDA companies. This will attract investors and thus we’ll see startups funded.  This is a win-win for the entire ecosphere including customers.

I believe one of the key ingredients in an EDA company going public  besides top line revenue of greater than $50m with 25% CAGR and margin of $10m or greater  is the ability of the management team to acquire and integrate complementary startups.  With Atrenta acquiring NextOp, I believe they are on their way.

Good luck to them because their IPO will be good for EDA by bringing excitement and notice to the sector.




Lee PR does work for Atrenta


Atrenta acquires NextOp – Could this be the start of something BIG?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012


Gary Smith’s statement about the Atrenta acquisition of NextOp has been bandied about this morning in the news….“This could be the start of something big, and NextOp was an excellent place to start.”

See today’s news and analysis about Atrenta’s acquisition of assertion synthesis vendor NextOp plus an interview with Atrenta and NextOp execs in the following online publications:

EDA Café Blog: What Would Joe Do?

EDA Express

EE Daily News

EE Times News & Analysis

EE Times: EDA DesignLine

Gabe on EDA


System-Level Design

Tech Design Forums



Lee PR does work for Atrenta

Three rules to get greatest value from your IP libraries: Migration Migration Migration! Sagantec’s CEO talks to Luke Collins

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012



Luke Collins, editor, Tech Design Forums, talks with Sagantec CEO, Coby Zelnik, and CTO, Marten Berkens, about migration technology.




Note:  Lee PR does work for Sagantec

Predictions 2012 – Persistence of Memory

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

To finish off our series of predictions, I would like to point you to another series of interesting and informative prophesies.  Click on the following topics to see these predictions collected by Brian Bailey, Editor of EDA DesignLine.

Industry Trends



IP and Physical Design

The Bold Prediction for EDA


A big THANK YOU from Ed & me (Liz) to all who shared their eye opening predictions with us.  Click on their names to see their predictions.  Mike Gianfagna, Karen Bartleson, Paul McLellan, Jens Andersen, Bob Smith, Steve Schulz, Mathias Silvant, Herb Reiter, Max Maxfield, Chris Edwards, John Barr.


Only time will tell……


The Persistence of Memory, 1931, Salvador Dali


Predictions 2012 – Barr on Big…Semi, Foundry, EDA

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

In 2012, we’ll see tablets and smartphones changing the world.  That’s another way of saying Apple’s moves will have huge implications in semiconductors, foundries and EDA.

Apple’s use of the Samsung foundry has started an arms race between Samsung, TSMC and Global Foundries.  Samsung is ramping up to meet the capabilities and capacity of TSMC.  Intel is being pushed to stay ahead technologically and to consider new business models. Global Foundries continues to work to ramp its yields.

This situation will be good for semiconductor equipment and EDA vendors as well.  Their tools will facilitate the new processes and the link between design and manufacturing.

Another element: in 2012, we’ll see the supply chain continue to consolidate. Why?  The cost to design a complex SoC requires a big budget and a big market opportunity.  Only the largest of semiconductor companies can tackle these designs.  This increasing cost helps the FPGA vendors.

The foundries face increasing technology and capital requirements to move to new process nodes.  Only a few will make it.

The public markets have been closed to EDA companies for a number of years making acquisition the most likely exit for EDA startups.  Apache chose to be acquired by Ansys in 2011.  It has been difficult for a new, large EDA competitor to emerge.  This bodes well for Big EDA in its negotiations with Big Foundry and Big Semiconductor.  In 2012 I believe there are several EDA companies poised to go public.

Who will be the beneficiary of these changes in 2012?  Apple.  Consumers should also benefit as new, leading edge fab capacity will be used to make exciting new devices.

John Barr
Portfolio Manager
Needham Aggressive Growth Fund
Needham Growth Fund

445 Park Avenue
New York, NY  10022
(212) 705-0462


Predictions 2012 – Wither Magma?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

One lingering question for 2012 is what will become of the Magma back-end platform?  I predict that Synopsys will phase out the Magma Talus platform in favor of ICC.  Why? It makes no sense for Synopsys to continue to field and support two different systems although it is likely that there will be some transfer of technology into ICC.  Converting the existing Talus user base over to ICC is no small task and will likely take several years to complete as well as require incentives and utilities to move the existing base over to the Synopsys platform.

Timing verification is another story. Synopsys will capitalize on the acquisitions of Extreme and Magma to leverage the technologies in those products to develop and deliver the next generation PrimeTime platform. Once they complete this, they will have re-solidified their position as the industry golden standard in static timing verification.

It will be very interesting to see how the consumer-driven SoC market will evolve.  SoCs used to be comprised of a processor, memory, various IP blocks, and the on-chip infrastructure needed to support them such as clock, power and communications channels.  Now SoCs have multiple processors, large numbers of IP blocks, multiple on-chip communications channels and multiple memories. In essence, today’s SoCs are comprised of multiple SoCs as we used to define them.

The 2012 SoC will beget big challenges in design and even more so in verification. IP will become more important.  And even though hardware performance and power will matter, system design and software will become the differentiating items.

SoC system design and verification will be especially active, because it is what the system does that really counts.   (After all, the point of building an SoC is to deliver a winning end product.) To a great extent that will require a huge software and verification effort — under the schedule pressures that come from a hugely competitive consumer products market.

Bob Smith
Industry Consultant


Predictions 2012 – Ansys, Dassault in EDA?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

In 2012, we will see a bigger presence from companies like Ansys and Dassault giving much competition to the big three.  Cases in point are the Ansoft and Apache acquisitions by Ansys. We thus might see further consolidation among the top EDA companies. To handle some of the pressure, I do believe the big three will once again realize the need for new ideas and begin to look further into acquiring new and cool technology earlier.

Jens C. Andersen
Invarian, Inc.


Predictions 2012 – Consolidation

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I think that there will continue to be consolidation in the EDA industry. At each process node, fewer and fewer designs ship in high enough volume to recover the enormous investment in bringing them to market, which is a bad trend for EDA. Several companies in the ecosystem will go public if the market conditions remain favorable: eSilicon, Tensilica, Atrenta. Although, as with Apache, they may get acquired at the last minute (at high valuations). Mentor may get acquired, or sell off some business lines.

Paul McLellan


S2C: FPGA Base prototyping- Download white paper

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