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 What Would Joe Do?
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

Acquiring Mentor: Four Good Ideas, One Great

October 20th, 2016 by Peggy Aycinena

You’ve all heard the rumors:
Mentor Graphics is for sale. If it’s true, who could be buying? Let’s indulge in a gedankenexperiment to find out.

First there’s Cadence. Obviously. Mentor and Cadence both sell back-end tools and combining the two would create a powerful market-leading organization. Clearly Cadence is bigger and richer so they’d be doing the buying, but Mentor would be calling the shots. Why? Because last time these two bad hombres went through this mating dance, Mentor put the kibosh on things by orchestrating an outcry to the SEC about anti-trust. Mentor didn’t want to be bought in 2008, but now things might be different, their preferred outcome not so cut-and-dried. So Cadence is Good idea Number One.

Second idea might be UK-based ARM. Yeah, ARM is not about design tools, and they’re now part of a Japan-based tech conglomerate, but that might actually make purchasing Mentor very rational. Expand an ARM-based design flow with a plethora of back-end tools, and oodles of expertise in mil-aero and automotive, and what’s not to like about that scenario? So Softbank/ARM acquiring Mentor might be Good idea Number Two.

Speaking of automotive, what about Ford Motor Company? They’ve got a $49 billion market cap, could easily afford to buy Mentor, and have fingers in every part of the transportation pie. A fact on full view when Ford paid homage to EDA and design/system-level design in the keynote they gave at DAC several years ago. Automotive, EDA, system-level design. Pretty much defines Mentor. Ford’s definitely Good idea Number Three.

And as long as we’re going to go with maker companies, how about GE? Per Wikipedia, “GE operates through the following segments: Power and Water, Oil and Gas, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation and Capital which cater to the needs of Financial services, Medical devices, Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Automotive, Software Development and Engineering industries.” Again, a good umbrella organization for Mentor Graphics in every way. Is it necessary to mention that GE’s got a current market cap at $260 billion? GE acquiring Mentor is Good idea Number Four.

Which brings us to Dassault Systems, based in France. Earlier this month, Dassault Systems purchased Computer Simulation Technology AG, based in Germany. Dassault specializes in 3D design software, including digital mock-up and product life-cycle management platforms. Which explains why CST’s tools for multi-physics and multi-scale simulation are a welcome addition to Dassault’s 3DExperience design platform.

Adding Mentor’s system-level design tools, along with their DFM and PCB capabilities, would further enhance that platform. More importantly, Dassault has a market cap of $22 billion. They could afford to buy Mentor, with its $3 billion market cap. Dassault Systems is Good idea Number Five.

In truth, however, Dassault is more than a good idea. It’s a great idea. This is a company with full involvement in the EDA industry that knows more than a little about the subtleties of electronic system design.

In my November 2013 blog about the company, Dwight Galbi, Principle/Manager in Qualcomm’s Physical Design unit, said, “Dassault’s Pinpoint integrated, web-based dashboard provides coverage of all aspects of the design including synthesis, place-and-route, timing signoff, power and signal integrity.”

Dassault has deep subject knowledge about EDA. If Mentor must be sold, then let Dassault do the buying. This is more than just a gedankenexperiment, this is a reality. This acquisition would be great for all involved.


November 2013 blog …

Dassault’s Pinpoint: Qualcomm’s New Sheriff in Town

Dassault acquires CST …

Velizy-Villacoublay, France – October 3rd, 2016 – Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, world leader in 3D design software, 3D Digital Mock Up and Product Lifecycle Management solutions, today announced the completion of the acquisition of CST – Computer Simulation Technology AG, the technology leader in EM and electronics simulation based in Germany, for 220 million euros. Dassault Systèmes will integrate CST solutions into its portfolio of industry solution experiences based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to offer a new standard in multiphysics and multiscale simulation.

CST STUDIO SUITE software is used by designers and engineers at more than 2,000 leading companies in the high-tech, transportation and mobility, aerospace and defense, and energy industries to evaluate all types of EM effects during every stage of electronic system design processes. CST’s customers include Airbus Defense and Space, Bosch Group, Frauscher Sensor Technology and Sirona.

EM simulation is an essential part of the development of connected products to ensure the performance, reliability and safety of their interactions with their surrounding environment. With the integration
of CST, Dassault Systèmes will offer full spectrum EM simulation of autonomous cars, connected homes, medical equipment, wearable electronics and other smart objects.

Customers can quickly create and analyze high fidelity electromagnetic behavioral models that simulate electronic, antenna, electrical device and electromechanical product function across all frequencies and length scales, as well as access design synthesis and simulation tools needed for intricate electronic systems design.


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