Commentary: EDA Industry Update – July 2010 What did nominal Q1 2010 Bring?

Hours before Alex was designated a hurricane, President Obama issued an emergency declaration for Texas, allowing coordination by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with state and local response efforts. Federal authorities said oil and gas operators in the Gulf were beginning to evacuate platforms and rigs in the storm's path. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement said that 28 of 634 manned production platforms and three of 51 drilling rigs have been evacuated. The bureau estimated that nearly one-quarter of the Gulf's oil production and more than 9% of its natural gas production had been halted.

July 01, 2010: BP's massive oil spill became the largest ever in the Gulf of Mexico today, based on the highest of the federal government's estimates, an ominous record that underscores the oil giant's dire need to halt the gusher.

The oil that's spewed for two and a half months from a blown-out well a mile under the sea hit the 140.6 million gallon mark, eclipsing the record-setting, 140-million-gallon Ixtoc I spill off Mexico's coast from 1979 to 1980.

On July 07, 2010 the Dow Jones industrials soared back above 10,000 after the heavy selling in the stock market during the last two weeks. The Dow rose 275 points, more than 2%, after a modest gain July 06. It was the market's first back-to-back advance since mid-June and the first close above the psychological 10,000 level since June 28. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 23, or 3.7%, to 612. The NASDAQ composite index rose 66 to 2159, or 3.1%. Was there a positive event in the real world that triggered that optimism, such as BP capping its gushing oil well? No! Just some flush investors grabbing and gobbling stocks that they felt had fallen too far. An instructive case of “trouble in the Gulf for many, meaning a big opportunity for the few.”

Recent EDA Industry News Highlights

On July 6, 2010 the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported that worldwide sales of semiconductors in May were $24.7 billion, a sequential increase of 4.5% from April when sales were $23.6 billion and a year-on-year increase of 47.6% from May 2009 when sales were $16.7 billion. As expected, the year-on-year growth rate declined slightly from the 50.4% reported in April. All monthly sales numbers represent a three-month moving average.

“Global sales of semiconductors in May reached a new high and remain on pace to reach the SIA forecast of 28.4% growth to $290.5 billion in 2010,” said SIA President George Scalise. “Chip sales have been buoyed by strength in sales of personal computers, cell phones, corporate information technology, industrial applications, and autos. Unit sales of personal computers are now expected to grow by 20% this year and cell phone unit sales are predicted to be up 10 to 12% over 2009 levels.”

“Emerging markets, including China and India, are fueling sales of computation and communications products,” Scalise continued. “The automotive market is also slowly recovering after several years of weak sales. Demand from the corporate information technology and industrial sectors that had pushed out replacement cycles during the global economic recession is beginning to come back.”

SIA once again noted that the industry year-on-year and sequential growth rates are likely to continue to slow during the second half of 2010. “Recent chip sales have shown robust demand, but the year-on-year growth rates also underscore the very depressed market conditions of the first half of 2009. Going forward, the year-on-year growth comparisons will reflect the industry recovery that gained momentum in the second half of last year. Growing concerns about issues such as government debt, declining consumer confidence, and pressures on government spending do not appear to have affected worldwide semiconductor sales to date, but given the semiconductor industry's growing sensitivity to macroeconomic conditions, these issues bear watching in the second half of 2010,” Scalise concluded.

On May 26, 2010 Altium and Aldec announced that they had signed an OEM agreement that adds Aldec's FPGA simulation capabilities to Altium Designer. This agreement is said to add an extra dimension for electronics designers working with FPGAs and provides seamless integration to industry proven VHDL and Verilog simulation from Aldec, integrated within Altium Designer. Electronics designers can now access Aldec's proven simulation technology as part of Altium's unified electronics design architecture.

Nick Martin, CEO of Sydney Australia based Altium Limited, said, "Altium Designer has included simple VHDL simulation for FPGA-based designs for a number of years, but this has not been a core focus area for us. Partnering with Aldec will allow us to provide a high-quality RTL simulation capability for Altium Designer users, both VHDL and Verilog, from a vendor with great technology and credentials in this area.”

Dr. Stanley M. Hyduke, CEO of Aldec, Hendersen, Nevada, said, "Becoming such a central element in simulation for Altium's unified approach to electronics design is an exciting step for Aldec. This agreement will open new opportunities for Aldec with design teams who traditionally would not invest in high-performance VHDL and Verilog simulation. Altium Designer's very broad user base and its FPGA vendor independence allow more designers to leverage Aldec simulations technology as part of Altium Designer's unified architecture."

As still another sign of the high level of activity in the EDA and the Electronics IP marketplace, we recall the May 13, 2010 news when Cadence Design Systems, Inc. of San Jose, CA and Denali Software, Inc. of Sunnyvale, CA (portraying itself as a “provider of electronic design automation (EDA) software and intellectual property (IP)” announced that the companies had entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Cadence would acquire Denali for $315 million in cash. In alignment with its EDA360 strategy, this transaction was said (when completed) to allow Cadence's solution portfolio to deliver system component modeling and IP integration. "Denali's strengths in Memory Models, Design IP, and Verification IP will accelerate the execution of Cadence's recently announced EDA360 vision, creating new opportunities for the company," said Lip-Bu Tan, president and chief executive officer of Cadence. "Bringing our two companies together will provide a path for future growth, as well as expanded opportunities for our customers and employees," said Sanjay Srivastava, president and chief executive officer of Denali.

Then on June 17, 2010 Cadence announced that it had successfully completed the acquisition of Denali Software. "We envision a way forward for the electronics industry, called EDA360 that addresses the emerging shift to applications-driven systems and SoC Realization. Our customers' needs are changing, and EDA providers must respond with their own EDA360 initiatives. The acquisition of Denali gives Cadence a significant, first-mover advantage as we execute our strategy," claimed Lip-Bu Tan, president & CEO of Cadence. The Denali team, including founders Sanjay Srivastava and Mark Gogolewski, will report to Nimish Modi, senior vice president, research and development, Front End Group, Cadence.

On June 14, 2010 Magma® Design Automation announced it was set to join the broad-market Russell 3000 Index as Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of US and global equity indexes on June 25, according to Russell's preliminary list of additions published June 11. Annual reconstitution of Russell's US indexes captures the 4,000 largest US stocks as of the end of May, ranking them by total market capitalization. Membership in the Russell 3000, which remains in place for 1 year, means automatic inclusion in the large-cap Russell 1000 Index or small-cap Russell 2000 Index as well as the appropriate growth and value style indexes. Russell determines membership for its equity indexes primarily by objective, market-capitalization rankings and style attributes.

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Review Article
  • Always interesting. July 09, 2010
    Reviewed by 'S. Lee Ryan'
    I have workd with Dr. Henke in the past and will say he was most helpful and insightful as well as practical in his knowledge. I look forward to reading his articles here very much. Thanks, Russ

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