May 02, 2011
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Russ Henke - Contributing Editor

by Russ Henke - Contributing Editor
Posted anew every four weeks or so, the EDA WEEKLY delivers to its readers information concerning the latest happenings in the EDA industry, covering vendors, products, finances and new developments. Frequently, feature articles on selected public or private EDA companies are presented. Brought to you by If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!


In the most recent EDA WEEKLY posted on April 4, 2011 entitled,
“The EDA and the Electronics IP Almanac: Q4 2010”,
discussed were the financial results and status of ten publically-traded vendors – five in classical EDA (Altium, Cadence, Magma, Mentor Graphics and Synopsys), and five in the fast-growing subset of EDA known as Electronics Intellectual Property (IP), consisting of ARM, CEVA, MIPS, MoSys, and Rambus.

If you missed the April 4, 2011 article, you can read it at this URL:

The 10 vendors mentioned above are what remain of the originally-selected 17 electronics-related vendors on which Henke Associates
[1] started quarterly coverage in early 2003 – nine (9) were EDA Vendors, eight (8) were Electronics IP vendors.

The seven vendors whose names have vanished from the news did not simply cease to exist; rather, they all were handsomely acquired. Verisity and Nassda became parts of EDA vendors Cadence and Synopsys, respectively. More recently, EDA vendor Synplicity was acquired by Synopsys, and EDA vendor Ansoft was merged with MCAE vendor ANSYS. On the IP side, in 2004 ARM acquired Artisan Components, Inc. In 2009 LogicVision became part of Mentor Graphics. Then Synopsys’ acquisition of Virage Logic became official in September of last year.

As 2010 reached its end, the prospects of each of the remaining ten vendors were brightening. As reported in this space last month, many of the “G10” have been strengthened by previous acquisitions and by the improving economic climate.
Accordingly, it seems to this writer a propitious time to consider broadening the list of covered vendors once more:

G11 = G10 + Whom?

It was at that precise moment of contemplation that the writer received an email from long-time acquaintance
Mike Sottak of Wired Island PR, with HQ in the Turks & Caicos Islands, and one of his key associates
Laurie Stanley, based in Amesbury, Massachusetts.

While the writer had been subliminally aware of the progress that
SpringSoft, Inc. had been making, it was Laurie’s March 14, 2011 email that first sparked the notion that this Taiwan/USA-headquartered vendor of specialized IC design software just might be the first G11 candidate.

Laurie’s email contained SpringSoft’s March 14 announcement about the release of an OpenAccess (OA) version of its
Laker Advanced Design Platform (ADP). Laker ADP is SpringSoft’s integrated system for the design and analysis of analog, mixed-signal, memory, and custom digital ICs. It works with the Laker Layout Automation System and most available analog simulators, providing an entry point for SpringSoft’s schematic-driven layout (SDL) flow.

With its March 14 announcement, SpringSoft can offer for the first time a
front-to-back custom IC layout flow based on the OpenAccess (OA) standard, facilitating the design, verification and debugging of complex digital, analog and mixed-signal ICs, ASICs, microprocessors, and SoCs.

SpringSoft, Inc. sports other desirable features that make it attractive as the G11 vendor. It’s a publically-traded company (TAIEX: 2473), which means its financials are visible.

It has achieved a global presence with multiple R&D sites and local support offices around the world.

Moreover, SpringSoft enjoys a strong and growing revenue stream (NT$2,177
.541 million in 2010), generated by more than 400 of today's leading integrated device manufacturers and fabless semiconductor companies, foundries, and electronic systems OEMs. See
Table 1.

SpringSoft’s automation technologies save time at several particularly complicated and difficult steps in the IC design process, such as:
  • accelerating functional closure of SoC’s, and
  • implementing the Custom IC design and layout.

  • Complex IC design requires a high degree of collaboration and compatibility across EDA tools and related technologies, and SpringSoft has established itself in this area as well. Its
    Harmony third-party community includes more than 65 partners who work with the Company to ensure tight integration and compatibility among their products. SpringSoft is also a strong supporter and active participant in the
    development of industry standards which improve designer efficiency and tool interoperability, such as SystemVerilog, SystemC, OpenAccess and Interoperable PDK Libraries.

    Finally, while its main HQ is 6500 miles away in
    , Taiwan,

    SpringSoft Hsinchu HQ

    SpringSoft has also established a large presence in the SF Bay Area, where your writer resides and where the publisher IBSystems, Inc. is based.
    This local Bay Area presence (see photo of 2025 Gateway building below) offered the promise of meeting one or more of the executives of SpringSoft sometime in the months ahead … a meeting which could seal the deal to include SpringSoft as the first new addition to the existing G10 list of vendors.

    A Positive Coincidence

    As luck would have it, within a few days of the March 14, 2011 News Release, Laurie and Mike informed the writer that not only one, but three top execs from SpringSoft would be together in the SF Bay Area and would welcome a meeting at the SpringSoft San Jose, CA location, hosted by
    Rob van Blommestein, Director Marketing Communications.


    The only caveat:
    the execs were available on only one specific day, a day only 48 hours from Mike and Laurie’s notification.  

    Meeting in San Jose, CA

    Since he already knew the way, your intrepid writer sliced through the season’s spring storms some 53 miles south on I-880 to appear at the  SpringSoft US HQ at 2025 Gateway:

    A Sunnier Day at SpringSoft US Headquarters

    Rob introduced the following SpringSoft executives:

      Mr. Johnson
    Teng – Chief Operating Officer & EVP:

    Mr. Teng

      Dr. Yu-Chin
    Hsu – VP Logic Verification  Group:

    Dr. Hsu

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6  Next Page »

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    -- Russ Henke, Contributing Editor.

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