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Tech Travelogue Feb 2017 – FIT, Reliability and Siemens-Mentor Acquistion

Friday, January 20th, 2017
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SoS Meets SoC as Siemens Buys Mentor Graphics

Monday, November 14th, 2016

System-of-Systems (SoS) company Siemens significantly expands with acquisition of Mentor Graphics System-on-Chip (SoC), board-level and automotive technologies.

By John Blyler, Editorial Director, JB Systems

Back in 2010, I wrote about the possible acquisition of Mentor Graphics by a large product lifecycle management (PLM) company with a strong embedded focus. At that time, the concern was which industry might profit from an EDA acquisition:

“In the past, many of us have seen suitors for both Mentor Graphics and Cadence Design Systems come and go. Those interested parties varied from financial/investment firms (such as the Cadence – Blackstone-KKR buyout), supply chain/ERP manufacturing companies, PLM design vendors (see my comments about Dassault Systemes) and even EDA-to-EDA (Cadence’s attempted acquisition of Mentor in the summer of 2008). [see, “What does Carl Icahn really want from Mentor?”]

It now looks like I had the right market but the wrong company. Today, Siemens announced its plans to acquire EDA giant Mentor Graphics. Among other things, this means that Siemens, “now offers mechanical, thermal, electrical, electronic and embedded software design capabilities on a single integrated platform.” In other words, Siemens becomes even more of a Systems company then before. I use the capital “S” to signify a multi-discipline, multi-domain, system-of-systems (SoS) company beyond just software, network, and even system-on-a-chip (SOC) technologies. Mentor Graphic will help elevate Siemens to a new level of Systems.

Unfortunately, it also means that our rather niche world of semiconductor EDA companies just got a whole lot smaller. I wonder who’s looking at the remaining players, namely, Synopsys and Cadence.

Related Articles:

Cadence to Acquire Jasper Design Automation

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

By Hamilton Carter, Verification-Low Power Editor

Earlier this week, Cadence announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Jasper Design Automation. The two companies are both focused on SoC verification and cited their shared customer base and the current verification budget allotment on most SoC development projects of over 70% as reasons for the transaction. Cadence will pay $170 million for the privately held Jasper.  Jasper shows $24 million in cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet at the moment. Cadence will be funding the purchase using cash-on-hand and an existing rotating line of credit.

Jasper is a market leader in the growing formal analysis verification sector.  They’ve been very successful in distributing verification solutions termed Verification Apps built on top of their formal engine Jasper Gold.  Cadence hopes to expand the formal analysis sector more quickly by leveraging the combination of Jasper’s expertise and Cadence’s existing worldwide sales team.

Both companies are excited about the potential for integrating Jasper’s tools with the metric driven verification flow provided by Cadence.  Charlie Huang, senior vice president of the System & Verification Group and Worldwide Field Operations at Cadence, said about the acquisition, “Jasper’s formal analysis solutions are used by customers today alongside Cadence’s metric-driven verification flow to form a broad verification solution. We look forward to welcoming Jasper’s strong formal development expertise and skilled team to Cadence.”

Kathryn Kranen, president and CEO of Jasper,  commented, “The verification technologies, when combined, will benefit customers through a comprehensive metric-driven verification approach that unites formal and dynamic techniques, realizing the strength of each and leveraging the integration between them.”

The acquisition is currently scheduled to take place in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 subject to typical closing conditions and regulatory approvals.  There is no word yet as to when customers can expect a consumer-ready integration of Jasper and Cadence technologies.

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