Tuesday, June 17, 2008

NEWS FLASH: Cadence Proposes to Acquire Mentor Graphics

And then there were three? This just in: Cadence Proposes to Acquire Mentor Graphics for $16.00 per Share in Cash.

What is Mentor good at? I haven't used their tools recently, but by reputation I think they're strong at

  • DFT (FastScan)
  • LVS/DRC (Calibre)
  • Simulation (former ModelSim)
  • Certain pieces of Place & Route (Sierra)

So, does Cadence need some or all of these pieces because they're not strong? That's certainly the case for DFT: Mentor is a leader and Cadence is an also-ran. Or are they just "buying" Mentor's customer base?

UPDATE: Other blog reactions:

  • Cool Verification. A verification tools perspective.
  • EDA Thoughts. No, honestly -- tell us what you really think of the merger!
  • EDA Cafe. Several news releases, including Cadence's own presentation on the deal.
  • Sramana Mitra on Strategy. She's been calling for a consolidation in EDA, or some kind of shakeup in the business model. Her post has a good selection of links to her previous writings on the EDA business. This post also has the best comments thread on the topic.


John said...

Wow! Very interesting. Certainly DFT is one of the places that Cadence is in catch-up mode. I think the other prong Mentor's value is the Calibre tool. Seems like everyone uses that. The Modelsim simulator is far behind Cadences NC-sim in the Verilog world, but is a mainstay of mixed-language sim.

I don't really know, but I'll hazard a guess, that the biggest gain for Cadence would be around the DFT/DFM area. Mentor's DFT is much more than just FastScan - it's their test compression (TestKompress) and yield analysis (YieldAssist) that Cadence probably needs. These tools are the feedback mechanism for the DFM flows that are developing as we speak.

Mentor also has BIST tools, but I don't think I'd call them the top tools in their class.

We'll see what happens. I would be surprised to see it actually go through.


John said...

John, thanks for the "color" on Mentor & Cadence strengths and weaknesses, particularly in the DFT arena.

red said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kiran said...

personally, I’m up for the acquisition..the industry is not growing and there are too many players..it needs some consolidation….whether the consolidation hurts the tech advancement is a different question…I would anticipate mentor might acquire or merge with another significant eda player to avoid this and emerge stronger …that would be good …cadence can then acquire another netlist-gdsII company which will put in spot light and can be in competing position again…

technically speaking, cadence is strong in digital verification space (incl formal verif) and in analog space...it has decent floorplannning tool but doesnt have some IC implementation which can seriously compete with synopsys and magma...with mentor , they might get a start with multi mode since mentor has the sierra . with industry now looking for correlation between front end and backend ..its product suite will still be inferior...recently with many companies looking for prototyping flows which correlate reasonably well with production flow cadence will be no where I guess...so acting under pressure might not really give very tech edge to cadence in Digital IC platform side...

just my 2 cents though

red said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.