Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another spin on the #EDA 360 wheel: Synopsys acquires Virage Logic

Stop me if you've heard this one before...

On June 10, 2010 Synopsys Inc. announced their intent to acquire Virage Logic Corporation, a provider of compilers for embedded memory IP. The acquisition comes a little less than one month after Cadence announced their acquisition of Denali Software Inc. - a provider of memory models and verification IP.  It seems that the respective M&A teams are saving money by sharing calculators.
  • Purchase price for Virage Logic: $315 M. Last year's revenue = $47.4 M
  • Purchase price for Denali Software Inc.: $315 M. Estimated annual revenue = $43 M
Those similarities aside, I don't expect this latest acquisition to be quite as controversial as the Cadence-Denali purchase. Virage is more a semiconductor company than an EDA company, and is much less visible to the DAC partying crowd, many of whom bemoaned the loss of the independent Denali.  This is interesting in a different way since Synopsys is purchasing one of their customers, which leads to a bit of "closing the circle" irony.

Virage was a key early customer and partner in the development of Nassda Corporation, whose HSIM product was specifically architected to increase simulation efficiency by exploiting redundancy (i.e. multiple copies of the same circuit) - a perfect match for memory blocks. The CEOs of the two companies sat on each other's board of directors; Sang Wang at Virage and Adam Kablanian at Nassda. Nassda quickly became very successful in dominating the memory market, enabling the company to complete an IPO in December 2001, just two and a half years after first licensing the software.

The success of Nassda, whose founders had come from Synopsys, led the latter company to pursue a lengthy and bitter lawsuit wherein they accused Nassda of launching the company through misappropriation of trade secrets. After several years of battling the lawsuit, Nassda gave up the fight and agreed to be purchased by Synopsys in December, 2004.

So here we are just about ten years after Nassda began, both tool provider and key customer now acquired by Synopsys.  Startup.. innovate.. get acquired. (Try to avoid being sued).

That's the real EDA-360.

Since I ran a poll on Cadence's purchase of Denali, it's only fair to do the same this time around. To express your opinion on the Synopsys-Virage acquisition, click here.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    You almost portray SNPS as the Black Widow (they eat up the one they just have sex with). Maybe SNPS calls their EDA360-like program Black Widow? Maybe not externally.

    This huge value to SNPS. Kudos to their foresight. This is truly total world domination in the world of semiconductor IP. They now have the #1 pieces of IP in all phases of the IP acquisition trail that companies make: architecural, digital, physical and now foundation.