A Brief and Personal History of EDA, Part 5: The Acquisition Era

EDA’s acquisition era arrived close on the heels of the EDA era. SDA merged with ECAD to form Cadence in 1987, and the new company’s first acquisition was in 1989. The company has made nearly 40 acquisitions to date. Synopsys incorporated in 1986, and its first acquisition was in 1990. The company has made more than 100 acquisitions to date. Mentor Graphics metamorphosed from a dying CAE company into a vibrant … Read More → "A Brief and Personal History of EDA, Part 5: The Acquisition Era"

A Brief and Personal History of EDA, Part 4: Cadence, Synopsys, and Mentor Graphics – The EDA Era

Rising complexity drove the creation of ever-more-powerful tools for electronic design. When circuit board and IC layouts escaped the bounds of pencil, paper, and manual dexterity, CAD tools from Applicon, Calma, and Computervision appeared. When polygon representations no longer sufficed as the first gate arrays appeared, CAE tools from Daisy, Mentor, and Valid appeared. These CAE companies attempted to provide all-in-one design suites for ICs and circuit … Read More → "A Brief and Personal History of EDA, Part 4: Cadence, Synopsys, and Mentor Graphics – The EDA Era"

Understanding and Optimizing SoC Hardware Performance

Are you involved in developing SoCs? Are you banging your head against the wall, desperately trying to determine why you aren’t obtaining the performance promised by the providers of your processor, interconnect, and DDR memory controller IPs? Do I have good news for you? (Spoiler alert. The answer to the last question is a resounding “Yes!”)

In many ways … Read More → "Understanding and Optimizing SoC Hardware Performance"

April 23, 2024
April 22, 2024
April 19, 2024
April 18, 2024
April 17, 2024
April 16, 2024
April 15, 2024
April 11, 2024

featured chalk talk

High Voltage Stackable Dual Phase Constant On Time Controllers - Microchip and Mouser
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Microchip
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Chris Romano from Microchip and Amelia Dalton discuss the what, where, and how of Microchip’s high voltage stackable dual phase constant on time controllers. They investigate the stacking capabilities of the MIC2132 controller, how these controllers compare with other solutions on the market, and how you can take advantage of these solutions in your next design.
May 22, 2023

featured video

How MediaTek Optimizes SI Design with Cadence Optimality Explorer and Clarity 3D Solver

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

In the era of 5G/6G communication, signal integrity (SI) design considerations are important in high-speed interface design. MediaTek’s design process usually relies on human intuition, but with Cadence’s Optimality Intelligent System Explorer and Clarity 3D Solver, they’ve increased design productivity by 75X. The Optimality Explorer’s AI technology not only improves productivity, but also provides helpful insights and answers.

Learn how MediaTek uses Cadence tools in SI design

Posted on Apr 22 at 11:49am by arnim
A subset of this EDA acquisition game has been the development of FPGA tools. NeoCAD did the tools for AT&T's clones of Xilinx FPGAs, doing it so well it embarrassed Xilinx, so they acquired them. I still have the NeoCAD coffee cup.
Posted on Apr 22 at 11:26am by Daniel Payne
A walk down EDA memory lane, we also have a list of mergers at SemiWiki, https://semiwiki.com/wikis/industry-wikis/eda-mergers-and-acquisitions-wiki/
Posted on Apr 10 at 7:53am by Max Maxfield
Hi Tom -- thanks for sharing -- I'm hoping to meet up with Ben when I visit the UK this summer to see my dear old mom :-)
Posted on Apr 9 at 5:56am by Steven Leibson
Thank you for the compliment, metasequoia. I hope you find the series useful. There are five more articles to go in this EDA history, with a few things that surprised me, and I was there!
Posted on Apr 8 at 9:21pm by metasequoia
Steve, You do an absolutely outstanding job researching and writing your articles! Thank you.
Posted on Apr 6 at 4:19pm by Tom Kaneko
I followed a similar train of thought as you after the invasion of Ukraine. I was moved enough to try to deal with this drone problem. I found Ben Cook and spoke in depth to discuss an idea that I couldn’t get out of my head - a way ...
Posted on Apr 4 at 1:12pm by Karl Stevens
This all sounds good ... if they are making paper weights or boat anchors. They are totally ignoring the fact that electronics must do more than consume power and dissipate heat. Space heaters are much less expensive. There once was a dream of Intel developing some kind of language/tool to ...
Posted on Apr 3 at 5:57pm by Steven Leibson
Indeed, a funny story. I'd have to ask you to cite references to Calma's being the "most popular IC layout platform" in the 1980s. If you're referring to custom IC layout, especially analog, especially at Datel where you worked (I used Datel parts as a design engineer), then sure. If ...
Posted on Apr 3 at 3:00pm by Mike Demler
So, I have a funny story of the time Welch brought the BoD to tour the labs. My team had setup a demo in the Calma room, but because the PR folks thought it would be undignified for them to bend over to see our screens, we propped each one ...
Posted on Apr 3 at 12:35pm by Steven Leibson
Mike, thanks for writing about your personal experiences. Jack Welch became GE's Chairman and CEO in 1981 and GE's semiconductor businesses seem to have wound down swiftly after that. I've no doubt that it took years to run out Calma's leadership, but I've seen no evidence that Calma was a driving ...
Subscribe Now

featured blogs
Apr 23, 2024
Do you think you are spending too much time fine-tuning your SKILL code? As a SKILL coder, you must be aware that producing bug-free and efficient code requires a lot of effort and analysis. But don't worry, there's good news! The Cadence Virtuoso Studio platform ha...
Apr 23, 2024
We explore Aerospace and Government (A&G) chip design and explain how Silicon Lifecycle Management (SLM) ensures semiconductor reliability for A&G applications.The post SLM Solutions for Mission-Critical Aerospace and Government Chip Designs appeared first on Chip ...
Apr 18, 2024
Are you ready for a revolution in robotic technology (as opposed to a robotic revolution, of course)?...
Unlock the Productivity and Efficiency of a Connected Plant
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Patrick Casey from Schneider Electric explore the multitude of benefits that mobility brings to industrial applications. They investigate how Schneider Electric’s Harmony Hub can simplify monitoring and testing, increase operational efficiency and connectivity openness in industrial plants, and how NFC technology can bring new innovation possibilities to IIoT applications.
Apr 23, 2024
Designing for Functional Safety with Infineon Memory
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Infineon
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Alex Bahm from Infineon investigate the benefits of Infineon’s SEMPER NOR Flash and how the reliability, long-term data retention, and functional safety compliance make this memory solution a great choice for a variety of mission critical applications. They also examine how SEMPER NOR Flash has been architected and designed for functional safety and how Infineon’s Solutions Hub can help you get started using SEMPER NOR Flash in your next design.
Apr 22, 2024
It’s the little things that get you; Light to Voltage Converters
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Ed Mullins from Analog Devices chat about the what, where, and how of photodiode amplifiers. They discuss the challenges involved in designing these kinds of components, the best practices for analyzing the stability of photodiode amplifiers, and how Analog Devices can help you with your next photodiode amplifier design.
Apr 22, 2024
FlyOver® Technology: Twinax FlyOver® System for Next Gen Speeds -- Samtec and Mouser
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Samtec
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Matthew Burns from Samtec investigate the challenges of routing high speed data over lossy PCBs. They also discuss the benefits that Samtec’s Flyover® cable assembly systems bring to data center and embedded designs and how Samtec is furthering innovation with their high speed interconnect solutions. 
Apr 15, 2024
How Capacitive Absolute Encoders Enable Precise Motion Control
Encoders are a great way to provide motion feedback and capture vital rotary motion information. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Jeff Smoot from CUI Devices investigate the benefits and drawbacks of different encoder solutions. They also explore the unique system advantages of absolute encoders and how you can get started using a CUI Devices absolute encoder in your next design.
Apr 1, 2024
Exploring the Potential of 5G in Both Public and Private Networks – Advantech and Mouser
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Advantech
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Andrew Chen from Advantech investigate how we can revolutionize connectivity with 5G in public and private networks. They explore the role that 5G plays in autonomous vehicles, smart traffic systems, and public safety infrastructure and the solutions that Advantech offers in this arena.
Apr 1, 2024