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Cadence repurchases SpinCircuit in PLM bid

Posted: 11 Mar 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cadence design? spincircuit? board-level design? pcb? eda?

Cadence Design Systems has quietly repurchased SpinCircuit, an e-commerce company it helped launch in 2000, EE Times has recently learned. The purchase is part of a broader plan to bring Cadence more fully into the product lifecycle management (PLM) arena for board-level design and manufacturing.

Along with Flextronix, Hewlett-Packard and Avnet, Cadence was one of the primary investors in SpinCircuit, one of the last remaining "engineering dot-com" companies. Cadence has bought out all the other investors and brought SpinCircuit in-house as a product group, even though SpinCircuit retains its own web site and product line.

"It's part of a bigger strategy we're building," said Dave De Maria, EVP and general manager of Cadence's systems solutions business. "We're building an electronics version of what is termed product lifecycle management, and SpinCircuit is a piece of that vision."

De Maria said Cadence is interested in two SpinCircuit technologies - collaborative information management, and the "handoff" from design to manufacturing, especially in terms of BOM support. He said SpinCircuit includes a team of about 45 people, roughly split between Bangalore, India, and San Jose, California.

Launched in the heady days of the dot-com boom, SpinCircuit went on-line in April 2000 as a supply-chain management portal. At the time, De Maria told EE Times investors had put in "tens of millions" of dollars, and one Cadence executive declared that the opportunity for supply chain portals was larger than the entire EDA market.

Times have dramatically changed. De Maria said Cadence repurchased SpinCircuit in "a very small transaction" that was less than $10 million, although he declined to quote the exact amount.

SpinCircuit's original goal was to use the OrCAD ActiveParts software to provide schematic and component symbols to engineers, along with direct links to PCB manufacturers. SpinCircuit then transitioned to "solution suites" aimed at OEM enterprises. Later, it discontinued ActiveParts, and focused on "collaborative component management solutions" for OEMs and electronic manufacturing services (EMS) providers. Its two product offerings today are the SpinES enterprise solution and the SpinIT "team tools."

"I think there were elements of [SpinCircuit] that didn't pan out, to be frank," said De Maria. "But they made some very good progress, developing technology around the component management area and also BOM handoff."

- Richard Goering

EE Times

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