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Mentor PCB acquisition boosts packaging design

Posted: 12 Jun 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Mentor Graphics? PCB? CAD? ECAD tool suite? packaging?

The ongoing consolidation of the PCB CAD marketplace has resumed, as Mentor Graphics announced its purchase of the assets of Dansk Data Electronik-EDA A/S, a provider of the Supermax ECAD tool suite. Mentor's primary interest is in DDE-EDA's technology in multi-chip module, hybrid, embedded component, and advanced packaging design.

With a product line that dates back to 1989, DDE-EDA is a long-time player in the PCB CAD marketplace. The company spun out of its parent, Dansk Data Electronik A/S, as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 1999, and became independent in 2001. The Supermax installed base includes several hundred companies, mostly in Europe, said John Isaac, director of market development for Mentor's systems division.

With products stemming from internal development and several previous acquisitions, Mentor already has a substantial amount of PCB CAD technology. What DDE brings to the table, Isaac said, is the "extended" capabilities of the Supermax suite that go beyond board layout.

"We don't have some of the capabilities they have in terms of putting embedded components, both passive and active, on a PCB," Isaac said. "We do have some hybrid and MCM features, but they have state-of-the-art capabilities. And for advanced packaging design, they can handle very high density, high pin-count FPGAs."

"We had some of these capabilities under development, but with this acquisition of both technology and expertise, we felt we could accelerate the development activity," Isaac said.

Mentor will retain DDE-EDA's engineering staff in Denmark, Isaac said. Mentor will continue to sell and support Supermax, and may "selectively" sell it to new accounts, but will primarily focus on adding DDE-EDA technology to Mentor's existing Board Station and Expedition product lines, Isaac said.

The PCB CAD market has been undergoing consolidation in recent years, and has also seen an overall decline. According to EDA Consortium figures, the PCB/MCM CAD market declined 10 percent in 2002 to a total of $336 million.

"DDE-EDA is a small company," said Daya Nadamuni, analyst at Gartner Dataquest. "They were under a million dollars in revenue in 2001. Supermax is a good layout editor and the company has been moving into the advanced packaging area. It's probably a fairly easy deal for Mentor."

- Richard Goering

EE Times

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