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Synopsys acquires ADA for analog boost

Posted: 30 Jan 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:synopsys? analog design automation? analog optimization software? optimization tools?

Making further inroads into the analog design market, Synopsys Inc. on Wednesday (Jan. 28) announced its intention to acquire the assets of Analog Design Automation for an undisclosed sum. ADA provides analog optimization software.

Analog Design Automation markets the ADA Genius line of optimization tools. These include Creative Genius, which automates device sizing and biasing to optimize circuit performance and IP Explorer, which graphically provides circuit performance data. These tools have been integrated with analog design environments from Cadence Design Systems, Mentor Graphics, Synopsys and other EDA vendors.

In the acquisition, Synopsys gains 20 new employees for its Ottawa R&D center along with the tools, which will be sold standalone and integrated with Synopsys' HSpice and NanoSim products.

"We have a leadership position in analog simulation with HSpice and NanoSim, and we believe the technology ADA has is very complimentary to these products and serves a very important need," said Sanjiv Kaul, senior vice president and general manager of Synopsys' New Ventures business unit. "We reached the conclusion that ADA has the best tools available in the market so we acquired them."

"We had a huge opportunity to combine the two companies' technologies to create a very strong product," said Matthew Raggett, ADA's president and CEO. "Our technology had reached the maturity level where we were getting pretty good adoption, and just about everywhere we were seeing HSpice as the default simulator. Combining the two became very obvious."

Simply put, ADA's Creative Genius tool analyzes Spice simulation results, finds areas in an analog design that can be optimized and lists tradeoffs. The IP Explorer tool allows users to weigh and then implement the different tradeoffs found by Creative Genius. Kaul said Synopsys will still sell ADA tools in a standalone configuration, so users can link ADA tools to third party simulators. But Synopsys and the ADA team plan to meld their respective technologies to create a unified product offering, which will be available sometime in the future.

Kaul said Synopsys also plans to integrate the ADA technologies into Synopsys' Discovery AMS mixed-signal tool set.

Synopsys was an early investor in ADA, which announced in January 2003 that it had closed an $8 million round of funding, bringing the company's total to $17 million.

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of February. Raggett will not be taking a position at Synopsys after the acquisition is completed.

- Mike Santarini

EE Times

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