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Mentor acquires ESL design company

Posted: 26 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Mentor Graphics? ESL? Richard Goering?

Eyeing to secure a position in the growing ESL design tool market, Mentor Graphics Corp. has acquired Summit Design for an undisclosed sum. The purchase gives Mentor an ESL line-up that includes C language design, synthesis, verification, and code coverage.

The company already has a position in EDA through its Catapult C language synthesis tool and seamless hardware/software co-verification environment. Summit's product line includes the Panaroma virtual prototyping solution, Vista integrated design environment (IDE), Visual Elite modeling environment, Virtual-CPU hardware/software verification tool, and HDL Score code coverage tool. Summit's System Architect tool includes performance modeling, architecture and hardware/software exploration and partitioning.

"We acquired Summit because we wanted to strengthen our solution in the ESL space," said Glenn Perry, general manager for Mentor's design creation business unit. Perry said that the company is strong in ESL synthesis and ESL verification, while Summit holds a key position in ESL design. The acquisition, he said, gives Mentor a strong lineup in all three areas.

"This is a big coup for Mentor," said Gary Smith, chief EDA analyst at Gartner Dataquest. He said that Summit has the leading SystemC based tool in the "architect's workbench" category, one of two "killer apps" that Smith mentioned in his 2006 Design Automation Conference presentation.

"We are very pleased to announce that Mentor has acquired all assets of Summit Design," reads a letter sent to Summit customers on Oct. 24. "Mentor and Summit share similar views on the growing importance of solutions that bridge ESL design methodologies with existing RTL flows. The Summit technology and products complement Mentor's existing investments in ESL synthesis and verification." The letter further states that Summit tools will be integrated into Mentor's design flow and that going forward, Summit products will be sold and supported by Mentor.

A document from Mentor states that the company does not expect any changes to planned product releases for either Mentor or Summit, and that all existing Summit products will be supported through Mentor's worldwide support organization. It says that Summit's core engineering, marketing, sales and customer support staff will be hired by Mentor.

Specifically, the document states that there is no transition plan to move users from Summit's Visual Elite to Mentor's HDL Designer Series, or vice versa. These products have some overlapping capabilities. Perry said these products serve different geographical markets and have differing functionality.

Both companies have hardware/software verification systems, which offers "an opportunity to provide customers with a migration path and consolidate technology," Perry said. But no one will be forced to stop using Summit's Virtual-CPU product, he said, and Mentor will support it as long as customers continue using it.

- Richard Goering
EE Times

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