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Mentor enters AMS verification field with BDA purchase

Posted: 25 Mar 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Mentor? BDA? AMS? verification?

Mentor Graphics Corp. has recently acquired Berkeley Design Automation, Inc. (BDA)a move that will expand the EDA company's functional verification capability for nanometre-scale circuits including analogue, mixed-signal, and RF.

BDA's centrepiece, the Analog FastSPICE (AFS), is billed as the world's fastest nanometre circuit verification platform, providing up to 10x the performance of any individual circuit simulator with foundry certified accuracy to 20nm. The platform also includes extended functionality such as device noise impact on all noise-sensitive circuits, large post-layout simulations, complex mixed-signal simulation, and efficient characterisation of global and local process variation.

Robert Hum, DSM VP and GM at Mentor, said: "Tight integration between best-in-class tools, strong foundry partnerships and impeccable engineering work were the criteria used in our decision to acquire BDA. [This] our mutual customers the most advanced tools that deal with the growing number of nanometre-scale physical effects that design teams are facing."

The acquisition of BDA gives Mentor a leg up on the competition for AMS design and verification, which levels the playing field against the two EDA giants, Cadence and Synopsys.

Earlier, BDA faced court on charges of breaching contract agreements and copyright over an alleged integration of its SPICE platform with Cadence's Virtuoso Analog Design Environment without employing Cadence's Oasis integration product. This was concluded with an agreement to pay Cadence with an unspecified amount, and a multi-year arrangement to support interoperability between BDA's Analog FastSPICE simulator and Virtuoso through the Oasis interface.

Besides the BDA's AFS, the firm's portfolio of SPICE circuit simulators comprises Eldo and ADiT, which were similarly acquired in 1994 and 2006, respectively. The three companies may well be Mentor's strategy to broaden its market reach since all have a reportedly strong following in separate regions including Japan, Europe, and Taiwan.

The particulars of the BDA acquisition were not disclosed.

(With inputs from Peter Clarke, EE Times Europe)

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