The Week In Review: Design

Cadence to buy Jasper; Synopsys rolls out LPDDR4 IP; Mentor wins deal with Alps; Cadence wins deal with ARM; UMC certifies Synopsys physical verification tool at 28nm; earnings reports from Cadence, Rambus, ARM.


Cadence announced its intention to acquire Jasper Design Automation, adding formal technology to its roster of verification tools. The purchase price was about $146 million, the $170 million Cadence offered minus the $24 million in cash and equivalents on Jasper’s books.

Synopsys rolled out new LPDDR4 IP that offers up to 3.2 Gbps with low power consumption. The company is targeting high-end smart phones and tablets with the memory IP, as well as the related PHY, controller and verification IP. Synopsys also rolled out prototyping automation and debug software for its FPGA prototyping systems to improve performance.

Mentor Graphics won a deal with Alps Electric, which will use Mentor’s analog characterization solution for mixed signal and sensor ICs. Alps makes components for a broad swath of end markets, including home electronics, automotive and environment/energy. The company plans to use the tools for complex characterization nests.

Cadence won a deal with ARM, which will use its library characterization solution for ARM’s physical IP libraries.

UMC certified Synopsysphysical verification tool for 28nm, which is a node that most foundries expect to remain mainstream for years to come. This is a sign that investment at this node is beginning to ramp.

Cadence reported its Q1 numbers. Revenue was $379 million, compared to $354 million in Q1 of 2013. Net income was $33 million, down from $79 million in Q1 of 2012. The company has been on an acquisition path lately, buying Forte Design Systems and most recently Jasper Design Automation. On a non-GAAP basis, which takes into account one-time charges, income was flat.

Rambus reported its Q1 numbers, as well. Revenue was $78.3 million, up from $66.9 million for the same period in 2013. Net income was $7.8 million, compared to a loss of $10.4 million in 2013. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $19.6 million, compared with $16.5 million in 2013.

ARM also reported Q1 earnings. Revenue was $305.2 million for the quarter, compared with $263.9 million in 2013. Earnings per share grew 5%. ARM also said it signed 43 licenses for its ARMv8-A processor, and 2.9 billion chips containing ARM cores were shipped, up 11% year over year. Average royalty per chip was 4.7 cents, down slightly from last year due to an increase in the volume of lower-cost chips for microcontrollers, smartcards, touchscreen controllers and wireless connectivity chips, the company said.

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