The Week In Review: Design/IoT

ARM acquires Offspark; Mentor’s industrial automation tools; Synopsys adds auto Ethernet, DDR analysis; Rambus DDR PHY on Samsung 28nm; Accellera Portable Stimulus Group; Cadence deal with MegaChips; Mentor Graphics tools for Great Wall Motors; ANSYS donates software; ARM 2014 financials.

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Mergers/Acquisitions

ARM acquired Offspark, a Dutch company specializing in IoT communications security. Use of Offspark’s PolarSSL embedded Transport Layer Security (TLS) solution is widespread in the IoT industry. PolarSSL will be rebranded mbed TLS and integrated into ARM’s mbed OS.

Tools

Mentor Graphics is bringing together a suite of technologies that enable a multi-platform approach and security architecture for industrial automation. It provides support for advanced homogeneous and heterogeneous multicore SoC architectures integrated with runtime operating platforms and tools to allow manufacturers to reuse existing IP.

Synopsys expanded its Virtualizer Development Kit for Renesas’ RH850 MCU Family to include support for Ethernet AVB (audio video bridging) and controller area network with flexible data rate (CAN-FD) automotive network peripherals. The software development kit uses RH850 virtual prototypes as a target with software debug and analysis tools.

IP

Synopsys revealed its new DesignWare DDR Explorer performance analysis tool, which integrates a transaction-level architecture model of the DesignWare DDR Enhanced Universal Memory Controller (uMCTL2) with a graphical simulation and analysis environment that enables designers to define, run and analyze hundreds of scenarios to identify the best memory controller configuration.

Rambus developed an R+ DDR4/3 PHY on the Samsung 28nm Low Power Plus (LPP) process. Rambus also utilized Samsung’s foundry assembly support resources to provide a flip-chip packaging option on the high speed PHY design.

Standards

Accellera created a working group for portable test and stimulus, which would allow engineering teams to create the test once and be able to run it throughout the flow. The goal is to cut verification time by 25%.

Deals

Cadence’s Xtensa processor was used as the core of the MegaChips frizz always-on sensor hub IC for smartphones and wearables based on the processor’s customization ability and low power consumption.

China’s largest SUV manufacturer Great Wall Motors standardized on Mentor Graphics’ Capital electrical design tools. GMW used Capital for electrical system design and integration and harness design of their Haval SUV.

ANSYS donated simulation software for the Cornell University’s College of Engineering SimCafe wiki, an e-learning resource to integrate industry-standard simulation tools into traditional engineering courses. A series of learning modules is available for free online and runs with ANSYS software.

People

Cadence elected Mark W. Adams to its board of directors. Adams is president of Micron Technology.

Numbers

ARM presented financial results for Q4 and full year 2014. Revenues in Q4 were $357.6M, up 18% versus Q4 2013. Contributing to its strength, a record number of licenses were signed in the fourth quarter. Full year 2014 revenues amounted to $1,292.6M, up 16% on full year 2013. Normalized profit before tax in Q4 was $188.2 million, up 25% versus Q4 2013. For full year 2014, profit before tax was $668.6 million, up 13% over 2013.