Cadence Design Systems

Cadence Design Systems

company_name = Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
company_type = Public
foundation = 1988
location = San Jose, California
key_people = Mike Fister, President/CEO
num_employees = 5,200 (2006) [ [ Cadence Company Overview] ]
industry = Software & Programming
revenue = 1.615 billion USD (2007)
net_income = $296 million USD (2007)
homepage = []

Cadence Design Systems, Inc (Nasdaq|CDNS) is an electronic design automation (EDA) software and engineering services company, founded in 1988 by the merger of SDA Systems and ECAD, Inc. For years it had been the largest company in the EDA industry. The name is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable.


Cadence, headquartered in San Jose, California, is a large [ [ List of top 25 software companies] ] (currently the largest) supplier of electronic design technologies and engineering services. The primary corporate product is software used to design chips [ [ Design on Diagonal Path in Pursuit of a Faster Chip] , John Markoff, New York Times, February 26, 2007] and printed circuit boards [ Cadence Acquires Software Company, New York Times, April 11, 1990. Article describes Cadence acquiring a printed circuit design software company.] .

Cadence employs approximately 5,200 people and reported 2006 revenues of approximately $1.48 billion. As of 2007, Cadence's major competitors are Synopsys, Mentor Graphics and Magma Design Automation.

Since May 2004, [ Michael Fister] has served as President and CEO of the company. Dr. John Shoven was elected Chairman of the board in July 2005. He replaced the retiring Ray Bingham.


Cadence's product offerings are targeted at various types of design and verification tasks which include:

* Virtuoso Platform - Tools for designing full-custom integrated circuits [ [ Course description from University of Colorado] ] ; includes schematic entry, behavioral modeling (Verilog-AMS), circuit simulation, full custom layout, physical verification, extraction and back-annotation. Used mainly for analog, mixed-signal, RF, and standard-cell designs, but also memory and FPGA designs.
* Encounter Platform - Tools for creation of digital integrated circuits. This includes floorplanning, synthesis, test, and place and route. Typically a digital design starts from Verilog netlists. [ [ Tutorial from MIT course] ] .
* Incisive Platform - Tools for simulation and functional verification of RTL including Verilog, VHDL and SystemC based models. Includes formal verification, formal equivalence checking, hardware acceleration, and emulation [cite web | title= UNIX Software and CAD tools | url= | publisher=Carleton University ]
* [ Verification IP] (VIP) for complex protocols including PCI Express, AMBA, USB, SATA, OCP and others.
* Allegro Platform - Tools for co-design of integrated circuits, packages, and PCBs [Ibid] .
* OrCAD/PSpice - Tools for smaller design teams and individual PCB designers [Ibid] .

In addition to EDA software, Cadence provides contracted [ methodology and design services as well as silicon design IP] , and has [ a program] to make it easier for other EDA software to interoperate with the company's tools.

Lawsuits with Avant! and Mentor/Aptix

Cadence, as a large public company, has been involved in a number of legal disputes. Two in particular are notable:

Cadence was involved in a long running (6 years) legal dispute > [ Business Week] overview of the entire case, after the criminal trial but before the purchase by Synopsys.] with Avanti Corporation, in which Cadence claimed Avant! stole Cadence code, and Avant! denied it. According to Business Week "The Avant! case is probably the most dramatic tale of white-collar crime in the history of Silicon Valley". The Avanti executives eventually pled "no contest" and Cadence received several hundred million dollars in restitution. Avanti was then purchased by Synopsys, which paid $265 million more to settle the remaining claims [ [ EEDesign article] about the final settlement.] . The case resulted in a number of legal precedents [ [ Cadence v. Avant!: The UTSA and California Trade Secret Law] , Danley, J., Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 2004, Vol 19; Part 1, pages 289-308] .

The Cadence group Quickturn was also involved in an unusual series of legal events with Mentor Graphics/Aptix [ Blind Spots] , from IP Law and Business] . Mentor purchased rights to an Aptix patent, then sued Cadence. In this case, the CEO of Aptix, Amr Mohsen, forged a notebook in order to make the patent case stronger. When suspicions were raised, he staged a break-in of his own car to get rid of the evidence, resulting in charges of obstruction of justice. Trying to avoid this, he attempted to flee the country, only to be caught with an illegal passport and a pile of cash. While in jail for this offense, he was recorded offering money to intimidate witnesses and kill the judge ["In Courts, Threats Become Alarming Fact of Life", Deborah Sontag, New York Times, 20 March 2005] . In order to fight "these" charges, he tried to show psychological problems, but left a trail of evidence of his research into this defense, and how it might be done. He was charged with attempting to delay a federal trial by feigning incompetency [ [ Odd legal saga takes an ugly turn] , Richard Goering, EE Times, 02 August 2004] , and convicted anyway [ [ Jury finds Mohsen guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice] , Dylan McGrath, EE Times, 28 Feb 2006 ] . According to the lawyers concerned, the original notebooks were not needed for the trial. The patent filing date, which was not in dispute, would have sufficed.

Acquisitions and mergers

Cadence has been involved with many mergers and acquisitions [ [ Specialized Software Maker Is Said to Be in Buyout Talks] , Andrew Ross Sorkin and Michael J. de la Merced, New York Times, Published: June 4, 2007] . Some of the larger examples of companies merged in or acquired are: Valid Logic Systems, High Level Design (HLD), Cooper and Chyan (CCT), Quickturn, CadMOS, Simplex, Silicon Perspective, Plato, Get2Chip and Verplex Systems. The latest major activity is:

*August 15th 2008: Cadence withdrew a $1.6Billion offer to purchase rival Mentor Graphics [ [ Cadence Withdraws Proposal to Acquire Mentor Graphics] ]
*March 11, 2008: acquired ChipEstimate, a developer of IC planning and IP reuse management tools.
*August 15, 2007: acquired Clearshape, a developer of Design for Manufacturability (DFM) technology.
*July 12, 2007: acquired Invarium, a photolithography specialist.
*April 7, 2005: acquired Verisity, Ltd., a provider of verification process automation solutions ($315 mln., all-cash).
*April 6, 2004: acquired Neolinear Technology, a privately held company specializing in rapid analog design technology
*September 2003: acquired Verplex Systems, a provider of Formal Verification products, Conformal Solutions and Blacktie Property Checker.
*May 1997: acquired Cooper & Chyan Technology, a provider of PCB and IC automatic place and router software solutions.

Notable persons

*Joseph Costello, CEO, 1988–1997.
*Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, co-founder.
* Amr Mohsen - Creator of Patents which Cadence Design Systems was accused of infringing upon.


External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Connections Program]
* [news:comp.cad.cadence comp.cad.cadence] (newsgroup)
* [] (Usergroup)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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