July 10, 2008 -- Some important changes have been altering the EDA landscape for years, and these changes, in the geographic composition of the chip-design community and in the nature of the chip-design process, are now impossible to conceal.
Is this the case of the vanishing electronic-design-automation industry? Early last month, the annual Design Automation Conference opened its doors to what was, by all accounts, a smaller-than-hoped-for crowd. Some vendors, notably Cadence Design Systems, were absent from the show floor, and many others were in downsized booths. There was talk that DAC had to change. At press time, Cadence had just announced an unsolicited bid for Mentor Graphics, which Mentor then promptly dismissed as too small and inadvisable for regulatory reasons. There is talk of consolidation among the three pillars of the EDA industry—Cadence, Mentor, and Synopsys—indicating the final maturing of the market.
But what is really going on? Is EDA going away? Will all chip-design tools become legacy tools? Will designers turn to open-source software? Will foundries have to create tool chains on their own to sell wafers? I think not. Rather, some important changes have been altering the EDA landscape for years, and these changes—in the geographic composition of the chip-design community and in the nature of the chip-design process—are now impossible to conceal. They will also profoundly alter the nature of the EDA industry without in any way compromising its fundamental role in the electronics industry.
By Ron Wilson, EDN Executive Editor
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.
View the entire article on the EDN Magazine website.