Cadence Design Systems gaining ground in the semiconductor IP race

Rajat Kharbanda, Analyst, SemiTronics

Rajat Kharbanda, Analyst, SemiTronics

Cadence Design Systems, one of the world’s leading EDA tools vendor, provides software tools to design integrated circuits (ICs) and printed circuit boards (PCBs). These integrated circuits and printed circuit boards are used in mobile phones, digital cameras, computers, automotive systems etc.

In the current hyper-competitive business scenario, ‘time-to-market’ has become significantly important and companies want their solutions to be out in the market as early as possible. But with increasing market complexity and high customer expectations, creation and use of unique IP in the form of nodes in electronic products and solutions has become crucial as a differentiator.

In this direction, the first three months of 2013 saw Cadence making some strategic announcements, to strengthen itself in the area semiconductor IPs (Intellectual Property). In February, Cadence announced the acquisition of Cosmic Circuits and now the vendor is in the process of acquiring Tensilica for a reported value of US$ 380 million.

Cosmic Circuits is known for providing IP solutions in connectivity and advanced mixed-signal technologies for 40nm and 28nm process nodes. The areas that the company caters to include mobile devices, USB drives, MIPI, Audio and Wi-Fi.

Cosmic Circuits has shipped more than 50 million ICs comprising its IP in 2012 alone. The acquisition of Cosmic Circuits will strengthen Cadence solutions that are offered for mobile device, cloud/datacenter and ‘internet of things’ markets.

On the other hand, Tensilica offers dataplane processor IP core licenses to seven of the top ten semiconductor companies. By using Tensilica’s dataplane processing units, Cadence will be able to provide more optimized IP solutions for mobile wireless, network infrastructure, auto infotainment and home applications.

By acquiring these two companies, Cadence Design Systems will not only be able to improve its response time to the market but will also be able to position itself as a company providing core IP centric solutions.