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Cadence looks to knock Synopys off its IP perch

In a report from December 2012's IPSoC conference in Grenoble, Louise Joselyn commented that 'Cadence may be about to challenge Synopsys' dominance of the IP market'. Her reasoning was the appearance in a senior vp role at Cadence of Martin Lund, who joined after 12 years with IP developer and user Broadcom.

Lund – obviously brought in to shake up the company's IP strategy –believes Cadence should offer customers customised IP, tailored to their specific requirements, with the quality, reliability and support expected of a third party IP vendor.

The change in outlook can be traced back to the publication in 2010 of EDA360, the brainchild of Cadence's erstwhile vp of marketing John Bruggeman. He argued the EDA world had to expand its horizons to go beyond 'business as usual' and one of the areas which EDA360 addressed was IP. One of the first consequences of EDA360 was the acquisition of Denali, which added a range of memory models, as well as design and verification IP, to the Cadence portfolio.

The acquisition of Tensilica reinforces the strategy; it brings configurable processor cores, dsp based audio, voice and speech modules, baseband and rf signal processing, and image and video processing IP – many of the 'building blocks' which SoC designers might be looking for.

Synopsys has long been regarded as the leading supplier of IP amongst EDA companies, but it looks like Cadence has that role in mind – and sooner, rather than later.

Graham Pitcher

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