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Cadence to acquire AWR from National Instruments

Dr. Anirudh Devgan

Cadence Design Systems has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire AWR Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Instruments (NI).

AWR is an industry leader in high-frequency RF EDA software technology and, according to Cadence, will bring a highly talented RF team to the company. Cadence and NI have also entered into a strategic alliance agreement to expand their relationship to enhance electronic system innovation with a focus on communications.

AWR software is used by microwave and RF engineers to design wireless products for complex, high-frequency RF applications. The technology looks to accelerate the design and product development cycle of systems used in communications, aerospace and defence, semiconductor, computer, and consumer electronics, by helping reduce the time it takes to go from concept to manufacturing.

“Companies designing communication and radar chips, modules and systems face increasing time-to-market pressure in high-growth 5G/wireless applications. Creating differentiated products while reducing cycle time requires a seamless design, simulation and analysis environment,” said Dr. Anirudh Devgan, president of Cadence. “The addition of AWR’s talent and technologies will enable us to provide more integrated and optimised RF design solutions, thereby further accelerating system innovation as we execute our Intelligent System Design strategy.”

Designers are challenged with the traditional RF/microwave design flow, which consists of processes that are error-prone, resulting in a loss of productivity and capability. Customers will benefit from the integration of the AWR Design Environment with the Cadence Allegro PCB Designer and Virtuoso and Spectre platforms for RF integrated circuit (IC) design. Electromagnetic and thermal analysis is often difficult for a designer to setup and use, so the integration also includes Cadence system analysis tools such as the Clarity 3D Solver, Celsius Thermal Solver and Sigrity PowerSI technologies.

“RF/microwave/mmWave applications need best-in-class solutions to achieve first-pass success with optimal design performance,” said Joseph E. Pekarek, general manager of AWR. “By joining forces with Cadence, our goal is to be able to leverage the strength and heritage of the Virtuoso and Allegro platforms along with the AWR Design Environment platform to deliver complete solutions for complex ICs, packages and boards.”

The flows resulting from the integration of AWR technology with Cadence computation software are expected to be tightly connected with the NI LabVIEW and PXI modular instrumentation systems and semiconductor data platform as part of a new strategic alliance.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cadence will pay approximately $160 million fro AWR and expects approximately 110 AWR employees to join Cadence. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Neil Tyler

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