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Synopsys

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Synopsys, Inc. is one of the largest companies in the Electronic Design Automation
Electronic design automation
Electronic design automation is a category of software tools for designing electronic systems such as printed circuit boards and integrated circuits...

 industry. Synopsys' first and best-known product is Design Compiler, a logic-synthesis tool. Synopsys offers a wide range of other products used in the design of an application-specific integrated circuit
Application-specific integrated circuit
An application-specific integrated circuit is an integrated circuit customized for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use. For example, a chip designed solely to run a cell phone is an ASIC...

. Products include logic synthesis
Logic synthesis
In electronics, logic synthesis is a process by which an abstract form of desired circuit behavior, typically register transfer level , is turned into a design implementation in terms of logic gates. Common examples of this process include synthesis of HDLs, including VHDL and Verilog...

, behavioral synthesis, place and route
Place and route
Place and route is a stage in the design of printed circuit boards, integrated circuits, and field-programmable gate arrays. As implied by the name, it is composed of two steps, placement and routing. The first step, placement, involves deciding where to place all electronic components, circuitry,...

, static timing analysis
Static timing analysis
Static Timing Analysis is a method of computing the expected timing of a digital circuit without requiring simulation.High-performance integrated circuits have traditionally been characterized by the clock frequency at which they operate...

, formal verification
Formal verification
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics .- Usage :Formal verification can be...

, HDL (SystemC
SystemC
SystemC is a set of C++ classes and macros which provide an event-driven simulation kernel in C++ . These facilities enable a designer to simulate concurrent processes, each described using plain C++ syntax...

, Systemverilog
SystemVerilog
In the semiconductor and electronic design industry, SystemVerilog is a combined Hardware Description Language and Hardware Verification Language based on extensions to Verilog.-History:...

/Verilog
Verilog
In the semiconductor and electronic design industry, Verilog is a hardware description language used to model electronic systems. Verilog HDL, not to be confused with VHDL , is most commonly used in the design, verification, and implementation of digital logic chips at the register-transfer level...

, VHDL) simulators as well as transistor-level circuit simulation. The simulators include development and debugging environments which assist in the design of the logic for chips and computer systems.

History


The company was founded in 1986 by Dr. Aart J. de Geus
Aart de Geus
Aart J. de Geus is the founder, chairman and CEO of Synopsys Inc. He is a fellow of IEEE and Phil Kaufman Award award winner. Aart graduated with a masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne , EPFL, Switzerland followed by a Ph.D...

 and a team of engineers from General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

's Microelectronics Center in Research Triangle Park
Research Triangle Park
The Research Triangle Park is a research park in the United States. It is located near Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill, in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

. First established as Optimal Solutions, Synopsys was chartered to develop and market the synthesis technology developed by the team at General Electric. Synopsys proceeded to pioneer the commercial application of logic synthesis.

The company has more than 60 sales, support and R&D
Research and development
The phrase research and development , according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, refers to "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of...

 offices worldwide in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, the Pacific Rim, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

.

As of 2011, Synopsys' major competitors are Cadence Design Systems
Cadence Design Systems
Cadence Design Systems, Inc is an electronic design automation software and engineering services company, founded in 1988 by the merger of SDA Systems and ECAD, Inc...

, Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics, Inc is a US-based multinational corporation dealing in electronic design automation for electrical engineering and electronics, as of 2004, ranked third in the EDA industry it helped create...

, and Magma Design Automation
Magma Design Automation
Magma Design Automation is a software company in the electronic design automation industry. The company was founded in 1997 and maintains headquarters in San Jose, California, with facilities throughout North America, Europe, Japan, Asia and India....

.

Acquisitions, mergers, spinoffs


  • 1994: acquired Cadis, Aachen, Germany. Through this acquisition Synopsys got the communication systems and DSP design tool suit named COSSAP. COSSAP stood for Communication System Simulation and Application Processor. Synopsys carried out various communication (predominantly wireless modems) design and consulting activities using this tool (and later the evolved new tool Co-centric System Studio). The Cadis group was a spin off development initiative from Aachen Technical University (ISS) in Germany, spearheaded by Professor Heinrich Meyr and Professor Gerd Ascheid. COSSAP was a competing product to SPW from Cadence (now maintained and enhanced by Coware
    Coware
    CoWare, now part of Synopsys, was a supplier of platform-driven electronic system level design software and services.CoWare was headquartered in San Jose, California, and had offices around the world, major R&D offices in Belgium, Germany and India....

    ). Synopsys stopped support on COSSAP since 2003 and now promoting the enhanced tool Cocentric System Studio.

  • 1997: acquired EPIC Design Technology Inc., USA

  • 1997: acquired Viewlogic Systems, Inc., USA

  • June 6, 2002: merger with Avanti Corporation
    Avanti Corporation
    Avanti Corporation was an electronic design automation company, purchased by Synopsys in 2002...

    , USA. Avanti was founded when several ex-Cadence employees bought the startup ArcSys. Avanti merged with ISS gaining Hercules its DRC/LVC tool (including 3D silicon structure modeling), then bought Compass Design Automation, which had fully integrated IC Design Flow and ASIC Libraries, especially its place and route tool, which Avanti reworked to create Saturn and Apollo II; and it also bought TMA which brought their pioneering TCAD
    Technology CAD
    Technology CAD is a branch of electronic design automation that models semiconductor fabrication and semiconductor device operation. The modeling of the fabrication is termed Process TCAD, while the modeling of the device operation is termed Device TCAD...

     and Proteus Optical proximity correction
    Optical proximity correction
    Optical proximity correction is a photolithography enhancement technique commonly used to compensate for image errors due to diffraction or process effects...

     tools. This was, by far, Synopsys' most significant and controversial acquisition. At the time Avanti was the #4 company in the EDA industry, and was struggling with a major lawsuit from Cadence for software theft. The criminal case had just concluded, with Avanti executives pleading no contest
    Nolo contendere
    is a legal term that comes from the Latin for "I do not wish to contend." It is also referred to as a plea of no contest.In criminal trials, and in some common law jurisdictions, it is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of...

     to trade-secret theft, conspiracy to commit trade-secret theft, receiving stolen property, and securities fraud, and several receiving jail time. To acquire Avanti, Synopsys paid about $55 million in golden handshake
    Golden handshake
    A golden handshake is a clause in an executive employment contract that provides the executive with a significant severance package in the case that the executive loses his or her job through firing, restructuring, or even scheduled retirement...

     payments to these same executives. Synopsys then paid an additional $265 million to Cadence to settle the remaining civil suit and $26.1 million to Silvaco
    Silvaco
    Silvaco, inc. is a privately owned provider of electronic design automation software and TCAD process and device simulation software. Silvaco was founded in 1984 by Dr. Ivan Pesic...

     to settle two of three Silvaco's suits against Meta Software and its President filed in 1995 and inherited by Avanti

  • September 12, 2002: acquired Co-Design Automation, Inc. USA. Co-Design pioneered the Superlog language, a superset of the popular Verilog hardware description language, extending its capabilities into verification and system design. Superlog formed the basis of The SystemVerilog
    SystemVerilog
    In the semiconductor and electronic design industry, SystemVerilog is a combined Hardware Description Language and Hardware Verification Language based on extensions to Verilog.-History:...

     language standardized by Accelera in 2003.

  • September 20, 2002: acquired inSilicon Inc., USA

  • March 3, 2003: acquired Numerical Technologies
    Numerical Technologies
    Numerical Technologies, Inc. was a San Jose, California, USA based EDA public company.The company is primarily known for its IP portfolio, software tools and services covering alternating Phase Shift Mask Technology providing sub-wavelength design to manufacturing solutions...

    , Inc. USA. (Note: a pioneer in design for manufacturing software which included CATS
    CATS (software)
    CATS is an EDA software for mask data preparation in integrated circuit design and manufacturing.Originally it was developed by Transcription Enterprises, Ltd, acquired by Numerical Technologies, Inc. , in its turn acquired by Synopsys, Inc...

     mask fracturing.). Synopsys paid about $250 million in cash.

  • February 23, 2004: acquired Accelerant Networks, USA

  • February 26, 2004: acquired assets of Analog Design Automation, Inc., USA

  • October 2004: acquired assets of Monterey Design Systems, Inc., USA

  • October 18, 2004: acquired Cascade Semiconductor Solutions Inc., USA

  • November 2, 2004: acquired Integrated Systems Engineering AG (ISE), Switzerland
    Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

    , a TCAD
    Technology CAD
    Technology CAD is a branch of electronic design automation that models semiconductor fabrication and semiconductor device operation. The modeling of the fabrication is termed Process TCAD, while the modeling of the device operation is termed Device TCAD...

     company.

  • November 2, 2004: acquired assets of LEDA Design, Inc., USA, a developer of mixed-signal intellectual property.

  • December 1, 2004: agreement to acquire Nassda Corp., USA, an integrated circuit simulator
    SPICE
    SPICE is a general-purpose, open source analog electronic circuit simulator.It is a powerful program that is used in integrated circuit and board-level design to check the integrity of circuit designs and to predict circuit behavior.- Introduction :Unlike board-level designs composed of discrete...

     company and settle the litigation between the two companies

  • December 7, 2005: Acquired HPL Technologies, a semiconductor analysis software manufacturer that makes software specializing in wafer design analysis and yield enhancement for wafer process.

  • May 16, 2006, announced expanding its presence in electronic system level
    Electronic system level
    Electronic system level design and verification is an emerging electronic design methodology that focuses on the higher abstraction level concerns first and foremost. The term Electronic System Level or ESL Design was first defined by Gartner Dataquest, a EDA-industry-analysis firm, on February...

     (ESL) design by acquiring Virtio Corporation, creator of virtual platforms for embedded software
    Embedded software
    Embedded software is computer software that plays an integral role in the electronics it is supplied with.Embedded software's principal role is not Information technology , but rather the interaction with the physical world. It's written for machines that are not, first and foremost, computers...

     development.

  • June 21, 2006: Santiago Chile, Synopsys R&D Center Chile Opening.

  • August 16, 2006: Acquired Sigma-C a Munich based lithography simulation company.

  • June 18, 2007: Acquired ArchPro Design Automation Inc.

  • July 30, 2007: Purchased certain semiconductor IP assets from MOSAID Technologies.

  • October 2, 2007: Acquired Sandwork Design.

  • March 30, 2008: Announced acquisition of Synplicity
    Synplicity
    Synplicity Inc. was a supplier of software solutions for design of programmable logic devices used for communications, military/aerospace, consumer, semiconductor, computer and other electronic systems. Synplicity’s tools provided logic synthesis, physical synthesis, and verification functions for...

    , the leader in FPGA synthesis and rapid prototyping technology.

  • December 18, 2008: Acquired ChipIT Business Unit from ProDesign Electronic GmbH, Germany

  • May 8, 2009: Acquired Analog Business Group (Chipidea
    Chipidea
    Chipidea was a Portuguese analog semiconductor IP design center, headquarterd in Oeiras, Greater Lisbon subregion, which had been founded in 1997 by José Epifânio da Franca. In August of 2007 it was bought by the US-based company MIPS Technologies for $147 million in cash plus future...

    ) from MIPS Technologies
    MIPS Technologies
    MIPS Technologies, Inc. , formerly MIPS Computer Systems, Inc., is most widely known for developing the MIPS architecture and a series of pioneering RISC chips. MIPS provides processor architectures and cores for digital home, networking and mobile applications.MIPS Computer Systems Inc. was...


  • Feb 2, 2010: Acquires VaST Systems Technology Corporation.

  • Feb 8, 2010: Announces an acquisition of CoWare
    Coware
    CoWare, now part of Synopsys, was a supplier of platform-driven electronic system level design software and services.CoWare was headquartered in San Jose, California, and had offices around the world, major R&D offices in Belgium, Germany and India....

     Inc.

  • Sep 2, 2010: Announces an acquisition of Virage Logic
    Virage Logic
    Virage Logic corporation, founded 1996, was a provider of both functional and physical semiconductor intellectual property for the design of complex integrated circuits...

     Corporation.

  • Oct 7, 2010: Announces an acquisition of Optical Research Associates

  • Sep 2, 2011: Announces an acquisition of nSys Design Systems.

  • Oct 7, 2011: Announces an acquisition of Extreme DA.

Management team

  • Dr. Aart J. de Geus
    Aart de Geus
    Aart J. de Geus is the founder, chairman and CEO of Synopsys Inc. He is a fellow of IEEE and Phil Kaufman Award award winner. Aart graduated with a masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne , EPFL, Switzerland followed by a Ph.D...

    , Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
  • Dr. Chi-Foon Chan, President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Brian Beattie, Chief Financial Officer

Notable persons

  • Aart J. de Geus
    Aart de Geus
    Aart J. de Geus is the founder, chairman and CEO of Synopsys Inc. He is a fellow of IEEE and Phil Kaufman Award award winner. Aart graduated with a masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne , EPFL, Switzerland followed by a Ph.D...

    , founder
  • Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli
    Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli
    Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli is an academic researcher, teacher, entrepreneur, technical advisor and business man. He is a co-founder of the two largest EDA companies: Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys, Inc....

    , co-founder
  • Deborah A. Coleman, independent director, former CFO and VP of Operations at Apple Computer
    Apple Computer
    Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad...

    .http://people.forbes.com/profile/deborah-a-coleman/6671

External links