from all that picking. It makes me sick to hear your garbage on this board. GO home, you mommy is calling. When you've picked yourself out of the trash heap, you can come back.
>So what do you attribute the Quickturn
purchase to? (nearly >another 1/4 Billion Dollars!) I
kept hearing about how buying
going to kill Mentor. I never heard a good
>reason why, but that is what management at CDN was
>I wish they would have worried about
SNPS! I am still holding
>stock I bought in the
CDN ESPP at $23.88.
Okay, I'm going to get
really speculative here. My info. is half-rumor at best.
The Quickturn acquisition was part of a strategy to
half-way buy themselves into a major position in the
formal verification market. There is a belief that
design sign-off with simulation has hit the wall:
verifying a sea-of-gates with simulation vectors is not
feasible as you approach 1 million gates. One solution is
partitioning the design throughout the design process, that's
a basic premise of all this "system-on-a-chip"
(SOC) junk going on right now. Another solution that
was explored was formal verification. CDN productized
a formal verification tool developed at their
Berkeley lab that competes directly with the products of
Chrysalis and Synopsys. Quickturn comes into the picture
because they have some software technology that some
execs in CDN thought they could marry to their formal
verification tool to give them the edge. What about
QuickTurn's hardware emulation? Scuttlebutt was that CDN
would gladly take the revenues for that but that no one
believe their was any growth potential in that
I left CDN before the QuickTurn acquisition because
of my doubts about formal verification. IMO, I don't
think any of the execs (and also a number of the
development engineers) understand that at a fundamental level
formal verification isn't really "formal" which is why
it doesn't work in the real world. If you ever get
the chance, ask someone working on formal
verification how hard it is (worst-case complexity) to figure
out if two 16-bit multiplier circuits are the same if
one is an array multiplier and the other is a
But it was a good reason. There were several good
reasons, but the biggest reason CDN bought Ambit was to
prop up place and route. Standalone synthesis is just
the short term issue. And no one be so naive to think
that CDN would lose a deal on price - they may choose
not to compete on specific deals for other reasons,
or they may not be able to justify the discounts
based on deal size. Its all a matter of negotiation,
and its never an apples-tp-apples comparison.
Interesting post Raj, but I have a different take
on it. I think the design services point that you
made would make it hard to justify an approximately
1/4 of a billion dollar purchase. What I heard at my
time at CDN was two reasons for buying
1. Management needed to fill in the product line.
Synergy was a lost cause with a single digit market
share. After they bought Synergy, it was a foregone
conclusion that Ambit would be bought. Cadence management
was always talking about a complete solution front to
back. No Synthesis offering was a big problem! SNPS and
AVNT are hard at work trying to get a complete ASIC
flow front to back.
2. Synopsys was bundling
VCS with Design Compiler sales which was killing the
sales of NC-Verilog and Verilog XL. Basically buy DC
for big bucks and for another few pesos, you can have
a simulator:) With no Synthesis offering, how could
they counter against this? So part of the motivation
was to defend the Simulation business. Last number
that I heard was that CDN did between $60-70
Million/year in Leapfrog/XL/NC.
I agree that management
had big plans for the design services group.
Obviously, it didn't work out that great:)
So what do
you attribute the Quickturn purchase to? (nearly
another 1/4 Billion Dollars!) I kept hearing about how
buying Quickturn was going to kill Mentor. I never heard
a good reason why, but that is what management at
CDN was spouting. I wish they would have worried
about SNPS! I am still holding stock I bought in the
CDN ESPP at $23.88.
>From my view of the world, it seems it will
never be a fair
>sales evaulation between DC vs
Ambit. Every one doing synth >is already using DC.
Ok, some people use that 2nd rate
>offering! It comes down to a choice between more seats of
>a new Ambit buy. Big advantage goes to
the incumbent just like
Here's the scoop: the big bargain for Cadence of
acquiring Ambit is for Design Services use. Before Cadence
acquired Ambit, Cadence announced that Design Services
would use Synopsys. But before this there used to be an
internal policy to push use of Cadence tools whenever
possible and track their use for bookkeeping. At that time
Cadence had a logic synthesis tool called Synergy. It
really couldn't compete with Design Compiler but
Synopsys refused to sell any seats to Cadence (the only
way Cadence could use DC was at the customer sites).
But there were accusations from Cadence tool
developers that Design Services was actually using more
seats of tools than they reported. Why would they do
this? Well, if they actually paid for the tools they
used, Design Services costs would skyrocket and nail
their bottom line. That is, design services was accused
of using tools for "free" and, in effect, taking
revenues from the tools to pay the designers. Late in '97,
Synergy was officially killed and a short time later an
agreement with Synopsys allowed Design Services to license
Synopsys. Cadence sure didn't get a big discount on these
licenses, and now Design Services really did have to pay
for their synthesis tool. I'm guessing Design
Services revenues got slammed. Less than a couple months
after this, Ambit was acquired. If you don't know,
Ambit BuildGates is designed to be as much as possible
a drop-in replacement for DC. It will read DC
synthesis scripts, and only minor changes are needed to use
Synopsys synthesis pragmas in HDL code. Now, Design
Services once again has a logic synthesis tool and it's
possible for them to not pay for any outside tools to do a
I am not sure if you guys are aware that CDN
rewrote their ESPP? The way that it works now is that
there is a moving 2 year window on the purchase price.
The low price at 6 months invervals sets the buy
price for two years. The price today will set the max
buy price for the next 2 years. If the stock rises,
the buy price stays at today's level. If it drops,
the buy price gets adjusted down.
ex-coworkers are really pumped up about the drop in price. It
is really strange, but these guys wanted the stock
to drop through the end of this month. Management
found a brilliant way to motivate employees. Since most
options are dead, this is a way to make some bucks.
I work for an ASIC vendor, so I perdiodically hit
the road to talk to customers face to face. We had a
customer who was interested in using Ambit. Some
background, customers is a small engineering startup who
currently uses Design Compiler(like everybody else doing
Synth). The company has doubled up on design engineers.
The choice comes down to buying more seats of DC or
buying Ambit first time.
Technically, they said
Ambit stacks up favorably against DC. Additional DC
seats were offered at $60K. Ambit seats(remember new
buy) were priced in the $90K range. Guess who they
Synopsys 1, Cadence 0!
From my view of the world,
it seems it will never be a fair sales evaulation
between DC vs Ambit. Every one doing synth is already
using DC. Ok, some people use that 2nd rate Exemplar
offering! It comes down to a choice between more seats of
DC vs a new Ambit buy. Big advantage goes to the
incumbent just like in politics!
We had a handful of
customers kicking the tires on Ambit, but they all went
back to DC. It looks like Synopsys dropped the price
and Ambit is locked out! That's the view from the
I've heard that current ESPP period ends tomorrow.
Will employee's dump the stock on monday?
Are they likely to sell enough shares to cause the price to drop significantly next week?