SAN MATEO, Calif. Mentor Graphics Corp. is going into the ASIC prototyping business, having in late December quietly purchased "roll your own emulation" company SpeedGate Design Automation (Austin, Texas) for an undisclosed amount of money, EE Times has learned.
The SpeedGate acquisition comes only four months after SpeedGate announced its existence and before the company mass-released its product under the working name FPGA Stuffer.
Tom Feist, vice president of marketing at Mentor's Exemplar Logic, said Mentor doesn't plan to keep the FPGA Stuffer name but the technology behind it will be enhanced with other technologies from Mentor's HDL division to create a standalone offering scheduled for beta release later this quarter.
"SpeedGate provides unique and complementary technology to partition an ASIC design into multiple FPGAs for really rapid system verification," said Feist. "We plan to combine that with other technology from our HDL and board divisions at Mentor to provide a complete solution for customers."
Feist said the SpeedGate technology will be offered through Mentor's HDL division as a standalone product, and the company does not intend to offer hardware to complement the rapid prototyping package.
"There is a lot of money to be made in this area, so it is a great buy for Mentor," said Gary Smith, chief EDA analyst at Dataquest Inc. "We recently did our 'Engineers wants and needs study,' and 47 percent said they build their own emulation/prototyping systems."
Smith said heretofore the prototyping market had largely been owned by Aptix but now, with Synplicity's Certify product and Mentor buying a very young SpeedGate, rapid prototyping is becoming a hot, if not increasingly competitive market.
Mentor will retain SpeedGate's five employees, who will work out of Mentor's Austin campus.