Paul McLellanEE Times (11/06/2008 9:16 AM EST)
EDA is not well. While the largest company, Cadence, has its own problems, many of them self-inflicted, the entire ecosystem of EDA is sick.
There used to be a healthy EDA world. A few years ago, there were: many EDA journalists; Gartner covered EDA; the large Wall Street firms all had analysts covering EDA; many venture capitalists invested in EDA startups; and every quarter, a startup would go public or be acquired for an attractive valuation. EDA was democratizing semiconductor design, pushing it out from its heartland within the large semiconductor companies themselves into system companies, fabless startups and design houses. Life was good. The industry was profitable.
The world's $3 trillion dollar electronics industry is largely dependent on the world's $400 billion dollar semiconductor industry which, in turn, is dependent on EDA, a tiny five billion dollar industry. EDA technology is a requirement for this value chain. But the EDA industry, as currently structured, might not continue to be the place that continues to provide it.
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