SAN MATEO, Calif. Arcadia Design Systems Inc. (San Jose, Calif.), a design services provider, is in the process of purchasing SiliconX Inc., the struggling IC design-chain Web portal, EE Times has learned.
Herman Lee, vice president of strategic planning at Arcadia, said the deal is pending Arcadia board-member approval and that "it is not the appropriate time to discus details of the acquisition."
"The board members should have received our letter of intent this week, and we think it will take one or two more weeks before we send out an official statement," said Lee.
Judy Owen, president and chief executive officer of SiliconX, said in previous interviews with EE Times that SiliconX had been wrongly heaped in with and drawn down by the collapse of dot-com and B2B businesses.
"I don't think it has been a great mystery that we would have to merge or partner with someone to provide more value added services," said Owe n, who could not be reached for further comments.
When it was launched in Spring 2000 amid the dot-com boom, SiliconX had grand and ambitious ideas of changing the way IC and system designers communicate with each other, with partners, with silicon and tool vendors and with foundries launching its Web site as a central online location for the entire IC design and manufacturing supply chain.
In rough times, though, the company had apparently scaled back its big plans. Owen said in a previous interview that the company has been focusing on design and consulting services, which is a substantial change in SiliconX's business model, according to Gartner Dataquest senior software analyst Laurie Balch.
"SiliconX originally had a strategy that implied it was going to branch out into several revenue-generating areas, but my understanding was most of their revenue was generated from just trying to be a portal and collecting advertising revenue, which is not going to be a successful business model i n the long run," said Balch. "SiliconX has definitely proven that, but hats off to SiliconX for finding a company willing to buy it that is certainly a lot better than collapsing into a pile of dust."
And adding people to its services business seems to be what Arcadia is looking for in attempting to acquire SiliconX. "It provides us with more than just EDA expertise," said Lee. SiliconX "can help us on the high-end design services area on the system side."