LONDON Antrim Design Systems Inc. (Scotts Valley, Calif.) will expand into the intellectual property (IP) business later this year, using its tools to develop a series of general-purpose and application-specific mixed-signal cores.
The company, which has developed tools to characterize and simulate mixed-signal circuits faster than traditional tools such as Spice, aims to launch a synthesis tool in March at the DATE conference scheduled to be held in Munich, Germany.
Nelson Seiden, director of marketing for Antrim, said the tool is being sold to third parties and will also help support an expanded IP design team led by Bendt Sorensen, vice president of technology for Antrim, based in Le Vaud, Switzerland.
"Our mixed-signal engineers are the expertise for our tools design operation," Seiden said. "If they say something needs changing, then we are lean and mean enough to make that change."
The company plans to transition its bus iness from design automation to an IP-based company because "that's where the value lies," Seiden said. "Look at the valuations for companies such as ARM."
Seiden said he believes there is room for a mixed-signal IP specialist to provide general-purpose cores such as A/D converters, given that some vendors in this area have left the market as a result of acquisitions. For example, Pivotal Technologies, an Antrim customer that supplied IP cores to foundries such as UMC, was bought by Broadcom Corp. last summer.
"We see application-specific IP as the way to go," said Seiden.
Chris Edwards is the editor of Electronics Times, EE Times' sister publication in the United Kingdom.