SpringSoft pulls together five EDA companies

Taiwan-based SpringSoft has completed its acquisition of debug specialist Novas and bought a further four electronic design automation (EDA) companies to make it the fifth largest supplier in its market, after Magma Design Automation.

In addition to the purchase of Novas, which SpringSoft helped form in the mid-1990s, the Taiwanese has completed acquisitions of Fortelink, a developer of hardware-assisted verification technology; Nanovata, which has developed advanced IC routing technology; and Silicon Canvas, provider of the Laker line of custom IC design solutions. SpringSoft is also in the process of acquiring its distribution partner Novaflow, distributor of the Novas, Silicon Canvas and Fortelink products in Japan.

The combined enterprise, which has a $200m market capitalisation and more than 400 employees, has “interleaved” its second tier of management between Taiwanese and US managers under chairman and CEO Martin Lu and chief operating office Johnson Teng, according to vice president of corporate marketing Scott Sandler.

Yu-Chin Hsu, formerly vice president of R&D at Novas, is now vice president of R&D for verification technology for SpringSoft and Jeong-Tyng Li, previously founder and president of Nanovata, is vice president of R&D for physical design technology. Alongside Sandler, Bill Shepard and Oz Levia from Novas in the US have been appointed to executive posts.

“SpringSoft started off in the mide-1990s with the vision of doing this,” claimed Sandler. “They started out by being a distributor to generate the revenue to self-fund the development of [Novas] Debussy and Laker. “If you go back to 1997, having a Taiwanese company supply a debug tool in the US, it just would not have got a lot of attention.

“So, they set up entrepreneurial companies [based in the US] for people who would be attracted to that prospect. It was time to bring that together, so that the path to the original vision is now fulfilled.”

The company will operate with dual headquarters located in Taiwan and the US. Although SpringSoft has bought a number of companies in a short space of time, the aim is not to build a flow in the same way as a supplier such as Magma, Sandler claimed. “We are focusing on unique automation technologies. It is not a flow. The positioning is that we specialists. We focus on those pain points where we can add the most value.”

Image: SpringSoft aims to focus on selected parts of IC design

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