First off, John is my hero, he brought independent digital media to the semiconductor ecosystem and we owe him a great debt of gratitude. John is also an easy person to poke fun at, as am I, since we routinely use self-deprecating humor and have pretty thick skin (occupational hazard).
"On September 27, 2012, Synopsys, Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire the business of EVE, including ZeBu products. The proposed acquisition is expected to close in the immediate future."
As a rumor site, John breaks quite a few stories like the one recently about the Synopsys acquisition of EVE. Paul McLellan also wrote about it on SemiWiki (Cooley on Synopsys-EVE) which started a very interesting discussion in the comment section. When I read something like this I always wonder who leaked the information and why. It’s important to understand what people are saying but also why they are saying it, right?
Clearly there is an agenda here and in this regard John Cooley is being used as a tool, and a very effective one. John does not specifically mention a leak in this story but I can assure you he was not scanning California legal records in his spare time, someone sent him the link.
Another “leak” story John did, which was a bit more transparent, is this one on Dean Drako of IC Manage. Great read, Dean Drako deserves the attention for sure, but I do have a problem with the premise of this story since John has a very close personal and professional relationship with IC Manage. Additionally, John’s side-kick and chief ghost writer Gloria Nichols works for IC Manage (Public Relations). So who sent John this scoop and why? Exactly.
Back to the Synopsys v EVE story, who does this leak benefit and why? Synopsys? No. Mentor? No. EVE? Not really. Cadence? Bazinga!
From my emulator days at Zycad/GateField, there are three distinct markets: Emulation, Acceleration, and Virtual Prototyping. Cadence dominates emulation but plays in all three, Mentor is acceleration, and Synopsys is virtual prototyping. EVE is said to play in all three but is really an accelerator. In support of that, according to the Synopsys PR, the EVE people now report into the Synopsys verification group which is where acceleration belongs.
Synopsys Inc et. al.
v. Mentor Graphics Corporation Complaint for Patent Infringement
Civil Action No. 3:12-cv-05025-LB, the Hon. Laurel Beeler presiding. Filed on Sept. 27, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California;
Patents in case:
"Transition analysis and circuit resynthesis method and device for digital circuit modeling” by Selvidge et. al. and assigned to Virtual Machine Works, Inc.. Prosecuted by Hamilton, Brook, Smith & Reynolds, P.C.. Includes 50 claims (5 indep.). Was application 08/513,605. Filed 8/10/1995 & Granted 7/15/1997.
“Method and apparatus for gate-level simulation of synthesized register transfer level designs with source-level debugging” by Raynaud et. al. and assigned to Mentor Graphics Corporation. Prosecuted by Columbia IP Law Group, LLC. Includes 33 claims (9 indep.). Was application 09/127,584. Filed 7/31/1998 & Granted 5/29/2001.
“Transition analysis and circuit resynthesis method and device for digital circuit modeling” by Selvidge et. al. and assigned to Ikos Systems, Inc.. Prosecuted by Hamilton, Brook, Smith & Reynolds, P.C.. Includes 19 claims (2 indep.). Was application 08/863,963. Filed 5/27/1997 & Granted 12/28/1999.
The prolonged legal action between Mentor and EVE (now Synopsys), is the big downside for Synopsys and Mentor, both financially and in public relations. I really hate to see R&D dollars being spent on lawyers and you can bet the Cadence legal team has a ringside seat!
If you want more info on Mentor’s new emulator, Paul did a blog HERE. Cadence has an emulator blogger Frank Shirrmeister which can be found HERE. Frank is a straight shooter and a very experienced system level guy. For Synopsys check the Verification Newsletter.