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  1. Mentor
  2. Mentor Graphics Wiki

Mentor Graphics, Inc is a US-based multinational corporation dealing in electronic design automation (EDA) for electrical engineering and electronics. In 2001, it was ranked third[5] in the EDA industry it helped create. Founded in 1981, the company is headquartered in Wilsonville, Oregon, and employs roughly 5,700 people worldwide with annual revenues of around $1 billion.

In 1981, the idea of computer-aided design for electronics as the foundation of a company occurred to several groups - those who founded Mentor, Valid Logic Systems, and Daisy Systems. One of the main distinctions between these groups was that the founding engineers of Mentor, whose backgrounds were in software development at Tektronix, ruled out designing and manufacturing proprietary computers to run their software applications. They felt that hardware was going to become a commodity owned by big computer companies, so instead they would select an existing computer system as the hardware platform for the Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) programs they would build.

By February 1981, most of the start-up team had been identified; by March, the three executive founders, Tom Bruggere, Gerry Langeler and Dave Moffenbeier had left Tektronix, and by May the business plan was complete. The first round of money, $1 million, came from Sutter Hill, Greylock, and Venrock Associates. The next round was $2 million from five venture capital firms, and in April 1983 a third round raised $7 million more. Mentor Graphics was one of the first companies to attract venture capital to Oregon.

Apollo Computer workstations were chosen as the initial hardware platform. Based in Chelmsford, Apollo was less than a year old and had only announced itself to the public a few weeks prior to when the founders of Mentor Graphics began their initial meetings.

When Mentor entered the CAE market the company had two technical differentiators: the first was the software - Mentor, Valid, and Daisy each had software with different strengths and weaknesses. The second, was the hardware - Mentor ran all programs on the Apollo workstation, while Daisy and Valid each built their own hardware. By the late 1980s, all EDA companies abandoned proprietary hardware in favor of workstations manufactured by companies such as Apollo and Sun Microsystems.

After a frenzied development, the IDEA 1000 product was introduced at the 1982 Design Automation Conference, though in a suite and not on the floor.[6]

By the time founder Bruggere ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996, the company had grown to annual revenues of $384 million.[7]

Mentor Graphics is a global company with product development taking place in the USA, Europe, Japan, Pakistan, India and Egypt. In keeping with global trends in software development, the company has a substantial labor force in lower cost locations such as Pakistan, India, Poland, Hungary and Egypt. James "Jim" Ready, one of the more colorful people in embedded systems, left Mentor in 1999 to form the embedded Linux company MontaVista. Neil Henderson, a pioneer in the royalty-free, source provided market space, joined Mentor Graphics in 2002 with the acquisition of Accelerated Technology Inc. Stephen Mellor, a leader in the UML space and co-originator of the Shlaer-Mellor design methodology, joined Mentor Graphics in 2004 following the acquisition of Project Technology.

As of 2012, Mentor's major competitors are: Cadence Design Systems, Synopsys, Altium, and Zuken.

In June 2008, Cadence Design Systems offered to acquire Mentor Graphics in a leveraged buyout. On 15 August 2008, Cadence withdrew this offer quoting an inability to raise the necessary capital and the unwillingness of Mentor Graphics' Board and management to discuss the offer.[8] Mentor acquired Flomerics Group plc for $60 million in cash in October 2008, and in August 2009, Mentor completed the acquisition of silicon manufacturing testing company LogicVision for $13 million in an all-stock deal.[9] Mentor completed the acquisition of Valor Computerized Systems in March 2010 in a cash and stock deal valued at $50 million.[10]

On 22 February 2011, Carl Icahn, an activist investor, made an offer to buy the company for about $1.86 billion in cash in a move to push other suitors to declare themselves.

On 14 November 2016, Mentor Graphics announced that it was to be acquired by Siemens for $4.5 billion, at $37.25 per share, a 21% premium on Mentor's closing price on the previous Friday.[11]

Mentor Acquisition History:
Siemens Mentor Graphics (Acquired November 14, 2016. $47.25 per share in cash, $4.5B)
CADI (Board Layout)
Caedent (Logic Simulator)
Contour/Acotech (Analog Libraries)
Synergy Dataworks (Hardware accelerator)
Context (Documentation)
Trimeter (Synthesis)
Tektronix CAE (CAE)
VR Info Systems (Standard Cell Layout)
CAE Systems (CAE)
Tektronix CASE (CASE)
Performance CAD (Timing analyzer)
Parade (Small FPGLA)
Checklogic (ATPG)
Silicon Compiler Systems (SCS)
Silicon Design Labs (Generator Development Tools,Lsim)
SCI (Silicon Compilers Inc -Genesil)
Caeco (CAE)
Descartes (P&R)
EDC (Silvar-Lisco's European R&D)
TI (CheckMate - LVS, MaskPE - LPE)

Anacad (Analog simulation)
EES (Analog simulation)
Egypt Model Technology (Analog modeling)
AxiomDaterer Skandinavien (Schematic-symbol generation)
Meta-Systems (Logic emulation)
Microtec Research (Embedded systems)
Hunter & Ready (Real-time OS software)
ONE (Network management tool)
Precedence (Backplane)
Zeelan Technology (Signal Integrity Models, Announced January 15, 1996.)
----------------> Z2 Consulting LLC (SO)

Integrity Engineering (Signal Integrity Simulation)
3Soft (Digital models and IP, Announced January 15, 1996.)
MEJ Electronics (renamed 3Soft in 1992)
CoSoft (PC Schematic Entry)

SETO Software GmbH (PCB layout)
Interconnectix (Interconnection synthesis)
Royal Digital Centers Inc (PCB - manufacturing links)
dQdt (DSP function blocks)
Systolic Technology Ltd. (Telecomm blocks)
Open Networks Engineering (Telecomm blocks)
CAE Technology Inc. (Peripheral controllers blocks)
CLK Computer-Aided Design Inc. (Timing-driven placement & optimization)
OPC Technology (Optical proximity correction software)
Veribest (part of Intergraph)
M&S Computing

Daisy Systems
HHB Softron


---------------> Physical Library Division to Virage Logic
Escalade (ASIC HDL graphical design tools)
Descon Informationssysteme GmbH (Product Data Management)
HLS (High-level synthesis)
CADIX ECAD Division (Printed Circuit Board)

Model Technology (VHDL Simulator)
Exemplar (Digital Synthesis)
Harness Software Group (Harness Software)
SpeedGate Design Automation (Emulation)
Capital H (Wire Harness)
Accelerated Technology (RTOS)
Ikos (Hardware Emulation)
Racal Redac (VHDL Simulator)
Virtual Machines
Zycad (Emulator, August 1997)


Delsoft (India)

Deerbrook Systems

Innoveda (Systems)
Summit ---------------------------> Summit Design
TSSI -------------------> Credence
SEE Technologies
TriQuest Design Automation
Simulation Technologies

Transcendent Design Technology

PADS Software
ACT (Advanced CAM Technologies)

Assets of DDE-EDA A/S, (PCB packaging)
Alcatel's Ethernet & MAC IP business (IP)
FirstEarth (Wiring)
Project Technology (UML tools)
0-in Design Automation (Verification)
Atair GmbH (Compiler)
Palmchip Parallel & Serial ATA IP business (IP)
EverCAD Software (Fast SPICE simulator)
Volcano Communications Technologies (Automotive network design tools)
Aptix (Emulation)
--------------------------------------- Cre8Ventures (UK company supporting users)
Summit Design (ESL)
SpiraTech Ltd (ESL)
Sierra Design Automation (Place & Route)
NXP Semiconductor DFT tools and people
Assets of Ponte Solutions Inc (DFM)
Flomerics Group (Thermal analysis)
C Synthesis assets of Agility Design Solutions
Catalytic (name change)
Celoxica Holdings ESL business
Embedded Alley Solutions
Valor Computerized Systems (PCB)
Zeland (3D field solver)
Virtual Garage (from Freescale) (Automotive tradeoffs)
Valor Computerized Systems Ltd (PCB)
Pextra (3D Field Simulation, acquired in 2009)
Pyxis (Custom IC routing, acquired Q3 2010)
Expert Dynamics Ltd (simulation of vibration, heat transfer, fatigue, and Highly Accelerated Life Testing lab tests of electronic circuit boards for the detection and correction of design faults. March 22, 2010)

CodeSourcery Inc assets (Open-source tool chains for system development, acquired Dec 10 , 2010)
Flowmaster Group (computational fluid dynamics simulation software, terms not disclosed, announced January 9, 2012)
Z Circuit (library characterization, terms not disclosed, never announced, June 2012)
MontaVista, auto infotainment software unit (Linux-based automotiveIn Vehicle Infotainment, terms not disclosed, announced February 21, 2013)
Oasys Design Systems (RealTime Floorplan Compiler. Asset acquisition, December 13, 2013. Terms not disclosed.)
Picea (AUTOSTAR development suite assets acquired. Announced January 31, 2013. Terms not disclosed.)
Berkeley Design Automation (Analog FastSPICE circuit simulator. Announced March 21, 2014. Terms not disclosed.)
Veridae (ASIC/FPGA prototyping debugging, first acquired by Tektronix and announced July 5, 2011. Certus product acquired by Mentor around January 6, 2014. Terms not disclosed.)
Nimbic (3D EMI Analysis tool. Company name was formerly Physware. Announced May 20, 2014. Terms not disclosed.)
XS Embedded Gmbh (Automotive embedded systems. Announced July 8, 2014. Terms not disclosed.)
Flexras Technologies (Technology for prototyping,validation and debug. Announced January 13, 2015. Terms not disclosed.)
Tanner EDA (Acquired by Mentor Graphics, March 3, 2015. Terms not disclosed.)
CALYPTO (Acquired September 16, 2015. Terms not disclosed. Catapult for High Level Synthesis, Calypto SLEC for Sequential Logical Equivalency Checking, PowerPro for power optimization at the RTL level)
Catapult C (Spin out from Mentor Graphics, August 26, 2011, amount not disclosed)
Galaxy Semiconductor (Test data analysis and defect reduction software for semiconductors: Examinator-Pro, Yield-Man, PAT-man. Announced October 10, 2016. Terms not disclosed.)


Walden C. Rhines is the company's chairman[12] of the board and chief executive officer whereas Gregory K. Hinckley serves as the president[12] of the corporation.

Mentor Graphics distributes the following tools:
  • Electronic design automation for:

  • Embedded systems Development:
    • Mentor Embedded Linux[13] for ARM, MIPS, Power, and x86 architecture processors
    • Real-time operating systems:
      • Nucleus OS (acquired in 2002 when Mentor acquired Accelerated Technology, Inc.)
      • VRTX (acquired in 1995 when Mentor bought Microtec Research)

    • AUTOSAR implementation:
      • Embedded implementation VSTAR in part acquired from Mecel in 2013[14]
      • Configuration tooling Volcano Vehicle Systems Builder (VSB)

    • Development Tools:
      • Sourcery CodeBench and Sourcery GNU toolchains (acquired in 2010 when Mentor acquired CodeSourcery)
      • Inflexion UI - (Next Device was acquired by Mentor in 2006)
      • xtUML Design Tools: BridgePoint (acquired in 2004 when Mentor acquired Project Technology)

    • VPN Solutions:
      • Nucleus Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) software
      • Nucleus NET networking stack
      • Nucleus implementation of the Microsoft Point-to-Point Encryption (MPPE) protocol
      • Nucleus PPP software

  • FPGA synthesis tools:

  • Electrical Systems, Cabling and Harness design:
    • Capital - a suite of integrated tools for the design, validation and manufacture of electrical systems and harnesses
    • VeSys - a mid-market toolset for vehicle electrical system and harness design

  • Simulation tools for analog mixed-signal design:
    • ModelSim is a hardware simulation and debug environment primarily targeted at smaller ASIC and FPGA design
    • QuestaSim is a Simulator with additional Debug capabilities targeted at complex FPGA's and SoC's. QuestaSim can be used by users who have experience with ModelSim as it shares most of the common debug features and capabilities. One of the main differences between QuestaSim and Modelsim (besides performance/capacity) is that QuestaSim is the simulation engine for the Questa Platform which includes integration of Verification Management, Formal based technologies, Questa Verification IP, Low Power Simulation and Accelerated Coverage Closure technologies. QuestaSim natively supports SystemVerilog for Testbench, UPF, UCIS, OVM/UVM where ModelSim does not.
    • Eldo is a SPICE simulator
    • SystemVision is a virtual lab for mechatronic system design and analysis
    • ADiT is a Fast-SPICE simulator
    • Questa ADMS is a mixed-signal verification tool

  • Mechanical Analysis Division (formed from the acquisition of Flomerics in 2008):
    • Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer tools:
      • FloTHERM is a Computational Fluid Dynamics tool dedicated to electronics cooling using parameterized ‘SmartParts’ for common electronic components such as fans, heatsinks, and IC packages
      • FloTHERM XT is a electronics cooling CFD tool incorporating a solid modeler for manipulating MCAD parts.
      • FloEFD is a ‘design concurrent’ CFD tool for use in early-stage product design and is embedded within MCAD systems such as Solidworks, Creo Elements/Pro, CATIA V5 and Siemens NX

    • Thermal Characterization and Thermal Interface Material (TIM) Measurement equipment:
      • T3Ster is a hardware product that embodies an implementation of the JEDEC JESD51-1 standard for IC package thermal characterization and is compliant with JESD51-14 for Rth-JC measurement
      • TeraLED provides automation of the CIE 127:2007 standard providing total flux, chromaticity and correlated color temperature (CCT) for power LEDs. With T3Ster it provides thermal resistance metrics for LEDs based on the real dissipated heating power.
      • DynTIM extends T3Ster, providing a dynamic thermal test station for thermal conductivity measurements of thermal interface materials (TIMs), thermal greases and gap pads.

    • Flowmaster is a 1D or system-level CFD solution for analyzing fluid mechanics in complex pipe flow systems (from the acquisition of Flowmaster Ltd in 2012).
    • CADRA Design Drafting is a 2-1/2D mechanical drafting and documentation package specifically designed for drafting professionals. It provides the tools needed to develop complex drawings quickly and easily (from the acquisition of the CADRA product in 2013).
The Veloce product family enables SoC emulation and transaction-based acceleration.


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