Mentor buys place-and-route firm Sierra Design

June 11, 2007 – Mentor Graphics has acquired Sierra Design Automation for $90 million in a half-and-half cash/stock deal, bolstering its design offerings. Mentor says the deal will be “slightly accretive” for FY07 (ending Jan.31 2008), and shave about $0.02 off of its anticipated FY08 earnings.

Sierra’s flagship product is Olympus-SoC, a place-and-route system targeting 65nm and 45nm process technologies, which embeds variation-aware timing, optimization, and litho modeling to address OPC and RET effects early in the design cycle, according to the company.

“Our leading-edge customers are telling us that they need a design-to-fab flow capable of handling dozens of process corners and multiple modes, all while addressing manufacturability challenges to achieve manufacturing closure of their designs,” said Wally Rhines, CEO/chairman of Mentor Graphics, in a statement. “The acquisition of Sierra expands Mentor’s leadership in DFM, and provides the integration that customers need between physical design, and back-end verification and yield-enhancement.”

“At 65 and 45 nanometers (nm), discontinuities such as process variation, design size, low power and DFM are creating a major disruption in physical design,” stated Sierra president/CEO Pravin Madhani. The merger with Mentor enables us to deliver a powerful design-to-fab flow that addresses these discontinuities in a comprehensive fashion.”

STMicroelectronics has been working with both firms for about 18 months to address “critical discontinuities” in the design flow, including low-power, design for variability and manufacturing, noted Philippe Magarshack, group VP and central CAD GM for ST. “We are very impressed with the quality of the results of this partnership, which allows us to blend manufacturability know-how into the physical synthesis and routing phase.”


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