Cadence announced today that it is acquiring Jasper Design Automation for $170M in an all-cash offer. Jasper has $24M in cash so it is really an acquisition for around $145M. i think that is around 4X revenue but I only know rumors about Jasper’s revenue numbers.
All the big 3 already have their own formal technology but the technology the leading companies seem to depend on most heavily is Jasper’s JasperGold technology, which is perceived as having the most advanced technology. In this business, perception is usually reality due to evaluations and benchmarks; brand recognition counts for little and Jasper is already large enough that it is not a risk to choose them.
Cadence will put the Jasper technology together with their existing Incisive technology. In fact, they will put it together will all their verification technology: Verilog simulation, Palladium emulation, virtual platforms and more. The theme in verification these days is to take all the various approaches and unify them so that they use the same debuggers, same user interfaces, take the same inputs, assertions and then put some sort of metric-driven methodology together so that the most appropriate technology is used without overlap (so you don’t waste time using simulation to test something that has already been formally proven, for example).
Formal in general, and Jasper in particular, has improved incredibly in the last few years. The technology has gone from one that was underpowered and pretty much required a PhD in formal to get the most out of. The power of the analysis engines has increased almost exponentially, and the ease-of-use has meant that it has become completely mainstream. Couple that with the size of designs meaning that simulation is running out of power, and you have the basis of a big fast-growing business. I have no doubt that Cadence’s much-larger sales force will make this a very successful acquisition, and not one that requires 5 years to pay off.
Or, to say the same thing in marketing speak:The combination of Jasper and Incisive Formal technologies and expertise will result in the most complete formal and semi-formal offerings in the industry. With its broader verification portfolio and worldwide field team, Cadence has the opportunity to accelerate the expansion of the emerging formal analysis sector as more mainstream customers adopt Verification Apps for IP and SoC development.
The full Cadence press release is here.
More articles by Paul McLellan…
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