Synopsys acquires Synplicity - So what does it mean for an FPGA Guy?

Synplicity, Inc. (Nasdaq:SYNP), a leading supplier of solutions for the design and verification of semiconductors, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Synopsys, Inc., (Nasdaq: SNPS) a world leader in software and IP for semiconductor design and manufacturing. When completed, the acquisition will expand Synplicity product portfolio and extend the market reach of its industry leading products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Synopsys will pay $8 cash per Synplicity share, resulting in a gross transaction value of approximately $227 million, and approximately $188 million net of cash acquired.

Gary Meyers will join Synopsys as a general manager. Ken McElvain will join Synopsys to help architect the company systems solutions.

Read the complete the Press Release at


So what does that mean to the FPGA Community?

The FPGA Community can hope for a better synthesis tool and hopefully a better Verification platform tightly integrated together.

It could also mean a better migration path for ASIC designers, and vice-versa. Which can enable easy flow of talent , resources, scripts, tools between the ASIC & FPGA community.

However FPGA is not the bread & butter for Synopsys so we may see some dropped priorities when the times are tough. Hopefully Synopsys does not try to push too much of its ASIC technology to the FPGA Synthesis, taking it away from the push button tool that the FPGA designers are used to.

So what does that mean to Synplicity?

I believe Synplicity was having a tough time pushing there tools to the cost sensitive FPGA users, specially given that their partners the FPGA Vendors (or competitor?) are willing to give away the tools for almost FREE. Not to mention the cool features that comes with the Vendors tools like Cross Probing between RTL & the fully placed & routed designs (which is lost once you import the edif from Synplify/pro).

Having a support of industry leader like Synopsys may provide them bells & whistles which make it more lucrative to the FPGA Deisgners.

So what does that mean to Synopsys?

Well they finally get the enter the FPGA market :-), and I have a feeling this time they will get to stay. They may also utilize the HAPS Prototyping System( to enhance their Verification solution.

Here is what some of the FPGA Central users have been saying about Synplicity Tools & their preferences:

Poll 1 - Your preferred synthesis vendor

Poll 2 - Which Synplicity tool do you use?

For now, all I can do is wait & watch !!



harry the ASIC guy (not verified)
June 6, 2008 - 12:56am

Synopsys Acquires Synplicity

Back in March at SNUG when I spoke to some of the Synopsys folks, all the talk was about the rapid prototyping capability they were acquiring. In fact, that will roll into their verification business unit. So, I think that was the real gem that Synopsys was trying to acquire, not from a revenue standpoint, but from a longer term strategic standpoint. The didn't have anything in hardware assisted verification, like Eve ZeBu-AX, Cadence Palladium, or Mentor Veloce. And they don't have rapid prototyping, like Aptix was before the Mentor acquisition.

The FPGA synthesis is secondary, in my opinion, although a cash cow for sure at upwards of $50M a year. Having all those legs on the street will help market penetration, especially for FPGAs as prototypes. For production FPGAs, the FPGA vendors seem to be keeping all the secrets on how to maximize performance for their own FREE tools, and especially features like Xilinx's ChipScope. So, it will be hard for even Synopsys to catch up.

Don't expect magic algorithms to emerge from Synopsys. They tried doing FPGAs twice before and were not able to compete on QOR or price, so why would it be different now?

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