HP, Cadence Ally on EDA Solutions

HP and Cadence Design Systems have extended an informal agreement and entered a far-reaching alliance in which they will jointly develop, market and sell new solutions for the EDA (electronic design automation) market. The alliance, although not exclusive for either company, is expected to give both companies the opportunity to provide more integrated solutions.

"Momentum in the EDA market is accelerating as chips make their way into all kinds of appliances and devices," HP CEO Carly Fiorina said in a statement. Appliances are one of the three "vectors" in the model that illustrates HP's strategy, the other two being infrastructure and e-services.

Under terms of the agreement, Cadence will adopt HP-UX as a preferred product development and support platform and operating system. In turn, HP has selected Cadence as a preferred provider of EDA design tools for HP's R&D groups. Cadence will also support HP-UX on Intel IA-64 platforms.

HP-UX workstations will also be given a boost in a number of ways. First, Cadence will provide development and support for HP systems on a par with that provided for Sun workstations. That hasn't been true in the past. Moreover, Cadence has agreed to use HP workstations widely in its internal development work. Jake Buurma, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Cadence, said that his company was able to compile and test its software ten times faster using HP's new J6000 compute farm.

The alliance gives Cadence a chance to strengthen its foothold in the EDA market. HP will favor Cadence tools, especially its synthesis, place and route (SP&R) technology, in HP R&D labs around the world. HP has also agreed to make limited use of Cadence's Envisia PKS physical synthesis tool now but increase that use over time.

The news of the HP, Cadence alliance follows the announcement earlier this year of a joint equity partnership between Cadence, Flextonics International Ltd., and HP in SpinCircuit Inc., a new B2B company that provides electronics supply chain services to OEMs and their supply partners. HP's e-speak technology and Cadence's schematic capture technology are key components within SpinCircuit's design gateway to the electronics supply chain.