Cadence Design Systems has announced on the eve of CDNLive Silicon Valley that it has decided to buy configurable-processor company Tensilica for approximately $380m in cash.
Alongside ARC, which was ultimately acquired by Synopsys through the Virage Logic purchase, Tensilica is one of the pioneers of configurable processors moving more recently into what the company calls ‘dataplane’ processing units, designed to be deployed in parallel on applications that need high throughput.
The products have been used in communications and networking infrastructure as well as automotive infotainment systems and home-consumer systems. Some 2 billion Tensilica-based IP cores have been shipped worldwide so far. The company has 200 licensees, 7 of which are in the top 10 semiconductor companies.
“With Tensilica, we will be able to provide designers with a more complete SoC solution that will speed the development of innovative and differentiated products, while reducing time to market,” said Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO of Cadence.
ARM has welcomed the move by Cadence. Simon Segars, president of the processor-core supplier, said: "The acquisition of Tensilica by Cadence will be a positive move for the industry. We look forward to expanding our ongoing collaboration with Cadence to enable our customers to bring great products to market."
In a conference call with analysts, Geoff Ribar, Cadence CFO, said: "We believe that Tensilica is a significant strategic move for Cadence that will expand the scope and scale of our IP business. The fact that Tensilica is one of only a handful of IP companies today that is able to command royalties for its products is an indicator of their strong execution, differentiation and value-add."
Update: Read our analysis of the deal's potential implications: EDA sets sail in a sea of processors.