It’s a little more than six months since Mentor Graphics officially announced the acquisition of Tanner EDA, one of the market’s smartest boutique players in analog/mixed-signal and MEMS.
Analysts quickly identified the kind of benefits Tanner brought to Mentor: for example, a deeper and broader tool range for markets such as the Internet of Things and silicon photonics (the support for curved geometries in L-Edit has a lot of attractions for both) as well as more AMS.
But today, two questions arise about what Mentor is bringing to Tanner: how is the integration going and what has changed? It’s easier to answer the second as it also answers the first.
Most visibly, there is a new corporate website, a bit more polished that the pre-Mentor version but, as Jeff Miller, Product Marketing Manager, notes, “The core message is pretty similar and the tools themselves still address the same principal challenges in the same markets.”
Meanwhile, Tanner EDA continues as a separate business unit and as a brand within Mentor. The team has moved down the road from the Tanner Research offices in Monrovia, California to Arcadia. “But we’re still pretty much in CalTech’s shadow,” says Miller, the nearby institute having fostered most of the company’s original technology and founders.
Continuity and stability are recurring themes. But now joined by speedier growth.
“The main message I’ve got for customers is that we want to keep the things that made an independent Tanner unique and viable. But we’ve also now got Mentor investing in the business. You might see that first in terms of what we do in marketing, but is also about putting money into tool development that will pay off for our customers,” says Miller.
“We can now add things that we thought about in the past, but didn’t have the resources to do. Then there’s also a bunch of ways in which we are working with other groups in Mentor to integrate their tools into our overall design flow.
“We’ve announced integration between the ModelSIM digital simulator and our T-Spice analog product for mixed signal co-simulation. There are others pending and you can guess what those might be. But we’re going to walk before we run.”
Here, Miller addresses one other important issue. Tanner has long had a reputation as a low-cost but still powerful suite of tools. “In situations where we add capabilities, there will be some associated pricing,” he says. “But when it comes to the pricing of existing products, we’re not looking to make any major changes.
“There aren’t going to be any massive price increases.”
Miller sums up the ‘change’ – such as it is – like this: “Instead of getting acquired by a billion-dollar company, we’re like a start-up that now has one standing behind us. We’re not getting lost in there.”