Cadence Design Systems

Cadence Design Systems, Inc., headquartered in San Jose, California, in the North San Jose Innovation District, is an American multinational electronic design automation (EDA) software and engineering services company, founded in 1988 by the merger of SDA Systems and ECAD, Inc. The company produces software, hardware and silicon structures for designing integrated circuits, systems on chips (SoCs) and printed circuit boards.


Cadence Design Systems was the result of a merger in 1988 of Solomon Design Automation, co-founded in 1983 by Richard Newton, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli and James Solomon, and ECAD, co-founded by Glen Antle and Paul Huang in 1982. Joseph Costello was appointed as CEO from 1988–1997, and Cadence became the largest EDA company during his tenure.

Following Costello as CEO were Jack Harding (from 1997–99), Ray Bingham (from 1999-2005), and Mike Fister (from 2005-2008). Following the resignation of Fister, the board appointed Lip-Bu Tan as acting CEO.[1] In January 2009, the company confirmed Lip-Bu Tan as President and CEO. Tan had been most recently CEO of Walden International, a venture capital firm, and remains chairman of the firm. He has served on the Cadence Board of Directors since 2004, where he served on the Technology Committee for four years.

In November 2007 Cadence was named one of the "50 Best Places to Work in Silicon Valley" by San Jose Magazine.[2]

Cadence has been named to the Fortune Magazine 100 Best Companies to Work For list 6 years in a row, including in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.[3]

In 2016, Cadence CEO Lip-Bu Tan was awarded the Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award by the Global Semiconductor Alliance.[4]

According to Glassdoor, it is the fifth highest-paying company for employees in the United States as of April 2017.[5]

In November 2017, Cadence appointed Anirudh Devgan as president.[6]

In 2018, Cadence celebrated its 30th anniversary.

In December 2019, Investor’s Business Daily ranked Cadence Design Systems #5 on its 50 Best Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Companies list.[7]

In 2019, Cadence was ranked #45 in PEOPLE magazine’s Companies that Care.[8] 

As of 2020, Cadence has a global employee count of over 8,100 and reported $2.336 billion in revenue in 2019.[9]


The company develops software, hardware and intellectual properties (IP) used to design chips[10], intelligent systems and printed circuit boards,[11] as well as IP covering interfaces, memory, analog, SoC peripherals, data plane processing units, and verification.

Cadence products primarily target SoC design engineers and are used to move a design into packaged silicon, with products for custom and analog design, digital design, mixed-signal design, verification, and package/PCB design, as well as a broad selection of IP, and also hardware for emulation and FPGA prototyping. These products allow for broader system design, from the software down to the physical chip design.

It provides solutions[buzzword] that encompass design IP, timing analysis and signoff, services, and tools and methodologies. In addition, it provides system analysis solutions[buzzword] for electromagnetic, electronics, thermal and electromechanical simulation. The company also provides products that assist with the development of complete hardware and software platforms that support end applications.[12]

Cadence's product offerings include:

  • Custom IC technologies - Virtuoso Platform - Tools for designing full-custom integrated circuits;[13] includes schematic entry, behavioral modeling (Verilog-AMS), circuit simulation, custom layout, physical verification, extraction and back-annotation. Used mainly for analog, mixed-signal, RF, and standard-cell designs, but also memory and FPGA designs.
  • Digital & Signoff technologies - RTL to GDS II implementation: Genus Synthesis, Conformal Equivalence Checker, Stratus High Level Synthesis, Joules Power Analysis, Innovus Place & Route, Quantus RC Extraction, Tempus Timing Signoff, Voltus Power Integrity Signoff, Modus Automatic Test Pattern Generation.
  • System & Verification technologies - Verification Suite - JasperGold Formal Verification, Xcelium simulation, Palladium Z1 emulation, Protium S1/X1 FPGA prototyping, Perspec software-driven tests, vManager plan & metrics, Indago debug, and Verification IP catalog.
  • Intellectual Property - Design IP targeting areas including memory / storage / high-performance interface protocols (USB or PCIe controllers and PHYs), Tensilica DSP processors for audio, vision, wireless modems and convolutional neural nets. Tensilica DSP processors IP[14] include:
    • Tensilica Vision DSPs for Imaging, Vision and AI processing
    • Tensilica HiFi DSPs for Audio/Voice/Speech processing
    • Tensilica Fusion DSPs for IoT
    • Tensilica ConnX DSPs for Radar, Lidar, and Communications processing
    • Tensilica DNA Processor Family for AI acceleration
  • PCB & Packaging technologies: Allegro Platform - Tools for co-design of integrated circuits, packages, and PCBs,[15] including the Specctra auto-router. OrCAD/PSpice - Tools for smaller design teams and individual PCB designers.,[15] and Sigrity technologies - Tools for signal and power verification for system-level signoff verification and interface compliance.[16]
  • System Analysis

In addition to EDA software, Cadence provides contracted methodology and design services as well as silicon design IP, and has a program aimed at making it easier for other EDA software to interoperate with the company's tools.


Avanti Corporation

Cadence was involved in a 6-year-long legal dispute[19] with Avanti Corporation, in which Cadence claimed Avanti stole Cadence code, and Avanti denied it. According to Business Week "The Avanti case is probably the most dramatic tale of white-collar crime in the history of Silicon Valley".[19] The Avanti executives eventually pleaded no contest and Cadence received several hundred million dollars in restitution. Avanti was then purchased by Synopsys, which paid $265 million more to settle the remaining claims.[20] The case resulted in a number of legal precedents.[21]

Aptix Corporation

Quickturn Design Systems, a company acquired by Cadence, was involved in a series of legal events with Aptix Corporation. Aptix licensed a patent to Mentor Graphics and the two companies jointly sued Quickturn over an alleged patent infringement. Amr Mohsen, CEO of Aptix, forged and tampered with legal evidence and was subsequently charged with conspiracy, perjury, and obstruction of justice. Mohsen was arrested after violating his bail agreement by attempting to flee the country. While in jail, Mohsen plotted to intimidate witnesses and kill the federal judge presiding over his case.[22] Mohsen was further charged with attempting to delay a federal trial by feigning incompetency.[23][24] Due to the overwhelming misconduct, the judge ruled the lawsuit as unenforceable and Mohsen was sentenced to 17 years in prison.[25] Mentor Graphics subsequently sued Aptix to recoup legal costs. Cadence also sued Mentor Graphics and Aptix to recover legal costs.[26]



  • 1989: acquired Gateway Design Automation, the inventor of Verilog HDL.
  • August 1993: acquired Comdisco Systems Inc, a provider of network design and optimization software.
  • May 1997: acquired Cooper & Chyan Technology (CCT), a provider of PCB and IC automatic place and router software solutions[buzzword] (Specctra).[27]
  • December 1998: acquired Quickturn Design Systems, Inc., a market leader in microchip emulation.[28]
  • June 1999: acquired OrCAD Systems, a market leader in shrink-wrap PCB Design Tools.[29]
  • October 2002: acquired IBM's Test Design Automation group.[citation needed]
  • January 2003: acquired Celestry Design Inc, a provider of fast-spice and reliability simulators.
  • September 2003: acquired Verplex Systems, a provider of Formal Verification products, Conformal Solutions and Blacktie Property Checker.[30]
  • April 6, 2004: acquired Neolinear Technology, a privately held company specializing in rapid analog design technology.[31]
  • April 7, 2005: acquired Verisity, Ltd., a provider of verification process automation solutions[buzzword] ($315 million in cash).
  • In 2007, the company began talks with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Blackstone Group regarding a possible sale of the company.[32]
  • July 12, 2007: acquired Invarium, a photolithography specialist.
  • August 15, 2007: acquired Clearshape, a developer of Design for Manufacturability (DFM) technology.[33]
  • March 11, 2008: acquired, an IP Portal and developer of IC planning and IP reuse management tools.[34]
  • August 15, 2008: Cadence withdrew a $1.6 billion offer to purchase rival Mentor Graphics.[35]
  • June 17, 2010: completed acquisition of Denali Software.[36]
  • May 10, 2011: acquired Altos Design Automation, Inc., vendor of standard and complex cell libraries for the delivery of complex SoCs at advanced nodes.[37]
  • July 12, 2011: acquired Azuro, creator of clock concurrent optimization technology.[38]
  • July 2, 2012: acquired Sigrity, a leader in high-speed PCB and IC packaging analysis[39]
  • February, 2013: acquired Cosmic Circuits, a provider of analog and mixed signal intellectual property (IP) cores. Cosmic Circuits offers IP products in connectivity and mixed-signal technologies in the 40 nm and 28 nm process nodes, with 20 nm and FinFET in development.[40] The acquisition was completed in May 2013.
  • March, 2013: acquired Tensilica, known for Dataplane Processing Units (DPU). Tensilica provides configurable and extensible processors along with DPUs for audio, baseband, imaging etc. It has 200 licensees and has shipped 2 billion cores so far.[41]
  • June, 2013: completed acquisition of the IP business of Evatronix, SA SKA of Poland. This acquisition brings to Cadence IP including certified USB 2.0/3.0, MIPI, display, and storage controllers.[42]
  • February 14, 2014: acquired Forte Design Systems, a provider of high-level synthesis (HLS) software products. This includes Cynthesizer, a SystemC-based behavioral synthesis tool that enables design creation at a higher level of abstraction.
  • June 16, 2014: completed acquisition of Jasper Design Automation, Inc., a market and technology leader in the fast-growing formal analysis sector.[43]
  • April 28, 2016: completed acquisition of Rocketick Technologies, Ltd., an Israel-based pioneer and leading provider of multi-core parallel simulation.[44]
  • November 1, 2017: completed acquisition of nusemi inc, a Mountain View based provider of serial communication IP.[45] The acquisition resulted in Cadence's leading position in the high speed serial communication market.[46],.[47]
  • January 15, 2020: completed acquisition of AWR Corporation from National Instruments
  • February 14, 2020: Cadence acquired Integrand Software[48]   

The company has also acquired Valid Logic Systems, High Level Design (HLD), UniCAD, CadMOS, Ambit Design Systems, Simplex, Silicon Perspective, Plato and Get2Chip.

Denali Software

Denali Software, Inc. was an American software company, based in Sunnyvale, California, now acquired by Cadence.[49] The company produces electronic design automation (EDA) software, intellectual property (IP) and design cores and platforms for memory, other standard interfaces and system-on-chip (SoC) design and verification. It has its engineering offices in Sunnyvale, Austin and Bangalore. Incorporated in 1996, Denali is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California and serves the global electronics industry with direct sales and support offices in North America, Europe, Japan and Asia.

On May 2010, Cadence Design Systems announced that it would acquire Denali for $315 million.[50]

Valid Logic Systems

Valid Logic Systems was one of the first commercial electronic design automation (EDA) companies, now acquired by Cadence. It was founded in the early 1980s,[51] along with Daisy Systems Corporation and Mentor Graphics, collectively known as DMV. The engineering founders were L. Curtis Widdoes,[52] Tom McWilliams[53] and Jeff Rubin,[54] all of whom had worked on the S-1 supercomputer project at Livermore Labs.

Valid acquired several companies such as Telesis (PCB layout),[55] Analog Design Tools,[56] and Calma (IC layout). In turn, Valid was acquired by Cadence Design Systems in the early 90s.[57]

Valid built both hardware and software, for schematic capture, logic simulation, static timing analysis, and packaging. Much of the initial software base derived from SCALD ("Structured Computer-Aided Logic Design"), a set of tools developed to support the design of the S-1 supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.[58] Later, Valid expanded into IC design tools and into printed circuit board layout.

At first, Valid ran schematic capture on a proprietary UNIX workstation, the SCALDSystem, with static timing analysis, simulation, and packaging running on a VAX or IBM-compatible mainframe. However, by the mid-1980s, general purpose workstations were powerful enough, and significantly cheaper. Companies such as Mentor Graphics and Cadence Design Systems sold software only for such workstations. By 1990, almost all Valid software was also running on workstations, primarily those from Sun Microsystems.

Notable persons

See also


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  2. ^ "Best Places to Work For" (PDF). Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "Cadence". Fortune. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  4. ^ atomicadmin. "Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award Nomination Form". Global Semiconductor Alliance. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  5. ^ Verhage, Julie (April 12, 2017). "These Are the Highest-Paying Companies in America". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  6. ^ Inc, Cadence Design Systems. "Cadence Appoints Anirudh Devgan as President". Retrieved 2020-04-24.
  7. ^ "50 Best ESG Companies: A List Of Today's Top Stocks For Environmental, Social And Governance Values". Investor's Business Daily. 2 December 2019.
  8. ^ "PEOPLE's 50 Companies That Care".
  9. ^ "Cadence Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2019 Financial Results". EDACafe. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  10. ^ Design on Diagonal Path in Pursuit of a Faster Chip, John Markoff, The New York Times, February 26, 2007
  11. ^ Cadence Acquires Software Company, The New York Times, April 11, 1990. Article describes Cadence acquiring a printed circuit design software company.
  12. ^ "Resource Library".
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  15. ^ a b "UNIX Software and CAD tools". Carleton University. Archived from the original on 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2007-06-10.
  16. ^ Sigrity
  17. ^ McGrath, Dylan (2 April 2019). "Cadence Eyes System Analysis Market". EE Times.
  18. ^ Simon, Tom (24 September 2019). "Cadence Celsius Heats Up 3D System-Level Electro-Thermal Modeling Market".
  19. ^ a b Business Week overview of the entire case, after the criminal trial but before the purchase by Synopsys.
  20. ^ EEDesign article about the final settlement.
  21. ^ Cadence v. Avanti: The UTSA and California Trade Secret Law Archived 2012-07-07 at, Danley, J., Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 2004, Vol 19; Part 1, pages 289-308
  22. ^ In Courts, Threats Become Alarming Fact of Life, Deborah Sontag, The New York Times, 20 March 2005
  23. ^ Odd legal saga takes an ugly turn, Richard Goering, EE Times, 02 August 2004
  24. ^ Jury finds Mohsen guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice, Dylan McGrath, EE Times, 28 February 2006
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  36. ^ "Cadence Completes Acquisition of Denali". 17 Jun 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  37. ^ "Cadence Acquires Altos Design Automation".
  38. ^ Former Azuro CEO Explains Clock Concurrent Optimization
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  49. ^ Denali Software. "EDA / IP Solutions for SoC Design and Verification – Denali Software".
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  59. ^ Bailey, Brian (December 20, 2017). "Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli receives EDAA Lifetime Achievement Award". EE Times.