Global Sources
EE Times-India
EE Times-India > EDA/IP

MIPS, Chipidea break up

Posted: 12 May 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:analogue business  mixed-signal IP  analogue IP  digital engineering 

MIPS Technologies Inc., which in August 2007 bought Chipidea, a Portuguese analogue and mixed-signal IP company, announced May 8 that it has divested its analogue business group to Synopsys Inc. in an all-cash transaction for Rs.111.36 crore ($22 million), effective immediately.

The marriage lasted only 18 months.

John Bourgoin, MIPS president and CEO, still stands by his original wisdom. Acquiring the analogue IP vendor was a "strategic move." During a conference call, he said that the acquisition was intended to "expand our offerings to our customers more parts of SoCs that are difficult to do."

So what went wrong?

Bourgoin blamed the economy. "After two good quarters, the analogue market has gone into a sharp downturn, while macro-economic continued to slow down, which affected our entire business."

While insisting on the "growth potential" for analogue IPs, Bourgoin explained that the continued economic downturn and MIPS' balance sheet with "a limited ability to absorb the shock" forced him to choose the path of divesting MIPS' analogue business unit.

Does this signal to the market that IP business of this nature is now more suited to EDA companies? After all, IPs can be simply dropped into their design flow.

Certainly, the acquisition of MIPS' analogue business group will help expand Synopsys' Rs.506.18 crore ($100 million) DesignWare intellectual property portfolio, with a new family of analogue IP such as ADCs, DACs, audio codecs and power management IP.

Moreover, the acquisition places Synopsys, already the leading EDA vendor, in a strong No. 2 position as an IP provider behind ARM and ahead of MIPS.

"With this acquisition, Synopsys is well-positioned to provide our customers with a strong interface and analogue IP portfolio that is silicon-proven, shipping in volume and unmatched in the industry," said Joachim Kunkel, VP and general manager of the solutions group at Synopsys.

"We are especially excited with the addition of HDMI TX and RX protocols to Synopsys' existing interface IP solution," added John Koeter, VP of marketing of Synopsys' solutions group.

"This adds some 260 engineers of analogue and digital expertise to our group of 250 IP experts we have in our group," said Koeter. The company claims that it has accumulated its own analogue IP expertise over the last four to five years through strategic acquisitions, such as inSilicon and Accelerent Networks.

The acquisition also provides validation for the company's latest Lynux design flow to qualify and test both digital and analogue IP, said Koeter.

Digital and analogue breakup
But at the heart of this breakup, there lingers an issue—fundamentally a huge challenge—of integrating the two diverging digital and analogue businesses.

According to MIPS, Chipidea, even after the acquisition, was operating as a stand-alone business with its own marketing, finance, R&D and engineering organisations.

"It was a self-contained business," said Art Swift, VP of marketing of MIPS. There was little overlap, while MIPS shared some joint legal and sales expenses.

Clearly, managing the multiple businesses and a much larger organisation with two digital and analogue teams running in parallel was no easy task for the MIPS CEO.

When asked if it was a distraction, Bourgoin said no. But he acknowledged the importance of getting back to MIPS' core business—processors—and "right-sizing" the business in the current economic situation.

1 • 2 Next Page Last Page

Comment on "MIPS, Chipidea break up"
*  You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.


Go to top             Connect on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter      Follow us on Orkut

Back to Top