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SoS Meets SoC as Siemens Buys Mentor Graphics

System-of-Systems (SoS) company Siemens significantly expands with acquisition of Mentor Graphics System-on-Chip (SoC), board-level and automotive technologies.

By John Blyler, Editorial Director, JB Systems

Back in 2010, I wrote about the possible acquisition of Mentor Graphics by a large product lifecycle management (PLM) company with a strong embedded focus. At that time, the concern was which industry might profit from an EDA acquisition:

“In the past, many of us have seen suitors for both Mentor Graphics and Cadence Design Systems come and go. Those interested parties varied from financial/investment firms (such as the Cadence – Blackstone-KKR buyout), supply chain/ERP manufacturing companies, PLM design vendors (see my comments about Dassault Systemes) and even EDA-to-EDA (Cadence’s attempted acquisition of Mentor in the summer of 2008). [see, “What does Carl Icahn really want from Mentor?”]

It now looks like I had the right market but the wrong company. Today, Siemens announced its plans to acquire EDA giant Mentor Graphics. Among other things, this means that Siemens, “now offers mechanical, thermal, electrical, electronic and embedded software design capabilities on a single integrated platform.” In other words, Siemens becomes even more of a Systems company then before. I use the capital “S” to signify a multi-discipline, multi-domain, system-of-systems (SoS) company beyond just software, network, and even system-on-a-chip (SOC) technologies. Mentor Graphic will help elevate Siemens to a new level of Systems.

Unfortunately, it also means that our rather niche world of semiconductor EDA companies just got a whole lot smaller. I wonder who’s looking at the remaining players, namely, Synopsys and Cadence.

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