In a move reminiscent of the style of Carl Icahn, Mentor lowered its costs by exchanging Catapult C with stock of Calypto. In this manner no money exchanged hands and Mentor lowered its development and maintenance costs in the very competitive area of High Level Synthesis (HLS). The move came as a surprise to those involved in the Catapult C project. Simon Block, even a couple of weeks ago had agreed to submit an article about the product for the August issue of Assembling The Future newsletter.
Since that left only the Precision synthesis product serving the FPGA market directly, Mentor consolidated that group under Henry Potts, who increases its importance within the Mentor organization since he now controls practically every Mentor product that has anything to do with PCB design. Whether Precision will survive will depend on Henry’s ability to make it a profitable product by leveraging his PCB customer base.
Whether or not the move will be profitable for Mentor is yet to be decided. The down side of the transaction will be the lack of performance on the part of Calypto. In this case Mentor has the choice of bringing all of Calypto products, including the power analysis products based on the SLEC technology that is Calypto proprietary, or just write off the stock it received in exchange of the Catapult C product. But in the case that Calypto is successful it will eventually recognize a long term profit.
Of course the real question is how much of the organization will Calypto be able to keep and how many customers will stay with a much smaller provider of a key piece of technology.