It had to happen. Synopsys was an early investor in Ciranova and the company has shown to be able to survive and grow on its own, validating its market strategy.
Synopsys completed the acquisition of Ciranova, a company focused on delivering productivity improvements in custom IC design by reducing the time and effort needed to develop transistor-level layout on advanced nodes. Terms were not disclosed, but since Synopsys already owned a portion of the company, the transaction was "in the family" and thus achieved in the most amicable terms, I am sure.
Synopsys intends to utilize Ciranova's technology to accelerate advancements in its custom integrated circuit (IC) design solutions and enable design teams to better meet the productivity challenges created by the complexity of nanometer designs. The most strategic contribution of the acquisition is that the Pycell technology, developed by Ciranova, is now internal to Synopsys. This increases significantly the necessity for Cadence to come to a creative settlement of the PCell proprietary technology.
PyCells were developed as an answer to the refusal by Cadence to put PCells in the public domain. Now that a very significant competitor, to understate the situation, that is also a major player in the iPDK consortium, owns the competing technology, I predict that Cadence will have to develop a tactic in the short term to preclude from playing any part in a Synopsys design flow. Of course Synopsys has the same problem in reverse. It is often much easier to come to an understanding when two vendors of similar importance and financial size are involved, than when one of the party is much bigger than the other.
"Adding Ciranova's technology and engineering talent to the Synopsys custom IC solution team supports our goal to make continual gains in productivity for designers working on advanced custom IC designs. This acquisition creates an opportunity to deliver productivity gains by integrating Ciranova's Helix placer with Synopsys' custom design solution," said Paul Lo, senior vice president and general manager of Synopsys' Analog Mixed-Signal Group. "Additionally, the combination of Synopsys and Ciranova – both founding members of the Interoperable PDK Libraries (IPL) Alliance – underscores Synopsys' commitment to enabling an interoperable Process Design Kit (iPDK) ecosystem. To ensure the long-term growth of the iPDK ecosystem, Synopsys will continue providing Ciranova's PyCell Studio and PyCell usage at no charge."
The above statement by Paul Lo says it all.