And so it begins...

The Cult of Carl in Cuckoo Land

by Peggy Aycinena

Wow. You've got to hand it to the brain surgeons who wrested 'control' at Mentor in May when the status quo management failed to convince their constituency to stick with the status quo BoD.

Instead, the Cult of Carl successfully installed their Gang of 3 onto the board. Ousted in the vote were James Fiebiger, Marsha Congdon, and Fontaine Richardson, replaced by Jose Alapoint, David Schechter, and Gary Meyers – this last worth noting, since he most recently served as VP/GM of the "Synplicity Business Group" at Synopsys following the acquisition of Synp by Syno in 2008.

Why is that of interest, given the fact that in Provincial EDA, everybody knows and/or has worked with and/or has competed with everybody else at one point or another in the industry?

Well, when I saw that Meyers was voted onto the board of Mentor, I [erroneously] concluded that SNPS would be buying the company straightaway, given that they now had a seasoned alum on the MENT BoD. Combining that with the collapse of MENT's market valuation in the 3 months following the Icahn coup in May – a drop of 30% to 40% – it seemed to make a SNPS>MENT acquisition look like the logical next step.

But, I was wrong. Very wrong.

I should have known to give more credit to the Cult of Carl now running amok in Cuckoo Land. Thanks to their infinite wisdom, Mentor has sold off its Catapult C ESL synthesis tool to Calypto Design Systems.

Hmm. Just a second. Let me see if I can actually hoist the 10,000 tons of marketing materials that I've received from Mentor over the years delineating their too-too-clever-for-words strategy in pursuing ESL via Catapult C.

What? Catapult C wasn't so great after all? Or, is it that the new BoD at Mentor no longer has the patience to wait out the advent of C-based ESL? Or, is it that they're banking precious corporate blood & treasure on their TLM-based Vista design solution instead?

Who knows? I'm sure that yet more tons of marketing material will now be arriving – both from Mentor and Calypto – touting the wisdom of it all, because now we're to believe that a TLM-based strategy outweighs the benefits to MENT of years [!!] of commitment to C-level synthesis.

Oh well. In my opinion, only one entity comes out the winner here ... Forte Design Automation.

They've always been committed to C-level synthesis, they'll always be committed to C-level synthesis, and they've never taken their eye off the prize.

Things could change, of course. We could wake up tomorrow and find that in the midst of H.Irene, Forte's bought up the rest of MENT, or bought the Vista Division to expand Forte's footprint in the Big Bad World of ESL design.

And by the way. If that happens, you heard it here first. Hey! DChip's not the only place where rumors can be grist for the mill.


Per Principle Pobah Promoting ESL ...

"This is a great deal for Calypto," said Gary Smith, Chief Analyst at GSEDA. "They are clearly one of the companies on the rise in ESL, and this gives them the chance to offer a compelling power-optimized C to RTL flow if they can integrate all the pieces."


Per latest Marketspeak related to today's news ...

“The merger of two market-leading electronic system level (ESL) products, Catapult C Synthesis and Calypto SLEC System-HLS verification tool, will create a better integrated ESL hardware realization flow, and enhance the company's partnership with Mentor Graphics, a leader in ESL technology.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed."

August 26, 2011


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