Cadence pays $160m to buy AWR from National Instruments

3rd December 2019
Mick Elliott

Cadence Design Systems is buying RF EDA software specialist AWR from National Instruments (NI) for $160m. The acquisition is the latest building block in Cadence’s Intelligent System Design strategy which helps engineers deal with major design and implementation decisions from system to silicon.

AWR brings a savvy team delivering solutions in the mmwave and microwave arena with 5G being a particular focus.

Concurrently, Cadence and NI have forged a strategic alliance to expand their relationship to enhance electronic system innovation with a focus on communications.

The flows resulting from the integration of AWR technology with Cadence computation software are expected to be tightly connected with the NI LabVIEW and PXI modular instrumentation systems and semiconductor data platform as part of the alliance.

AWR software is used by microwave and RF engineers to design wireless products for complex, high-frequency RF applications. It is used in communications, aerospace and defence, semiconductor, computer, and consumer electronics, to reduce the time it takes to go from concept to manufacturing.

“Companies designing communication and radar chips, modules and systems face increasing time-to-market pressure in high-growth 5G/wireless applications. Creating differentiated products while reducing cycle time requires a seamless design, simulation and analysis environment,” said Dr. Anirudh Devgan (pictured), President of Cadence. “The addition of AWR’s talent and technologies will enable us to provide more integrated and optimized RF design solutions, thereby further accelerating system innovation as we execute our Intelligent System Design strategy.”

Traditional RF/microwave design flow, which consists of processes that are error-prone, is a challenge to designers.

Cadence will offer customers the AWR Design Environment with the Cadence Allegro PCB Designer and Virtuoso and Spectre platforms for RF integrated circuit (IC) design.

Tricky and tedious electromagnetic and thermal analysis is covered by Cadence tools such as the Clarity 3D Solver, Celsius Thermal Solver and Sigrity PowerSI technologies.

“RF/microwave/mmWave applications need best-in-class solutions to achieve first-pass success with optimal design performance,” said Joseph E. Pekarek, General Manager of AWR. “By joining forces with Cadence, our goal is to be able to leverage the strength and heritage of the Virtuoso and Allegro platforms along with the AWR Design Environment platform to deliver complete solutions for complex ICs, packages and boards.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

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