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Cadence is aggressively pursuing the system-on-a-chip (SOC) market with the acquisition of Ambit, developer of critical design automation technology used in SOC design. The deal is worth $260 million, and will be paid in cash. Ambit, a privately-held company and currently an OEM partner of Cadence, offers a leading-edge product called BuildGates. This is designed for synthesis and timing analysis that specifically addresses the requirements of multi-million gate, "block-based" designs typical of SOC devices. This takeover follows closely behind the recent acquisition of EDA, a division of Bell Labs, also specialists in SOC technology. Ambit's BuildGates technology will give Cadence the industry's most comprehensive suite of tools and associated design flows required for SOC applications, the company said in a statement. "Customers have been asking for a new approach for applying synthesis to SOC design because last-generation technology has hit the wall," said Jack Harding, CEO of Cadence. "They have consistently told us that SOC design is not about point tools, but an efficient methodology." He said that Ambit had established a superior alternative to large, multiple-IP-block designs that characterised the SOC era, and that further research was already underway. Cadence said that it expects most of the 100 staff at Ambit to join it, including the R&D team. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is now subject to regulatory and Ambit shareholder approval. ®

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