Taken for Granted

ESL, embedded processors, and more

Catalypto or Calypult?

Filed under: Uncategorized — August 27, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

I was surprised yesterday morning – Friday August 26 – to read a John Cooley “intercept” indicating that Mentor Graphics had moved its Catapult C group over to Calypto in which they had also bought a major interest. Of course, this was a rumour, albeit grounded in inside information. Later that day the Reality-Based community (the world of press releases, EE Times and Chip Design) all weighed in, indicating this was real.  Ron Wilson wrote an interesting blog on it as well.

It was surprising because it seemed to split off a key tool area in ESL – high level synthesis – from the companion ESL tools in a large EDA company and move it to a small one.  Also, Catapult C had been a relative success for Mentor Graphics in ESL, and had a major market share for several years.  Losing the sales and support channels of a major worldwide EDA company seemed to be a strange way to foster a product, although given its relatively loose structure, the links between Catapult C and other tools in Mentor Graphics seemed at times quite tenuous.    Clearly the focus of an independent small ESL company like Calypto may allow more focus on it and its links to the verification and power optimisation products that Calypto has been built on.  We’ll have to see what happens to this product and the new Calypto over the next couple of years.

It did make me wonder if the entrance of Cadence directly into the High Level Synthesis market with its C to Silicon product, and Synopsys’s indirect entrance with its acquistion of Synfora technology, (just a year ago…… seems much longer) has meant more competition for Mentor’s Catapult C despite its early entrance and large market share.   The sale of AutoESL to Xilinx earlier this year implies a bit of a shakeup has continued in this area which had too many players for a relatively small pie, albeit what looks like a growing one.

I know several people who have been part of this team and whatever the future holds for them, I wish them Bonne Chance!

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