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Synopsys is an American electronic design automation company. Majority of their products include tools used in the design of an application-specific integrated circuit. Products include logic synthesis, behavioral synthesis, place and route, static timing analysis, formal verification, hardware description language (SystemC, SystemVerilog/Verilog, VHDL) simulators as well as transistor-level circuit simulation. The simulators include development and debugging environments which assist in the design of the logic for chips and computer systems. In recent years Synopsys has also expanded into the application security market.

Traded as
IndustrySoftware & Programming
Founded1986 by David Gregory, Aart de Geus
HeadquartersMountain View, California, U.S.
Key people
Aart J. de Geus
(Founder, Chairman & co-CEO)
Chi-Foon Chan
(President & co-CEO)
RevenueIncrease $3.121 billion USD (FY 2018)[1]
Increase $432.5 million USD (FY 2018)[1]
Number of employees
12,590 (Q2 Fiscal 2018)[2]


Founded in 1986 by Aart J. de Geus and engineers from General Electric's Microelectronics Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Synopsys was first established as "Optimal Solutions" with a charter to develop and market synthesis technology developed by the team at General Electric. The section below lists out the various acquisitions that Synopsys has made from 1994–present.

Acquisitions, mergers, spinoffsEdit

Building on the Hillsboro, Oregon, campus
Synopsys Armenia Education Department (SAED) Graduating Class
  • 1994: acquired Cadis, Aachen, Germany. Through this acquisition Synopsys got the communication systems and DSP design tool suit named COSSAP. COSSAP stood for Communication System Simulation and Application Processor. Synopsys carried out various communication (predominantly wireless modems) design and consulting activities using this tool (and later the evolved new tool Co-centric System Studio). The Cadis group was a spin-off development initiative from Institute for Integrated Signal Processing Systems (ISS), RWTH Aachen, spearheaded by Professor Heinrich Meyr[3] and Professor Gerd Ascheid.[4] COSSAP was a competing product to SPW[5] from Cadence (now maintained and enhanced by Coware).[6] Synopsys stopped support on COSSAP since 2003 and promoted the enhanced tool Concentric System Studio.
  • 1997: acquired EPIC Design Technology Inc., USA
  • 1997: acquired Viewlogic Systems, Inc., USA
  • 1998: acquired Systems Science, Inc.
  • June 6, 2002: merger with Avanti Corporation, USA. Avanti was founded when several ex-Cadence employees bought the startup ArcSys, which had previously merged with ISS, gaining Avanti its DRC/LVS tool Hercules (including 3D silicon structure modeling), then bought Compass Design Automation, which had fully integrated IC Design Flow and ASIC Libraries, especially its place and route tool, which Avanti reworked to create Saturn and Apollo II; and it also bought TMA which brought their pioneering TCAD and Proteus Optical proximity correction tools. This was, by far, Synopsys' most significant and controversial acquisition. At the time Avanti was the #4 company in the EDA industry, and was struggling with a major lawsuit from Cadence for software theft.[7]
  • September 12, 2002: acquired Co-Design Automation, Inc. USA. Co-Design pioneered the Superlog language, a superset of the popular Verilog hardware description language, extending its capabilities into verification and system design. Superlog formed the basis of The SystemVerilog language standardized by Accelera in 2003.
  • September 20, 2002: acquired inSilicon Inc., USA
  • March 3, 2003: acquired Numerical Technologies, Inc. USA, a pioneer in design for manufacturing software which included CATS mask fracturing. Synopsys paid about $250 million in cash.
  • February 23, 2004: acquired Accelerant Networks, USA
  • February 26, 2004: acquired assets of Analog Design Automation, Inc., USA
  • October 2004: acquired assets of Monterey Design Systems, Inc., USA
  • October 18, 2004: acquired Cascade Semiconductor Solutions Inc., USA
  • November 2, 2004: acquired Integrated Systems Engineering AG (ISE), Switzerland, a TCAD company.
  • November 2, 2004: acquired assets of LEDA Design, Inc., USA, a developer of mixed-signal intellectual property.
  • 2004: After acquiring Monterey Arset and Leda Design, Opened Synopsys Armenia (CJSC). Home to 8% of the company's worldwide engineering force.[8]
  • December 1, 2004: agreement to acquire Nassda Corp., USA, an integrated circuit simulator company and settle the litigation between the two companies
  • December 7, 2005: Acquired HPL Technologies,[9] a semiconductor analysis software manufacturer that makes software specializing in wafer design analysis and yield enhancement for wafer process.
  • May 16, 2006, announced expanding its presence in electronic system-level (ESL) design by acquiring Virtio Corporation, creator of virtual platforms for embedded software development.
  • June 21, 2006: Santiago Chile, Synopsys R&D Center Chile Opening.
  • August 16, 2006: Acquired Sigma-C a Munich-based lithography simulation company.[10]
  • June 18, 2007: Acquired ArchPro Design Automation Inc.
  • July 30, 2007: Purchased certain semiconductor IP assets from MOSAID Technologies.[11]
  • October 2, 2007: Acquired Sandwork Design.[12]
  • March 30, 2008: Announced acquisition of Synplicity, the leader in FPGA synthesis and rapid prototyping technology.[13]
  • December 18, 2008: Acquired ChipIT Business Unit from ProDesign Electronic GmbH, Germany[14]
  • May 8, 2009: Acquired Analog Business Group (Chipidea) from MIPS Technologies[15]
  • Feb 2, 2010: Acquires VaST Systems Technology Corporation.
  • Feb 8, 2010: Announces an acquisition of Coware Inc.[16]
  • June 10, 2010: Announces an acquisition of Synfora Inc.[17]
  • June 10, 2010: Announces definitive agreement to acquire Virage Logic.[18]
  • Sep 2, 2010: Announces an acquisition of Virage Logic Corporation.[19]
  • Oct 7, 2010: Announces an acquisition of Optical Research Associates.[20]
  • Sep 2, 2011: Announces an acquisition of nSys Design Systems.[21]
  • Oct 7, 2011: Announces an acquisition of Extreme DA.[22]
  • Nov 2011: Announces an acquisition of Magma Design Automation for $7.35/Share In Cash.[23]
  • Jan 2012: Synopsys Acquires ExpertIO.
  • Feb 15, 2012: Completes acquisition of the mask patterning business of Luminescent Technologies, Inc., thus adding Inverse Lithography Technology (ILT) to its manufacturing product line.
  • Feb 22, 2012: Completes acquisition of Magma Design Automation with the cash value of transaction of about $523 million, or $7.35 per Magma share.
  • May 8, 2012: Announces an acquisition of RSoft Design Group.[24]
  • July 30, 2012: Announces acquisition of Ciranova.[25]
  • Aug 3, 2012: Announces an acquisition of SpringSoft for $406 million.[26]
  • October 4, 2012: Announces acquisition of EVE for an undisclosed amount
  • Feb 19, 2014: Announces acquisition of Coverity for $350 million.[27]
  • May 15, 2014: Announces acquisition of Kalistick for an undisclosed amount.[28]
  • September 18, 2014: AMD and Synopsys entered into a multi-year agreement which grants AMD access to Synopsys' design IP. In return Synopsys gets access to a team of AMD IP and R&D engineers. According to Mark Papermaster, AMD's senior vice president and CTO, "We have partnered with Synopsys for tools and IP for more than a decade, and this expanded relationship is a great example of leveraging high-quality, standard IP for cost-effective reuse across multiple solutions."[29]
  • April 20, 2015: Announces acquisition of Codenomicon.[30]
  • June 7, 2015: Announces acquisition of Atrenta.[31]
  • July 20, 2015: Announces acquisition of Seeker (from Quotium).[32]
  • August, 2015: Acquired Atrenta Inc.[33]
  • November 6, 2015: Acquired Protecode.[34]
  • March 2016: Announces acquisition of WinterLogic.[35]
  • May 2016: Announces acquisition of Simpleware Ltd, UK on March 15, 2016.[36]
  • May 23, 2016: Synopsys acquires Gold Standard Simulations Ltd.[37]
  • November 7, 2016: Acquired Cigital and Codiscope.[38]
  • November 2, 2017: Announces the acquisition of Black Duck Software, a leader in open source software security and management.[39] The acquisition was formalized in December 2017.[40]
  • Feb. 8, 2018, Synopsys Expands Photonic Design Solution with the Acquisition of PhoeniX Software[41]


Synopsys has three primary areas of business including silicon design and verification, silicon intellectual property, and software integrity. In order to preserve the full history of these acquisitions, we have included the history across these three business units.[42]

Silicon Design & VerificationEdit


CoWare, now part of Synopsys, was a supplier of platform-driven electronic system-level (ESL) design software and services. CoWare was headquartered in San Jose, California, and had offices around the world, major R&D offices in Belgium, Germany and India.

CoWare development was initiated by the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) in Belgium as an internal project in 1992.[43] In 1996, CoWare spun off as an independent company.[44] CoWare is one of the founding member of SystemC language[45] In 2005, CoWare acquired the Signal Processing department from Cadence.[46] On February 8, 2010, Synopsys has announced an acquisition of CoWare.[47]

Its products included : Platform Architect, Model Designer, Model Library, Processor Designer, Signal Processing Designer and Virtual Platform Designer.

Novas SoftwareEdit

Novas Software (often referred to as "Novas") was a company founded in 1996 by Dr. Paul Huang to address the ongoing problem of debugging chip designs. Novas was purchased by Taiwan-based EDA company SpringSoft in May 2008. Prior to its purchase, Novas was partly owned by SpringSoft, which developed the underlying debug technology.[48] Until 2008, Novas grew to employ over 50 people with office locations across the world, headquartered in San Jose, California. SpringSoft and Novas was acquired by Synopsys in 2012.

Novas offered debugging and visibility enhancement products that cut down on verification time. Novas' main product offerings included the Debussy Debug System, Verdi Automated Debug System and the Siloti family of Visibility Enhancement products. A 2006 study found Novas Software to be the sixth most-used EDA vendor.[49] Along with this, Novas Software topped the user satisfaction ratings with 100% of respondents in Europe, 83% in North America & 69% in Asia saying they were either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied.[50] This distinction was also awarded to Novas Software for the four years prior to 2006.

Numerical TechnologiesEdit

Numerical Technologies, Inc. was a San Jose, California, United States based EDA public (NASDAQ: NMTC) company. The company was primarily known for its IP portfolio, software tools and services covering alternating Phase Shift Mask (alt-PSM) Technology providing sub-wavelength design to manufacturing solutions.

On January 10, 2000 Numerical Technologies acquired Transcription Enterprises, Inc. primarily known for its CATS software for mask data preparation,[51]

On October 27, 2000 Numerical Technologies acquired Cadabra Design Automation, Inc. (Cadabra), a provider of automated IC layout cell creation technology used to create the building blocks for standard cell, semi-custom and custom integrated circuits. Purchase price: $99 million.[52]

On March 3, 2003 it was acquired by Synopsys.


SpringSoft is a software company that developed VLSI design and debugging software. The company was founded with a grant from the Taiwanese National Science Council in February 1996.

In 1997, SpringSoft established Novas Software in Silicon Valley to market Springsoft's VLSI Debugging software. SpringSoft created a custom layout tool called Laker and a US-based company called Silicon Canvas. In May 2008, SpringSoft purchased Novas Software Silicon Canvas and combined them to form the wholly owned subsidiary SpringSoft USA. SpringSoft employed over 400 people with office locations across the world.

Synopsys announced its acquisition of SpringSoft in 2012.[53]


Synplicity Inc. was a supplier of software solutions for design of programmable logic devices (FPGAs, PLDs and CPLDs) used for communications, military/aerospace, consumer, semiconductor, computer and other electronic systems. Synplicity's tools provided logic synthesis, physical synthesis, and verification functions for FPGA, FPGA-based ASIC prototyping, and DSP designers. Synplicity was listed on Nasdaq until it was acquired by Synopsys for $227 million[54] in a transaction finalized May 15, 2008. Synplicity was founded by Ken McElvain (Chief Technical Officer) and Alisa Yaffa (former CEO).

Silicon Intellectual PropertyEdit

ARC InternationalEdit

ARC International PLC was the designer of ARC (Argonaut RISC Core) embedded processors, which were widely used in SoC devices for IoT, storage, digital home, mobile, and automotive applications. ARC processors have been licensed by more than 200 companies and are shipped in more than 1.5 Billion products per year.[55] ARC International was acquired by Synopsys in 2010.

The roots of ARC International date back to the early 1990s. The company was founded by Jez San to build upon the 3D accelerator technology previously developed for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System by a division of Argonaut Software. This forerunner to the ARC was originally called the Mario (Mathematical, Argonaut, Rotation & I/O) chip and later dubbed the Super FX. It went on to sell millions, at the time outselling ARM or any other RISC core.[56][57]

Following the success of the Super FX, its designers were split from the main company to a subsidiary called Argonaut Technology Ltd (ATL). The design was renamed to ARC and marketed as a general-purpose configurable microprocessor. Later, ATL spun off as a separate company, ARC International. In 1995 Bob Terwilliger took over as ARC's first CEO. He created the company licensing strategy, commercialized the product including the acquisition of Metaware, VAutomation and Precise Software. He raised $50 million pre-IPO and took the company public in September 2000, raising an additional $250 million.

A list of notable events following:

  • September 21, 2000, ARC listed on the London Stock Exchange as ARK.[58]
  • June 17, 2002, ARC took over three companies, MetaWare, VAutomation, and Precise Software Technologies[59] but later parts were sold off to other companies.
  • April 2007, ARC acquired Teja Technologies of San Jose, California, a specialist in heterogeneous multiprocessor software.[60][61]
  • June 14, 2007, ARC acquired Tenison Design Automation of Cambridge, UK, a provider of software tools used to help develop system-on-chip (SoC) designs.[62][63]
  • September 23, 2007, ARC acquired Alarity Corporation of St. Petersburg, Russia, that specializes in codec software, firmware, and advanced multimedia architectures.[64][65][66]
  • February 11, 2008, ARC acquired Sonic Focus, a specialist developer of audio enhancement technology for digital sound.[67]
  • November 5, 2009, Virage Logic completes acquisition of ARC International.[68][69]

Synopsys announced its acquisition of Virage Logic on June 10, 2010.[42]

Software IntegrityEdit

Clarified NetworksEdit

The research and development for Clarified Networks' tools began in 2002 and continued for four years in the Oulu University Secure Programming Group (OUSPG) before Clarified Networks spun off from the research group in 2006.

The company entered the Venture Cup competition that year, and was one of the finalists.[70]

In 2007, the founders of Clarified Networks also were awarded for their VMware Applicance called HowNetWorks.[71][72]

In 2011, the company was acquired by Codenomicon.

In 2015, Synopsys announced its acquisition of Codenomicon.[73]


Coverity was a provider of software development tools. Coverity's tools operated via Static and Dynamic software analysis, and were capable of finding defects related to security, stability, and testing. In February 2014, Coverity announced an agreement to be acquired by Synopsys, for $350 million net of cash on hand.[74]


In November 2016, Synopsys acquired Cigital, a software security firm that specializes in source-code static analysis and penetration testing.[75]

Black Duck SoftwareEdit

In November 2017, Synopsys acquired Black Duck Software, a software firm based in Burlington, MA that focuses on Software Composition Analysis. The Black Duck Hub solution scans source and binary code for open source libraries and components, providing visibility into license[76] and security risks[77] that may impact organizations in a major way.




Across the three core business areas, Synopsys has products and services ranging from silicon to software.

Silicon Design & Verification[78]Edit

Silicon Intellectual Property[79]Edit

Software Integrity Products and Services[80]Edit

This business unit provides integrated application security testing tools and managed and professional services. The Polaris Software Integrity PlatformTM[81] brings together multiple security testing technologies and product lines via CI/CD workflows. Another component of Polaris is the Code Sight IDE plugin that integrates with a developers coding workflow in an interactive and integrated approach.[82]

Integrated Application Security Testing ToolsEdit

Coverity Static Application Security TestingEdit

Coverity static application security testing (SAST) finds and fixes security and quality issues as you code–fast.[83]

Black Duck Software Composition AnalysisEdit

Black Duck Software Composition Analysis secures and manages open source from development to deployment.[84]

Seeker Interactive Application Security TestingEdit

Accurate, automated security testing for your web applications.[85]

Defensics Fuzz TestingEdit

Defensics is a comprehensive, versatile, automated black box fuzzer that enables organizations to efficiently and effectively discover and remediate security weaknesses in software.[86]

Software Security ServicesEdit

Managed Application Security TestingEdit

Reduce the risk of a breach by identifying and exploiting business-critical vulnerabilities with on-demand security testing expertise. Managed Services include: Dynamic Application Security Testing,[87] Penetration Testing, Static Application Security Testing,[88] Mobile Application Security Testing,[89] and Managed Network Security Testing.[90]

Professional ServicesEdit

Accelerate your application security program with the help of experts. Professional services include: strategy and planning (BSIMM),[91] architecture and design,[92] red teaming,[93] insider threat detection,[94] embedded software testing,[95] secure coding guidelines,[96] thick client testing,[97] and application security testing services.[98]

Audit ServicesEdit

On-demand expertise to help you quickly identify open source, legal, security and quality risks in software. Audit services include: open source audits, application security audits, code quality audits and merger and acquisition audits.[99] This product was formerly known as "Black Duck OnDemand" and "Black Duck Audit Services."

See alsoEdit


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Synopsys Acquires ExpertIO [1]

External linksEdit