Cadence to acquire Mentor

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I love the letter - starts with "Dear Wally" and ends signed by a Michael J. FISTER!


Reply to
David L. Jones
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Cadence acquires, then destroys :-(

Cadence ate OrCAD ate PSpice...

...Jim Thompson

| James E.Thompson, P.E.                           |    mens     |
| Analog Innovations, Inc.                         |     et      |
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Reply to
Jim Thompson

Yes, Mentor are going to be well and truly FISTED!


Reply to
David L. Jones

Oh. My. God. Can you imagine the convoluted, cryptic Cadence docs, the weird 70s style user interface and the needlessly complex and incredibly brittle and fragile programs this will result in?

Reply to

Why yes, yes I can. One of the few visible changes on ORCAD over the past 5 years has been shifting documentation/help systems. Nice "effort" on their part, although unfortunately they don't seem to understand that the best documentation system doesn't matter that much when the documentation itself is pretty mediocre.

Oh well.

PADS has a very old-school interface, but at least it is quite powerful and not particularly buggy or brain-damaged when all is said and done.

Reply to
Joel Koltner

I am a long-time user of PADS, from the time it was distributed on 5.25" diskettes over 15 years ago and ran on MSDOS. I have evaluated many PCB and schematic systems, and PADS seemed to fit my needs best. But I also experienced the lack of responsiveness to user requests for enhancements and bug fixes, and the unfair and wrongly motivated penalties for lapsed support, as the company became Innoveda and then Mentor Graphics. And we have been for a long time disturbed by the frequent crashes, instability, loss of capabilities, added nonsense "features", and a management paradigm that increasingly values profits, market share, and image to attract new customers, at the expense of installed user satisfaction.

Maybe Cadence can fix some of these problems, but more likely the product(s) will be given a fancy new "look" by some eager fledgling programmers with little or no experience in original schematic entry (electronic design), and PCB layout. The only hope is that, perhaps, the PADS line can be spun off to a more or less autonomous division or even a separate company. The "big money" seems to be in FPGA and physical IC design, as things become even more integrated, and we may be reaching the limits of PCB technology.

There is also the chance that, perhaps, some of the old-timers of PADS, Mentor Graphics, Cadence, ORCAD, etc, may band together, maybe even with some of the people working on the KICAD project, and come up with a really excellent alternative product. For schematic capture, I would like to see a major renovation or spinoff of the SwitcherCAD software, so that it could be used easily and integrated with a PCB layout package. There will also be opportunities for people to write conversion software for CAD symbols, PCB decals, and complete designs.

Some of the more graphics-intensive parts might be handled with industry standard 2-D and 3-D packages, such as AutoCAD (or my favorite, IMSI TurboCAD). Maybe one of these companies could come up with schematic and PCB software. But, the ultimate will probably be when Micro$oft decides to purchase Cadence and AutoCAD and a few other assorted companies, and they will come out with their own package. But their forte is products they can sell by the millions at a few hundred bucks a pop, rather than niche products like these that have maybe 100,000 total users at $5000 to $20,000 each.

I'm picking numbers out of the methane here, but that means the PCB CAD industry is about one billion dollars, although new seats and upgrades would be maybe 1/10 that, or $100,000,000 a year. The type of software peddled by Micro$oft is probably 100 million users at $100-$500 each, for

30 billion dollars, and their new "seats" and upgrades are probably growing at a much faster rate, so the addition of a PCB package probably would not be a good business decision. It would probably require a much greater investment in specialized software programmers, and a whole different type of technical support.


Reply to
Paul E. Schoen

I'm sorry to hear it's gone this way; I've only used PADS for a simple test boards and didn't have such problems.

It sucks to be a public company: Hitting that 10% return every year or whatever is brutal.

One of the Cadence "improvements" to ORCAD in the past year or so was that... oooh, it now displays the Cadence logo on the title bar! As if "ORCAD Capture CIS" as the title bar text wasn't enough of a clue to others what program you used...

I'd love to see someone defend how having a programmer spend time implementing that was somehow more important than fixing their numerous bugs.

We may be reaching the limits of PCB technology, but certainly not of PCB layout software: None of them have anything approaching the sophistication and productivity-enhancing features that any old mechanical CAD package has these days, such as being able to trivially connect, say, an intersection between two objects to the exact center point of another.

Nothing against SwitcherCAD -- it's a great program -- but Mike Engelhardt specifically designed it to be as fast and efficient as possible for circuit

*simulation*, and I have a hard time seeing this not suffering if you try to make it be a general purpose schematic capture package as well. Additionally, the schematic capture part of LTspice is actually a relatively small effort -- I doubt he needed more than a month or two to get it up and running, whereas he surely spent far more time working on the simulation engine itself. (In other words... stuff like KiCAD, Pulsonix, and even ORCAD have much more sophisticated schematic capture than LTspice does.)

There's definitely been a big push for MCAD/ECAD interoperability the past few years, with most major packages (but not PADS!?) now supporting 3D models for components; I imagine this was largely driven by the push for miniaturization -- it's amazing how tightly things like laptops and cell phones are packed today.

I expect that a lot of CAD software will follow the same path that "office productivity" software has: Even after there are plenty of cheap or free bits that serve the needs of, say, >80% of potential users (as, e.g., OpenOffice can do for Microsoft Office users), it'll still be a long time before there's significant uptake in established companies, ostensibly due to re-training cost/data conversion costs/etc. While these are real and significant cost, it's also short-sighted... but of course most businesses today only make plans

12- to 18-months out; good chance the CEO will have been replaced by then!


Reply to
Joel Koltner

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