Electronic design automation vendor Synopsys is to acquire the Swiss firm of Integrated Systems Engineering (ISE), a developer of software products and services for the semiconductor industry.
The $95 million acquisition will be made by way of a cash tender offer to all ISE stockholders and option holders. Additionally, there could be an extra three-year earnout payment of $20 million based on product performance and employee retention.
ISE’s software tools precisely simulate advanced semiconductor processes before they are put into production. This can reduce the number of test chips required to optimise and characterize a new semiconductor process, significantly shortening the time and cost to ramp up yield in leading-edge fabs.
Combining the predictive capabilities of ISE’s software with Synopsys’ design tools will allow Synopsys customers to tune their designs to the precise characteristics of a particular process and hence optimise the yield.
“Design and fabrication are becoming increasingly interdependent and require a comprehensive solution with a top-to-bottom focus on improving yields,” said Dr. Aart de Geus, chairman and CEO of Synopsys. “ISE’s capabilities are highly complementary to ours and will allow us to provide a more robust solution that addresses yields throughout the design and manufacturing process.”
The transaction, expected to close in November 2004, is subject to the condition that 90% or more of ISE shares be tendered in the offer in addition to other customary closing conditions.