Consolidation in EDA and PLM Pitfalls

March 19, 2010

I was watching Mentor Graphics presentation yesterday about their Valor acquisition. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it, take a look on the following link – Consolidation in EDA and PLM State of Mind. The presentation impressed me by slides and explanations. The acquisition’s target is clear and presenting an interest to create integration between design and manufacturing in the Electronic Design industry domain.

The presentation made me think about some fundamental trend in engineering and product development. This trend is about integrated systems. It seems to me EDA industry is following PLM state of mind in the creation of integrated design to manufacturing systems. PLM leaders – Dassault and UGS (now Siemens), passed exactly the same trends by acquisition of manufacturing software companies (Delmia and Tecnomatix).

Quote from Aberdeen’s Michele Boucher, finally confirmed my thoughts:

“In the mechanical world there have been significant moves by PLM vendors to expand their solutions footprint into manufacturing. The acquisition of Valor by Mentor Graphics is the first such move by a major ECAD vendor and constitutes a substantial step forward in providing end-to-end development solutions for the electronics industry.”

However, there is one thing I wanted to raise and discuss. The following side presented the biggest industry problem and reason for acquisition-  fragmentation. The similar problem was presented by PLM industries during the analyzes of design, engineering, manufacturing and other systems. As a result, the complex integrated PLM systems were created.

My take on this:

1. Integration of the systems is a very complex task
2. PLM systems focused on MCAD mostly, already did it in the past
3. Integrated systems in PLM domain created a huge level of complexity
4. Cost of the system’s lifecycle and changes are growing exponentially with the increased level of integration.

I’m sure Mentor Graphics engineering wizards will create an integrated models and maybe even standards to combine data and process flow between various components of EDA systems. Will they be able to resolve the similar problem created by PLM systems? It seems to me, people less think about a cost of change when creating an integrated system. World “integration” is so positive, then people tend to forget about a possible impact in the future.

Just my thoughts… What is your opinion?
Best, Oleg

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