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October 28, 1999

Aspec Buys Novo, Partners With Sun for Verification Tools

By CBR Staff Writer

Semiconductor intellectual property and system-on-a-chip company Aspec Technology Inc has acquired Fremont, California-based Novo Systems Corp as part of its move towards the electronic design automation market. And in a related move, Aspec signed a strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems Inc.

Novo, a privately held company, has been providing support for Zycad Corp’s high performance simulation and accelerators, but has also been developing large-system verification tools in cooperation with Sun. Those efforts fit in with Aspec’s acquisition earlier this year of two deep-submicron EDA companies, Chip and Chip Technologies Inc and Verilux Design Technology Inc.

Novo changed its name from Zycad TSS Corp earlier this year. Zycad TSS was spun out from programmable ASIC company Zycad in October 1997, when Zycad decided to exit the verification business. Zycad subsequently renamed itself Gatefield Corp, after one of its divisions. Novo has less than 30 staff.

Sunnyvale, California-based Aspec, with 75 staff, was founded in 1991 by four LSI Logic technicians. Aspec recently reported a third-quarter loss of $5.1m or $0.18 cents-a-share, compared to a $0.23m profit in the year-ago, on sales down more than 82% over the twelve months to $1.5m. It hopes a shift to EDA tools will help restore its fortunes.

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