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Avant! Corp, the chip design automation company locked in legal wrangles with competitor Cadence Design Inc over allegedly stolen copyright and other nasties (CI No 2,810), has nonetheless been buying again, and this time bagged Technology Modeling Associates Inc for its TCAD technology computer-aided design software. Avant!, apparently pronounced ah VANH tee, won a stay of execution in the civil court two months ago (CI No 3,214), in the case initially brought by Cadence two years ago, which accuses Avant! founder members, formerly Cadence employees of basically walking away from their former employer with the goodies. In spite of criminal charges brought against it in April, and a shareholder suit following closely on its heels, Avant!, now based in Freemont, California, seems confident it will win eventually. Back in June, it bought VLSI Technology Inc’s Compass design automation business, and now it has added Technology Modeling Associates in a stock swap valued at around $150m. Technology Modeling itself has just bought Portland, Oregon-based Precim Corp, a fellow developer of optical proximity correction software for ensuring accuracy of semiconductor design and manufacture (CI No 3,228). Avant! says Technology Modeling’s software , which enables physical simulation of integrated circuit design and manufacture, is essential for developing next generation fabrication processes and devices that can be accurately manufactured, as well as for calibrating higher level design tools to deep-submicron silicon. The acquisition also brings to Avant! Technology Modeling’s relationships with silicon vendor and semiconductor foundries.

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