US company Cadence launches incubator for Aussie circuit makers

California-based company Cadence Design Systems has partnered with National ICT Australia to launch a business incubation program for Australian integrated circuit start-ups.


Cadence Design Systems is an electronic design automation (EDA) software and engineering services company. It was founded in 1998 by the merger of SDA Systems and ECAD, Inc.


Based in San Jose in California, Cadence is one the world’s leading suppliers of electronic design technologies and engineering services in the EDA industry.


Its primary corporate product is software used to designed chips and printed circuit boards.


Cadence has partnered with National ICT Australia (NICTA), which aims to build and deliver excellence in ICT research and commercial outcomes for Australia.


In a bid to enhance Australia’s entrepreneurial environment, Cadence has launched a business incubation program for integrated circuit (IC) start-ups, which is available through NICTA.


The program will provide industry-leading EDA solutions, which, according to Cadence, will help remove some of the barriers to entry that new IC design companies face in the marketplace.


The program will offer start-ups access to the Cadence technology suite of analog, custom, digital and PCB/package/board design software, in addition to internet training.


Peter Hoff, director of technology transfer at NICTA, says the program “is an excellent example of industry, government and academic cooperation”.


“The program will last for another year and a half. It is open to any company that qualifies,” he says.


The main qualification criteria is as follows:

  • Must be less than five years old.
  • Must be under a certain size (less than 80 employees or under a certain revenue limit).
  • Must not be a current customer of Cadence.

NICTA is funded by the federal and state governments and universities to develop technologies that generate economic, social and environment benefits for Australia.


It collaborates with industry on joint projects, creates new companies and provides new talent to the ICT sector through a NICTA-enhanced PhD program.


With five laboratories around Australia and more than 700 people, NICTA is the largest organisation in Australia dedicated to ICT research.


According to Cadence vice-president of marketing Pankaj Mayor, Cadence has supported programs around the world to foster innovation in the semiconductor industry.


“Collaborating with [NICTA] demonstrates our commitment to both providing proven EDA resources to start-ups and to helping grow the Australian IC industry,” Mayor said in a statement.


Pat Kelly is the chief executive of Nitero, a fabless semiconductor company with a design centre in Melbourne and headquarters in Austin, Texas.


Nitero is currently working on next-generation 60 GHz Wi-Fi solutions for portable platforms, and has already participated in the incubation program.


“Being part of the program has enabled us to focus on designing our chip at a low burn rate, which is critical for a start-up,” Kelly says.


“Accessing leading-edge Cadence EDA technology and solutions has provided us with a unique advantage in the marketplace.”


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