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Monday, August 16, 2010

EVE duelling Mentor Patent Analysis

Mentor Strikes EVE with Fred Reblewski’s yet another patent #6,876,962. The patent was issued in 2005. And Mentor is seeking damages and to bar sale of EVE’s products in USA. Last Month, Mentor had similar suit in Japan against EVE.

This lawsuit reminds me of Mentor feuding over Cadence Quickturn, when Zycad/ Quickturn decade long feuds fueled court battles. Cadence took away emulation marketshare from Mentor back then. Is Mentor scared of EVE this time?

The patent is covering emulation of several designs concurrently. Emulation system consists of emulator with resources, and host system that generates netlists using available emulation resources & allows running multiple designs concurrently. As designs grow very large, emulation systems may cost several Million dollars to companies. Once companies buy the equipment, they want to make sure emulation resources are utilized effectively. One desired way is to allow regressing emulation of several designs concurrently. So the technology solves a unique problem for the industry and patent is valuable.

In July 2009, EVE launched its 1B gate Zebu Server, which offers easy setup and debugging to users. Zebu compiler can automatically handle designs of high complexity easily. With flexibility, multi-MHz performance, &  price/ performance Zebu servers are very competitive in the industry with no answer from Mentor at the time.

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