The EDA and the Electronics IP Almanac: Q4 2010

• Deferred revenue balance of $13.0 million, an increase of 32% compared to the previous corresponding period

• Cash balance of US$4.1 million as of December 31, 2010, down from US$4.8 million as of June 30, 2010

• The total number of subscriptions sold in this period increased 125%, and the number of subscriptions renewed in this period increased 64%, compared to the previous corresponding period


Readers of the quarterly EDA Commentary published by Henke Associates have occasionally wondered why Altium Limited has been consistently included in the list of far-larger EDA vendors covered since 2003. The writer must admit that he always had a soft spot in his heart for Altium Limited, as the Company was almost totally focused on Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design, the EDA segment that the writer spent over four years managing at Mentor Graphics in the 90’s. EDA Commentary readers have witnessed for the past 8 years Altium’s constant struggle for worldwide growth and profitability, operating from its perch in Australia.

But the times are a-changin’ for Altium!  While the relatively flat revenue performance by Altium could be blamed at least partially on the knowledge within its customer base that a new Altium software system was in the cards for release in Q1 2011, it turns out that this new release actually possesses the scope and power of enormous magnitude, one that has the potential of moving Altium into the “big time.”


EDA WEEKLY readers were treated to a small preview of the new product release of Altium Designer 10 in the ONE YEAR LATER section of the March 7, 2011 EDA WEEKLY posting (go to this URL and scroll down to near the end of the "Print" version of the entire article):

Altium recently provided more details. In addition to the release of Altium Designer 10, the Company also announced Altium Vaults and AltiumLive. 

Altium Vaults is the heart of Altium Designer 10's new design data management functionality, whereas AltiumLive is described as an online ecosystem for electronics design professionals that will connect designers with collaborators, suppliers, manufacturers and in the future, customers; sort of the “back-end” of  Altium Designer’s “front-end” user applications.

Altium CEO Nick Martin commented, "We chose to build a new platform to solve the intractable challenges of keeping design data under control without killing innovation, to deliver great design functionality for today, and provide a bridge to that future.”

CEO Nick Martin

"The solution was to develop and release a design tool, an ecosystem and new technology to manage data and deliver new design content, all at once,”
Martin concluded.

As Altium spokespeople put it, “The diverse participants (who must cooperate) in making electronics (products and systems) that change the world (usually) create data sets that do not inherently work well together. Component data mix with other IP (intellectual property), which in turn tangle with manufacturing data, leading to all types of knotty problems. Component availability, prices, and versions change with a rapidity that makes life difficult for busy designers trying to manage the ‘who did what, when and how.’ And all the time, competitors (to these EDA customers) are circling. With Altium Designer 10, these customers can relieve their anxieties around design process complexity, business system integration, supply chain integration, external manufacturing, and increasing competitive pressure. They can free themselves to innovate.”

For more information about Altium’s latest release, go to:

See also the response in the media in just the last few months:

Altium self description

Altium Limited (ASX:ALU) creates electronics design software based on the belief that anyone who wants to create electronic products that make a difference should be able to do so. Altium’s unified electronics design environment links all aspects of electronics product design in a single application that is priced to be as affordable as possible. This helps electronics designers break down barriers to innovation, harness the latest devices and technologies, manage their projects across broad design ‘ecosystems’, and create connected, intelligent designs. Founded in 1985, Altium has headquarters in Sydney, and operates worldwide. For more information, visit Altium, Altium Designer and LiveDesign, and their respective logos, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Altium Limited, or its subsidiaries. All other registered or unregistered trademarks mentioned in this release are the property of their respective owners, and no trademark rights to the same are claimed.



On February 2, 2011 Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) announced updated results for its 2010 fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010.

Cadence reported fourth quarter 2010 revenue of $249.02 million, up 13.05% compared to revenue of $220.28 million reported in Q4 2009, but up only 4.66 % over the $237.93 million reported in sequential Q3 2010. The Q4 2010 revenue was some $9 million above the top of the $230 million to $240 million guidance range provided by Cadence just 3 months ago.

On a GAAP basis, Cadence suffered a net loss of $37.04 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, or $(0.14) per diluted share, compared to a slightly positive net income of $1.79 million in Q4 2009, and of course vastly inferior to the whopping $126.75 million (tax-benefit-inflated) black ink reported in the just prior Q3 2010. The Q4 2010 earnings guidance provided just three months ago had suggested the GAAP net loss per diluted share for Q4 2010 would be far smaller than $(0.14), i.e. between $(0.06) and $(0.04).

Revenue for entire year 2010 totaled $935.95 million
, up 9.77% compared to revenue of $852.63 million in 2009. Net income for 2010 was $126.54 million, or $0.48 per share on a diluted basis, compared to a net loss of $149.87 million or $(0.58) per share on a diluted basis for 2009.  The guidance for the full year provided just three months ago called for total revenue 2010 in the range of $917 million to $927 million. On a GAAP basis, net income per diluted share for 2010 was expected three months ago to be in the range of $0.55 to $0.57.

Lest we forget, the actual GAAP net income for fiscal year 2010 included $148 million income tax benefits related to the settlement of an Internal Revenue Service examination of Cadence’s federal income tax returns for the tax years 2000 through 2002 and to a $67 million acquisition-related income tax benefit. Without these two tax benefits, Cadence GAAP profit for 2010 year of some $127 million would instead have been a GAAP loss of some $88 million or ~$(0.33). For the record, way back on February 3, 2010, for the full year 2010, the company expected total 2010 revenue in the range of $865 million to $900 million. On a GAAP basis, net loss per diluted share for 2010 was expected 12 months ago to be in the range of $(0.29) to $(0.19).

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