Synopsys acquires Optical Research Associates

Oct. 9, 2010
Synopsys Inc. has acquired Optical Research Associates, in an effort to break into the solid-state lighting market.
Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS), a developer of software and IP for semiconductor design, verification and manufacturing, has acquired Optical Research Associates (ORA), a privately-held leading provider of optical design software and optical engineering services.

The terms of the deal, which closed today, are not being disclosed. The acquisition is not expected to be material to Synopsys’ results in either fiscal 2010 or 2011.

The addition of ORA’s expertise, technology and products will allow Synopsys to move into the rapidly growing markets associated with displays and solid-state lighting using LEDs, as well as expand into markets such as semiconductor lithography equipment and cameras.

The deal represents Synopsys’ initial move into this space and aligns with the company’s strategy to expand its total addressable market into areas that are naturally adjacent to traditional electronic design automation (EDA).

ORA software is used to design and optimize applications that require light to be controlled or manipulated. Its software allows engineers to design and optimize the optical components and systems found in products such as cameras, telescopes, semiconductor lithography equipment, projectors, laptop displays, automotive lighting, and solid-state lighting using LEDs. Optical components can include items such as lenses, prisms and mirrors, while the systems can include any combination of components necessary to achieve the desired image or image uniformity.

“Optical design is a logical adjacency for Synopsys. The analysis and optimization of optical systems involves the same level of algorithmic and software engineering expertise Synopsys is known to provide,” said Howard Ko, senior vice president and general manager of Synopsys’ silicon engineering group.

With its CODE V® and LightTools® software products, ORA is one of the world’s leading developers of optical design and analysis software. CODE V is used for the design and analysis of optical imaging and optical communication systems. It precisely simulates the reaction of light rays as they pass through or bounce off elements such as lenses, mirrors and prisms, and calculates image quality. The result is a product or system capable of accurately depicting objects such as a planet via a telescope.

LightTools is a 3D tool focused on how best to manipulate and control light. It accurately simulates how light will be perceived in real-world environments so that engineers can design products such as automotive headlights, street lights and cell phone displays that have the desired brightness, distribution and uniformity of light.

ORA’s Engineering Services group has more than 4,800 completed projects since the company was founded in 1963. Working with its software distribution partners, ORA has customers in more than 25 countries. ORA is located in Pasadena, California, Tucson, AZ and Westborough, Massachusetts.