Electronics Workbench Acquires Autoplacement and Autorouting PCB Design Solutions

8/5/2002 - Electronics Workbench acquired key intellectual property for autoplacement and autorouting technology from Bartels System, GmbH in Germany. Electronics Workbench is further enriching the Bartels technology, which will become the foundation of the company's next generation, fully-integrated solutions to support mainstream and professional printed circuit board (PCB) design engineers.

The agreement supersedes both companies' OEM arrangement and gives Electronics Workbench complete rights to the Bartels autorouting and autoplacement source code. Initially, the improved code will become the backbone of new and innovative functionality in Electronics Workbench's next generation release of its popular Ultiboard product.

The acquired technology is unique in the industry and combines both grid-based and shape-based routing in a single product. Coupled with this, is advanced autoplacement technology that has already earned great respect from the many thousands of Electronics Workbench professional customers who have experienced it through Ultiboard. Internal Electronics Workbench benchmark studies show this technology consistently performs to a standard of speed, accuracy and manufacturability that is more commonly associated with enterprise-wide solutions.

Commenting on the acquisition, Bill Wignall, president and CEO of Electronics Workbench says, "We need full control over the future direction of R&D and to drive our integration strategy. The logical way to do this is through ownership of key IP. We have built a successful business model around the principles of licensing IP, confirming the viability of a product line for us, and then acquiring full rights to further develop it into our line of professional EDA products."

Wignall adds, "Our customers want integrated solutions because moving from application to application costs time and money when designing today's PCBs. These application discontinuities hinder a fluid design methodology that can be created by a fully integrated solution."

Today's acquisition continues Electronics Workbench's business strategy to provide extended functionality, performance and value to its customers. Over the past four years the company has added PCB Layout, VHDL, 3D visualization, and CAM technology to its product portfolio, demonstrating the company's commitment to providing PCB solutions that support the requirements of mainstream and professional design engineers.

Dan Winters, vice president of sales and marketing notes, "Over the previous few years we have seen a considerable amount of industry consolidation, with some technology acquisitions leaving customers without the design solution they need. Our acquisitions not only build the foundations for Electronics Workbench's next generation solutions, but also ensure that our customers will not suddenly lose a key element in their design chain. As we continue our aggressive thrust into the professional EDA market, autoplacement and autorouting technology are strategically important to our future and we must own it, 100 percent."

About Electronics Workbench (www.electronicsworkbench.com)
Founded in 1982, Electronics Workbench is a privately-held corporation that develops and markets the industry's best-selling Windows-based electronic design automation (EDA) tools for circuit design engineers, educators and students around the globe. The Electronics Workbench product line includes programs for schematic capture, Spice/VHDL/Verilog simulation, PCB layout and autorouting/autoplacement. More than 150,000 copies of Electronics Workbench products have been sold worldwide. Electronics Workbench has its headquarters at 111 Peter Street, Suite 801, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1 Canada. The phone number is (416) 977-5550, and the fax is (416) 977-5818.

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