Veteran engineers and high-level executives are leaving top US chip design toolmakers for Chinese rivals as Beijing seeks to break America’s near monopoly on this key segment of the semiconductor industry, reported the Financial Times.
Three Chinese start-ups established since September last year were founded by or have hired executives and engineers from Synopsys and Cadence Design Systems of the US, the world’s two biggest makers of electronic design automation (EDA) tools, as such software is known, said the FT.
The start-ups include Nanjing-based X-Epic, Shanghai Hejian Industrial Software and Hefei-based Advanced Manufacturing EDA Co, or Amedac, in which Synopsys owns a stake.
“We are seeing more and more people who previously worked with big US chip design tool companies joining start-ups because they think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said an FT source from a China-based chip developer and Synopsys client. “Previously very few people would want to start up a chip design tool company because it’s a very niche market already dominated by huge players, but now they see growing customer demands for local software in China for the very first time.”