Hewlett Packard (HP) is targeting the electronic design automation (EDA) market with a wide-ranging five-year development deal with specialist Cadence Design Systems.
Although no financial details were disclosed, the agreement includes Cadence adopting HP-UX as its product development platform and HP designating Cadence as its preferred EDA provider.
As well as developing products that support HP-UX and Linux running on Intel's IA-64bit architecture, Cadence will use HP workstations for its internal development work. HP will also place a team of developers on-site at Cadence.
"It's an exciting alliance and announcement that goes way beyond the relationship of a software developer and platform provider," said Cadence president Ray Bingham. HP will provide Cadence with alpha and beta releases of its products as well as production software.
Cadence's customers, which include Philips, Intel and Motorola, will benefit from the alliance, said Bingham.
HP chief executive Carly Fiorina said the alliance would strengthen the hardware manufacturer's ability to serve the electronic design industry, and enable HP and Cadence to target their mutual customers.
According to Fiorina, industry analysts have predicted that the EDA market will be worth about $222bn this year - a 30 per cent increase from last year. "We will help drive this growth," she said.
Both HP and Cadence said the alliance is not exclusive. Cadence will continue to support platforms from Sun Microsystems and HP will continue to buy EDA tools from Cadence's competitors.
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