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California firm buys local start-up |

California firm buys local start-up

Michael Yeomans
| Wednesday, April 7, 2004 12:00 a.m

Another Pittsburgh-area technology start-up has been acquired by a company from California.

Neolinear Inc., an O’Hara-based maker of design software for making integrated analog and digital semiconductor chips, is being purchased by San Jose, Calif.-based Cadence Design Systems Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Neolinear employs about 75 people, between 50 and 55 in Pittsburgh, said Chief Executive Thomas Beckley, who said that all but one employee will be retained and local offices in the Regional Industrial Development Corp. business park maintained.

Late last year, local start-ups Spinnaker Networks Inc., PrintCafe Software Inc. and Nomos Corp. were bought by California concerns. In January, FreeMarkets Inc. said it will be acquired by Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Ariba Inc.

Neolinear Chairman Ron Rohrer will become Cadence’s director of applied research and Beckley will stay on as a circuit designer. Cadence Chief Executive Ray Bingham led a delegation of 10 company officials visiting Pittsburgh Tuesday to meet Neolinear employees.

“Cadence is a big company, with more than $1.3 billion in revenues. For the CEO to pay a visit shows how important Neolinear is to Cadence’s plans for the future,” Beckley said.

Beckley declined to reveal Neolinear’s revenues, but said it has more than 30 customers.

Cadence was the lead investor in an $8 million funding round for Neolinear in 2000 and has been a strategic re-seller of Neolinear’s products for three years.

Cadence is a member of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, a state-sponsored effort to make Pittsburgh a center of the advanced semiconductor design. The Greenhouse provided Neolinear a $273,000 research grant in 2001, helping it to reach supply deals with chipmakers Oki and Sony.

Neolinear raised a total of nearly $17 million in venture capital and received a $3.8 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to fund its research.

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