SANTA CLARA, CA -- A pair of EDA industry analysts sees Siemens' pending acquisition of Mentor Graphics as the tip of the iceberg for PLM-EDA integration.

Siemens on Monday announced it would buy Mentor in a deal valued at $4.5 billion. The acquisition, which closes next year, will bring Mentor's PCB, IC design and manufacturing software flows under the management of one of the largest electronics conglomerates in the world. For its part, Siemens is ranked by most as a top two player in PLM tools by market share overall, and was roughly even with Mentor in share in 2015.

Like others, analysts at Silicon Valley-based Gary Smith EDA see integration between the EDA and mechanical design product suites as beneficial to users.

"Developing design strategies and architectures that take into account all components of the design from the start is the direction design teams need to take. It is vital for their tools to assist them in achieving that goal, getting them out of their individual design discipline silos and helping them to successfully collaborate on product development right from the start," wrote Laurie Balch and Mary Olsson in a research note.

While it was an open question as to which way the M&A pendelum would swing -- would PLM companies buy ECAD or vice versa? -- consolidation was inevitable, Gary Smith EDA said.

"There wasn’t a question of whether it would happen, it was merely a matter of when," the analysts said. "The days of EDA and mechanical CAx operating as two completely separate industries is coming to an end."

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