SAN JOSE -- Sales of printed circuit board and MCM design software rose 2.8% year-over-year in the first quarter.

Revenue reached $166 million for the March period, the Electronic System Design Alliance added.

The four-quarters moving average for PCB and MCM tools decreased 5.1%. The metric compares the most recent four quarters to the prior four quarters.

Overall electronic design automation (EDA) revenue increased 4.5% to $1.96 billion.

The ESD Alliance is the former formerly EDA Consortium. The organization, which is made up of suppliers of electronics design software, rebranded itself in March.

"Double-digit revenue increases in Japan, combined with increases in all other geographic regions, led to an overall EDA industry revenue increase in the first quarter," said Wally Rhines, chairman and CEO of Mentor Graphics. "Revenue categories Semiconductor IP, IC Physical Design and Verification, PCB and MCM, and Services all reported increases this quarter."

Employment in the sector rose 7.4% from a year ago to a record 34,519 professionals.

Most product segments were up for the quarter. Computer-aided engineering revenue fell 2.2% to $619.9 million, and IC physical design and verification revenue rose 4.6% to $375.8 million. Semiconductor intellectual property (SIP) revenue jumped 11.4% to $688.7 million, while services revenue rose 6.9% to $111.6 million.

All regions saw their respective purchasing increase during the period. The Americas purchased $863 million of EDA products and services, up 1.1%. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) increased 4.1% to $289.8 million, Japan rose 11.9% to $234.3 million, and Asia/Pacific (APAC) revenue increased 7.2% to $575 million.

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