Careers at Cadence Design Systems


Cadence Design Systems’ mission is to innovate technologies essential to building great products that transform lives.


Cadence Design Systems was formed in 1988 from the merger of Solomon Design Automation (SDA) and ECAD, Inc. The company is a provider of electronic design automation technologies and services. It develops software and hardware products used to design printed circuit boards, integrated circuits, and systems on chips (SoCs). The products’ purpose is to reduce customers’ time-to-market.

The company performed strongly in its first year, generating revenues of $78.6 million and growing to 433 employees. It differentiated itself by providing customized versions of its software for numerous computer platforms – these included Digital Equipment, Sun Microsystems, and Apollo computers. Its second year, Cadence added Sony, NEC, and Hewlett-Packard computers to this mix.

In a short matter of time the firm became the leading global provider of integrated circuit design software. In 1989 it had 15.4% market share, beating out Seiko Instrument and Electronics (11.4%) and Mentor Graphics Corporation (8.4%). By 1990, Cadence’s share had exploded to 44.2%. The firm’s success was largely driven by its dominant status in Japan – it served nine of the top ten Japanese chip makers. By 1997, it had become the world’s largest electronic design automation firm.

Benefits at Cadence Design Systems

Business model of Cadence Design Systems

Customer Segments

Cadence has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at semiconductor and electronics systems companies, Internet service and infrastructure companies, and other tech firms that develop electronics in various market segments, including communications, consumer devices, automotive systems, and medical systems.

Value Proposition

Cadence offers two primary value propositions: performance and brand/status.

The company has demonstrated strong performance. Examples of customer successes are as follows:

  • IN2P3 reduced errors and saved time through automated updates of schematics and symbols
  • NetSpeed increased validation speed hundreds of times faster compared to simulation
  • Altair developed top product offerings at a lower cost in terms of engineering, time, and tapeout
  • Tait Communications experienced 25% more schematic capture productivity
  • LNK experienced a more than 50% faster time-to-market for its SLIMbus audio bridge product

The company has established a strong brand as a result of its performance. It has won numerous honors, including the following:

  • Placement on Fortune’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” (2016)
  • Two “Partner of the Year“ Awards from TSMC (2015)
  • Recognition as one of the “Top 25 Industry-Driving Companies“ by the City of San Jose (2014)
  • Placement on the EDN Hot 100 List for its Protium product (2014)
  • Two “Customers’ Choice“ Awards for Papers Presented at TSMC OIP Ecosystem Forum (2013)


Cadence’s main channel is its direct sales team, which includes sales employees and applications engineers. It also utilizes value-added resellers on a selective basis and third-party distributors for certain Japanese customers. The company promotes its offerings through its website, social media pages, marketing automation, online advertising, and attendance of trade shows and conferences.

Customer Relationships

Cadence’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize its products and services while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website features several self-help resources, including adoption and application briefs, articles, books, brochures, conference papers, data sheets, demos, downloads, eBooks, financial reports, newsletters, presentations, technical briefs/papers, videos, webinars, and white papers. It also offers self-paced online learning (basic to advanced) through its Internet Learning Series (ILS).

Despite this orientation, there is also a personal assistance component. The company provides phone and e-mail support. It also provides a number of instructor-led training options, including classes at its training centers, at the client’s site, and through its virtual classroom.

Key Activities

Cadence’s business model entails designing and developing software and hardware products for its customers, as well as related services. It relies on contract manufacturers to produce its hardware.

Key Partners

Cadence maintains the following key partnerships:

Channel Partners - The company maintains a worldwide network of channel partners, including resellers and distributors, to sell its products to a broader group of customers.

Foundry Partners – Cadence collaborates with top pure-play foundries to develop design kits and reference flows for advanced and mainstream process technologies. It works with the partners to ensure that engineers who use its platforms are given an efficient instructional path from design to verification to physical implementation. Specific partners include ams, Dongbu HiTek, Fujitsu, IBM, Intel Custom Foundry, Magnachip, Samsung, SMIC, TowerJazz, TSMC, UMC, and X-FAB.

Cadence Academic Network – Cadence works with a network of universities known for their design and engineering expertise to promote cutting-edge methodologies and technologies. It exchanges technology knowledge on the design and implementation of microelectronic systems. Specific partners include the University of Frieburg and the lmenau University of Technology.

Key Resources

Cadence’s main resource is its proprietary technology, which it protects through patents, copyrights, and trademarks. It also depends heavily on its physical resources, which include 54 design centers, sales offices, and research and development facilities - 70% of which are located outside the U.S. The company also relies on its experienced training staff to oversee its variety of learning programs.

Cost Structure

Cadence has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is research and development expenses, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and administration, also fixed costs.

Revenue Streams

Cadence has two revenue streams:

Product Revenues – Revenues generated through the sales of perpetual software and IP licenses, and emulation/prototyping hardware

Services Revenues – Revenues generated through training and engineering services

Approximately 90% of the company’s revenue is recurring in nature.

Our team

Lip-Bu Tan,
President and CEO

info: Lip-Bu earned a B.S. from Nanyang University, an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering at MIT, and an MBA from the University of San Francisco. He previously served as Vice President of Chappell & Co. and held management roles at EDS Nuclear and ECHO Energy.

Chi-Ping Hsu,
SVP and Chief Strategy Officer

info: Chi-Ping earned a BSEE degree from National Taiwan University and a Ph.D. degree in EECS from the University of California, Berkeley. He previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Get2Chip and held executive roles at Avant!

Neil Kole,
SVP and Chief Information Officer

info: Neil earned a B.S. in Information Systems Management from the University of San Francisco. He previously served as as Vice President of IT at Informatica and held senior-level IT positions at Intuit, VMware, and Symantec.

Geoff Ribar,
SVP and Chief Financial Officer

info: Geoff earned a B.S. in Chemistry and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He previously served as CFO at a number of semiconductor producers, including Telegent Systems, nVidia, SiRF, and Matrix Semiconductor.