Cadence, Synopsys beef up the back end. Through strategic acquisitions, Cadence and Synopsys continue to strengthen their physical-IC design-tool divisions. Synopsys struck first by acquiring Numerical Technologies Inc., giving Synopsys a deeper reach into the mask-making process. Numerical's tools enable production of ICs with feature sizes smaller than the wavelength of light. Cadence's grab of Celestry adds more silicon-modeling muscle and expanded full-chip circuit simulation technology. Both Cadence and Synopsys look to leverage the back-end acquisitions in developing their respective 130- and 90-nm tool flows, as well as their links to foundries. For details, visit www.cadence.com and www.synopsys.com.