Elliptic Technologies acquired by American firm

California-based Synopsys Inc. announced late Monday it had acquired Ottawa’s Elliptic Technologies.

The acquisition complements Synopsys’ DesignWare IP portfolio with Elliptic’s security IP solutions, Synopsis said in a release. Terms of the deal were not released.

“We live in an internet-connected world and built-in security is critical in protecting devices from malware, data breaches and more," Synopsys executive vice-president and solutions group general manager Joachim Kunkel said in a statement. “The acquisition of Elliptic Technologies enables us to provide designers with a broad portfolio of proven security IP solutions.”

Founded in 2001, Elliptic had built a solid semiconductor IP business, but in 2011, the board of directors decided some changes had to be made, said CEO Vijay Dube.

That’s when Mr. Dube was brought in, tasked with setting the company on a high-growth path.

Mr. Dube said upon his arrival, he found a company with an excellent team with extensive experience in embedded security.

He said to get on that high-growth path, it was necessary to “pivot” the company away from the networking space.

“We started pivoting the company to do much more than that and really started to focus on more consumer electronic devices ... because security was coming in a big way in all of these devices, so essentially we leveraged the technology, the know-how the products we had to go after this much higher-growth market,” Mr. Dube said.

Today, Elliptic’s security solutions cover mobile, automotive, digital home, Internet of Things and cloud computing applications.

Originally a hardware-focused company, Elliptic also started building its software portfolio, Mr. Dube said.

“That became a very, very attractive addition to our business,” he said.

The high growth came, Mr. Dube said. Elliptic grew its business 80 per cent last year and was on pace to do that again this year, he explained.

While Mr. Dube said there was interest from other companies, doing the deal with Synopsys was Elliptic’s first choice because the two firms were already doing business together.

“It was a very good fit for both sides. For our side, we become part of a much larger player, so we are able to grow the business much, much faster,” he said.

Synopsys gets Elliptic's experienced staff, almost all of whom will join the Synopsis team, said Mr. Dube, adding he will move on after helping with the transition.

He said he expects Elliptic’s headcount, which he estimated at “north of 45,” will grow.

“Of course, (Synopsys) will decide, but I believe we’ll become a kind of a centre of excellence in embedded security for all of Synopsys, so I expect growth here because not only do we have the core expertise here, but I believe Ottawa is a very good location for finding talent in our area,” he said, noting that Synopsys already has a strong presence here.

Mr. Dube called it a “good story” for the city.

“It gives a real opportunity for a highly talented company to be playing in a much bigger way on the world stage. It’s a huge growth area. Security is very important, so I believe that part of the expertise will continue to grow in Ottawa,” he said.