Digitas – the beginning

The Design Centre prehistory of EmLogic is important, as it shows our Design Centre background in many ways – through almost 20 years:

  • Our methodology focus
  • Our standing in the Norwegian Electronics Industry
  • Our customer focus and openness
  • Our tools and Open source achievements
  • Our history of courses, presentations and guest lectures
  • Our experience and deep insight in Embedded systems

Our Design Centre prehistory seems to be of interest to many existing and potential customers, partners, and employees. Hence, we thought a brief prehistory description could be really useful.

It all started with Digitas almost 20 years ago. Digitas was FPGA only, but already from the start the focus on Methodology was strong – and on improving competence both internally and externally. The predecessor of UVVM was started in 2006, and the predecessor of our FPGA Design and Verification courses started as early as 2004 with ‘Faster, Cheaper and Safer FPGA development’, and our slogan was ‘Qualified
Efficiency’. FPGA-forum was initiated by Digitas in 2005 in good cooperation with the late Einar J. Aas from NTNU.

In August 2006, after just six months, Digitas had grown from one to five designers. Digitas was already the leading FPGA design centre in Norway and rapidly attracting more designers. This resulted in a strong interest from Data Respons and in a friendly acquisition July 2007. Due to the acquisition model Digitas continued as before and on the same track until the end of 2009.

January 2010, Digitas turned into Data Respons Asker department, and to make a long story short, a group of six designers left Data Respons late 2011 because the design centre philosophy there was too far from that of Digitas and not as promised during the acquisition. The interest in methodology improvement from the Data Respons designers was great, but methodology coordination was not wanted by the
management.

Bitvis – the journey continues

Thus, Bitvis was started in January 2012 with two Embedded SW developers and four FPGA designers. Unfortunately, we had to leave Digitas Utility library for FPGA verification with Data Respons as the new legal owner. We did however immediately see the need for such a library, so we made a new version from scratch – and this time we knew exactly what we needed – resulting in the Bitvis Utility library. A few years later this was rebranded UVVM – the Universal VHDL Verification Library. Then in September 2020 – according to a Wilson Research survey – UVVM was the world’s number one VHDL verification methodology. (VHDL is a design language used by more than 50% of all FPGA designers world-wide, and more than 80-90% in Europe).

FPGA  did of course have a head start in Bitvis, but methodology improvement was equally important for our Embedded SW team, and thus the whole of Bitvis now had much the same focus as in Digitas, on methodology, tools, courses, guest lectures, and of course on the best for our customers. As a result, Bitvis very soon «again» became the leading FPGA design centre in Norway, and also one of the leading design centres on Embedded SW. The new slogan was ‘Quality in every bit’.

Then in October 2017, Bitvis was acquired by Acando – in another friendly acquisition. In order to keep the good trade name and culture of Bitvis, the company was kept as is, but integrated as an almost independent daughter company. As such, Bitvis could continue as before but with new opportunities within an Acando with a strong interest in building up an international Embedded Systems company. Everything looked really great, and Bitvis had a good position in Acando. During this period Acando also acquired a few other companies, which
were also kept as separate subsidiaries. Then Acando was itself acquired by CGI, who was really only interested in the IT part of Acando. As a result of this Acando decided to merge several of its daughter companies (including Bitvis) into their largest daughter company (Inventas).

EmLogic – the last chapter

Unfortunately, Embedded Systems and FPGA was far from core in the new Inventas, so in order to bring back Embedded Systems and FPGA as core technology, methodology and specialisation, EmLogic was started in January 2021. Here we want to continue the path and the philosophy of Bitvis, on Methodology, Customer relations and Employee ownership – and of course, on Quality and Efficiency. With all previous Bitvis technical managers now in EmLogic, and with many really good designers, we are now already well on the way to again become the leading design centre in Norway on Embedded Systems. This time with not only Embedded SW and FPGA, but also Hardware and signal processing .

If you want to read more about the start up of EmLogic, you can check out this post.