12 Nov 2020 Cases

White Paper on U.S. Export Control Policy Impacting Vendors of EDA Tools

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In October 2020, Compass Lexecon was retained by Cadence Design Systems, Inc., a U.S.-based electronic design automation (EDA) firm that provides software to design computer chips, to evaluate the economic implications of a potential unilateral U.S. export restriction on EDA tools.

Dr. Elizabeth Wang, Dr. Sophie Yang, and Dr. Stephen Cacciola prepared a white paper that was submitted as part of Cadence’s response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security regarding Foundational Technology implementation of the 2018 Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) of 2018. The white paper provided detailed analyses of foreign (non-U.S.) availability of EDA tools and possible Chinese customers’ work-arounds to the potential unilateral export control restrictions of U.S. EDA tools. 

Our white paper concluded that Chinese customers have ample short-term, medium-term, and long-term solutions at different stages of the semiconductor production chain that will render stricter, unilateral export controls ineffective in stemming Chinese semiconductors by means of denying access to EDA tools.

Dr. Wang, Dr. Cacciola, and Dr. Yang led a team that included Vendela Fehrm, Daisy Sun, Rafael del Villar, Sharon Jiang, Showroop Pokhrel, and Judy Yan. The Compass Lexecon team worked closely with a team at Cadence, as well as Kevin Wolf, Shiva Aminian, Cono Carrano, Sohrab Hajarian, and Brock Wilson from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

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