Artifact Details


Mentor Graphics oral history panel session

Catalog Number







Bruggere, Tom, Panelist
Fairbairn, Doug, Moderator
Langeler, Gerard, Panelist
Moffenbeier, David, Panelist


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Wilsonville, Oregon


56 p.

Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum


This oral history is a panel discussion among the three founders of Mentor Graphics, an Electronic Design Automation (EDA) company formed in 1981. The founders, David Moffendeier, Gerry Langeler, and Tom Bruggere discuss their personal backgrounds and how they each came to work at Tektronix (Portland OR) in the late 1970’s. They describe the process of coming together as a team and leaving Tektronix to form Mentor Graphics.

After raising startup capital, they quickly formed an engineering team, developed a detailed product plan and raced to complete their first product in time to demonstrate at the 1982 Design Automation Conference (DAC). They continued the story of how the company grew, sometimes in the face of fierce competition from other startups, and became the leading vendor in the EDA space.

The oral history concludes with the discussion and dissection of the fateful decision to make a major change in their product - dubbed version 8.0. This product release was nearly two years late, which resulted in the company losing its leadership position, sustaining its first layoffs, and breaking its string of 30+ profitable quarters.

Nonetheless, the Company recovered and is still a leading player in the EDA space. The founders have gone on to other successful careers, which are touched on briefly here.




semiconductor history; Electronic design automation (EDA); Design Automation Conference (DAC); Synopsys; Cadence; Daisy Systems; ECAD; Apollo Computer; Valid Logic Systems; Greylock; Venrock; Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE); Calma Company

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Lot Number