EarningsAltair said today that it finally closed the acquisition of EM Software & Systems (EMSS), first announced back in December 2013. I am trying to get details, but suspect roping in the South African company’s distributor offices in the United States, Germany, and China held up the close. As before, no financial details were disclosed.

FEKO is based on the “full wave” Method of Moments (MoM), and integrated with high frequency approximation techniques including PO, GO and UTD. FEKO’s applications include antenna design and antenna placement, but also in areas as diverse as human exposure modeling for radiation hazards, electromagnetic compatibility and interference (EMC/EMI), and RF design for biotechnology such as MRI machines.

Consolidation among CAE suppliers continues, with NEI, GT STRUDL, Accelrys snapped up just since Altair first went public with the EMSS announcement in December. It’s increasingly difficult for small companies to compete with the likes of Altair, ANSYS and DS/SIMULIA, whose broad offerings can make them a one-stop shop for many customers and keep out smaller suppliers. Too, the big suppliers need growth, which often means new customer domains and new solver technology to address specific market niches.

But we’re by no means done. New startups emerge every year, spun out of corporations that don’t want to maintain in-house codes, PhD students turning thesis research into products, and government and other labs commercializing their offerings. We’ll be “done” when there’s no more physics to discover, when compute technology stops advancing what we can and should simulate or visualize — still very, very exciting times.