Mentor Graphics has expanded its portfolio of tools and software for the automotive market with its second acquisition of the year in this sector. Having bought Autosar specialist Picea from Mecel at the end of January, Mentor has followed up with the acquisition of Germany-based XS Embedded.
Formerly a part of Harman International Industries, XS has developed a range of software products for automotive that provide driver information and infotainment functions as well as Autosar support and boot-speed optimization for embedded operating systems. XS is expanding into the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) space, providing reference designs that can act as prototypes for application development for OEMs.
"We have two ADAS groups. One is very security and safety relevant. The other is so-called 'soft ADAS' where we focus on features such as rear view cameras and 360° surround view for drivers and passengers," said XS managing director Rainer Oder.
Oder said as part of Mentor, XS would be able to increase investment in areas such as ADAS and provide a wider choice of reference designs to automotive tier-one and OEM customers. "This initiative will lead to the possibility of more optimized systems in the future. We will see more integration into smaller pieces of hardware on the PCB. There will be a combination of different system in the future, bringing together ADAS, driver information and infotainment. We have to be able to combine them into a single box, which brings a new level of complexity. OEMs need partners who can deal with this level of complexity going forward."
Glenn Perry, general manager of the embedded systems division at Mentor, said silicon integration will demand support for mixed-criticality systems in which infotainment and more safety-related functions will need to coexist on the same SoC. This will require software to isolate the parts of the system that conform to different levels of safety (ASIL) from each other to allow safety certification to the ISO 26262 standard.
"We are certainly going to grow into this this area," Oder added. "There is certainly a need for ISO 26262-compliant delivery and we see a tremendous move towards combining systems where you have ASIL C and D on the same PCB or SoC, or even lower safety levels, and keep the same development flow across the engineering teams.
"As part of Mentor we have the ability to invest in the future for safety-certified systems and systems within [processing] clusters. Also on the technology front, we get access to assets and parts of the Mentor portfolio that we didn't have in the past," Oder claimed.