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Saturday, September 02, 2017

Siemens boosts its self driving software tools with Tass buy and Mentor certification

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Siemens is boosting its position in software development for safety critical systems including self driving vehicles.

Siemens will acquire TASS International, a global provider of simulation software, plus engineering and test services aimed primarily at the automotive industry, and focused on autonomous driving, integrated safety, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and tyre modeling.

Based in Helmond, Netherlands, TASS International has developed software that will strengthen Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software portfolio and will sit in the Digital Factory business alongside Mentor Graphics. This combination will provide a fully integrated solution for the the verification and validation of ADAS and autonomous driving systems, says Siemens, which claims to have the world’s most complete systems-driven product development offering for autonomous vehicles.

Mentor has also received safety certification for a complete mixed signal chip development process for such systems.

“The automotive industry is a core focus for Siemens and our acquisition of TASS International is another example of our commitment to offer a complete Digital Enterprise solutions portfolio,” said Dr. Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens’ Digital Factory division. “TASS International is a proven leader in both integrated safety and autonomous driving, two fields of engineering that are increasingly important for the industry. By combining its strengths with Siemens’ PLM offerings, we are able to respond even better to today’s challenges in the automotive industry.”

With active safety and advanced driver assistance systems features increasingly becoming the norm in the automotive industry, connected and autonomous driving vehicles have new requirements for virtual and physical validation and verification of automotive vehicles. This is an area that Mentor has also focussed on as it works with almost every leading OEM and Tier 1 supplier, and providing design tools and embedded software in the areas of connectivity, electrification, autonomous drive and vehicle architecture.

“The Siemens PLM Software portfolio offers a significant opportunity for TASS International and its customers to accelerate the development of safety-critical applications in the field of automated and connected driving. Our engineering and test services will reach a larger audience through the extensive Siemens global footprint,” said Jan van den Oetelaar, CEO of TASS International. “The integration of TASS International into the Siemens organisation is expected to create a stable long-term environment and allow access to a vast knowledge base. This can help to build an integrated tool chain for verification and validation of complex automotive functions that should benefit both the automotive industry as well as government organisations worldwide.”

With the PreScan software, car manufacturers, suppliers and government agencies can simulate complex traffic scenarios and virtually validate automated driving solutions and advanced driver assistance systems.

Mentor has further expanded its successful Mentor Safe functional safety program to include the Catapult High-Level Synthesis (HLS) platform and analogue/mixed signal (AMS) IC verification products, including Eldo and the Analogue FastSPICE (AFS) Platform. 

Test house SGS-TÜV Saar has certified the ISO 26262 compliance of tool qualification reports for these Mentor technologies, which means the  Mentor Safe program now includes the industry's first standalone ISO 26262-certified HLS and analogue/mixed signal qualification documentation, eliminating the need for additional tool chain restrictions or changes to retain ASIL D compliance.

The Catapult High-Level Synthesis (HLS) Platform allows designers to use industry-standard C++ and/or SystemC to describe an IC's functional intent, enabling them to move up to a more productive abstraction level for both design and verification of ASICs and FPGAs. 

For mixed signal SoCs implemented in the latest nanometer CMOS technologies, the Analogue FastSPICE Platform provides the required accuracy, performance and capacity. For automotive and other analogue-centric ICs, Eldo relies on over 18 years of proven sign-off customer usage, offering a differentiated solution for safety and reliability verification and comprehensive circuit analysis and diagnostics.

"Chipmakers targeting automotive applications such as automated driving and sophisticated ADAS systems face the daunting task of creating radically innovative products while adhering to the stringent functional safety and time-to market requirements of global automotive OEMs and their suppliers," said Brian Derrick, Vice President and General Manager at Mentor Graphics. "Mentor is answering the call by delivering ISO 26262 pre-qualified design automation technologies and documentation across a large and growing number of our industry-leading design automation solutions."

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