The digitization of the modern car or truck has kicked into high gear over the past few years, from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Infotainment systems, to ECUs for engine control, PCMs for powertrain control, and more. It’s against the backdrop of this major growth trajectory that EDA (Electronic Design Automation) semiconductor tools bellwether, Synopsys, stepped out today to announce the acquisition of German automotive software testing and verification house PikeTec GmbH, for an undisclosed sum. With the ever-increasing level of silicon content and software in virtually every automotive market, from cars, trucks and EVs to commercial trucking and robotaxis, the synergies of this transaction are obvious.
“As the automotive industry evolves towards software-defined vehicles, so does the need for more efficient and effective software testing methods. Joining Synopsys reflects our commitment to enable automotive OEMs with the most comprehensive virtualization and testing solutions that help them scale to deliver high quality software,” notes Jens Ludemann, CEO of PikeTec, who also has a previous 10 year tenure in advanced R&D at DaimlerChrysler.
From the Synopsys perspective, PikeTec likely brings an immediately accretive core asset to the company that meshes extremely well with its high-level “silicon-to-software” strategy, as well as its application security testing and design IP portfolio. More than ever, automotive chip and system-level designs need to be simulated in concert with specialized automotive software application workloads, and then robustly tested and validated for functionality and compliance, finally being fed back to semiconductor design engineering teams to ensure efficiency and performance. As automotive software systems continue to grow in complexity, testing of and testing against that software has become critical earlier in the chip and system design process, all of which start as digital twins, or virtual processors and platform simulations before advancing to actual silicon and system designs.
“Many automotive OEMs have adopted PikeTec’s software testing and verification solutions to address the rapidly increasing software content and complexity as they move towards software-defined vehicles,” said Ravi Subramanian, general manager of the Systems Design Group at Synopsys. “Combining the expertise of Synopsys and PikeTec will enable us to bring to market innovative virtualization and testing solutions that directly address our customers’ challenges as they shift left in software development and verification.”
In a discussion with Synopsys’ Ravi Subramanian this morning, he noted that over 70 automotive OEMs have adopted PikeTec’s software test automation tools, and the company has positioned itself as a leader in this burgeoning market of the software-defined vehicle (SDV).
My take is that PikeTec is a great pick-up for Synopsys that should also help deliver new advancements in the automotive industry, with potentially faster innovation cycle times and safer vehicles on the road.