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Farewell Mentor, hello Siemens EDA

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By Nick Flaherty


As expected, Siemens is phasing out the Mentor name as it brings together design tools under the Siemens EDA with a major focus on digital twin technology

“In January, Mentor will become Siemens EDA,” said Joe Sawicki, executive vice president of Mentor. “Siemens enables us to bring high levels of investment in research and development, to build new products, and to acquire best-in-class electronic design companies,” he said. “Mentor has always pioneered digitalization of electronic design and Siemens brings world-class digitalization to big systems like planes, automobiles, factories, and cities.”

This trend to digital twin technology is a driving factor for EDA.

“Whether it’s startups or large system houses creating internal design teams, we are seeing new players in the IC design market every day and it’s clear that will drive tremendous growth in the EDA business,” he said. “One way to see this is to take a look at the forecasting for data traffic which shows a 400X increase over the next few years. Whether the end market is a product in the gaming, video, IoT, automotive, or medical sectors, those markets are projected to be larger than the entire data traffic today.”

“In this large system scale, it is no longer sufficient to simply create and verify an IC, which in itself is a very complex process. What is needed is a digital twin that can create, verify, validate, and simulate the entire electronic system running real software and interacting with the physical world. Designers need to not only ensure that their devices operate per the specification, but also ensure performance characteristics when running application software in the system context.

Next: Digital twin plans


The digital twin Siemens EDA offers goes much further, he says. “There’s not just a digital twin of the design that you can simulate. There’s also a digital twin of the manufacturing process to realize the design and there’s a digital twin of the device itself being utilized. These are all tied together in a way that allows us to enable feedback for continuous improvement from downstream and feed insights forward. With the product actually operating out in the field, issues can occur. That data can be fed back to the matching design digital twin that we can use to either improve the design or even send out a software upgrade to the product in the field.

“Providing digital twins is incredibly complex, but we view complexity as an opportunity to leverage our vast portfolio of products to meet the challenges of electronic systems today and tomorrow,” he said. He points to the Siemens PAVE360 tool as an example.  

This combines Siemens EDA solutions with tools from Siemens Digital Industries Software for a verification and validation environment modelled at the system level that represents a twin image of the physical vehicle and its driving surroundings,” he said.

The Simcenter PreScan tool generates driving scenarios and the associated sensor data, which are fed into a model of the vehicle’s E/E architecture and compute system running on the Veloce platform. Simcenter AMESim provides a multi-domain mechatronic system simulation platform to form a closed-loop environment that includes mechanical, electrical and hydraulic subsystems, allowing pre-silicon validation of an autonomous vehicle design.

He points to the acquisition of Finnish 5G test system developer Sarokal in 2018 by Mentor as part of the strategy.

“We caused a few eyebrows to raise within the verification community when we acquired Sarokal. At the time, it looked like a strange match. What that community did not figure out at the time was that Sarokal is the leader in 5G testing and has a seasoned team of people that have work closely with leading telecommunication companies to provide hardware and software solutions for fronthaul system testing. But, the key to these 5G telecommunication products is design and verification of custom SoCs.”

Siemens EDA also includes the Tessent product line with validation and monitoring technology acquired as UltraSoc earlier this year.

“It is an exciting time to be in EDA,” said Sawicki.

https://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/

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