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Ansys medini Accelerates Andes’ Development of Automotive-Grade IP

The automotive industry imposes stringent requirements on Functional Safety. For semiconductor companies involved in automotive chips and even further upstream in Silicon Intellectual Property (SIP), obtaining ISO 26262 certification is a fundamental requirement for product penetration into automotive applications. Andes Technology is actively developing a portfolio of automotive-grade IP products to enhance the efficiency of product functional safety verification activities. To streamline ISO 26262 verification and to integrate verification information conveniently, the decision was made to introduce Ansys medini to achieve the automation and modulization of safety analysis process.

In the field of RISC-V CPU IP for the automotive market, Andes Technology has achieved remarkable milestones. In 2020, Andes became the world’s first RISC-V supplier to have its development process certified to ISO-26262 ASIL-D standard. In 2022, Andes became the world’s first RISC-V supplier to have its IP fully certified to ISO-26262 ASIL-B standard, with the solution adopted in over ten customer projects. Andes is proactively addressing the demands of the automotive market by planning a comprehensive range of automotive IP products, covering RISC-V IP solutions with different functional safety levels from ASIL-B to ASIL-D, along with varying processor performance levels and feature sets. In 2023, Andes is set to officially introduce an 8-stage pipeline dual-issue processor that meets the ASIL-D standard. This signifies their ability to provide tailored solutions for diverse automotive applications, highlighting their leading expertise in the automotive RISC-V IP market. Adopting Ansys medini is an important step in this direction.

Eric Huang, Associate Vice President of Quality and Safety Management at Andes Technology, pointed out that for players in the automotive supply chain, obtaining certifications such as ISO 26262 is a critical factor determining market entry and approving technical strength. For IP suppliers to attain these certifications, two main challenges need to be addressed: The first is to introduce the complicated and rigorous ISO 26262 requirements efficaciously. The second is to develop and actualize the safety features competitively. The more products are developed for automotive market, the more crucial is to boost the safety analysis efficiency to speed up design verification.

Dr. Alex Chen, Director of the VLSI at Andes Technology, pointed out that the design verification process often involves the use of various analysis tools, such as FMEDA and FTA. However, the documents generated by these tools are typically stored in different formats and dispersed. This process is highly cumbersome and necessitates constant checks to ensure data consistency and accuracy. In the event of data changes, manual effort is needed to update the data, making it a mental-intensive activity.

Therefore, having an automated tool that can link the documents generated by different analysis tools and consistently update them to the latest versions is important for developing automotive-grade IP. Ansys medini provides an integrated environment that not only includes the analysis tools required by standards like ISO 26262 but also automates data transfer. This not only eases the loading on document verification but also enhances the accuracy of related data. As a result, Andes IP solutions can obtain ISO 26262 certification more quickly.

“The innovation cycle in the automotive industry is accelerating, but the requirements for functional safety are non-negotiable. Therefore, whether it’s automotive OEMs, Tier 1, Tier 2, or semiconductor companies further upstream, they are all seeking automation tools that can expedite functional safety analysis and verification processes.” Roger Lee, Ansys Taiwan Country Manager, stated. “Currently, there are many standalone tools in the market that meet the specific requirements of individual ISO 26262 verification items. However, Ansys medini is the only tool that can further achieve data integration and interfacing, enabling comprehensive automation of data generation, consolidation, and maintenance, with the added benefit of data reuse. This unique advantage has gained widespread recognition and adoption throughout the automotive industry’s supply chain. There are high expectations that Ansys medini will bring enhanced competitiveness to Andes Technology’s automotive-grade IP business”.

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