Automotive Design Requires Rigor

To reap the rewards from automotive opportunities, additional rigor in design and verification is required.


Playing in the automotive space means a significant investment in terms of resources, and it brings other challenges as well, not to mention the specific engineering challenges of ADAS.

According to Mike Stellfox, a Cadence Fellow, the challenges are adding up for current Tier 2 suppliers. “Mostly what we see is the same kinds of customers — at least in the Tier 2s — for the hardware design. There are the traditional players such as Infineon, and Renesas; but then there are companies like Nvidia that are in Teslas bringing super high-end mobile-like Tegra platform chips into that space for ADAS type applications, with a whole wave of new things coming that will be of a similar level of magnitude.”

In all of this, the rigor of verification has to be much higher, he said. “The process is really important. You have to have full traceability from all the requirements to how you actually verified those on the functional side. And then there’s this rigor that is not there in other less safety-critical markets around verifying for failure modes, i.e., testing your device under all the different failure modes. There is a standard process by which you have to do this failure mode effects diagnostic analysis, and that’s something that’s not something a lot of people have been doing who have traditionally served the automotive market. I see companies just struggling with what they need to do to make sure they’re compliant. It is a huge extra effort and cost.”

Even with the added rigor required, it is also an extremely interesting time given the exciting opportunities for engineering teams to work through. After all, who doesn’t love a good challenge?

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