Mentor further expands automotive expertise with takeover
XS Embedded, or XSe, has been launched in 2010 as a management buy-out from Harman Becker Advanced Engineering, a subsidiary of the Harman Kardon group. The company with headquarters in Villingen (Black Forest) has more than ten years of experience with automotive infotainment and connectivity projects and provided engineering services for automotive OEMs in Europe, Japan and the US.
XSe’s core competencies focus on the head unit – which happen to be the decisive place for future competition about the car’s connectivity and integration of data services. Here, in the infotainment domain and the head unit, currently takes place the clash of two cultures: The rock-solid, but slow automotive technology and the fast moving consumer electronics with gadgets like smartphones and software worlds that change in a rapid pace. XSe has unique expertise in hardware and software technologies that can help carmakers to reduce the time-to-market for infotainment and connectivity products, claims General Manager Rainer Oder. Besides reducing time to market, the technology also allows tier ones and OEMs to optimise their hardware and software platform throughout its product life cycle.
Fig. 1: Mentor Graphics expands its Automotive portfolio: The blue boxes are covered by the XSe acquisition.
Oder expects that future ADAS functions will increasingly be implemented in the head unit. Therefore, this domain will require enormous computing and graphics resources. One of the specific requirements to the electronics landscape in vehicles is its ability to boot up very fast – in the future, US legislation will mandate that, for instance, backup camera images be available within less than two seconds. Oder claims that XSe has the experience and expertise to optimise operating systems for fast boot sequences; the company has reference platforms ready that show how this can be implemented. It can be expected that some of this expertise might swap over the Genivi platform – Oder also is member of Genivi’s board of directors.
Another core competency XSe are high-performance graphics for future dashboard displays. Based on its requests from the automotive industry, Oder predicts that future vehicles will be equipped with three high-resolution displays. At the opportunity of the takeover announcement, XSe showed a reference platform based on Texas Instrument’s Jacinto with stunning graphics performance. "The performance requirements for automotive graphics are typically very high and can be matched only by gaming platforms", Oder said.
Mentor bought XSe for its broad expertise in automotive embedded systems and IP, including the company’s AXSB reference board with related software, explained Glenn Perry, General Manager of Mentor Graphics’ Embedded System Division. He added that XSe’s expertise fits well with Mentor’s existing automotive product and technology spectrum which includes solutions for Android, Linux, Autosar as well as security and hypervisor software.
XSe will continue as an independent entity within the Mentor Graphics group. Oder declined to elaborate on manpower and financial figures of the company.
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