Mentor Graphics acquires automotive unit from MontaVista Software

What happened?

In case you missed it, Mentor Graphics announced this past Thursday that it had acquired the automotive business unit of MontaVista Software. The MontaVista Automotive Technology Platform was the centerpiece of the deal, which gives Mentor Graphics a robust automotive solution that also includes its Linux- and Android-based automotive infotainment platform and the Sourcery CodeBench development suite.

VDC's View

For Mentor Graphics, this is the latest in a succession of moves designed to broaden its overall product portfolio and market reach. Mentor had previously obtained Linux development firm Embedded Alley in July 2009 and open source toolchain vendor CodeSourcery in December 2010. The acquisition of MontaVista's automotive assets not only gives Mentor a compelling solution in the rapidly expanding automotive IVI market, but also further strengthens its ability to compete with market leader Wind River in the broader embedded Linux space.

For MontaVista, this represents a bit of an identity crisis. Since its acquisiton by Cavium Networks in late 2009, MontaVista has at different times put significant emphasis on Android commercialization and automotive infotainment solutions, only to eventually back off of both. Traditionally focused on the networking space - also Cavium's core business area - MontaVista appears to be refocusing on its strengths. By divesting itself of its automotive business, MontaVista may be able to regain the focus that had previously made it the leading supplier of embedded Linux solutions. Of course, this may also mean that MontaVista will be moving in yet another direction, perhaps this time at the urging of its parent company. At this point, only time will tell.

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