Triple Shift Left transforms a traditionally serial automotive development process into a parallel one. It enables designers to find mistakes earlier in the design process where they are not only cheaper to fix, but also where OEMs can have visibility into the earliest parts of the design through virtual models. With a Triple Shift Left strategy, design teams can build functional safety and reliability into their SoCs from the beginning; start software development and identify problems up to 18 months earlier, before hardware is available; and build security and quality into their software during development and testing, and across the supply chain.

The automotive industry is experiencing a major disruption in the development process to accommodate mega-trends like big data and autonomous everything. Triple Shift Left is Synopsys’ answer to this disruption, paving the road to additional safety, cost savings, and services.

Where Does Triple Shift Left Come From?

The term “shift left” originated in the software industry and refers to finding and fixing bugs early in the development process rather than catching them during post-release testing, where they are 100x more expensive to fix. And the cost stakes are even higher with semiconductors.

To solve the unique challenges of the automotive industry, Synopsys leverages the shift left approach and takes it even further to the left—into the hardware design phase. We champion Triple Shift Left as a strategy to enhance automotive ecosystem collaboration and to solve the high-value problems of functional safety, reliability, and security. 

How Does Triple Shift Left Work?

Shift Left I: Smarter, Safer Automotive SoC Design

Using auto-grade IP building blocks to implement dedicated functions on silicon.

Rather than starting from scratch, SoC designers save staff-years of effort by front-loading their designs with pre-designed, pre-verified, reusable building blocks (known as IP). Synopsys DesignWare IP for automotive includes ISO 26262-compliant logic, interfaces, safety islands, and processors with embedded vision, neural network, and sensor fusion capabilities. It ensures various levels of ASIL (A, B, C, and D) compliance and meets strict AEC-Q100 reliability standards. 

Using Synopsys auto-grade IP accelerates the development of ADAS, infotainment, and MCU designs. With it, designers can build dedicated functions on silicon, reduce integration risk, and design functional safety and reliability into their SoCs from the start. 


Shift Left II: Parallel Software and Hardware Development

Using simulation and shared models to develop software early on a virtual platform.

The traditional automotive development process is serial—first you develop the ECU, then you develop the software. But this fails to meet aggressive schedules. A parallel development process means you can develop a virtual prototype while you’re developing the ECU, so you can start software development long before hardware is available.

Virtual prototyping also facilitates collaboration across the automotive supply chain, helping define chip architectures to ultimately increase the quality of results and reduce time to production. 

Synopsys accelerates the development and deployment of virtual prototypes. Our virtual prototyping solutions and Virtualizer Development Kits (VDKs) provide early access to silicon chips and virtual ECUs, allowing software development to start up to 18 months earlier. 


Shift Left III: Early and Comprehensive Automotive Software Testing

Increasing coverage, accelerating test cycles, and using automated regression to allow frequent software updates.

Further leveraging virtual models, Synopsys helps customers create test platforms for virtual vehicle development. This enables extensive verification through static security testing, software composition analysis, interactive security testing, and fuzz testing. Scaling and derivative testing also become possible, allowing for experimentation with countless potential hardware-software configurations to reduce verification costs for low-volume derivatives. This regression forming, or automated testing, increases overall coverage and accelerates test cycles for applications, power electronics, wire harness simulations, and more. 

Synopsys helps customers build security, quality, and compliance into their automotive software lifecycle—from development to testing to over-the-air updates. Our solutions detect third-party components, security vulnerabilities, license use, and code weaknesses. We also help companies align with ISO 26262, MISRA, and other emerging cybersecurity standards. 

Twelve of the top fifteen automotive OEMs and leading Tier 1/semiconductor companies use the Synopsys software integrity platform.

What Are The Benefits of Triple Shift Left?

Autonomous cars are the future of the automotive industry. But going driverless will require a transformation of today’s automotive development process. Triple Shift Left is the answer and will bring about two critical changes to enable autonomous driving: dramatically increasing reliability and combining functionality to reduce costs. 

Triple Shift Left leverages an automotive “common component” strategy to increase reliability while controlling costs. If you use and reuse pre-designed blocks of standardized IP, you can save a lot of time and cost, and you can optimize your system for functional safety, security, and reliability from the very beginning. 

Using a common component strategy also speeds the process of integrating redundancy into a chip—and redundancy is crucial to increase reliability rates and drive the failure rate toward zero. By replicating functionality as a backup, failures of individual components will not cause a failure of the entire system. 

While adding redundancy increases reliability, doing so through discrete components can bloat bill-of-material (BOM) costs. Delivering next-gen cars at consumer prices means adding more functionality into fewer components. That’s exactly what Triple Shift Left enables.

Accelerate Your Automotive Innovation

In the age of software-defined vehicles, Synopsys is a key to accelerating your automotive innovation.