ANSYS has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire OPTIS (France) to add optical and photonic simulation to its existing portfolio. Financial details were not disclosed, but ANSYS spokespeople did say that the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.
ANSYS (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA), with sales topping (USD) $1 billion in 2017, said its acquisition of OPTIS will extend the company’s multi-physics-based portfolio into the increasingly important area of optical simulation; both companies already have significant business with global automobile manufacturers. ANSYS presently markets simulation software to perform structural analysis, fluid flow modelling and electronics simulations; it provides tools for exploring semiconductor physics, high-performance computing and more. But until the OPTIS announcement, ANSYS did not have a dedicated product for optical simulation.
"For nearly half a century, ANSYS has been the leader in engineering simulation solutions," said Eric Bantegnie, ANSYS vice president and general manager. "Like ANSYS, OPTIS is a technology leader, and together we'll deliver pervasive engineering simulation to a new set of companies while extending simulation to next-generation use cases like cameras and LiDAR development for autonomous vehicles. On a personal level, I've had the opportunity to know many members of the OPTIS team, and they are fantastic people. I'm looking forward to bringing them into the ANSYS family."
Headquartered in La Farlède, France, OPTIS develops software that it describes as simulating the interplay between light and human vision. The company stresses its role as a ‘virtual prototyping company’ that includes an ability to create photo-realistic, virtual mock-ups to aid in product development. ANSYS has already created simulation software systems specifically aimed at autonomous vehicle sensor development; the OPTIS addition will enable the joined companies to cover visible and infrared light as well as electromagnetics and acoustics tied to various autonomous vehicle systems such as on-board cameras, radars and LiDARs. Existing OPTIS customers include Audi, Ford, Toyota and Ferrari as well as Boeing, Airbus, GE, Swarovski and L'Oreal.
ANSYS spokespeople noted that engineering simulation plays an increasingly important role in sensor development, with opportunities in new classes of vehicles including autonomous transport becoming a driving force pulling together many disparate elements across the supply chain. OPTIS, with its photo-realistic virtual reality and closed-loop simulation platforms, is expected to enable ANSYS to use a VR backbone combined with ANSYS applications to offer automotive manufacturers a more complete simulated environment in which new driverless vehicle concepts can be tested performing such tasks as navigating under various road, weather or hazard conditions.
"Combining OPTIS' physics-based solutions for optical simulation with ANSYS' deep and broad portfolio will be a competitive advantage for our customers and the entire industry," said Jacques Delacour, OPTIS president and CEO. "The entire OPTIS family is looking forward to working closely with ANSYS and its impressive customer community around the world."