7 March 2023
NI acquires SET to accelerate power semi and aerospace/defense test system development
Automated test & measurement system firm NI of Austin, TX, USA has acquired SET GmbH of Wangen, Germany, which develops aerospace & defense test systems as well as power semiconductor reliability test. Founded in 2001, SET has about 100 staff, who join NI. NI funded the transaction through cash on hand.
Together, the firms aim to reduce time to market for critical, highly differentiated solutions and accelerate semiconductor-to-transportation supply chain convergence with power electronic materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN).
In 2020, NI announced a strategic minority investment in SET to help aerospace & defense companies solve soaring development costs and integration challenges. The collaboration enhanced a system-on-demand and model-based test approach delivered to shorten time-to-market schedules, reduce program risk, integrate labs, and optimize data and assets. This offered mutual customers more time spent ensuring the quality and safety of future products and less on building test systems. These collaborative efforts will continue, with a focus on sustainable commercial aviation, space launch vehicles, and urban air mobility applications.
The acquisition will expand NI’s opportunity in power semiconductor reliability systems for automotive applications, a high-growth area of investment. SET has been innovating new capabilities in the emerging automotive supply chain of power semiconductors since before NI’s initial partnership in 2020. SET’s participation in cross-industry and academic forums on reliability test techniques is said to have made significant contributions to the understanding of electric vehicle applications for power semiconductors.
“The automotive supply chain is going through a transformation where both OEMs and semiconductor players are rapidly innovating on new technologies. The ability to adequately specify and predict how these new technologies behave inside new electric vehicles is critical for performance and safety,” says Ritu Favre, executive VP & general manager of NI Business Units. “SET is a clear innovator in this area as well as an established provider in Avionics testing. NI is a global leader in automated test & measurement systems. By combining capabilities, NI and SET can offer more differentiated solutions to customers and grow together by leveraging NI’s global scale,” she adds.
“By offering new and dynamic test procedures, SET ensures the qualification of cutting-edge silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors for the automotive industry with high precision and reliability,” says SET’s founder Frank Heidemann.