The Week In Review: IoT

DAC-related news from ARM, Cadence, Mentor, Synopsys; Rambus inks deal for over-the-air security; Dell picks winners.


Design Automation Conference
ARM Holdings announced that its DesignStart initiative to enable easy creation of chip designs using ARM Cortex-M0 intellectual property now takes in electronic design automation tools and design environments offered by Cadence Design Systems and Mentor Graphics. “Simplifying access to EDA tools from Cadence and Mentor Graphics will further spur rapid innovation, creating a fast path to production silicon for companies looking to deliver an embedded or connected IoT product,” said Nandan Nayampally, vice president of marketing and strategy for ARM’s CPU Group. The company also revealed the new ARM Approved Design Partner program, enlisting such firms as eInfochips, Open-Silicon, SoC Solutions, and Sondrel.

Cadence said it has a hosted end-to-end solution for designing custom SoC devices and Internet of Things chips using ARM Cortex-M processors. For mixed-signal design for the IoT, the offering includes the ARM IoT Subsystem for Cortex-M, along with Cadence’s interface IP and unified mixed-signal implementation technology, optimized for Cortex-M cores. Cadence also reported collaborating with Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) for a 28-nanometer design reference flow for low-power design, based on the IEEE 1801 low-power design and verification standard.

Mentor Graphics said its Calibre physical verification platform and Analog FastSPICE circuit simulation platform has met tape-out, sign-off certification for Intel’s 10nm tri-gate process technology. Intel Custom Foundry’s clients can now extend their Mentor-based design flows, available for the chipmaker’s 14nm process, for design rule checking, layout vs. schematic checking, electrical reliability analysis, and nanometer circuit simulation for 10nm designs. Mentor added that the Tanner Calibre One IC verification suite is now part of the Tanner EDA analog/mixed-signal physical design environment.

Also at DAC, Synopsys said it was named by NXP Semiconductors as the primary system-on-a-chip verification supplier for automotive and secure connectivity applications. Synopsys will provide debug, emulation, formal verification, simulation, static verification, verification coverage, and verification IP. “The requirements for safety and security are driving a 10x increase in verification complexity for our leading-edge SoCs,” said Chris Collins, NXP’s senior vice president for product and technology enablement. Meanwhile, Synopsys added features to its 3200-megabits-per-second DesignWare DDR4 IP, expanding memory capacity for high-performance cloud computing while boosting reliability, accessibility, and serviceability. The DDR IP supports advanced error-correcting code, according to the company, and includes an embedded calibration processor.

NXP Semiconductors brought its Smarter World Tour vehicle to the 53rd annual DAC in Austin, Texas, parking it on the exhibit floor during the three days of exhibition. The NXP IoT Truck is chock full of IoT devices and products for the smart home, along with an electric skateboard and other connected devices. Nearby was the NXP Racecar Challenge, where miniature vehicles competed in races around the floor.

Rambus is partnering with Movimento, a provider of over-the-air software lifecycle and data management for the automotive and IoT sectors. Movimento’s OTA tools use the Rambus CryptoManager platform. Rambus also said it is acquiring the assets of Semtech’s Snowbush IP line for $32.5 million in cash, plus milestone payments on product sales through the end of 2022. The Snowbush IP involves high-performance serial link interfaces. Rambus President and CEO Ron Black said in a statement, “By adding Snowbush IP into our portfolio, we are bolstering our SerDes business and accelerating our product position. This acquisition, along with our memory IP cores and chip business, will further build upon the existing product opportunities and expand our foundry partnerships.”

Dell marked the first anniversary of its Commercial IoT Solutions division by announcing winners in the Connect What Matters IoT Contest it hosted with Intel. The platform winner is V5 Systems, which offers portable, solar-powered security and Industrial IoT products. There are five “gold” winners in the competition and 10 “silver” winners. Dell said VMware joined it IoT Solutions Partner Program at the “executive” level, while other firms were promoted to the “associate” tier and three companies, including Nokia, became associate partners.

Senrio came out of stealth mode to debut an IoT network cybersecurity platform for networked embedded devices used in corporate, critical infrastructure, health care, and retail environments.

Heptagon said it acquired RF Digital, a designer and manufacturer of high-performance wireless radio-frequency modules, such as the RFduino and the Simblee. Financial terms weren’t revealed.

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