The Week In Review: Design/IoT

Synopsys adds another software company; ARM’s new microcontroller architecture, new core for mobile and embedded, and more from TechCon; low power eNVM for IoT.



Wally Rhines, Mentor Graphics’ chairman and CEO, was presented with the Kaufman Award last night for outstanding achievement in electronic design. In his acceptance speech, he plotted the growth of the EDA industry at a consistent 2% of the semiconductor industry for the past couple decades. But he noted that with a shift to system design automation, that number would rise from the current $7.5 billion to about $38 billion, which would represent about a 407% increase in revenue for the design industry.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Continuing its expansion into the software security space, Synopsys acquired open source software management company Protecode. Based in Canada, Protecode focused on discovering open source and other third party content in a code portfolio, highlighting legal obligations, security vulnerabilities, IP ownership and quality attributes of the external code. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ARM TechCon

The latest ARM architecture for microcontrollers, ARMv8-M, launched. It incorporates an additional layer of hardware security and enables isolated storage of high value assets. To complement the ARMv8-M architecture, the ARM AMBA 5 AHB5 specification was launched to extend the TrustZone security foundation from the processor to the entire system for embedded designs.

Plus, ARM revealed the first CPU in a new family of ultra-high-efficiency ARMv8-A processors designed for mobile and embedded applications. According to ARM, Cortex-A35 delivers an average of 20% greater performance and efficiency across a range of 32-bit mobile workloads relative to Cortex-A7 while consuming less than 90mW total power per core when operating at 1GHz in a 28nm process node.

Also from ARM, a suite of products for secure IoT technology deployments at scale by businesses and new math libraries tuned for ARM-based high-performance computing servers and systems.

Cadence announced an IoT reference system jointly developed with ARM. The system is built around the ARM IoT Subsystem and a Cortex-M3 processor. It includes frequently-used functions required in an IoT platform to host sensors, actuators and wireless connectivity.

NXP introduced its new Thread platform running ARM mbed OS. The platform features the company’s new wireless microcontroller based on the Cortex-M3 CPU and a 2.4 GHz radio (based on IEEE 802.15.4) which supports low power communications protocols including ZigBee 3.0.

Synopsys extended a multi-year licensing agreement with ARM to provide the latest ARM Fast Models for Cortex processors, including the Cortex-A35 core, as part of Synopsys Virtualizer Development Kits.

Pro Design added an adapter board to its modular FPGA-based prototyping solution to support the Juno Development Platform.

Open-Silicon announced a scalable IoT custom SoC system utilizing Cortex-M processors and the mbed SDK.

Cadence, Mentor, and Synopsys added VIP for ARM AMBA 5 AHB5.

Arteris expanded support and integration of AMBA protocol specifications in its interconnect IP.

Sonics implemented the AMBA P-Channel interface in its power management IP.

Tools, IP, & IoT

Kilopass unveiled its new IoT-focused eNVM IP, the X2Bit bitcell, which the company says consumes just one tenth of the previous device’s power using a new programming method while adding no increase in area.

Altium’s PCB design tool received a major update, adding several new features and enhancements including an alternative part choice system, visual clearance boundaries, and a component placement system.

Mentor Graphics updated its CFD software to include an automated method to calibrate simulation models to match measurements recorded with Mentor’s tester for thermal characterization of IC packages, LEDs and systems.

Marvell uncorked a new IC designed to prevent counterfeit attacks for use in systems that require secure product authentication and usage tracking. It integrates Rambus’ CryptoFirewall security solution, plus other anti-tampering and anti-reverse engineering technologies.


Arteris signed two new license agreements: SK Hynix for use in its solid state memory storage products, including SSD controllers, and Beijing Pinecone Electronics for use in its smartphone application processor chipsets.

Wave Semiconductor licensed Andes low power, N9 32-bit, 5-stage pipeline CPU core and AE210P peripherals for a new chip design.

Leave a Reply

(Note: This name will be displayed publicly)