The Week In Review: Design/IoT

AMS debug; emulation apps; speedy prototyping; functional safety; ARM’s latest processor; HiFi DSP software framework; VIP for HDMI 2.0a; MIPI DSI-2 IP; lensless smart sensor upgrade; new from NXP; ARMADA SoC ecosystem; Ansys results.



Synopsys incorporated automated analog and mixed-signal debug capabilities into its Verdi SoC debug platform, which now provides comprehensive hierarchical and schematic views of both the analog and digital portions of designs and automated tracing across analog and digital blocks.

Mentor announced three applications for the Veloce emulation platform focused on overcoming unpredictability in in-circuit emulation environments, Design for Test (DFT) verification, and emulation performance optimization when verifying large multi-clock SoC designs. Additionally, the emulation platform now supports debug of designs built with Imagination’s full range of MIPS CPUs.

Aldec uncorked the latest release of its software utility package for its HES-7 high speed prototyping boards, adding ready-to-use transmission infrastructure based on PCI-Express x8 interface. The connection point with the design under test uses AMBA AXI4 for transmission speeds between software side and FPGA at 2+GB/s.

ARM integrated MISRA (Motor Industry Software Reliability Association) conformance tools, supplied by LDRA, into the DS-5 Development Studio suite. The checker automates the process of analyzing code to ensure adherence to the guidelines in functional safety standards including ISO 26262 and IEC 61508.

Rambus extended its CryptoManager security platform from SoC management and device personalization to offer in-field feature and service provisioning capabilities for application developers and service providers.


ARM unveiled the Cortex-A32, a 32-bit processor built on the ARMv8-A architecture. According to the company, it is 25% more efficient than the Cortex-A7 and delivers higher performance while using less power. Its smallest configuration occupies less than 0.25 mm2 of silicon area while consuming less than 4mW of total power at 100 MHz in a 28nm process node.

Cadence announced an audio software framework to aid OEMs and application developers integrate Tensilica HiFi DSP-based SoCs into their products. Use cases thus far target SoCs where the HiFi DSP is the main processor and systems where a host application processor offloads audio and/or voice tasks to the HiFi DSP processor. Plus, Spreadtrum licensed the HiFi Audio/Voice DSP and Realtek licensed the Fusion DSP.

Synopsys released verification IP for the HDMI version 2.0a standard, which supports callbacks for creating real-time audio/video streaming examples, custom video timing formats to speed simulation, and built-in HDCP 2.2 content protection.

Arasan uncorked MIPI DSI-2 v1.0 controller IP cores integrated with MIPI C-PHY v 1.0 and MIPI D-PHY v2.0. The three lane C-PHY configuration and the four lane D-PHY configuration support 17Gbps and 18Gbps respectively.

Allegro DVT released compliance streams for validation of AVS2 decoders with the latest version of China’s emerging video coding standard.

IoT, Embedded & Chips

Rambus upgraded its lensless smart sensor technology, which uses diffractive gratings and computation in place of traditional optics, to include thermal sensing capabilities.

NXP introduced a number of new products at Embedded World, including: a family of low-power, multi-market MCUs with a host of serial peripherals, flexible run-modes, autonomous operations when the CPU is not active and voice-detection DSP hardware; a thumbtack-sized 64-bit ARMv8-based processor combined with network packet acceleration and QorIQ trust architecture security capabilities; an integrated single chip system module targeting space-constrained products; a family of logic translators designed for low-power and high-performance applications; and new reference platforms to support rapid development of smart wearables.

Marvell expanded its 32-bit and 64-bit ARMADA SoC software ecosystem, adding OpenDataPlane (ODP), OpenFastPath (OFP), UEFI, openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Yocto Project, OpenWrt and carrier grade operating systems.

Mentor expanded processor support to include the third generation AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs for the Mentor Embedded Linux development platform, including Yocto 2.0-based development tools.


Silicon Labs adopted a Cadence mixed-signal low-power flow for its new family of wireless SoC devices that provide ultra-low-power Bluetooth Smart connectivity for IoT applications.

Synopsys collaborated with Mindtree to deliver a complete Bluetooth Smart IP solution consisting of Synopsys’ PHY IP on TSMC’s 55nm and 180nm processes and Mindtree’s BlueLitE link layer and software stack IP.


Ansys released fourth quarter financial results with revenue of $251.6 million, a 1% drop from Q4 2014. For the whole year revenue was $942.8 million, up 1% over the previous year. In constant currency terms, however, revenue growth showed at 4% for the quarter and 8% for the year. GAAP earnings per share for the quarter were $0.75, up 1% (non-GAAP, $0.91, down 1%). For the year, GAAP EPS were $2.76, up 2% (non-GAAP, $3.42, no change).

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