The Week In Review: System-Level Design

Cadence wins Fraunhofer deal; Sonics wins at MediaTek; Tanner EDA contributes technology to Si2 OpenPDK Coalition; Intel beefs up micro server lineup.

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Cadence won a deal with Fraunhofer, which licensed its MPEG codecs for Tensilica HiFi DSP. (Cadence acquired Tensilica last year.) The AAC codecs combine speech and general-purpose audio into a unified system, which simplifies design because it works at any bit rate.

Sonics won a deal with MediaTek, which licensed its NoC technology for an upcoming line of SoCs. MediaTek, based in Taiwan, is a major supplier of chips for mobile phones and home entertainment.

Tanner EDA contributed technology to Si2’s OpenPDK Coalition. The goal of the OpenPDK Coalition is to support all process nodes, including high-voltage analog. Tanner’s contribution is a standard way for storing process data.

CEVA beefed up its DSP lineup, cutting power by 20% for always-listening voice activation, and up to 30% for other audio and voice codecs. Always on functionality will be critical in the Internet of Things, not all of which will be plugged into an outlet. CEVA also won a deal with Actions Semiconductor of China, which is licensing CEVA’s audio DSP and Bluetooth IP.

Intel rolled out 12 new Xeon processors based on 22nm finFET technology. The processors are aimed and small and midsize businesses and enterprise storage. This is clearly aimed at the micro server market, where ARM is encroaching on what used to be an exclusively Intel-based market. But there’s something else to consider here, as well. Intel’s most advanced chips are now at the same process node more than two years after the company first publicized its move to finFETs. The Moore’s Law roadmap seems to have an unpaved segment due to yield issues at 14nm.