Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Cadence DSPs certified ASIL B(D); Amazon switches to in-house chips.


Cadence achieved ASIL Level B in support of D (ASIL B(D))-compliant certification for its Tensilica ConnX B10 and ConnX B20 DSPs, which are designed for automotive radar, lidar, and vehicle-to-everything (V2X). SGS-TÜV Saar certified that the DSPs have support for random hardware faults and systematic faults.

Synopsys is acquiring Moortec, whose process, voltage, and temperature (PVT) sensors are used in-chip to monitor the health of chips during design, manufacture, test, and in system. Synopsys is adding the PVT sensors to its Silicon Lifecycle Management (SLM) platform to provide environmental data of a chip’s health in real time. This data will feed an analytics engine that can optimize operational activities that can improve yield, test, as well as safety, security and predictive maintenance capabilities. Synopsys did not disclose any financial details about the acquisition.

Imagination launched a new neural network accelerator (NNA) for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. Called IMG Series4, the AI accelerator is a multicore architecture running at 600 TOPS (tera operations per second), at 12.5 TOPS per core in less than one watt, says Imagination in a press release. Tensor Tiling splits input data tensors into multiple tiles as a way to process data efficiently. The IP safety features and design process conforms to ISO 26262. Series4 will be available in December 2020.

Radsys used National Instruments’ Vehicle Radar Test System (VRTS) to help the Tsinghua University Suzhou Automobile Research Institute create China’s standard for testing vehicle millimeter wave (mmWave) automotive radar.

ON Semiconductor introduced a single point direct time-of-flight (dToF) lidar that uses its Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) sensor. The sensor overcomes some of the issues that lidar has ambient solar light and slow response time and is suitable for industrial proximity sensing.

Pervasive computing — Data centers, cloud, 5G, edge
Amazon will use its own Inferentia chip in its Alexa voice assistant, moving away from Nvidia chips, reports Reuters. Rekognition, Amazon’s face recognition service, will also start using Inferentia chips. Both services use the cloud — they access a data center to complete the transaction.

Synopsys says its Verification IP (VIP) for Compute Express Link (CXL) 2.0 is now available. CXL is an open standard interconnect technology for high-speed communications between CPUs and other chips that are used as accelerators. CXL is designed to improve data center performance. “The advancement of CXL as an open standard interconnect technology to accelerate next generation data center performance is our singular focus,” said Jim Pappas, chairman at CXL Consortium, in a press release. The IP is part of Synopsys’ cache coherency verification IP portfolio.

Graphcore designed its AI chip — the Colossus GC200 Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) processor which is part of an AI platform — using Mentor, a Siemens business’ verification and testing tools and IP. The IPU has 59.4 billion transistors on a single 823sqmm die and is manufactured on TSMC’s 7nm process. Mentor was involved in circuit verification, PCB design, protocol verification, thermal analysis, design-for-test (DFT), and bring-up of the AI processor, according to a press release.

Xilinx and Samsung Electronics announced Samsung SmartSSD computational storage drive (CSD), which has Xilinx Kintex UltraScale+ FPGA accelerator with one million system logic cells and almost 2,000 DSP (digital signal processing) slices for hardware acceleration, according to a press release. The companies say this is the first adaptable computational storage platform for data centers.

Intel debuted a discrete GPU for data centers called Server GPU, based on X-LP microarchitecture for cloud gaming and media experiences.

Company milestones and wins
Brewer Science, which usually deals with advanced chemistry for semiconductor industry manufacturing, stepped up to make hand sanitizer for the local community to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Videos of the week

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