Week In Review: Design, Low Power

Nvidia buys Arm; FPGA prototyping; RISC-V FPGA development kit; new MIPI A-PHY for auto.


Nvidia will acquire Arm from SoftBank in a $40 billion deal. Nvidia says that Arm will continue to operate its open-licensing model while maintaining global customer neutrality. SoftBank acquired Arm in 2016 for $32 billion; it also holds an ownership stake in Nvidia that is expected to remain under 10%. The deal does not include Arm’s IoT Services Group. The acquisition will need to pass regulatory approvals, which could take 18 months. For more, read Semiconductor Engineering’s analysis of what’s driving the deal and where problems could arise.

Tools & IP
Pro Design launched new proFPGA UNO, DUO and QUAD systems for FPGA prototyping and verification based on the latest Xilinx Virtex UltraScale+ VU19P FPGA technology. Scalable from 1 up to 4 pluggable VU19P based modules, the QUAD offers a capacity of up to 192 M ASIC gates. Up to nine proFPGA QUAD systems with overall 36 FPGA modules can be connected to increase the capacity up to 1,728M ASIC gates. The QUAD VU19P system offers 58 extension sites, with a total of 7728 FPGA standard I/Os.

Mixel launched MIPI C-PHY/D-PHY Combo IP supporting up to 30 Gbps and compliant with MIPI C-PHY v2.0 and MIPI D-PHY v2.5. It can be configured as a MIPI transmitter or receiver, supporting both the camera interface CSI-2 v3.0 and display interface DSI-2 v1.1 and is backward compatible with previous generations of each specification.

Imagination Technologies and Packetcraft teamed up on a complete Bluetooth Low Energy audio solution using the new Low Complexity Communication Codec (LC3). The solution combines Imagination’s iEB110 hardware and Packetcraft’s host stack and is designed for applications such as broadcast audio, high quality multi-stream audio and hearing aid support.

Microchip Technology uncorked a RISC-V-based SoC FPGA development kit for its PolarFire SoC FPGA. The Icicle Kit includes a RISC-V processor complex from SiFive and embedded trace macro from UltraSoC, onboard memories (LPDDR4, SPI, and eMMC flash), a multi-rail power sensor to monitor various power domains, PCIe root port, Raspberry Pi and mikroBUS expansion ports and a range of wired connectivity options.

MIPI Alliance published MIPI A-PHY v1.0, a long-reach SerDes physical layer interface targeted for automotive applications such as ADAS and IVI. The new specification provides an asymmetric data link in a point-to-point topology, providing high-speed unidirectional data, embedded bidirectional control data and optional power delivery over a single cable. It also includes a low packet error rate of 10-19 and ultra-high resistance to EMC effects.

NSITEXE used Synopsys’ ASIP Designer Tool in the development of five specialized custom processors, including dedicated vector-processing engines, for its automotive data flow processor (DFP) platform. NSITEXE cited the ability to optimize the processors’ multicore architecture and automatically generate SDKs, cutting design time of the custom processors in half the time compared to designing them from scratch.

VITEC licensed Arteris IP’s FlexNoC Interconnect IP for use in its high resolution video encoder and decoder systems. VITEC cited the ability to optimize the increased on-chip bandwidth of its next generation H.265 hardware while reducing the die area of chips.

Find a new conference or learning opportunity at our events page, or check out an upcoming webinar.

The Embedded Vision Summit is currently running through Sept. 25 as a virtual conference. The program will focus on the latest applications, techniques, technologies, and opportunities in computer vision and visual AI with keynotes, exhibits, and workshops.

Ansys will host its IDEAS Digital Forum on Sept. 23-24 with discussions of key technology and market trends as well as sessions on the latest methodologies and best practices for low-power chip design, 3DIC analysis, power integrity signoff, and on-chip electromagnetics.

DesignCon is hosting a free ‘Back to School’ webinar series Sept. 28-Oct. 2. Topics will include beginning RF & microwave PCB design, open signal integrity tools, 112-Gb channel modeling, power connectors, and PCB material characterization. In addition, DesignCon will move to the San Jose Convention Center for its conference next year, slated for April 13-15 2021. The conference will be expanding to include features on automotive electronics/intelligence and IoT.

The AI Hardware Summit virtual event will take place Sept. 29-Oct. 7 with a focus on optimizing systems for AI and machine learning, including co-design, edge applications, and the impact of AI on memory, storage, and networking.

VSDOpen, a virtual event dedicated to open source EDA and designs, will take place Oct. 10 with workshops available Oct. 7-9. Topics will include RISC-V in India, open IP designs, and what can be learned from the open source software movement.

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