Week In Review: Design, Low Power

HDL-aware IDE; RISC-V Crypto test suites; eFPGAs for DARPA projects.


Synopsys introduced Euclide, a next-generation hardware description language (HDL)-aware integrated development environment (IDE). Euclide aims to enable earlier detection of bugs and optimize code for design and verification flows by identifying complex design and testbench compliance checks during SystemVerilog and UVM development. It assists correct-by-construction code development through context specific autocompletion and content assistance tuned for other Synopsys tools as well as providing real-time feedback to improve design and testbench quality at the time of code development. Microsoft noted using the IDE.

Imperas Software released new updates to the RISC-V architectural validation test suites for the RV32/64K Crypto (scalar) extension. The released tests support the RISC-V ISA Crypto specification proposed as the “K” extension, current draft spec 0.8.1, and will be updated as the spec is publicly reviewed and ratified. They are available as open source under the Apache 2.0 license. Additionally, the free RISC-V Open Virtual Platform Simulator was updated with the new Crypto extensions.

Aldec added more than 62 new HDL rules to the DO-254 rules plug-in for its ALINT-PRO verification tool. The rules help complex hardware devices, such as FPGAs, meet specific DO-254 process objectives to receive overall system approval. Also added were several enhancements to the tool’s Design Entry capabilities to boost productivity, including optimized RAM/ROM extraction to reduce synthesis phase memory consumption, improvement to the conversion of cores containing protected IP, and a new mechanism of CDC Assertions generation.

Arasan Chip Systems uncorked MIPI C-PHY / D-PHY Combo IP supporting speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps for SoC designs on TSMC’s 22nm ultra-low leakage (22ULL) and ultra-low power (22ULP) processes. It will be available as a universal Tx/Rx IP or Tx Standalone and Rx Standalone IP for those applications that need only the Tx or Rx. It is also available as a standalone D-PHY IP compliant to v1.2 operating at 2.5Ghz.

Flex Logix expanded its license agreement with DARPA, adding EFLX eFPGA in 12nm and 16nm process technologies and the EFLX Complier to the DARPA Toolbox initiative. The Toolbox aims to provide low-cost access to commercially available tools and IP for DARPA sponsored research. Flex Logix CEO Geoff Tate noted that since researchers usually only have funding to tape out a chip once, reprogrammability is a benefit for later modifications and fixes.

Sondrel is releasing a family of reference designs with the aim of providing fast design time for high growth markets. The ‘semi-custom’ design model creates reusable IP platforms that can have customer IP and some customization added on. Targeting advanced nodes, two of the platforms will focus on ADAS while the other three have scalable amounts of processing power that address the needs of different application areas.

Wave Computing will exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company will be renamed MIPS and will be solely owned by Tallwood Venture Capital, which won the bankruptcy auction with a bid valued at $61 million. Before Wave acquired MIPS in 2018, it was briefly owned by Tallwood, which acquired it from Imagination in 2017 during restructuring efforts.

Quantum computing
Israel has dedicated 198 million-shekel ($60 million) towards building its first quantum computer, Bloomberg reports. The Ministry of Defense and Innovation Authority is currently taking bids from companies and universities to build a quantum system with 30 to 40 qubits. Itamar Sivan, CEO of Israeli startup Quantum Machines, sees the investment as a start on growing a strong ecosystem in the country.

A €12 million (~$14.4 million) project, called Project IQuAn, has been launched to build a trapped ion quantum computer, interface it with an existing supercomputer and also enable access to external users. The project is led by University of Mainz and will be joined by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOT, Fraunhofer Institute for Laster Technology ILT, Forschungszentrum Jülich, TOPTICA, and AKKA DSW. Trapped ion quantum systems have the advantage of long coherence times, allowing a comparatively long operating time for executing quantum algorithms. The IQuAn network plans to attempt individual optical addressing in small registers with the coupling and dynamic configuration of several registers by moving and regrouping ions. TOPTICA will focus on providing laser solutions and optical control systems for the quantum computer.

IBM provided an update on the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, an effort to collaborate with historically Black colleges and universities. It now has 23 member universities and has started an undergraduate research program where students are exploring quantum computation with the Qiskit framework as well as research on using machine learning and quantum computing to better understand unknown quantum systems.

Quantum startup Entanglement and Fujitsu are using quantum-inspired computing and data models to optimize COVID-19 vaccine distribution, The Quantum Daily reports. The company hopes to work with U.S. states, as well as NGOs and non-profits, by promising the ability to re-optimize quickly as conditions on the ground change. The effort takes advantage of Fujitsu’s digital annealing system, which uses digital circuit design inspired by quantum phenomena to solve combinatorial optimization problems. Fujitsu posits digital annealing as a bridge between classical and quantum computing. The two companies recently worked together on a project to optimize PPE distribution, which was validated by the U.S. Department of Defense.

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

The Silicon Valley Women in Engineering Conference will be held Mar. 20. IRPS 2021: International Reliability Physics Symposium will be held Mar. 21-24, and the tinyML Summit: Enabling Ultra-low Power Machine Learning At The Edge will take place Mar. 22-26. The Leti Photonics Workshop will happen on Mar. 25 with multiple times available. The U.S. government-focused electronics conference GOMACTech will be held Mar. 29-Apr. 1.

DAC changed dates to Dec. 5-9 and plans to hold an in-person conference in San Francisco, Calif. It will be co-located with SEMICON West, which will take place Dec. 7-9.

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