Week In Review: Design, Low Power

Arteris IP to go public; Qualcomm wins Veoneer bid; 3D-IC planning & analysis; HBM3 IP; CXL & PCIe 5.0 with IDE.


Arteris IP plans to become a public company. It filed a registration statement with the SEC for an IPO, and intends to list on Nasdaq. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. Arteris IP provides network-on-chip interconnect IP, cache coherent interconnects, and packages to speed functional safety certification alongside IP deployment software.

Qualcomm won out in its bid to acquire Veoneer. The deal, struck with investor SSW Partners, offers $37.00 per share in cash for Veoneer, valuing it at $4.5 billion. The acquisition agreement previously reached with Magna was terminated. At closing, SSW Partners will acquire all of the outstanding capital stock of Veoneer, shortly after which it will sell the Arriver business to Qualcomm and retain Veoneer’s Tier-1 supplier businesses. Arriver’s Computer Vision, Drive Policy and Driver Assistance assets will be incorporated into Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Ride ADAS solution.

CAES acquired Colorado Engineering, Inc. (CEI), a radio frequency (RF) and HPC solutions provider. Both companies have a strong focus on the aerospace and defense industry. “The combination of CAES’ RF and integrated microwave assembly and deep manufacturing expertise, with CEI’s advanced technology and digital systems engineering prowess allows us to deliver agile and differentiated solutions to our customers. Together, we are well-positioned to deliver on next generation platforms,” said Mike Kahn, president and CEO of CAES. CEI was founded in 2003 and is based in Colorado Springs, Colo. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cadence unveiled a 3D-IC platform that integrates 3D design planning, implementation, and system analysis. Integrity 3D-IC provides integrated electrothermal, static timing analysis, and physical verification flows. It also incorporates 3D exploration flows, which take 2D design netlists to create multiple 3D stacking scenarios based on user input, automatically selecting the optimal, final 3D stacked configuration. It supports all 3D design types. “The integrated memory on the logic flow included in Cadence’s Integrity 3D-IC platform enables cross-die planning, implementation and multi-die STA, which our research teams demonstrated on a multi-core high-performance design,” said Eric Beyne, senior fellow and program director, 3D System Integration, at Imec. Lightelligence and SaneChips also noted using the platform.

Autodesk and Ansys are developing a PCB extension that adds Ansys electromagnetic capabilities to Autodesk Fusion 360. The extension aims to enable rapid design exploration with near real-time PCB analyses.

Ansys and Apple collaborated on a radio frequency (RF) safety testing simulation solution for Apple’s MagSafe module technology developers. MagSafe‌ chargers use magnets in newer ‌iPhone models to connect to accessories that also have magnets built inside. The companies said the cloud-based simulation tool eliminates the need for physical prototypes and RF safety certification hardware and provides developers with streamlined certification for SAR (Specific Absorption Rate).

Synopsys revealed a complete HBM3 IP solution, including controller, PHY, and verification IP for 2.5D multi-die package systems. Built on Synopsys’ HBM2E IP, it enables high memory bandwidth at up to 921 GB/s. The HBM3 Controller IP supports a variety of HBM3-based systems and has advanced RAS features that include error correction code, refresh management, and parity. The HBM3 PHY IP in 5nm process is available as pre-hardened or customer configurable PHY. It operates at up to 7200 Mbps per pin and supports up to four active operating states enabling dynamic frequency scaling, with an optimized micro bump array to help minimize area. The verification IP uses native SystemVerilog UVM and includes memory models for emulation and prototyping.

Rambus debuted Compute Express Link (CXL) 2.0 and PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0 controllers with integrated Integrity and Data Encryption (IDE) modules, which protects against physical attacks on CXL and PCIe links. The IDE modules employ a 256-bit AES-GCM (Advanced Encryption Standard, Galois/Counter Mode) symmetric-key cryptographic block cipher and have zero latency for CXL.mem and CXL.cache. “Successful enablement of CXL use models in data-intensive applications, such as memory sharing between processors and attached AI accelerators, requires security at ultra-low latency,” said Sean Fan, chief operating officer at Rambus.

Comcores uncorked Interlaken IP. A silicon and PHY agnostic implementation of the Interlaken Protocol version 1.2 targeting any ASIC or FPGA technologies, it supports up to 2.6Tbps high-bandwidth performance and comes with an integrated Media Access layer.

Infineon introduced new a flexible and scalable half-bridge power module. The automotive qualified 750 V EasyPACK 2B EDT2 can reach a maximum power of up to 50 kW and 230 A depending on inverter conditions. It is designed to simplify module integration and require less surface area.

Ericsson and PowerLight Technologies deployed a 5G mmWave radio base station that is wirelessly powered. The proof-of-concept demo used optical beamforming, which converts electricity to high-intensity light that is captured and transformed back to electricity at the base station. The base station wasn’t powered from the street grid, only through wireless power that provided hundreds of watts over hundreds of meters. “The ability to safely transfer power across distances without having to be connected to the power grid eliminates one of the big obstacles we have when building new cell sites,” said Kevin Zvokel, Head of Networks for Ericsson North America. PowerLight is aiming to make its technology provide kilowatts of power over kilometers of distance.

Pionierkraft utilized several Infineon components in its solar energy distribution system, including discrete CoolSiC MOSFET, EiceDRIVER Compact Gate Driver, and CoolMOS P7 power MOSFET. The system allows solar energy to be distributed physically and by demand between different households.

Data center
Marvell completed its acquisition of Innovium. The all-stock transaction was valued at $1.1 billion. Innovium adds its Ethernet data center switches focused on ultra-low latency, optimized power, and high performance to boost Marvell’s portfolio of data center products. Marvell also announced that it will offer new IP on TSMC’s 3nm process and utilizing 2.5D Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) packaging technology. The new 3nm multi-chip platform includes two complementary advanced die-to-die interfaces: a flexible extra short reach interface for connecting multiple die on a package substrate and an ultra-low power and low-latency parallel die-to-die interface with high bandwidth density.

Micron announced new data center SSDs. Available in seven form factors, the Micron 7400 SSD line ranges in capacity from 400GB to 7.68TB and more than doubles IOPs per watt and throughput compared to the previous generation. The drive offers support for 128 namespaces to increase scalability for virtualized environments like hyperconverged infrastructure and software-defined storage, and also supports Open Compute Project (OCP) deployments for qualified environments.

Samsung Electronics introduced the open-source Scalable Memory Development Kit (SMDK), which has been specially designed to support the Compute Express Link (CXL) memory platform. The new software kit supports memory virtualization to enable conventional and CXL-based memory to work together without the need to modify system applications.

Quantum computing
Quantum computer maker Rigetti Computing will merge with special-purpose acquisition company Supernova Partners Acquisition Company II to list on the New York Stock Exchange. Rigetti develops and fabricates the hardware for superconducting quantum computers, provides software to use them, and offers access to its computers through the cloud. The company is expected to receive approximately $458 million in cash, which includes a fully committed PIPE in excess of $100 million, direct investment, and $345 million of cash held in the trust account of Supernova II. Funds from the transaction will be used for development and business expansion; the company plans to scale its superconducting quantum computers from 80 qubits in 2021, to 1,000 qubits in 2024, and to 4,000 qubits in 2026. Based in Berkeley, Calif., Rigetti was founded in 2013.

Thalia Design Automation announced leadership changes, with founder and former CTO Sowmyan Rajagopalan taking on the role of CEO. Thalia provides an analog and mixed-signal circuit IP reuse platform.

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