Week In Review: Design, Low Power

Nvidia buys Oski; faster physical design runtimes; DDR5; The Linley Group acquired; EDA revenue up 14.6%.


Nvidia acquired Oski Technology. Oski provides formal verification methodologies and consulting services, and Nvidia said that the acquisition will allow it to increase its investment in formal verification strategies. Oski’s Gurugram, India, design center will become Nvidia’s fourth engineering office in the country. Based in San Jose, Calif., it was founded in 2005. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Nvidia’s proposed acquisition of Arm, meanwhile, faced a new setback as the EU decided to open an extended antitrust investigation, Reuters reported. The new review is expected to take place over four months.

Reverse engineering analysis company TechInsights acquired The Linley Group. The Linley Group provides hardware architecture analysis, commentary and opinions on target applications, and analysis of market opportunities. “We have collaborated with The Linley Group many times over the years,” said Gavin Carter, CEO of TechInsights. “Our offerings are well aligned, and The Linley Group’s microprocessor architecture commentary is complementary to the in-depth technical analysis of microprocessors from TechInsights. The addition of The Linley Group reports to the TechInsights platform will result in a richer set of content for our clients, particularly for those with interest in microprocessors.” The law firm Seward & Kissel represented TechInsights in connection with this acquisition. Recently, TechInsights also acquired VLSI Research.

Siemens Digital Industries Software debuted a new version of the Aprisa physical design solution. Aprisa 21.R1 improves runtime and reduces memory footprint compared to the previous generation, particularly for large or complex designs. It also provides enhancements for all major place-and-route engines and extended support for multi-power domain for extreme low-power designs. It is certified for 6nm process technologies, and certifications for 5nm and 4nm processes are underway.

Ansys is releasing PyAnsys as open source. PyAnsys is a family of Python packages providing a unified and modern programmable interface to the company’s proprietary simulation stack. Currently available are packages to interface with Mechanical APDL, a multiphysics simulation and equation solver, DPF, a scalable data processing framework, and AEDT, the Ansys Electronics Desktop, with more libraries under development.

EDA industry revenue increased 14.6% year-over-year from $2,783.9 million to $3,191.4 million in Q2 2021, according to the ESD Alliance. The four-quarter moving average rose 15.5%, the highest annual growth since 2011. “Product categories Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), Printed Circuit Board and Multi-Chip Module (PCB and MCM), Semiconductor IP (SIP), and Services all reported double-digit growth,” said Walden C. Rhines, Executive Sponsor, SEMI Electronic Design Market Data report. “Geographically, all regions reported growth on a rolling four-quarter basis, with the Americas; Asia Pacific (APAC); and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) showing a substantial year-over-year increase.” Tracked companies continue to hire, with a 7.3% increase in headcount compared to Q2 2020 and 1.9% compared to Q1 2021.

MosChip Technologies introduced a multi-protocol Long Range (LR) 8G SerDes PHY in 28nm. “Our LR 8G PHY is implemented as a self-contained protocol-agnostic Physical Medium Attachment (PMA) IP with a flexible digital I/F on the system side that could be made compatible with the most PCS standard definitions that exist in the industry today,” said Albert Vareljian, Chief Architect at MosChip.

Alphawave IP released new hybrid PCIe-CXL connectivity IP. Built on TSMC’s 5nm process, is targeted to the storage market and at chiplet customers. “This solution will enable our most sophisticated hyperscaler and semiconductor companies to build chiplet-based SoCs that require this high-end hybrid PCIe-CXL solution,” said Tony Pialis, President and CEO of Alphawave IP.

Rambus is now sampling its 5600 MT/s 2nd-generation RCD chip to major DDR5 memory module (RDIMM) suppliers. The latest version increases data rate 17% compared to the first generation and targets data center and server applications.

Samsung began mass production of 14nm DRAM using EUV. The company increased the number of EUV layers to five, which it said allows for higher bit density while increasing overall wafer productivity by approximately 20%. Thanks to the 14nm process, power consumption is reduced nearly 20% compared to the previous-generation DRAM node.

Quantum computing
Cambridge Quantum released an open-source toolkit and library for Quantum Natural Language Processing (QNLP). Called lambeq, the toolkit is capable of converting sentences into a quantum circuit. It is designed to accelerate the development of practical QNLP applications, such as automated dialogue, text mining, language translation, text-to-speech, language generation and bioinformatics. The company has also open-sourced its TKET quantum software development platform.

The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) announced an open-source suite of application-oriented performance benchmark programs for quantum computing. The QED-C approach executes familiar quantum algorithms and small programs over a range of problem dimensions to gauge how well and how quickly a quantum computer performs quantum operations. It is intended to complement other methods for characterizing the performance of quantum computers, such as randomized benchmarking or quantum volume.

Infineon released a hardware security module (HSM) for vehicle to everything communication (V2X). Based on a tamper resistant microcontroller, SLS37 V2X HSM is focused on high security tasks such as key storage and the generation of signatures for outgoing messages. It targets automotive telematics control units as well as roadside units and infrastructure.

Synopsys’ optical design solutions for automotive lighting have been integrated into Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform. “Lighting is becoming more and more intelligent and a key component of active safety and ADAS. Its development cost has significantly increased. Our extended partnership with Synopsys complements our existing offerings to provide a first-of-its-kind solution for vehicle manufacturers and suppliers to define, test and experience lighting and sensors for intelligent driving systems from functional requirements to manufacturing within the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” said Olivier Sappin, CEO, CATIA, Dassault Systèmes. LucidShape, LightTools, and CODE V tools will be accessible through the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

The MIPI Alliance completed development on A-PHY v1.1, the next version of the automotive SerDes physical-layer interface for image sensors and displays. Version 1.1 will double the maximum available downlink data rate from 16 Gbps to 32 Gbps by adding support for Star Quad (STQ) shielded dual differential pair cables. It also adds optional PAM4 encoding for A-PHY downlink gears G1 and G2, with data rates of 2 Gbps and 4 Gbps, respectively, as well as a faster uplink gear with an available data rate of up to 200 Mbps.

Sungrow’s new 1500 V photovoltaic string inverter includes several Infineon products: EasyPACK power modules equipped with CoolSiC MOSFET, the latest generation CoolSiC diode, and TRENCHSTOP chip technologies. Sungrow’s SG350HX string inverter has a maximum output power of 352 kW, about 40% more output power than the previous generation.

DVCon U.S. will be held as a virtual event next year. It will take place February 28-March 3, 2022. “Due to the uncertainty of how COVID will continue to impact our ability to travel and gather in person in the coming months, we’ve made the decision to make our 2022 conference a virtual event,” said Vanessa Cooper, DVCon U.S. 2022 General Chair.

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