Week In Review: Design, Low Power

New Arm Cortex-M IP, IoT solutions; Android functions for RISC-V; four-channel vector signal generator.


Arm unveiled the Arm Cortex-M85 processor and expanded Arm Virtual Hardware to more platforms, including 3rd party devices. The Cortex-M85 is the highest performance Cortex-M processor to date, with 30% scalar performance uplift compared to the Cortex-M7, technology to support endpoint ML and DSP workloads, and includes Pointer Authentication and Branch Target Identification (PACBTI), a new architectural feature with enhanced software attack threat mitigation. It also introduced the Arm Total Solution for Cloud Native Edge Devices for Cortex-A and based on Corstone-1000, a pre-integrated, pre-verified IP subsystem, targeting devices such as smart wearables, gateways, and high-end smart cameras. A solution for voice recognition was also introduced based on the Corstone-310 subsystem and pre-integrated with the new Cortex-M85 and the Arm Ethos-U55 for applications such as smart speakers, drones, and factory robots.

Ams OSRAM is integrating Mixel’s MIPI D-PHY CSI-2 TX+ IP into select products in the Mira family of CMOS imaging sensors for eye tracking, gesture tracking, bar code scanning, robotic mobility, 3D Structured Light, 3D Active Stereo systems, and 2D NIR imaging applications.

University of Colorado Boulder will use Ansys’ electronics simulation software in a master’s degree program in High-Speed Digital Engineering, including for teaching high- and low-frequency electromagnetics, electromechanical, and electrothermal analyses.

India launched the Digital India RISC-V Microprocessor (DIR-V) Program, an effort to encourage partnerships between startups, academia, and multinational companies with the aim of creating a global talent hub for RISC-V design and encourage domestic production of RISC-V SoCs for servers, mobile devices, automotive, IoT, and microcontrollers.

Alibaba Cloud is working to port basic Android functions onto the RISC-V ISA. Following up on a port of functions like chrome browsing last year, it is putting efforts to rebase previous engineering on Android 12 to enable third-party vendor modules to facilitate new functions, including audio and video playback, WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as camera operation. It also trialed the TensorFlow Lite models on RISC-V, supporting AI functions like image and audio classification and Optical Character Recognition.

Keysight Technologies launched a new four-channel vector signal generator, with frequency up to 54 GHz that offers up to 5 GHz of RF bandwidth and low phase noise in a single instrument. Targeting 5G, 6G research, satellite communications, and radar solutions, it enables multi-antenna test applications such as MIMO and beamforming with precise phase coherence and timing synchronization.

Cadence reported first quarter 2022 financial results with revenue of $902 million, up 22.6% from $736 million for the same period in 2021. “We exceeded all key operating metrics for the quarter and are raising our full year guidance,” said John Wall, senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Power, chips, automotive
Infineon Technologies added a new member to its CIPOS Tiny Intelligent Power Module (IPM) family. The CIPOS Tiny IM323-L6G 600 V 15 A is based on TRENCHSTOP IGBT RC-D2 switches and SOI gate driver technology for increased efficiency and reliability, along with minimized system size and cost. The module is suitable for major home appliances, including drives for room air conditioners.

Renesas announced an integrated automotive ECU Virtualization Platform that enables designers to integrate multiple applications into a single Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that are safely and securely separated from each other to avoid interference. The solution supports the adoption of new electrical-electronic (E/E) architectures using MCU-based zone ECUs supporting multiple logical ECUs on one physical ECU.

Infineon Technologies introduced a new family of battery management ICs for battery cell monitoring and balancing. The new battery management ICs are a system-level solution for battery modules, cell-to-pack, and cell-to-car battery topologies, suitable for a range of industrial, consumer and automotive applications. Additional applications include energy storage systems and battery management systems for electric two- and three-wheelers.

Toshiba debuted a series of new microcontrollers. Manufactured in a 40nm process, the M3H group includes an Arm Cortex-M3 core running at speeds up to 120MHz, integrated 512kB (max.) code flash, and 32kB data flash memory with 100k write cycle endurance as well as 64kB of RAM. They support a variety of sensing applications with a high-speed, high-precision 12-bit ADC that allows individual sample and hold times to be set for each of the 21 ADC input channels.

Microchip Technology uncorked five new 8-bit microcontroller product families. The new lines include products designed for multi-voltage analog applications; digital and analog peripherals for cost-sensitive sensor and real-time control applications; low-cost analog sensor applications; configurable op amps to implement real-time control functionality in a variety of industrial control, home appliance, automotive, and IoT applications; and cost-effective sensor-node applications.

Renesas reported first quarter 2022 financial results with revenue of 346.7 billion yen (~$2.66B). “First quarter’s sales were slightly higher than our guidance,” said Renesas president and CEO Hidetoshi Shibata. The company also announced a share buyback.

Quantum computing
Keysight Technologies and Singapore’s Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in accelerating research, development, and education in quantum technologies. QEP and Keysight will cooperate in the development of quantum instrument packages, as well as the technologies that enable quantum systems to be scalable and deployable. In addition, they will establish a program to make it easy for researchers participating in QEP to access several of Keysight’s software design tools and test and measurement equipment. Researchers can apply to evaluate Keysight measurement tools in their laboratories and access equipment hosted at Keysight’s premises in Singapore.

Synopsys will acquire WhiteHat Security, a provider of application security Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), from NTT Security Corporation for approximately $330 million in cash. NTT Security acquired WhiteHat in 2019. “WhiteHat Security helped pioneer SaaS delivery of application security testing and brings powerful technology and expertise into our application security portfolio,” said Jason Schmitt, general manager of the Synopsys Software Integrity Group. “WhiteHat Security’s DAST capabilities complement our strengths in static analysis, interactive analysis and software composition analysis, while their expertise in SaaS will accelerate our security testing SaaS capabilities.”

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