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Week In Review: Design, Low Power

A supercomputer challenges Google’s quantum supremacy; New tools for verification and data centers; Q2 earnings for Ansys, Rambus and Infineon

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Quantum Computing

Researchers in China are putting a damper on Google’s claims of achieving quantum supremacy after they were able to use normal processors to complete a difficult calculation in a few hours. Sycamore, Google’s quantum computer, completed the same calculation in a few minutes back in 2019, but the company said it would take a supercomputer more than 10,000 years to do the same.

Quantinuum says it has made progress with an error-correcting technique that could make quantum computing more practical. The company was able to make logical qubits, a group of storage and processing units, perform calculations.

Tools and IP

A seaglider is a vehicle that moves people and goods between coastal areas. Siemens Digital Industries Software and REGENT said they are collaborating on a high-speed, zero-emission seaglider using Siemens Xcelerator portfolio of digital twin software and services. “The revolution of both mobility and electrification is continuing at an exciting pace across the entire spectrum of the industry, but it’s not often that the two combine with such spectacularly innovative product design to address a specific challenge like the one face by coastal communities across the globe,” said Dale Tutt, vice president of industry strategy at Siemens.

Cadence launched a next-generation CXL VIP and System VIP tool for designing high-performance data center applications. CXL has become fundamental for hyperscale, data center, and cloud applications, and with the release of the CXL 3.0 specification, there is a need for tools that meet the latest requirements to ensure that early adopters can successfully build and verify their SoCs,” said Paul Cunningham, senior vice president and general manager of the System & Verification Group at Cadence. A few days earlier, the company announced that Arm is using the Cadence Liberate MX Trio Characterization for its embedded memory instances and compliers.

Imperas released what it says is the industry’s first open-source SystemVerilog RISC-V processor functional coverage library for RISC-V cores. The initial release is for RV32IMC. Other ratified extensions including RV64 are under development. “With all the configurability offered by the standard extensions and implementation options, plus users-defined custom features, the total scope of the RISC-V verification effort cannot be understated,” said Imperas CEO Simon Davidmann.

Renesas this week announced both a new group of 5 volt, 32-bit microcontrollers and a group of 1 gigahertz, 64-bit microprocessors. The MCUs are aimed at the home appliance and industrial markets, while the MPUs enable high-definition human machine interface and quick startup. Sakae Ito, vice president of the IoT Platform Business Division at Renesas said the company introduced the new MCUs in response to “strong demand from customers who need to design products with high power supply voltages.” Shigeki Kato, vice president of the Enterprise Infrastructure Business Division at Renesas said the MPUs were launched in response to customers who said they wanted “to retain features like excellent real-time capabilities and quick startup, but also want higher resolution and better performance.”

Keysight and Nokia collaborated on what the companies describe as the first public test of 800 GE technology. “The move to 800 GE presents service providers and vendors in the supply chain with new challenges to validate chips, optical transceivers, or networking equipment port electronics,” said Ram Periakaruppan, vice president and general manager of Keysight’s Network Test and Security Solutions group. Keysight also released its first diversity, equity and inclusion report, which said, among other things, that 46.4% of Keysight’s new U.S. hires are underrepresented minorities.

Financial News

Ansys reported second quarter earnings of $473.9 million in GAAP revenue, an increase of 6% compared with the same period the year prior. Annual contract revenue at $460.3 million was higher than any previous second quarter for the company. Ansys president and CEO Ajei Gopal said the company’s results were “broad-based across geographies and industries” while CFO Nicole Anasenes said she was confident in Ansys’ momentum given “continued strong demand for simulation.” The company also recently announced a plan for 15% carbon reduction by 2027, as well as its involvement in a project to develop zero-carbon jet engines.

Rambus said its second quarter earnings totaled $121.1 million in GAAP revenue, including a record $53.3 million in product revenue. “Rambus delivered a strong performance with another quarter of record product revenue from memory interface chips and sustained silicon IP momentum driving our results,” said Rambus CEO Luc Seraphin.

Infineon announced fiscal year 2022 third quarter earnings of €3.618 billion, an increase of 33% year-over-year and 10% compared with the previous quarter. Infineon CEO Jochen Hanebeck said that while demand in some consumer-oriented end markets recently had weakened, decarbonization and digitalization are continuing to drive high demand for semiconductors. “We are also benefiting from continuing high levels of investment in communications infrastructure, data centers and cloud computing,” he said.

Award

Lip-Bu Tan will receive the SIA’s Robert N. Noyce Award.  Lip-Bu Tan is the executive chairman and former CEO of Cadence Design Systems, Inc., founder and chairman of venture capital firm Walden International, and founding managing partner of Walden Catalyst Ventures.  “Lip-Bu Tan is a true technology visionary and a pioneer in venture capital,” said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. “Lip-Bu’s many career accomplishments have greatly strengthened the global semiconductor ecosystem and helped advance companies that drive innovation and growth around the world.  The award will be presented in November at the SIA Awards Dinner.

Check out our most recent startup funding newsletter to read about July’s massive rounds for batteries and quantum computing, as well as Series A and angel funding for several EDA companies.

Upcoming Events

Aug. 10-12, USENIX Security Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts.

Aug. 21-23, Hot Chips (virtual).

Aug. 21-25, SPIE Optics and Photonics, San Diego, CA.

Sep. 5-6, DVCon, Bangalore, India.

Find more chip industry events here.

In Case You Missed It

Want to know how MIT researchers are building AI hardware that could offer faster computing with less power? The answer can be found here.

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