Week In Review: Design, Low Power

Synopsys acquires IP from INVECAS, plus DAST and API security firm; assembling chiplets; Bluespec open-sources BSV; Bluetooth LE Audio LC3 codecs.


Synopsys will acquire certain IP assets of INVECAS. The acquisition expands Synopsys’ DesignWare Logic Library, General Purpose I/O, Embedded Memory, Interface and Analog IP portfolio. The acquisition will also add a team of experienced R&D engineers to focus on physical IP across a range of process technologies. INVECAS will retain its HDMI IP and ASIC Design Solutions businesses. The deal is expected to close the first half of fiscal 2020. Terms were not disclosed.

Synopsys acquired Tinfoil Security, a provider of dynamic application security testing (DAST) and Application Program Interface (API) security testing solutions. Based in Mountain View, CA, Tinfoil Security was founded in 2011. “Tinfoil Security provides Synopsys with proven DAST technology that can be seamlessly integrated into development and DevOps workflows. Furthermore, Tinfoil Security’s innovative API scanning technology addresses an emerging demand in the market and will further differentiate the Synopsys portfolio,” said Andreas Kuehlmann, co-general manager of the Synopsys Software Integrity Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tools & IP
zGlue uncorked its ChipBuilder Pro Package for speeding development and manufacturing of IoT chips. It uses the company’s Smart Fabric technology for 2.5D chiplet integration for drag and drop design. A custom chip can be built from existing chiplets from a multitude of third-party providers and integrated into a single package. A free version of ChipBuilder is also available.

Bluespec will open source its BSV high-level HDL development tools on January 31, 2020. BSV is based on Guarded Atomic Actions, which provides a foundation for reasoning about the functional correctness of hardware. Source code for the BSV tools will be licensed under a standard open source license and be hosted by a separate nonprofit organization. Bluespec will continue to offer supported versions of the BSV tools, based on the open source code. It will also upstream fixes and enhancements to the public repository.

CEVA uncorked SenslinQ, a hardware IP and software platform to collect, process, and link data from multiple sensors in contextually aware IoT devices. The sensor fusion platform collects data from multiple sensors within a device, including microphones, radars, Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs), environmental sensors, and Time of Flight (ToF), and conducts front-end signal processing such as noise suppression and filtering on this data. It performs activity classification, voice and sound detection, and presence and proximity detection to determine context. The platform is accompanied by the SenslinQ framework, a Linux-based Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) reference code and APIs for data and control exchange between the multiple processors and the various sensors.

Cadence says an implementation of the Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3) that is expected to be compliant with LE Audio, the next generation of Bluetooth audio, is available now for Tensilica HiFi DSPs. LC3 provides higher audio quality at lower bandwidth and affords developers greater flexibility in making tradeoffs between audio quality, power consumption and other features. Cadence licensed reference code from Fraunhofer IIS to enable availability of LC3 in conjunction with the initial LE Audio launch.

Synopsys also debuted a Bluetooth LE Audio LC3 Codec optimized for Synopsys’ DesignWare ARC EM DSP and HS DSP processor IP. The LC3 codec for ARC processors is based on an implementation by Fraunhofer IIS that is designed to meet Bluetooth SIG requirements. The new LC3 codec, running on ARC EM and HS DSP processors, allows designers to rapidly integrate a complete, pre-verified hardware and software solution for voice and speech processing into Bluetooth-enabled devices requiring minimal energy consumption.

CEVA is also adding support for LE Audio and an optimized LC3 codec in its RivieraWaves Bluetooth Low Energy and Dual Mode IPs.

Synopsys launched its Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) supporting NXP Semiconductor’s S32G Vehicle Network Processor. The VDK, a software development kit using a virtual prototype as the embedded target, has been used by NXP’s teams to develop their S32G enablement software and firmware. The S32G enables modern service-oriented gateways for rapid Over-the-Air (OTA) deployment of new capabilities and advanced edge-to-cloud analytics and supports the shift to simplified domain and zonal-based vehicle architectures.

Arm teamed up with Siemens to bring Siemens’ PAVE360 platform together with Arm automotive IP to simulate and validate complex Arm-based automotive systems and SoCs inside the context of a vehicle before it is built. This allows entire software stacks to run on the digital twin and aids with functional safety verification and validation of systems.

ANSYS teamed up with several automotive suppliers:
ANSYS and BlackBerry QNX collaborated to combine ANSYS SCADE’s embedded software development environment with the QNX Neutrino real-time operating system. Both are certified to ISO 26262 ASIL D level.

FLIR Systems will integrate a fully physics-based thermal sensor into ANSYS’ driving simulator to model, test, and validate thermal camera designs within an ultra-realistic virtual world. It also allows for simulation of uncommon and difficult scenarios where thermal excels, including wildlife encounters and distinguishing pedestrians from other roadway objects in low-contrast environments.

AEye is incorporating ANSYS’ simulation solutions into the design of its Intelligent Detection and Ranging (iDAR) platform. iDAR combines deterministic and AI-driven perception to deliver detection and classification at high speed and far range not possible for conventional LiDAR or camera sensors.

EDA and IP grew 8.9% in Q3 of 2019, according to the ESD Alliance Market Statistics Service. “We’re seeing a lot of new and growing markets,” said Wally Rhines, CEO Emeritus of Mentor, a Siemens Business, and spokesperson for the ESD Alliance’s MSS. “We’re also seeing continued fabless semiconductor startup funding. In 2018 there was $3.5 billion in funding. It probably was less in 2019, but it’s still strong. That compares to only about $2.5 billion in 2000.” Hiring in the industry continues to increase, with tracked companies employing 6.6% more workers compared to Q3 2018, and 1.4% compared to Q2 2019.

Check out upcoming industry events and conferences: Next year, DesignCon will take place January 28-30 in Santa Clara, CA, with a focus on board and high-speed communications design. Plus, DAC submissions for the Designer and IP Track are open through Jan. 22, 2020; the conference will be co-located with SEMICon West July 19-23, 2020 in San Francisco, CA.

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