Week In Review: Design, Low Power

Nvidia’s Mellanox acquisition final; 2.5/3D-IC design platform; Ethernet security; Arm IP for startups.


Nvidia completed its $7 billion acquisition of Mellanox. The acquisition, initially announced over a year ago, brings Mellanox’s high-performance networking and interconnect technology to Nvidia’s server efforts and gives the company full end-to-end offerings in the data center space. To date, this is the largest acquisition in Nvidia’s history.

Tools & IP
Synopsys debuted its 3DIC Compiler platform for design and integration of complex 2.5 and 3D multi-die system-in-a-package. It provides a single environment with planning, architectural exploration, design, implementation, analysis, and sign off, as well as visualization capabilities such as 360° 3D view and cross probing. It is integrated with Ansys’ RedHawk for signal, thermal, and power analysis.

Rambus unveiled its 800G MACsec (Media Access Control security) solution for next-generation networking infrastructure. The 800G MACsec solution provides hardware-based, point-to-point security for 800 Gigabit Ethernet links to identify and prevent security threats such as denial of service, intrusion, man-in-the-middle, passive eavesdropping and masquerading attacks. A driver development kit is provided, and a toolkit that implements the Port-based Network Access Control (PNAC) standard and facilitates development and testing is available.

Imagination Technologies uncorked its OpenGL SC (Safety-Critical) 2.0 driver for automotive GPUs. It targets applications such as digital dashboards, dials, clusters, cockpit domain controllers, surround-view displays, and ADAS. The driver can be fully virtualized with Imagination’s HyperLane Technology enabling it to be used alongside standard non-safety critical OpenGL ES, Vulkan, and OpenCL drivers, and it supports advanced hardware safety and redundancy mechanisms.

Arm launched Flexible Access for Startups, an extension of its Flexible Access program, to offer early-stage silicon startups zero-cost access to a range of Arm’s IP, along with support and training resources, pre-commercialization. Startups with up to $5M in funding are eligible for the program, as are Silicon Catalyst members.

SmartDV released a line of memory controller design IP used for high-speed memories including HBM2/2E, HBM3, GDDR6 and LPDDR4/5. It also expanded its support for Flash memory controllers with the additions of Serial Flash, XSPI, and Octal SPI controllers. All are optimized for high performance with low read/write latencies, and the controllers are designed to work with DFI PHYs as well as integration in FPGA-based designs.

Samsung Foundry certified Ansys’ RaptorH electromagnetic simulation solution for developing 2.5D/3D-ICs and SoCs using Samsung’s new signoff flow.

VESA published the latest major version of the DisplayPort Alternate Mode standard. DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 is interoperable with the USB4 specification and enables all features in the latest DisplayPort 2.0 through the USB Type-C connector. With Alt Mode, the USB-C connector can transmit up to 80Gbps of DisplayPort video data utilizing all four high-speed lanes in the cable, or up to 40 Gbps with simultaneous SuperSpeed USB data delivery. VESA anticipates first products incorporating DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 to appear on the market in 2021.

The Khronos Group published OpenCL 3.0 Provisional Specifications. The latest version realigns the OpenCL roadmap to enable developer-requested functionality to be broadly deployed by hardware vendors, and it significantly increases deployment flexibility by empowering conformant OpenCL implementations to focus on functionality relevant to their target markets. It also integrates subgroup functionality into the core specification, uses a new unified specification format, and introduces extensions for asynchronous data copies.

Software Motor Company (SMC) is using Ansys’ multiphysics simulation solutions and Ansys Cloud in the development of ultra-efficient switched reluctance motors that address noise vibration and harshness issues.

Imagination Technologies is supporting Google Android GPU Inspector to help profile and debug graphics on Android, regardless of the device, using a single tool. The company worked to implement the necessary features in its graphics driver stack to support performance profiling on PowerVR devices.

Many conferences have now been cancelled, postposed, or moved online. Find out what’s happening with each at our events page. How about checking out a webinar instead?

If you have an event planned but not sure how to start moving it online, ACM published a report detailing some best practices for virtual conferences. It discusses the tasks required of organizers, platforms, and financial considerations, alongside examples of conferences that have gone virtual and lessons learned from their experiences.

Plus, on May 1 at 11:00 a.m. PST, the ESD Alliance will host a webcast with Jim Hogan and Methodics’ Simon Butler, who will discuss bootstrapping a startup and successfully creating a new market segment. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A.

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