Deeper pipeline and significant instruction-set enhancements deliver higher performance with low energy
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Feb 26, 2019 -- Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) today announced the Cadence® Tensilica® ConnX B20 DSP IP, the highest-performing DSP in the popular ConnX family. Based on a deeper processor pipeline architecture, the ConnX B20 DSP provides a faster and more power-efficient solution for the automotive and 5G communications markets, including next-generation radar, lidar, vehicle-to-everything (V2X), user equipment (UE)/infrastructure and IoT applications. With an enhanced instruction set architecture (ISA) and clock-speed increase, the ConnX B20 DSP processes parts of the communication processing chain up to 30X faster and parts of the radar/lidar processing chain up to 10X faster compared to the popular Tensilica ConnX BBE32EP DSP. Further expanding the ConnX family, Cadence has introduced the ConnX B10 DSP, which delivers half the vector width of the ConnX B20 DSP for applications requiring less parallelism.
Both the trend toward higher resolution imaging radar with more antennas for autonomous driving applications and the emergence of 5G mobile equipment and infrastructure demand significantly more processing power. In addition, consumer/industrial radar, automotive V2X and 5G IoT applications all require low-energy processing solutions. With the addition of the ConnX B20 and B10 DSPs, the ConnX family excels at meeting the demands for higher performance and low energy consumption.
Software compatible with the rest of the ConnX DSP family (the ConnX BBE16/32/64EP), the ConnX B20 DSP has a 512-bit vector width up to 128 MACs, can load 1024 bits of data each cycle and achieves 1.4GHz or greater frequency in 16nm process technology. This extends the ConnX family to serve an even broader range of performance. Customers have a variety of algorithm acceleration options to reduce cycle counts, including higher precision with either 32-bit fixed-point operations (including operations to optimize MAC, FFT and FIR) with native complex support, or single-/half-precision vector floating-point (VFPU) operations with half precision at 2X the single-precision throughput. This flexibility allows customers to choose higher precision only when needed. In addition, an extended VFPU option enables support for complex floating-point operations and doubles the real floating-point operations at the same vector width typically used in the front end of the radar processing chain. The communications option accelerates forward-error correction (FEC) in lower bit-rate communication applications seeking software-defined radio solutions.
The ConnX B20 DSP’s native 32-bit support option and higher clock speed deliver up to 10X faster performance for parts of the radar/lidar processing chain compared to the popular ConnX BBE32EP DSP used today. With the clock speed increase and FEC acceleration option, the ConnX B20 DSP is also up to 30X faster for parts of the communication processing chain compared to the ConnX BBE32EP DSP. Both the ConnX B20 and B10 DSPs provide customers with more performance and efficiency while preserving their existing architecture and development environment. Customers can quickly optimize for an application’s power, performance, and area (PPA) requirements with easy scalability and extensive configurability within the compatible ConnX DSP family. In addition, they can perform fast software development with advanced compiler, debug and simulation tools as well as an optimized math library and application examples with source code.
“Autonomous driving requires high-resolution sensing to distinguish separate objects at a distance. The addition of more antennas enables increased radar resolution, which requires a corresponding increase in DSP performance,” said Mike Demler, senior analyst at the Linley Group. “Lidar systems have the necessary resolution but are too expensive for wide deployment today. However, new solid-state implementations are changing that and need some DSP programmability as the algorithms and designs mature. The roll-out of 5G infrastructure and devices will drive higher bandwidth, lower latency and lower energy consumption from edge devices as signal power requirements decrease, and these new designs demand more performance with scalability across multiple use cases. Tensilica ConnX DSPs have been used in multiple automotive sensor and communications applications, and the new ConnX B20 and B10 DSPs offer new levels of performance and energy efficiency that are required for next-generation devices.”
“ArrayComm developed physical layer software for 4G LTE, Cat-M and NB-IoT base stations using the Cadence Tensilica ConnX BBE32EP DSP,” said Xin Huang, president of ArrayComm. “We found the DSP to be powerful and highly efficient, especially in vector processing. We look forward to working with the Tensilica team to port ArrayComm’s 5G PHY onto the latest ConnX DSPs.”
“Next-generation imaging radar and 5G communications are driving the need for an order-of-magnitude increase in data throughput,” said Lazaar Louis, senior director of product management and marketing for Tensilica IP at Cadence. “To address our customers’ growing need for high-performance radar and communications solutions, we continue to invest in the successful ConnX DSP family. Our new ConnX B20 and B10 DSPs extend our range of scalable, compatible DSPs optimized for complex number processing with higher clock speeds and more optimized instructions, providing customers with an easy upgrade path for existing designs in radar and communications applications for a wide variety of markets.”
General availability for both the ConnX B20 and B10 DSPs is planned for the second quarter of 2019. Customers interested in early access should contact Cadence.
Cadence enables electronic systems and semiconductor companies to create the innovative end products that are transforming the way people live, work and play. Cadence® software, hardware and semiconductor IP are used by customers to deliver products to market faster. The company’s System Design Enablement strategy helps customers develop differentiated products—from chips to boards to systems—in mobile, consumer, cloud datacenter, automotive, aerospace, IoT, industrial and other market segments. Cadence is listed as one of Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For. Learn more at www.cadence.com.