Flex Logix, Ceva announce DSP-FPGA in support of multiple ISAs

Technology News |
By Peter Clarke

Flex Logix, a licensor of FPGA fabric, and Ceva Inc., a licensor of DSP technology, have a silicon implementation of the EFLX embedded FPGA connected to a CEVA-X2 DSP instruction extension interface.

The price rise has been skewed against industrial customers to spare domestic and small business users.

The approach could be used to enable computation using flexible instruction sets and different instruction sets. Demanding and changing processing workloads are a factor in both terminals and data centres.

The prototype ASIC, known as SOC2, was designed and taped out for a TSMC 16nm manufacturing process by Bar-Ilan University SoC Lab, as part of the HiPer Consortium, backed by the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA).

“The ability to add custom instructions to minimize power and maximize performance efficiency of embedded processors has been around for decades,” said Andy Jaros, vice president of sales and marketing for Flex Logix’s eFPGA IP.

“The ISA extension capability works great for targeted applications, but it can be a costly solution when the application changes or new use cases need different instructions requiring a new chip to be developed. By working with CEVA and the HiPer Consortium, the SOC2 proves that reconfigurable computing is here with a DSP Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) that can be adapted to different workloads with custom hard-wired instructions that can be changed at any time in the future.”

Erez Bar-Niv, Ceva’s chief technology officer, said: “The SOC2 contains two processing clusters, each containing two CEVA-X2 DSP cores and EFLX eFPGA for programming and executing DSP instructions extensions, connected using the CEVA-Xtend mechanism. Flex Logix and Ceva’s mutual customers can now confidently utilize custom instructions to extract more value from their ASIC by being able to target different DSP applications on top of communication and sound with a customizable ISA post manufacturing.”

The CEVA-X2 is a multipurpose hybrid DSP and controller based on a 5-way VLIW/SIMD architecture with a 10-stage pipeline, operating at over 1GHz at a 16nm process.

The companies said that typical applications for the CEVA-X2 include 5G PHY control, multi-microphone beamforming, AI processing and neural network implementations. Ceva can provide a libraries of DSP and neural network routines.

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