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Linley Newsletter

Year in Review: IP Adapts to Automotive Roadmap

January 5, 2021

Author: Mike Demler

In 2020, the first truly driverless robotaxi services hit the road in China and the US, foreshadowing new opportunities for licensable intellectual-property (IP) cores in advanced automotive systems. IP vendors previously developed a variety of cores for the automotive market, but the 2020 crop is notable for its improvements in functional safety and performance.

Doubling its previous pace, Arm in 2020 unveiled two new big CPUs—Cortex-X1 and Cortex-A78—offering options that enable smartphone-processor designers to boost performance as well as power efficiency. The company’s CPUs also made inroads into PCs.

In the RISC-V ecosystem, Andes and SiFive rolled out new cores with vector extensions that rival Arm’s Neon. They’re chasing a moving target, however, because their competitor announced a second-generation Scalable Vector Extension (SVE2) that will enable greater performance than Neon in future Cortex-A CPUs.

Embedded processors got a big performance boost in 2020, owing to the introduction of the industry’s first 64-bit CPUs designed for real-time controllers. IP vendors also launched a plethora of DLAs in 2020, aiming to address growing AI interest throughout the processor industry.

After a flurry of new product announcements in 2019, the DSP-IP segment was relatively quiet in 2020, but the two dominant market drivers remain 5G communications and ADAS/AVs. In 1Q20, Ceva introduced the XC16 DSPs, which include performance upgrades well suited to 5G base stations, client devices, lidar/radar signal processing, and Wi-Fi access points. EnSilica developed complete radar-imaging-coprocessor IP called the eSi-ADAS.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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