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Linley Newsletter

Cadence Q8 Expands Vision DSPs

May 11, 2021

Author: Mike Demler

Cadence’s new Tensilica Vision DSPs extend its intellectual-property (IP) lineup at the high end to target 3D computer vision and at the low end to reduce area and power in always-on smart sensors. The company disclosed details of its new Vision Q8 and P1 at the recent Linley Spring Processor Conference. The Q8 integrates up to 1,024 INT8 multiply-accumulate (MAC) units, and it’s available for licensing now. The P1 has up to 128 INT8 units and is scheduled to begin general licensing by the end of this quarter.

The Vision Q8 targets augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), automotive, mobile phones, and similar high-performance computer-vision systems. It supports the simultaneous-location-and-mapping (Slam) ISA extension Cadence introduced in the Q7, which is useful in drones and robots. Running at 1.0GHz, its 1,024-unit MAC array can deliver 2,048 billion operations per second (GOPS). Cadence also offers the DSP in dual- and quad-core configurations, along with its proprietary multicore interconnect, an L2 cache, and an AXI4 system interface.

For designs running at 1.0GHz, the new 128-MAC Vision P1can deliver 256 GOPS for neural-network inference. Customers can further reduce its area and power by including fewer MAC units. The P1 is a good fit for battery-powered devices that require sensor fusion and lightweight inference, such as disposable health monitors and other wearables. Cadence conservatively estimates the DSP’s maximum clock frequency at 1.0GHz, but it’s evaluating 7nm implementations that will likely run at up to 1.5GHz.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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