Cadence expands Tensilica ConnX family of DSPs

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Cadence Design Systems has expanded its Tensilica ConnX family of radar, lidar and communications DSPs with two new DSP IP cores for embedded processing in the automotive, consumer and industrial markets.

The small, low-power Tensilica ConnX 110 and ConnX 120 DSPs share a common instruction set architecture (ISA), offering customers greater design flexibility. Together, these four DSPs cover a broad performance range from the low to the ultra-high-end, delivering scalable best-in-class, power, performance and area (PPA).

The 128-bit ConnX 110 DSP and 256-bit ConnX 120 DSP feature an N-way programming model and are fully compatible with the ConnX B10 and B20 DSPs, preserving software compatibility for easy migration.

Like the rest of the Tensilica DSP portfolio, the ConnX 110 and ConnX 120 DSPs support the Tensilica Instruction Extension (TIE) language, which allows customers to tailor the instruction set, add specialised data types, and implement tightly integrated interfaces between the DSP and external logic.

In addition, the DSPs are supported by complex math library functions in the NatureDSP, Eigen and Radar libraries. All ConnX DSPs are automotive-ready with full ISO 26262 compliance to ASIL-D with FlexLock or to ASIL-B.

The Tensilica ConnX 110 and 120 DSPs offer the following features and capabilities:

  • Optimised instruction set for radar, lidar and communications applications
  • 128-bit (ConnX 110) and 256-bit (ConnX 120) SIMD performance for complex math operations based on 8-, 16- and 32-bit fixed-point and half-, standard- and double-precision floating-point
  • Common instruction set and simplified programming model, allowing code to be written once and utilized across different SIMD widths within the ConnX family
  • Architecture optimised for small memory footprint and low-power signal processing
  • Optional acceleration operations for linear-feedback shift, convolutional encoding, single peak search and dual peak search
  • The ConnX 120 additionally offers Viterbi and Turbo decoders

“Radar and communications processing trends require solutions that perform more processing in less time,” said David Glasco, vice president of research and development for Tensilica IP at Cadence. “Automotive radar demands multi-antenna, high-resolution systems with rapid response. Similarly, 5G wireless communications requires much higher data rates and lower latencies than previous generations. The Tensilica ConnX 110 and ConnX 120 DSPs meet these demands by extending the already-efficient processing capability of the ConnX DSPs and enhancing them with even more fixed- and floating-point complex data processing capacity at low power and area.”