In search of new markets, CEVA to Acquire Intrinsix

Above: Gideon Wertheizer, CEO of CEVA

CEVA (NASDAQ: CEVA), the licensor of IP for DSPs, wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies, announced an agreement to acquire Massachusetts-based Intrinsix Corp. for approximately $33 million in cash. The closing of the acquisition is anticipated to take place during the second quarter of 2021.

Intrinsix provides System-on-Chip (SoC) design expertise in the areas of RF, mixed signal, digital, software, secure processors and interface IP for Heterogenous SoCs (chiplets). It had completed more than 1,500 successful designs with a customers such as Intel, IBM and Lockheed Martin. Intrinsix is also involved in the development of chiplets and secure processors for DARPA projects, including DARPA CHIPS program.

Jim Gobes, CEO of Intrinsix, stated: “This combination creates a powerful entity with a strong IP portfolio and advanced chip design capabilities.” Gideon Wertheizer, CEO of CEVA said: “Intrinsix’s experience and customer base in the growing chip development programs with the U.S. Department of Defense and DARPA and its IP offerings for processor security and chiplets will extend CEVA’s serviceable market and revenue base.”

ceva is targeting US Aerospace and Defense markets

Durind the earnings call earlier this week, he gave further details: “Intrinsix has built a successful business that generates more than $20 million in annual revenue, and we expect Intrinsix to contribute $10-$11 million to CEVA’s top line in the second half of 2021.” He said that the acquisition provides CEVA with three growth pillars: aerospace and defense, turnkey IP platforms that combine CEVA’s IP with Intrinsix’s chip design expertise, and secure processor IP for IoT devices and Heterogeneous SoC interface IP for chiplets.

Gideon Wertheizer: “Aerospace and defense markets have a high entry barrier to penetrate. But once you are there, it’s for the long haul. We are planning to bring our DSP in conjunction with the designs that they do and the customers that they have. The second pillar is what we call internally turnkey IP: Many system companies want to build a chip to create a competitive edge. We are not going to chip manufacturing. We will be IP company, but we allow our customers to go directly to the foundry and not take any intermediary in between.

“The third pillar is IPs that we didn’t have: security IP, secure processor IP and the IP that is called HSoC (Hybrid SoC), and this is basically chiplets. Chiplet is basically, you take different dyes and connect them into one chip. Intrinsix has a strategic relationship with Intel, that is the leader in this area and one of the anchor of their new Foundry Strategy.”

Eleven license agreements in Q1 2021

CEVA’s total revenue for the first quarter of 2021 was $25.4 million, an 8% increase compared to the first quarter of 2020. First quarter 2021 licensing and related revenue was $14.4 million, a decrease of 1%, and royalty revenue was $11.0 million, an increase of 21%. Eleven license agreements were completed during the quarter, out of which two were with first time customers. Customers’ target applications include 5G reduced capability (RedCap) connectivity, and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ultra-wide band (UWB) connectivity for a range of IoT, smartphones and smart home devices. Geographically, ten of the deals signed were in China, and one was elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.

A New Approach to Circuit Simulation

Sponsored by Synopsys. By Raja Tabet, Sr. VP of Engineering, and Anand Thiruvengadam, Product Marketing Director, Custom Design and Physical Verification Group

In our data-driven world, applications like high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) are taking center stage, delivering intelligence and insights that are transforming our lives. However, the growing complexities of HPC and AI designs are driving the need for much more complex semiconductor devices. Increasingly, multiple components and technologies are coming together in hyper-convergent designs to meet demands for bandwidth, performance, and power for these compute-intensive applications.

To achieve power, performance, and area (PPA) targets, such complex chips need to be analyzed as a single system—an approach that’s difficult to support via traditionally disparate tools. In this post, originally published in the “From Silicon to Software” blog, we’ll examine the trend of IC hyperconvergence and explain why the traditional, disaggregated approach to circuit simulation is no longer sufficient.

What is IC hyperconvergence? Simply put, a hyper-convergent IC design is one that is comprised of disparate components integrated on the same die or the same package. It’s like system-on-chip, but packed with a lot more functionality. A single die or package, for instance, can feature a diverse set of analog, digital, and mixed-signal components, some built on different process nodes. The complexity increases further when the various components are integrated vertically using 2.5D/3D architectures in a system-in-package (SiP).

From technology generation to generation, SoCs have grown more complex with more integration in response to application needs. As recently as 2015, advanced-node SoCs were primarily digital designs, with separate discrete analog components on mature nodes and fairly low data rates for on-chip IO. Fast-forward to 2020 and you’ll have noticed the increasing prevalence of advanced-node SoCs with integrated analog components, larger and faster embedded memory, and complex IOs with 100+ Gb data rates. And today, we’re seeing the emergence of high-bandwidth memory (HBM) designs consisting of large 3D stacked DRAM integrated with the SoC on a 3DIC or in a SiP.

While today’s highly integrated designs provide a way for designers to stretch the limits of Moore’s Law, the evolution also points to increased scale complexity and system complexity. From a scale standpoint, we’re seeing reduced margins and increased parasitics in advanced nodes. Also, larger and more complex circuits demand higher quality of results (QoR), time-to-results, and cost-of-results.

On the system side, complex multi-function and multi-technology silicon integrations are driving designers’ need for unified workflows around a common circuit simulation solution. In other words, the disparate tools that we’ve long been accustomed to are not adequate to meet the evolving needs in this environment.

Performing  Multi-Dimensional Analysis at the Component and Sub-System Levels

To illustrate the circuit simulation needs of today’s complex designs, let’s consider HBM. Adopted by JEDEC as an industry standard in 2013, HBM provides a high-speed memory interface for 3D stacked synchronous DRAM (SDRAM). It’s used with high-performance graphics accelerators, AI ASICs and FPGAs in high-performance datacenters, network devices, and some supercomputers. In these memory chips, multiple DRAM dies are vertically stacked with a memory controller, all interconnected by through-silicon vias (TSVs) and microbumps on a silicon interposer. This architecture makes it possible to deliver higher bandwidth with less power in a smaller form factor than DDR4 or GDDR5.

In a hyperconverged design, HBM designers will need to verify the entire memory sub-system present in a SiP, which means performing complex multi-dimensional analysis at the component and sub-system levels. There are difficult and more stringent constraints with new complexities that must be addressed to achieve power and performance targets. Circuit simulation tools need to be able to support:

    • Analysis of multiple technologies and multiple components (logic, analog, memory, I/O)
    • Different types of analyses (analog, digital, mixed-signal)
    • Large capacities for sub-system and chip-level analysis
    • Advanced reliability analyses (electrical, thermal, electro-thermal, temporal)
    • Signal integrity
    • Variability analysis (process, structural).

What’s more, as these designs continue to scale to advanced nodes, there is a substantial increase in simulations to ensure that the design will be reliable and meet yield targets. Familiar challenges remain but will be exacerbated. Signal integrity, for example, will need to be analyzed through the interposer. Issues such as electrothermal stress and larger parasitics must be addressed to foster chip reliability that manufacturing at scale will require.

From a design enablement perspective, this presents a multi-dimensional challenge that calls for workflows optimized for PPA and cost convergence. As a result, design teams and electronic design automation (EDA) tool providers must collaborate closely to address the complexity and costs of developing these hyperconverged designs.

Hyperconvergence Redefines Circuit Simulation

IC hyperconvergence is redefining how circuit simulation should be done. To meet the design and signoff requirements of hyper-convergent designs, circuit simulation tools need to come together in a unified workflow that:

    • Enables a holistic and cohesive verification of complex multi-technology/multi-function designs
    • Delivers greater performance while supporting much more capacity
    • Understands both the digital and analog worlds—and what happens when both are integrated in a complex device
    • Delivers a rich and consistent verification experience across all tools.

It’s time for EDA tool providers to close the gaps that arise when disparate tools and disparate environments are applied to hyper-convergent designs. As silicon chip designers continue to find innovative new ways to extend—or go beyond—Moore’s Law, a unified workflow is needed to support PPA, reliability, and yield targets while also reducing design costs and turnaround time to meet increasing verification demands of hyper-convergent designs.

More Details from SNUG World 2021

The challenges of hyper-convergent designs were discussed at our recent SNUG® World 2021. Recordings from the virtual experience are available online.

EVR Motors unveiled an Electric Motor with a new topology

A small strtup from Irael, EVR Motors, unveiled a new type of electric motor based on a new topology of Radial Flux Motors, called TSRF (Trapezoidal Stator Radial Flux). The company has completed tests on a prototype traction motor designed for two- and three-wheel electric vehicles. The air-cooled motor delivered peak power of 17kW, and 40 Nm of torque, from a 2-liter volume, weighing only 9 Kg, far exceeding other small, air cooled radial flux motors.

EVR expects its new motor architecture will be adapted to a wide range of vehicles in cooperation with automotive OEMs and Tier 1s. A production-ready motor is scheduled to be introduced to the global market later this year. “We managed to change the basic design of the electric motor, which has remained much the same for the last several decades, while maintaining the traditional dvantages of the radial flux motors,” said Opher Doron, CEO of EVR Motors.

TSRF technology can support a wide range of power and torque outputs, with voltage ranging from 48V to 800V, that are suitable for different power levels and speeds. EVR Motors has raised seed funding of $5.5 million from several investors, led by Marius Nacht, co-founder of Check Point.

The company was founded by the President and COO Eli Rozinsky, the CTO Victor Kislev and the VP R&D Ruslan Shabinski. It is led by the CEO Opher Doron, former GM of of IAI’s Space Division, where he was responsible for the development, construction, launch, and operation of observation and communication satellites. The chairman is Ophir Shoham, former Director of Defense Research Directorate at the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MAFAT).

IMCO Demonstrated its Terrain Dominance Solution

IMCO Group, a leading provider of complex solutions for air, land, and maritime defense applications, held a special two-day demonstration of its solutions and capabilities at its showroom in Rosh Ha’Ayn, Israel.

Together with its subsidiaries and partners, IMCO Group offers One-Stop-Shopping for end-to-end Terrain Dominance Solutions which includes a range of hardware and software solutions offering scalable tactical superiority capability using UAVs, hovering platforms, UGVs and manned vehicles equipped with sensors, modular multi-axial positioners, communications, proprietary command and control systems, and independent computing power on the battlefield. IMCO Group and partners’ complete value chain now also includes, among other things, in-house PCB design and assembly capabilities.

Military attachés, ambassadors, and representatives from various countries across the globe visited the showroom during the two-day demonstration, and witnessed the capabilities of IMCO, its subsidiaries, and partners:

Nir-Or, which designs, develops, manufactures, and integrates innovative video systems and electronic solutions for various military platforms that maximize survivability and lethality at land, air, and sea, demonstrated its Situation Awareness Video System (SAVS).
Nir Or’s SAVS offers continuous 360° terrain and situational awareness for land and marine vehicles together with embedded Artificial Intelligence (AI) that supports decision-making solutions on the battlefield. It reduces the cognitive load while maximizing the lethality and survivability of the crew.

Innocon Ltd., an innovative Israeli developer and manufacturer of Tactical UAVs ranging from micro-UAVs to full-size light airplanes, presented its MicroFalcon: a lightweight UAV for over-the-hill ISR missions. Its high survivability, fast redeployment time cycle, and cost-effective price tag make it an ideal UAV for the military, civilian, and HLS markets. Innocon’s MicroFalcon is already operationally deployed by many customers worldwide, including NATO member countries, and has a NATO Stock Number.

Ex-Sight, which specializes in research & development and provision of full turnkey solutions of robotic technologies for the public sector and security markets, presented its Ground and maritime Vehicles for border defense, 3DV Stereoscopic Day & Night Driver Vision Enhancement systems for Armored vehicles, and Mid-range Electro-optic payloads. Turning product ideas into reality, Ex-Sight has been selected by Israeli forces to develop cutting-edge tactical robotics and video systems that are integrated into several leading projects.

Capture systems, a leading manufacturer of Pan & Tilt positioners, presented its ATID Anti-Threat Intelligent Detector, Caracal pan & tilt unit based on a gunnery station, and Jaguar: a heavy-duty unit designed to be a true REAL-TIME long-range observation system, capable of supporting payloads up to 60 Kg without losing precision. Capture’s advanced modular multi-axial positioners are ideal for air, land, and sea military uses, HLS, commercial/industrial, Satcom, communication antennas, measurement systems, vision and pointing systems.

Sky Sapience, a leading provider of tethered hovering platforms enabling 24/7 real-time ISR, demonstrated its HoverMast: a mobile, operationally proven tethered hovering platform that provides top-level observation and surveillance capabilities at altitudes up to 150 meters. The HoverMast can host any payload, up to 11 kg., and operates autonomously, on the move, in harsh weather. Intuitive and easy to operate, the HoverMast enables immediate and continuous data transmission through a wideband link, setting up valuable communication between different teams.

IMCO Industries CEO, Mr. Eitan Zait: “We were honored and excited to hold this special demonstration, and present the complete capabilities of IMCO Group and partners to customers, Military attachés, ambassadors, and representatives from various countries.  Turning ideas into reality, IMCO Group is a one-stop-shop for complete tailor-made turn-key terrain dominance solutions that enhances user’s situational awareness and ensures high lethality and survivability.”

Innoviz to develop LiDAR-Only Autonomous Driving

Innoviz Technologies and and Vueron Technology from South Korea will cooperate in building an autonomous driving platform for LiDAR-only self-driving vehicles. Innoviz provides solid-state LiDAR sensor that Selected by BMW for its fully autonomous car program. Vueron provides LiDAR perception software for ADAS, autonomous vehicles, and industrial safety and security systems.

In January of this year Vueron received a self-driving permit issued by the South Korean government. Following receipt of the permit, Vueron executed a 414-kilometer, fully automated, LIDAR-only drive from the capital city of Seoul to the southern port city of Busan, at a maximum speed of 100 km/hr. The mandated safety driver on board did not hold the steering wheel at any time during the full five hours of the historic drive.

“We are impressed by Vueron’s high-performance LiDAR perception software,” said Omer Keilaf, CEO of Innoviz. Joseph Kim, CEO of Vueron, said that the InnovizOne sensor “is the front-runner in LiDAR technology. Both companies are fortunate to have had the same early-stage investor, Naver. We look forward to many years of fruitful cooperation, using Innoviz LiDAR in our solutions for ADAS, autonomous vehicles, industrial safety, IOT and security systems.”

Last month Innoviz announced its new genration InnovizTwo 905nm LiDAR sensor. The new generation achieves a 30x performance improvement and a 70% cost reduction compared with InnovizOne. It provides Extended Field of View (FoV) of 125×40 degrees, increased native resolution of 0.07×0.05 degrees, over 8000 lines each second and a range of 300m, with the ability to see small, dark objects with 10% reflectivity at over 220m under strong sun conditions.

SolarEdge found a solution to the components shortage

During the first quarter of 2021, SolarEdge Technologies’  solar business continued to grow across all geographies and segments. The Company reported revenues of $405.5 million, up 13% from $358.1 million in the prior quarter and down 6% from $431.2 million in the same quarter last year. Beyond smart solar solutions, It also began delivering powertrain units and batteries for the electric version of the very popular Fiat E-Ducato light commercial vehicle, in line with its growth strategy to enter new markets.

Zvi Lando, SolarEdge’s Chief Executive Officer, said during the earnings conference call, that the company where able to overcome the shortage in components hitting the industry. “We have adopted a methodology to closely monitor the procurement of components by our contract manufacturers and at times, manage the supply and demand of components directly from their suppliers. This allows us to identify relatively early cycles of shortages.

“We also typically hold high levels of safety stock and finished goods inventory that allow us to overcome temporary fluctuations of component availability. In addition, we have developed alternate sources for critical components. As a result at this time we are comfortable in our ability to support the increased demand we are seeing and our projections for the rest of the year.”

The electric version of the very popular Fiat E-Ducato
The electric version of the very popular Fiat E-Ducato

Residential Batteries with a Brain

SolarEdge is now preparing to launch a residential battery and is operating test sites in the U.S. These batteries will be shipped to the U.S., Europe and later to Australia. These are unique energy storage units, managed by smart algorithms. Lando: “In a recent study of our global installed base of more than 30,000 systems of SolarEdge backup inverters we analyzed consumer behavior patterns and system performance through more than 75,000 blackout events lasting more than 5 minutes.

“We characterized in detail typical blackout frequencies, duration, the power and energy capacity needs as well as practices to prevent depletion of batteries and extended blackout events. We will be incorporating these learnings into our system in conjunction with the maximization of self-consumption and financial decision-making algorithms in order to enable smart automated system decisions. We don’t plan for meaningful battery revenues until Q3 of this year. Given the growing demand for energy consumption and storage, we are confident that our storage-ready inverters fitted with our DC coupled battery represent a significant milestone in our vision of a home systems.”

AiVF Receives European Approval for its Cutting Edge AI based IVF Treatments

AiVF, a leader in AI technology for digitizing IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) clinics, today announced that it has received the CE Mark for use of its AI-based digital embryology management platform, EMA TM, in IVF Fertility clinics, paving the way for use of the platform at clinics across Europe.

EMATM by AiVF, is a multi-module integrated platform, combines AI, computer vision, and big data to improve patients’ success rates. AiVF’s genetic evaluation tool can help determine whether a given embryo is genetically suitable for transfer without the need for an invasive biopsy (PGT-A).

“Some 30% of all IVF treatments take place in Europe, and clinics have difficulty meeting the demand for treatment,” said Daniella Gilboa, AiVF’s co-founder and CEO. “AiVF’s unique solution has created an automated lab that, through its remarkable digital capabilities, is able to perform many of the embryologist’s tasks rapidly, accurately and objectively.”

AiVF currently has the largest embryo database in the world, guaranteeing high accuracy of its clinical predictions. The AiVF platform offers objective and automatic tools, and its performance has been hailed by clinicians as exceptional. The system is in use at a number of European clinics and clinical trials are also underway in the USA toward forthcoming FDA approval.

“CE approval gives us an excellent starting point to operate as one of the leading companies in the European IVF market, which is the largest in the world with more than 1 million treatments performed annually in 1200 clinics, and a market estimated at $4.5 billion,” Gilboa added. “AiVF’s solution could dramatically improve the chances of successful IVF treatments and lower their cost in the EU, thus reducing the suffering of those going through the IVF process and enabling millions of others to fulfill their dream of having a baby.”

As part of the company’s vision to streamline and improve the journey from IVF to parenthood, Prof. Dan Ariely, a world leader in the field of behavioral economics was appointed Chief Behavioral Officer. He is currently helping AiVF develop social and behavioral strategies that shape the next stage of IVF, including reproductive choices and family priorities.

AiVF was established to bring IVF into the digital age, harnessing the most innovative technologies available to revolutionize the field and help take the guesswork out of IVF. AiVF’s solution reduces the anxieties and difficulties of women going through IVF and helps close the gap between the demand for IVF treatments and the clinics’ ability to meet it. Today, in the United States a round of IVF averages $20,000, and with many women going through 5 rounds, the cost of treatment is often prohibitive. With AiVF, the chances for successful pregnancy are higher, necessitating fewer rounds and opening the dream of becoming parents to more people.

Professor Daniel Seidman, MD, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at AiVF, noted: “Traditional embryo evaluation technique is performed manually and is not AI data driven. AiVF’s studies show remarkable accuracy, proving that a digital system can outperform an embryologist in making IVF decisions. With AiVF technology now commercially available in Europe and soon in the US, we can offer the first in class product to improve the chances of pregnancy and of delivering a healthy baby to the world.”