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Turning FPGAs into programmers’ best friends Xilinx chose Super Computing 2014 to unveil its SDAccel development environment for OpenCL, C, and C++. The new environment will make it easy for software developers to use FPGAs in the comfort of a CPU/GPU-like environment while enabling them to achieve up to 25X better performance/watt for data center application acceleration compared to CPUs or GPUs, claims the company. SDAccel combines what Xilinx presents as the industry’s first architecturally optimizing compiler supporting any combination of OpenCL, C, and C++ kernels, along with libraries and development boards. The architecturally optimizing compiler is also said to deliver 3X the performance and resource efficiency of other FPGA solutions, letting developers use a familiar workflow to optimize their applications and take advantage of FPGA platforms with no prior FPGA experience. The integrated design environment (IDE) provides coding templates and software libraries, and enables compiling, debugging, and profiling against the full range of development targets including emulation on x86, performance validation using fast simulation, and native execution on FPGA processors. It executes the application on data center-ready FPGA platforms complete with automatic instrumentation insertion for all supported development targets. SDAccel has also been architected to enable CPU/GPU developers to easily migrate their applications to FPGAs while maintaining and reusing their OpenCL, C, and C++ code in a familiar workflow. The SDAccel environment includes the programmer-ready IDE, C-based FPGA optimized libraries, as well as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platforms from partners such as Alpha Data, Convey or Pico Computing, ready for data center use. SDAccel libraries include OpenCL built-ins, DSP, Video, and linear algebra libraries for high performance, low power implementations. For domain specific acceleration, optimized OpenCV and BLAS OpenCL compatible libraries are available from Xilinx Alliance member Auviz Systems. Unique to FPGA solutions, and like CPU/GPUs, SDAccel keeps the system functional during program transitions. It creates FPGA-based compute units that can load new accelerator kernels while an application is running. Throughout application execution, critical system interfaces and functions such as memory, Ethernet, PCIe and performance monitors are kept live. On-the-fly reconfigurable compute units allow FPGA accelerators to be shared across multiple applications. For example, operational systems can be programmed to switch between image search, video transcoding and image processing. Xilinx www.xilinx.com Atmel adds integrated MCU/Wi-Fi module for edge node IoT applications In the Atmel | SMART portfolio of SmartConnect low-power, secure Wi-Fi solutions, this FCC-certified module offers a complete standalone edge node solution delivering that promises design flexibility and security for IoT developers Positioned as the first fully integrated FCC-certified Wi-Fi module with a standalone MCU and hardware security from a single source, the SmartConnect SAM W25 module includes Atmel’s recently announced 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi WINC1500, along with an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 ARM Cortex M0+-based MCU and Atmel’s ATECC108A optimised CryptoAuthentication engine with ultra-secure hardwarebased key storage for secure connectivity. There is a need, Atmel says flexible, for cost-optimised modules that provide a complete end-point solution from a single vendor. The fully integrated SAM W25 delivers a secure ‘plug and play’ solution integrating wireless technologies with the design flexibility required for Internet of Things (IoT) designers. Atmel’s FCC-, Telec-, IC- and CE-certified SAM W25 is a standalone solution that gives designers a fully integrated platform with a low-power MCU, hardware security and FCC-certified wireless connectivity from a single source. The small packaged module is cost optimised to lower the overall bill of materials for battery-operated applications ranging from remotes to home automation devices and beyond. Atmel www.atmel.com Qualtre launches single-axis BAW MEMS gyro Qualtre Inc. (Marlborough, Mass), a developer of solid-state silicon MEMS motion sensors based on bulk-acoustic wave (BAW) materials, has announced the availability of the QGYR110Hx BAW MEMS gyroscopes, single-axis angular rate (rotational) sensors designed for harsh environments. The single axis family complement the QGYR330H threeaxis gyroscope products announced in June. The single-axis device has a linear acceleration sensitivity of 0.015 degrees/s/g, a selectable full range of +/-200 degrees per second to +/-3,000 degrees/s. The parts with either analog or digital (I2C or SPI) outputs come in a LGA32 package measuring 7mm by 7mm by 2.9mm. Specifications of single-axis QGYR110Hx BAW MEMS gyroscopes. Source: Qualtre. The gyros are manufactured using a highaspect ratio polysilicon and single-crystal silicon fabrication process, which Qualtre claims offers advantages over conventional MEMS tuning-fork gyroscopes. “Our unique technology lets us offer the best-in-class 1-axis MEMS gyroscope at highly competitive price points compared to other 1-axis parts,” said Sreeni Rao, vice president of vertical markets at Qualtre in a statement. He added: “This advanced MEMS technology offers high shock and vibration immunity due to its rigid construction and high frequency operation. Together, these features allow us to address challenging requirements for higher performance combined with greater reliability, for industrial applications such as robotics, commercial and industrial drones, platform stabilization, and heavy machinery, to name just a few.” Qualtre Inc. www.qualtre.com 44 Electronic Engineering Times Europe December 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE DEC 2014
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