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EETE MAY 2014

Custom processor tool wins $2.8m backing By Nick Flaherty Czech EDA tol developer Codasip has raised $2.8m in its first public offering to expand its customizable processor technology. The Codasip Framework Studio tool and IP blocks allow processors to be easily developed with custom instruction sets for embedded system-on-chip applications. The investment will be used to further develop the technology that enables its application specific integrated processors (ASIP) to be programed using the same standard flows as existing processors. This is key to eliminating the traditional complexity associated with ASIP designs and transition ASIP usage from a niche into mainstream design, says the company, competing directly with configurable processor cores such as ARC from Synopsys and the Tensilica cores from Cadence Design Systems. Funding is being led by Credo Ventures, a venture capital firm based in the Czech Republic, and includes additional funds from multiple private investors. The rapid growth of mobile devices, the internet of things (IoT) and personalized medicine is driving demand for extremely low power processors that perform very specialized tasks. ASIP’s address this need by optimizing the processor instruction set to the needs of the application, improving performance by orders of magnitude over traditional processing techniques. “Codasip is changing how ASIPs are designed today and we are happy to help the company expand to new markets,” said Vladislav Jez, Partner at Credo Ventures. “After being specialized products for many years, some form of ASIP now exists in every semiconductor-based product,” said Karel Masarik, CEO of Codasip. “Codasip’s uncompromising vision to deliver the performance that ASIP’s offer, while utilizing industry standard design, development, and programing flows, means we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this rapidly growing opportunity. Additionally, our Codix extensible processor IP and subsystems mean that even companies that have never dealt with this technology can benefit with minimal effort.” Codasip recently released version 2.0 of the Codasip Studio ASIP platform, further extending its technology leadership in the market. This new funding will be used to accelerate the existing product roadmap for EDA tools, as well as expanding the range of Codix IP cores that it will bring to market. In addition to expanding R&D activities the funding will be used to enable international expansion. Codasip has recently expanded its business development and sales presence in the US, and Europe, and will be expanding to other regions during the remainder of 2014. Formed in 2006 and headquartered in Brno, Czech Republic, Codasip currently has offices in the US and Europe. Its Advisory Board is headed by technology commentator and investor Esther Dyson and its Investment Committee Chairman is Eduard Mika, a prominent technology entrepreneur in Central Europe. ARM backs Open Sensor Platform By Peter Clarke ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) has offered its support of the Open Sensor Platform (OSP) for sensor hub applications, developed by startup Sensor Platforms Inc. (San Jose, Calif.). Sensor Platforms is the developer of the FreeMotion Library of software for sensor fusion functions. The OSP is a framework for sensor data acquisition, communication, and interpretation, compatible with any CPU architecture or real-time operating system, according to documentation on Sensor Platforms website. OSP encourages developers to focus on creating low-level applications for sensors rather than reinventing the wheel on the sensor interface. The OSP is processor architecture agnostic but was written with the ARM architecture in mind, according to Sensor Platforms. Technical documentation states: “The first sample of OSP implementation is an Android KitKat-compliant sensor hub providing always-on sensor data up to the Android hardware abstraction layer (HAL) on the application processor. However the framework is simple and flexible enough to be extended to more use cases. OSP developers will also be able to seamlessly take advantage of higher-level sensor interpretation such as that available through Sensor Platforms’ own FreeMotion Libraries that provide robust sensor fusion alwayson context awareness and pedestrian dead reckoning.” “As an open source platform for sensor fusion fundamentals, OSP will enable a community of developers to accelerate new functionality for ongoing innovation in sensor hubs across applications. As a result, we should see devices and applications that are more aware of their user and their environment, making technology more useful for all,” said Charlene Marini, vice president of marketing for embedded business at ARM, in a statement issued by Sensor Platforms. OSP will be open sourced under Apache License, version 2.0, and will actively manage and incorporate community contributions. The initial source code release, supporting documentation, and forum support will be available at GitHub.com on or before May 12. 8 Electronic Engineering Times Europe May 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE MAY 2014
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