Demonstrating ASIC IP performance and quality demands an FPGA-neutral design flow

March 16, 2015 // By Ali Osman Örs and Daniel Reader, Cognivue, Quebec, Canada
“Companies designing complex SoCs [are moving] increasingly toward licensing IP cores for a majority of the building blocks of their designs instead of building their own in-house custom versions. Selecting the right IP cores is the fundamental challenge of this developing paradigm.”

Companies designing new system-on-chip (SoC) products are subject to ongoing market pressure to do more with less and achieve higher returns. The result is shrinking engineering teams, reduced design tool budgets and shortened time lines to get new products to market. This has led companies designing complex SoCs to move increasingly toward licensing IP cores for a majority of the building blocks of their designs instead of building their own in-house custom versions. Selecting the right IP cores is the fundamental challenge of this developing paradigm and the means of evaluating and presenting it is as important to the purchaser as it is to the developer.

The reality is that IP cores are offered with a huge variety of features and options. And, even once you’ve sorted through the catalogue of potential vendors and products, there is still a vast range in IP quality. The trick is to separate the truly robust and capable from IP that is buggy, insufficiently tested, and lacking in real world performance and a wide and active set of successful users.

CogniVue is innovating with embedded vision enabling small smart cameras that see and react to the world around them, cars that see and avoid accidents, cameras on our TVs that recognise our faces and gestures, and smart phones that see and give us an augmented view of the world around us. CogniVue with its Image Cognition Processing is enabling dramatically new levels of embedded vision, making previously impossible small smart cameras possible. When it comes to vision processing, CogniVue aims not only to have the highest quality IP to offer, but also ensure that it meets the needs of the widest range of application, both for today and tomorrow. This is a field where use cases are still developing and where many won’t know their real needs until the design project is well underway.

Figure1. Example of vision-enabled SoC architecture with a CogniVue APEX2-642 Core