Sensor hub DSP architecture streamlines sensor fusion

Sensor hub DSP architecture streamlines sensor fusion

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The SensPro family serves as hub for processing and fusing of data from multiple sensors including camera, Radar, lidar, Time-of-Flight, microphones and inertial measurement units.

The new product line addresses the need for specialized processors to handle the proliferation of different types of sensors that are required in an extremely broad range of application scenarios, including automotive, smartphones, robotics, AR/VR headsets and for emerging industrial and medical applications that are being revolutionized with initiatives like Industry 4.0. These sensors, among which are camera, radar, lidar, time-of-flight (ToF), microphones and inertial measurement units (IMU), generate a multitude of data types and bit-rates derived from imaging, sound, RF and motion, which can be used to create a full 3D contextually-aware device.

Designed to maximize performance-per-watt for complex multi-sensor processing use cases, the SensPro architecture offers a combination of high performance single and half precision floating-point math required for high dynamic range signal processing, point cloud creation and deep neural network (DNN) training, along with a large amount of 8- and 16-bit parallel processing capacity required for voice, imaging, DNN inference processing and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). SensPro incorporates CEVA’s widely used CEVA-BX scalar DSP, which offers a seamless migration path from single sensory system designs to multi-sensor, contextual-aware designs.

SensPro uses a configurable 8-way VLIW architecture. It employs a micro-architecture that combines scalar and vector processing units and incorporates a deep pipeline enabling operating speeds of 1.6GHz at a 7nm process node. It also incorporates a CEVA-BX2 scalar processor for control code execution with a 4.3 CoreMark/MHz score. It adopts a wide SIMD scalable processor architecture for parallel processing and is configurable for up to 1024 8×8 MACs, 256 16×16 MACs, dedicated 8×2 Binary Neural Networks support, as well as 64 single precision and 128 half precision floating point MACs. This allows it to deliver 3 TOPS for 8×8 networks inferencing, 20 TOPS for Binary Neural Networks inferencing, and 400 GFLOPS for floating point arithmetic. Other features of SensPro include a memory architecture providing a bandwidth of 400GB per second, 4-way instruction cache, 2-way vector data cache, DMA, and queue and buffer managers for offloading the DSP from data transactions.

The SensPro introduction is accompanied by a set of software and development tools to expedite system designs. Initially, the new DSPs will be available in three configurations, each including a CEVA-BX2 scalar processor and various vector units configured for optimal use-case handling.

The SensPro architecture and cores will be available for general licensing starting in Q3 2020.

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