Ceva boosts DSP AI cores to 3TOPS

January 12, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Ceva boosts DSP AI cores to 3TOPS
The second generation SensPro DSP family from Ceva adds smaller and larger versions with higher performance for AI designs

Ceva has launched its second generation of DSP AI hub IP.

The SensPro family of blocks support scalar digital signal processing and machine learning for workloads associated with a wide range of sensors including camera, radar, LiDAR, Time-of-Flight, microphones and inertial measurement units (IMUs).

The family has been extended downwards to add AI to smaller sensors such as microphones and earbuds with 0.2TOPS of performance from an INT8 array, and upwards with the first floating point FP32 AI implementation.

“We have the dedicated DSP for vision and audio but we found the need to introduce the family for processing multiple sensors as well as AI,” said Moshe Sheier vice president of marketing at Ceva.

Each DSP block can be extended with application-specific instruction set architectures (ISAs) for radar, audio, computer vision and SLAM, along with parallel vector compute options for floating point and integer data types. This provides a power consumption reduction of 20 percent with a doubling of processing performance.

The cores use a combination of a scalar DSP with a vector engine with an array of multiple accumulate (MAC) units that can be used for DSP or for AI frameworks.

“These have a common ISA so whether you chose a smaller core or a larger one, its easy to migrate the software to a larger core and get the boost,” said Maier. “In the SP50 with 64 8x8 MACs we would have the same scalar DSP with a smaller array of MACs for example for noise reduction in a headset as well as a neural net on the vector engine – that would be done sequentially, not in parallel. The scalar is the controller and issues the command to the vector unit, it’s a matter of time sharing, perhaps using a trigger to run the neural network for inference.”

As well as the custom extension, the data bandwidth has been doubled to provide higher performance.

For automotive powertrain applications,

Picture: 
The SensPro DSP AI core architecture

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