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Ceva SensPro Fuses AI and Vector DSP

April 21, 2020

Author: Mike Demler

Ceva’s new SensPro gives designers a versatile and highly configurable set of licensable intellectual-property (IP) cores for scalar and vector signal processing as well as neural-network acceleration. The company designed SensPro, which it introduced at the recent Linley Spring Processor Conference, as a powerful sensor hub that combines technology from its BX2 DSP, XM6 computer-vision engine, and NeuPro deep-learning accelerators (DLAs). Although the new offering’s neural-network capacity is less than NeuPro’s, its AI/sensor-fusion capabilities are a good fit for a wide range of products, from IoT devices and smartphones to ADASs, augmented/virtual-reality (AR/VR) headsets, drones, and robots.

By integrating the BX2 with an eight-slot VLIW architecture that includes a DLA, SensPro can execute DSP operations in parallel with neural-network inference and thus power devices that require contextual awareness. For example, it can steer a drone around hazards by fusing altitude- and velocity-sensor measurements with image recognition from cameras. Designers can choose from a list of options, but the company is initially offering SensPro in three preconfigured versions: small, medium, and large. All have a BX2 DSP that runs the application software and that handles control and scalar signal processing. Ceva plans to ship production RTL for general licensing in 3Q20.

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