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Ceva SensPro2 Doubles AI Throughput

February 9, 2021

Author: Mike Demler

SensoPro2 adds more base configurations and new design options to Ceva’s sensor-fusion-DSP lineup. Like the first-generation SensPro from 2020, the licensable intellectual property (IP) implements a configurable sensor hub, fusing elements from the company’s BX2 DSPs, XM6 computer-vision engine, and NeuPro deep-learning accelerators (DLAs). Compared with first generation designs manufactured in the same process technology, SensPro2 delivers twice the AI inference throughput and twice the memory bandwidth when running fully connected neural-network layers. It also provides a 20% power reduction at the same performance and up to 6x the performance on DSP algorithms. Production RTL for all models is now available for general licensing.

The new lineup includes seven base models, but customers can configure each one by adding application-specific ISA extensions as well as custom instructions. The SP50 and SP100 are new, integrating 64 and 128 INT8 multiply-accumulate (MAC) units, respectively. Ceva equipped them with the smaller MAC arrays to reduce die area and power consumption in audio-AI applications, such as acoustic sensors, natural-language processing (NLP), and smart speakers.

The SPF2 and SPF4 are new floating-point DSPs that omit the integer units, integrating 32 and 64 single-precision MAC units, respectively. The company designed these models for the high-precision calculations in automotive-powertrain control. The second-generation architecture supports ASIL B fault diagnostics and ASIL D functional safety.

The company supports the SensPro2 IP with a comprehensive software catalog that comprises audio, CV, deep-neural-network, radar, sensor-fusion, Slam, and speech libraries. The SDK includes an LLVM compiler, and it works with the popular TensorFlow Lite Micro framework. The second-generation design is an evolutionary upgrade, but it’s the most complete package for numerous automotive, consumer, and industrial applications.

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