embedded news week: Nvidia GTC & metaverse, wireless & sustainability - Embedded.com

embedded news week: Nvidia GTC & metaverse, wireless & sustainability

A roundup of this week’s embedded news includes coverage from Nvidia GTC, CW (Cambridge Wireless), plus embedded news, products, funding and events.

This week’s big event was Nvidia GTC, where the company’s CEO, Jensen Huang, announced dozens of new technologies, presented an overview of where accelerated computing is headed and offered some tantalizing glimpses of potential world-changing applications. The common thread winding through Nvidia’s announcements was the metaverse – the virtual world – as the company presented technologies for avatar generation, cybersecurity, computational science and digital twins.

Nvidia toy Jensen Huang
Image: Nvidia

Among the demos was “Toy Jensen,” an avatar of Huang, complete with leather jacket. The avatar interpreted and answered questions on several scientific topics and provided reasonable brief answers. You can read more about that here, plus we have details of the new Jetson AGX Orin module built on Nvidia Ampere architecture, and the Quantum-2 400Gbps InfiniBand switch and networking platform which features secure, cloud-native, multi-tenant, bare-metal performance for AI, data analytics, and HPC applications.

I also attended the CW (Cambridge Wireless) International Conference at the Duxford airfield this week, where all the talk was about the role of wireless in enabling a sustainable future, and particularly interesting discussions around shared infrastructure and software-defined RF filters. You can read a snapshot of that here.

In other articles, we ask whether blockchain can accelerate IoT adoption, look at the fundamentals of image quality tuning, and how novel energy harvesting tech could reshape medical devices.

News & Products

VeriSilicon said its neural network processor (the Vivante1 NPU) IP now features in more than 100 AI chips supplied by 50 licensees in 10 major market segments, including IoT, wearables, smart TVs, smart home, security monitoring, servers, automotive electronics, smartphones, tablets and smart healthcare. The Vivante NPU is a high-performance computer vision and AI processor with scalable, programmable and low-power architecture; with a single convolutional kernel it can achieve from 0.5 TOPs to 20 TOPS, and get to 500 TOPs after the extension of multi-convolutional computing kernels. The complete software stack and SDK supports mainstream deep learning frameworks, including TensorFlow, PyTorch, ONNX, Apache TVM, and IREE.

Lattice Semiconductor has debuted reference designs for power saving in laptops to improve battery life – such as attention tracking, which could extend battery life by 28 percent. Its new SensAI version 4.1 includes hardware and software reference designs for features such as camera-based, user-presence detection that powers down a PC when idle. Also included is attention tracking, a feature that dims the screen’s brightness when the user is not looking at it. The new SensAI stack also includes reference designs to handle face-framing during video conferencing and onlooker detection to help maintain user privacy. New AutoML features are intended to help designers select an AI model from Lattice’s models based on specified speed, power consumption and accuracy requirements.

Rockley Photonics is collaborating with Caltech’s Sensing to Intelligence (S2I) Center to develop next-generation solutions that combine advanced sensors with artificial intelligence. The S2I Center’s work in sensing, imaging, computation, and algorithms is aligned with Rockley’s approach to health and wellness monitoring, combining photonics-based sensor technologies with state-of-the-art AI and data analytics. Through its investment in S2I, Rockley plans to support projects such as the development of new integrated spectrometer technologies using advanced photonics sensors. The S2I center will explore the relationship between spectral data and individual biomarkers to broaden and enhance health monitoring, utilizing Rockley’s platform in the process.

ADLINK Technology has launched embedded MXM graphics modules based on Nvidia Ampere architecture for edge computing and AI. The ADLINK EGX-MXM-A1000, EGX-MXM-A2000 and EGX-MXM-A4200 MXM graphics modules offer high performance GPU acceleration in the compact, power-efficient MXM form factor, bringing edge computing and embedded AI to numerous vertical markets in healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and more. Additionally, the modules boast rugged design built for severe temperature extremes, shock and vibration, and corrosion in harsh conditions. They offer up to 5,120 CUDA cores, 160 Tensor cores and 40 RT cores with support for PCIe Gen 4 and up to 16GB GDDR6 memory at up to 115 watts of TGP. They are one-fifth the size of full-height, full-length PCI Express graphics cards.

OnRobot WebLytics
Image: OnRobot

OnRobot, a developer of tools and software for collaborative robot applications, had launched WebLytics, what it says is a unique production monitoring, device diagnostics, and data analytics solution designed to enhance productivity and minimize downtime. Capable of monitoring the performance of multiple collaborative applications simultaneously and in real-time, WebLytics gathers equipment data from both robots and tools and transforms it into easy-to-understand, visualized device and application-level intelligence. It integrates the globally recognized overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) industry standard, to identify trends in real-time in the robot cell, including patterns, peaks, and disturbances in application productivity. OEE measures the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive.

Keysight Technologies has been selected by Ti Group, a third-party inspection, test and certification services company headquartered in Shanghai, China, to support wireless device conformance validation. Keysight’s 5G conformance toolsets will enable Ti Group’s electronics and electrical services sector to enhance 5G conformance testing capability, to certify 5G devices in conformance to the latest 3GPP 5G new radio (NR) specifications. Keysight’s end-to-end 5G device test solutions, based on the company’s E7515B UXM 5G Wireless Test Platform, enable users to address the entire product lifecycle, from early chipset development, device integration and optimization through to conformance, regulatory and carrier acceptance testing, manufacturing, post-deployment repair and optimization.

Cambridge Quantum (CQ) and Deutsche Bahn Netz AG (DB) have partnered to explore how quantum computers can improve the rescheduling of rail traffic. Combining CQ’s latest combinatorial optimization algorithm filtering variational quantum Eigensolver (F-VQE) with DB’s operations research expertise, the team re-optimized realistic train timetables after simulated delays and are now identifying areas for continued study. The collaboration demonstrates how both quantum algorithms and domain-specific modelling can inform a long-term vision for a faster and greener transportation network.

People and Funding

Wafer-scale chip startup Cerebras has raised $250 million, pushing the company’s valuation to $4 billion. To date, the company has raised $720 million. CEO Andrew Feldman said the new funding will be used to expand the company’s global presence. The company’s second-generation wafer-scale engine is the size of an entire 300 mm wafer, featuring 850,000 AI-optimized compute cores, 40 GB of on-chip SRAM, 20 PB/s memory bandwidth and 220 Pb/s interconnect, fed by 1.2 Tb/s of I/O across 12 100-Gb Ethernet links. A memory extension system enables a single CS-2 to train models with 120 trillion parameters.

Israeli startup TriEye, founded in 2017, has raised $74 million, taking its total funding in four years to $96 million.  It intends to use the new money to commercialize its SEDAR (spectrum-enhanced detection and ranging) solution. Avi Bakal, CEO and co-founder, said development took a long time and required considerable R&D, as it combines the company’s Raven CMOS-based SWIR sensor and its proprietary SWIR illumination source. He added, ““Our next phase is all about commercialization at scale, disrupting various industries with the transformative advantages of affordable SWIR, beyond just automotive. These will eventually include biometric identification, manufacturing automation, agriculture, security, and more.”


The 58th DAC (Design Automation Conference) is takes place both physically in San Francisco and virtually between 5-10 December 2021. Keynote speakers include Jeff Dean of Google Research and Google Health, Bill Dally of Nvidia, and Missy Cummings of Duke University. For the first, DAC attendees will also have access to SEMICON West and the RISC-V Summit. Details here.

The Things Conference is the world’s largest LoRaWAN conference, bringing together a wealth of knowledge related to LoRaWAN through keynotes, interactive workshops and live demonstrations showcasing the latest in LoRaWAN. It’s a hybrid conference, with the in-person event happening on 27-28 January 2022 in Amsterdam.

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