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Lightweight Single-core Multi-Purpose Processor for IoT

Target applications for CEVA-X1

CEVA-X1 is primarily aimed at multi-mode IoT and M2M endpoint and hub devices as a combined control and DSP processor to run concurrently both protocol stack and baseband PHY for cellular, LPWA and short range communications such as:

  • LTE Cat-NB1, Cat-M1, Sigfox, LoRa,
  • WiFi 802.11n, 802.11ah, Bluetooth, BLE, Zigbee/Thread.

As a multi-mode IoT and M2M processor CEVA-X1 can also run positioning and sensor functions such as:

  • GNSS: GPS, Beidou, GLONASS, Galileo,
  • Fusion of multiple indoor positioning and activity sensors (beacons, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, …),
  • Voice activation,
  • Vocoder

CEVA-X1 Target Applications

Multi-mode use cases include:

  • Asset and person trackers for children, dogs, cars, trucks, containers, bikes, …
  • Geo-fencing to inform server when person or asset leaves area,
  • Identification and position of large fleet of fixed devices such as smart meters, city sensors for smart parking, lighting, environment,
  • IoT hub with concurrent cellular and short range communications
  • Sensor fusion for activity trackers in wearables,
  • Wearalone with cellular and short range communications and narrow-band vocoder,
  • Voice activation with speech command recognition.

CEVA-X1 Target Markets

CEVA-X1 has been specifically designed as a single core LTE Cat-NB1/M1 solution with dedicated instructions to optimize overall system power, performance and area for:

  • Protocol stack encryption functions as well as,
  • Baseband channel coding/decoding functions.

Control performance has also been optimized on CEVA-X1 for efficient Protocol Stack execution with

  • Full RTOS support,
  • Dynamic branch prediction,
  • Instruction and data caches.

Lastly CEVA Connect, Advanced System Control is designed to offload CEVA-X1 from HW Accelerators control and traffic management tasks for LTE Cat-M1, FeMTC and WiFi.

These features all contribute greatly to reduce power and area and achieve 5 to 10 year single battery operation at very low price.

CEVA-X1 Block Diagram


The CEVA-X1 offers a wealth of architectural features as follows

CEVA-X1 Key features

  • VLIW/SIMD architecture
  • 10 stage pipeline
  • 4-way VLIW
  • 64 bit memory bandwidth
  • 3.3 Coremark/MHz
  • Dual-MAC 16x16 per cycle
  • 32-bit SIMD Fixed-Point Operations
  • IEEE Single-Precision Floating-Point Operations
  • 1.5GHz operating frequency in 16nm FF
  • Instruction and Data Caches
  • Dynamic Branch Prediction
  • CEVA-Connect Technology to schedule Hardware Accelerators control and data planes

Controller features

  • Compact code size
  • One scalar operations per cycle
  • Zero latency ISA
  • Static branch prediction
  • Optional dynamic branch prediction
  • 32-bit HW division and multiplication
  • Ultra-fast context switch
  • Supervisor and User modes
  • Semaphores

DSP features

  • One SPU (Scalar Processing Unit)
    • Two 16x16 MAC per cycle
    • One 32x32 MAC per cycle
  • 32-bit SIMD processing
  • 8/16/32/64 bit data type support
  • 8/16/32/64 bit ALU operations
    • Two 16-bit operations per cycle
    • One 32-bit operations per cycle
    • One 64-bit operations per cycle
  • Optional single-precision IEEE floating point in SPU
  • Loop buffer
  • Dedicated instructions for LTE Cat-M1/NB1 modems
    • Encryption, Compression
    • Channel coding/decoding, FFT

System features

  • Data Cache
    • 2-Way set-associative cache
    • Write-through and write-back policies
    • Non-blocking read and write on cache miss
    • Hardware and software pre-fetch capabilities
  • Instruction Cache
    • 4-Way set-associative cache
    • Non-blocking read on cache miss
    • Hardware and software pre-fetch capabilities
  • CEVA-Connect
    • Offload the processor with dedicated HW control and data planes
    • Hardware queue and buffer managers for controlling the data flow in the PHY
    • Intelligent scheduling with high QoS and very low latency
    • Data traffic management
    • Special interfaces to connect multiple accelerators / DSP
  • High throughput system interfaces
  • IoT sub-system with peripherals and interfaces

Exceptional power efficiency

  • Incorporates Power Scaling Unit (PSU 2.0)
  • Enhanced power-optimized pipeline
  • Optimized for battery-operated and stationary devices

Scalable, configurable and modular multi-mode wireless IoT processor for protocol, baseband and sensor/positioning algorithms

  • Scalable computation capabilities and memories
  • Configurable utilization of optional instruction sets
  • Includes tightly coupled memories (TCM), caches, AXI and AHB system interfaces, APB interface, advanced DMA controller, CEVA-Connect, message queues, emulation and profiling modules.
  • Ensures easy integration and optimal performance in Target SoCs

Smooth C-level software development and easy integration into the target SoC reduces risk and time-to-market

  • Advanced IDE
  • Optimizing C compiler
  • Cycle-accurate simulation and graphical profiling of the entire DSP sub-system
  • Macro assembler, linker, and GUI debugger
  • RTOS
  • LTE Libraries for LTE Cat-M1/NB1
  • DSP Libraries
  • Smooth migration path from off the-shelf ASSPs
  • MATLAB bi-directional connectivity (optional)
  • Open architecture and standardized APIs to allow Additional software components can be easily developed or licensed through CEVA’s partners

CEVA-X1 HW/SW Sub-System for Cellular IoT