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Mentor helps SimpleMachines speed development of first AI processor


Mentor, a Siemens business, announced that artificial intelligence (AI) silicon startup SimpleMachines (SMI) successfully developed its first-generation product using Mentor’s Enterprise Verification Platform including the Questa simulation platform and Veloce Strato emulation hardware, as well as Mentor Consulting’s cloud-based Emulation-as-a-Service (EaaS) offering.

SMI’s new AI processor, based on composable computing technology, features a “software-first” approach that is designed to enable extreme power efficiency and enhanced utilization of its powerful onboard deep learning algorithms. The device boosts total system software performance with a novel hardware design that reconfigures instantaneously to accommodate dynamic software workloads.

To verify and validate the device, SMI used a Mentor flow featuring the Questa simulation platform and Questa Verification IP for PCIe and HBM2, together with Mentor’s third-generation, data-center friendly Veloce Strato emulation platform. SMI accessed the Veloce Strato emulation platform via Mentor Consulting and its cloud based EaaS offering.

“We needed a cycle-accurate model of our hardware very early in the design and development phases of our first-generation device,” said Karu Sankaralingam, CEO for SMI. “We turned to Mentor Consulting’s exceptional simulation/emulation flow, together with the sound expertise of Mentor’s consultancy services, which allowed us to port our neural network software to the underlying hardware much faster than we expected. Mentor’s EaaS played a critical role in enabling us to rapidly develop and differentiate our AI system software a full year before initial availability of first silicon.”

Mentor’s EaaS provides customers with secure and reliable access to the cloud-hosted Veloce emulation hardware platform without requiring ownership or management of an emulator and associated infrastructure. The offering also includes expert consulting, which SMI selected to fully optimize the cost- and time-efficiency advantages of cloud-hosted, Veloce emulation hardware technology.

“SMI is developing an extremely novel chip architecture, and Mentor is pleased to play a key role in the company’s first-generation product,” said Ravi Subramanian, senior vice president of Mentor’s IC Verification Solutions division. “Many of the most innovative AI silicon startups and designers are choosing Mentor’s robust, cloud-ready EDA tools and comprehensive consulting services to unleash innovation and produce highly differentiated AI products.”

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