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Highlights from 2022, a turning year for Codasip


January 25, 2023

The start of a new year is a perfect time to look back and reflect on the previous year and our company’s position. At the RISC-V Summit at the end of 2021, our CEO Ron Black said that Scaling is Failing, with regard to Moore’s Law, Dennard Scaling, and Amdahl’s Law, and the industry needs to adjust. Semiconductors are becoming more expensive to build but are no longer returning the expected and required performance improvements; the semiconductor industry needs to reinvent itself. That is not a trivial task, but Codasip has the technology and team needed to drive this change. 2022 was a year when we took our unique custom compute offering to the next level

Ron Black presenting at RISC-V Summit
Ron Black presenting at RISC-V Summit, December 2022

Doing things differently

During the last year, our headcount has grown by about 75 percent. That is a substantial addition of expertise and resource, all joining forces to take on conventional chip design. Some of these new people are senior hires with specific expertise in high-growth areas such as automotive, functional safety, and AI. One reason we attract out-of-the-box thinkers is that we like to do things differently. As a company, we are championing distributed thinking around the future of chip design, and we are working as a team of distributed talent to deliver it. We do have offices in places such as Munich, Barcelona, Cambridge (UK), and most recently Greece, but more than anything I like to see us as an international collective of freethinking individuals working towards a shared goal of disrupting an industry that needs to start doing things differently.

When it comes to finding the absolute best talent, we are believers in both organic and inorganic growth. In 2022, we initiated discussions with an amazing security company in the UK called Cerberus. This highly knowledgeable team really embraced the Codasip philosophy, and we ended up acquiring the company. This was an important piece of the puzzle for us to meet the growing needs for flexibility and customization in secure processors and secure processing, and the team has already taken a very active role in enabling us to win new business. In 2023, we will start seeing the next level of deliverables from the security team together with our functional safety team. We believe a holistic view of safety and security will be incredibly important, especially for the automotive industry, and we are accelerating our efforts to offer an integrated approach that can provide a complimentary safety and security solution that is scalable in either direction.

Codasip team at our booth, DAC 2022
The Codasip team at DAC, July 2022

Face to face

With the world now opening up after the pandemic, we have had the pleasure of meeting our peers and customers again at key industry events including DAC in the US, ICCAD in China, and Embedded World in Germany, where we were proud to see our low-power L31 core win a Best in Show Award. This customizable RISC-V core is and will continue to unlock innovation in the embedded space, for example within image processing, smart sensors and IoT devices.

The success of RISC-V is and always will be a joint effort, and it is only by being an active and prominent member of the ecosystem that we fully enable our existing and future customers to create uniquely better products. In 2022, we signed up as members of the OpenHW Group, which raised some eyebrows. Why would a commercial core vendor join an organization that provides open-source free cores? Well, in the strong and growing RISC-V community, everyone supporting the open standard benefits us all. We see the roles of open-source IP and commercial IP as complementary and though we sell our cores, we also acknowledge the value of open source as a critical part of the ecosystem and for the success of RISC-V. We also share a strong belief in commercial-grade verification with the OpenHW Group. Codasip is heavily committed to processor verification as a fundamental part of designing processor cores and we are pushing for the establishment of agreed strategies and standards to ensure the quality of RISC-V cores continues to improve.

Of course, we took part in the RISC-V Summit in California in December, where we presented SecuRISC5, a new security initiative, and gave demos of a RISC-V dual-lock step implementation along with performance benefits enabled by our solutions for custom compute.

A bright future

We are at the start of a disruption in the semiconductor industry and my prediction is that this will accelerate in 2023. Codasip will be at the heart of that disruption. The recent evolution of RISC-V is driven by a strong need for an open ISA alternative with trustworthy ecosystem support. We are establishing new partnerships aligned with our focus on helping the ecosystem increase the adoption and the quality of RISC-V processor IP. Our University Program, launched in 2022, is off to a great start and continues to expand. We look to be at 24 universities by the end of this year, and through our new innovation hub Codasip Labs, we will continue to innovate together with universities, research institutes, and strategic partners in order to identify and build technologies that extend the possibilities of custom compute.

Just a year ago, I called Codasip a well-kept secret. Well, the cat is out of the bag. By now, we notice everyone in the industry knows about Codasip. The future of RISC-V is looking extremely bright, and more is to come from Codasip, rest assured. Make sure to follow us in 2023 and beyond!

Rupert Baines

Rupert Baines