IP COREspondence October 2023

CAST COREspondence
The IP Newsletter from CAST, Inc. — Oct. 3, 2023

Celebrating the company’s 30th anniversary has made for an exciting year. I want to express our gratitude for your continued support over the years. It has been an incredible journey, and we couldn't have reached this milestone without you, our valued customers, partners, and friends.

CAST has been delivering high-quality IP products for 30 yearsThis fall, we’re gathering the extended team for a long weekend. Operating virtually since the beginning — with staff working from homes around the globe — we know how to do that productively. But it is still nice to get together in the real world.

It’s also quite beneficial, for employees and for customers. There’ll be plenty of fun, but we’ll focus on new product details, training salespeople, refining partner relationships, and enhancing customer support services. We then expect to close this year as one of the most successful in CAST’s history, with several new products yet to come (see the Roadmap below).

Several conferences also fill out the rest of the year (see below), and I hope to see you there. Whether you've been on our 30-year ride or are a newer friend or customer, I appreciate your interest, and the whole CAST team looks forward to serving your IP needs for several more decades.
--  Nikos Zervas, CEO

New Security Addition: Ascon Crypto Engine

CAST introduces an Ascon lightweight encryption IO core of ASICs and FPGAsToday nearly every connected device needs protection. However, some applications require less security than others, and some devices have limited hardware and processing resources. That’s where Ascon comes in.

Ascon is the lightweight encryption standard recently adopted by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Intended for IoT edge and other minimal-resource devices, the Ascon spec defines encryption and hashing algorithms that are relatively simple yet still provide a meaningful degree of protection.

We recently introduced an Ascon authenticated encryption & hashing engine IP core, and we believe it to be one of the smallest and fastest Ascon hardware engines available for ASICs and FPGAs. Learn more in the Ascon core press release.

Expanding Our RISC-V Ecosystem with Ashling

Ashling RiscFree development and debugging SDK now works with the BA5x RISC-V processor IP cores available from CASTThe benefits of using RISC-V processors include ISA standardization across vendors and the resulting expansive ecosystem. Open-source IDEs and compilers are available, and for the BA5x RISC-V processors we can include the superior BeyondStudio™ IDE.

Commercial solutions can support system designers with even more robust development and debugging capabilities. So now you can use one of the leading packages with the BA5x Processors available from CAST: the RiscFree™ SDK from Ashling.

Ashling builds an excellent IDE and comprehensive debugging tools into RiscFree, combines it with proven compiler toolchains, and complements it with the powerful Ashling Opella-XD Debug and Vitra-XS Debug & Trace Probes. We’re pleased to add Ashling to our RISC-V ecosystem.

See the press release for more information. 

Ensuring Quality in the IP Cores from CAST

Delivering high-quality products is part of giving CAST customers A Better IP Experience. We’ve learned how to do this effectively, whether a core originates from CAST engineering or our partners’ expert development teams. 

Quality begins early, with developing an efficient architecture optimized for the intended end use. Best practice coding and design rules, exhaustive verification against standards and specs, and ultimately reducing customer risk and ensuring success then follow. Each phase has significant challenges; read how we face them in this brief article: Ensuring IP Quality for a Better IP Experience.

Roadmap: New Cores on the Horizon

New IP cores from CAST are coming soonLooking ahead (just for newsletter readers), the CAST product line will be getting faster, more connected, and even safer.

The Gigabit speed of our TSN Ethernet and Low-Latency eMAC cores is sufficient for many applications. But systems want to go faster, and we’ll soon announce 10 Gbps versions of all these cores. Faster UDP and TCP/IP cores with more features are also on the drawing board.

For interfaces, our CAN and SENT bus controller cores will get improvements, and we’ll be introducing a new MIPI I3C Master-Capable Slave core.

On the security side, we are working on significant new encryption and SoC-wide solutions that we expect to unveil soon. And for safety, we’ll add ASIL D-ready Functional Safety to more cores, and plan to later extend into the avionics domain with DO-254.

We’ve already said more than we should about these plans, but if you’re interested in any of these upcoming enhancements, please let us know.

Join CAST at These Events

More conferences and trade shows have resumed being live and in-person, and we are happy to participate. 

The rest of this year is filled with worthwhile gatherings. Stop by to “talk IP” with us if you’re at any of these upcoming events:

See IP cores for ASICs & FPGAs from CAST at the Semisrael Expo 2023SemIsrael Expo 2023
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Avenue Convention Center, Airport City, Israel
Booth #39

See RISC-V embedded and functional safety processor ip cores at the RISC-V International SummitRISC-V International Summit
Monday – Wednesday, November 6–8, 2023
Convention Center, Santa Clara, California 

Talk with CAST abut IOP cores at the Design & Reuse IP-SoC Days in GrenobleD&R IP-SOC Grenoble
Monday – Tuesday, December 4–5, 2023
Grenoble, France

See demos and more with CAST IP cores at the Lattice Dev ConferenceLattice Developers Conference 2023
Tuesday – Thursday, December 5–7, 2023
DoubleTree Hotel, San Jose, California