ST receives IEEE Milestone, acquires Cartesiam

ST receives IEEE Milestone, acquires Cartesiam

It’s been a big week for semiconductor company STMicroelectronics (ST), which announced its acquisition of Edge AI software specialist Cartesiam as well as its receipt of an IEEE Milestone from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Cartesiam, based in Toulon (France), is a software company that specialises in artificial intelligence (AI) development tools enabling machine learning and inferencing on ARM-based microcontrollers, which today power billions of devices. Its flagship solution, NanoEdge AI Studio, allows embedded systems designers without prior knowledge in AI to rapidly develop specialised libraries integrating machine learning algorithms directly into a broad range of applications. Devices leveraging Cartesiam’s technology are already in production around the world inside connected devices, household appliances and industrial machines.

With its acquisition of Cartesiam, ST reinforces its AI strategy and strengthens its technology portfolio to address the full spectrum of embedded machine-learning needs. The company said NanoEdge AI Studio is fully complementary to ST’s STM32Cube.AI toolset and will provide its customers with additional flexibility to integrate machine learning into their solution.

“Using artificial intelligence to create ever smarter solutions is one of the priorities of our customers regardless of their size or industry,” said Claude Dardanne, President, Microcontrollers and Digital ICs Group, STMicroelectronics.

“With STM32Cube.AI, STMicroelectronics already offers the ability to map and run pre-trained artificial neural networks on our broad portfolio of STM32 microcontrollers. The addition of Cartesiam’s machine learning technology to STMicroelectronics’ existing solutions will provide the best edge-AI solution portfolio on the market for any customer looking to bring additional innovation to their offering.”

The acquisition came just one day after the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) presented the company with an IEEE Milestone for pioneering the super-integrated silicon-gate process combining bipolar, CMOS and DMOS (BCD) transistors in single chips for complex, power-demanding applications. IEEE established the Milestones Program in 1983 to recognise the technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity found in unique products, services, seminal papers and patents.

In the early 1980s, ST engineers began work to address a broad range of electronic applications by pioneering the ability to integrate heterogeneous transistors and diodes on a single die. Focused on customer needs across multiple market segments, the engineers’ objective was to deliver electric power in the range of hundreds of watts under the control of digital logic that could scale with Moore’s law. The target devices would also support precise analog functions and minimise power consumption to eliminate heatsinks.

Those efforts launched bipolar, CMOS, DMOS (BCD) technology — a silicon-gate technology that allowed the integration, onto a single chip, of diodes, bipolar linear, complex CMOS logic and multiple DMOS power functions with complex interconnections. The first chip, the L6202 full-bridge motor driver, operated at 60 V, delivering 1.5 A, switching power at 300 kHz and meeting all its design goals. The process technology enabled chip designers to flexibly combine power, analog and digital signal processing on a single die.

Since launching the BCD process, ST has sold 40 billion devices using ST Silicon-Gate Multipower BCD and is soon to begin production of the 10th generation of the technology. The technology is ubiquitous in the market and can be found across a range of automotive subsystems, in smartphones, home appliances, audio amplifiers, hard disks, power supplies, printers, pico-projectors, lighting, medical equipment, motors, modems, displays and more.

Image caption: IEEE Milestone — ST multiple silicon technologies on a chip.

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