Week in Review: IoT, Auto, Security

Rambus cuts CEO; Siemens buys Austemper; Flex Logix creates AI eFPGA; China approves Marvell-Cavium deal.


Executive Changes

Rambus‘ board of directors named Luc Seraphin, senior vice president and general manager of the company’s Memory and Interfaces Division, as interim CEO while it searches for a replacement for Ron Black. The board terminated Black this week, saying the reason for termination did not involve Rambus’ financial and business performance. The company also named Mike Noonen as senior vice president of global market development.

Siemens bought Austemper Design Systems, which develops technology for ISO 26262 functional safety testing and allows companies to harden IC designs for functional safety in automotive, industrial and aerospace. The technology provides testing for systemic, malicious and random hardware faults. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Marvell Technology Group reported that its proposed $6 billion acquisition of Cavium is approved by the State Administration for Market Regulation in China. “The merger remains subject to customary closing conditions and Marvell currently expects the merger to close in July 2018,” the chip company said in a statement.


Flex Logix uncorked an eFPGA core optimized for artificial intelligence, which it says can enhance performance by 10X and enable more neural network processing per square millimeter. The new core uses a new architecture that can implement 8- and 16-bit MACs reconfigurably, and can be arrayed up to at least 7 X 7, to provide performance of about 22 teraMACs per second in worst-case conditions.

Cadence said it would work with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure to support cloud-based semiconductor and system design services. Cadence also announced that Rafael Micro and Xinyi Information Technology licensed the Cadence Tensilica Fusion F1 digital signal processor technology.

August Home collaborated with Airbnb to set up automatic entry code generation for Airbnb hosts that have August’s Smart Keypad and Smart Locks.

Microsoft took its Azure IoT Edge cloud-based offering for Internet of Things devices out of preview and added support for new hardware devices, management services, and developer tools. Azure IoT Edge is available on GitHub, which is being acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion in stock.


Synopsys won a deal with Arbe Robotics, which will use Synopsys’ ARC processor IP in its high-resolution imaging radar for ASIL-D qualified systems. ASIL-D is the highest automotive safety level, and will be required for fully autonomous vehicles. Synopsys’ also signed a deal with Japan’s RIKEN, which is using Synopsys’ application-specific instruction set processor cores in its molecular dynamics simulator for analyzing large biological systems. In addition, Taiwan’s Vatics has standardized on Synopsys’ signoff technology for its 28nm multimedia SoC design.

Rambus inked a deal with West Midlands Trains, based in the U.K, which will use Rambus’ smart ticketing software across its 178 stations in England. The data collected will help West Midlands manage capacity and improve usage of public transportation, as well as provide pay-as-you-go smart ticketing. Rambus also renewed its patent license agreement with IBM, which allows Big Blue to integrate Rambus memory controller and interface technologies for a period of five years.

ArterisIP signed a deal with Magillem to develop an integrated SoC architecture environment. Magillem develops software to integrate specification, design and documentation, while ArterisIP’s network-on-chip technology connects a variety of components together in a chip or in a package. ArterisIP also announced that it has signed its 100th customer.


DroneDeploy raised $25 million in Series C funding led by Future Fund. Also participating were AirTree and existing investors Scale Venture Partners, Uncork Capital, Emergence Capital, and AngelPad. The drone data platform provider has raised more than $56 million in total.

Preempt of San Francisco raised $17.5 million in Series B funding. The enterprise cybersecurity firm, which has an office in Israel, is financially supported by ClearSky, Blackstone, Intel Capital, and General Catalyst. Preempt’s private funding now totals $27.5 million.

Another enterprise cybersecurity startup, Cynet of Israel, received $13 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. Ibex Investors and Shlomo Kramer also participated. Cynet has raised a total of $20 million to date.

San Jose, Calif.-based WaterBit received $11.4 million in Series A funding for its precision agriculture technology. NEA led the round, joined by Heuristic Capital and T.J. Rodgers, the founder and former CEO of Cypress Semiconductor. WaterBit offers autonomous irrigation products for tightly controlled watering of farming fields.

Social SafeGuard of Charlottesville, Va., raised $11 million in Series B funding from AllegisCyber and NightDragon Security. The company specializes in digital risk protection, offering a software-as-a-service platform employing machine learning and a custom policy engine to defend against brand impersonation, failures in compliance issues, fake news, and malware attachments, among other risks. Social SafeGuard was established in 2014 and counts McAfee, Johnson & Johnson, and Sun Life Financial among its customers and partners.

Baffin Bay Networks received $6.4 million in Series A funding led by EQT Partners. The year-old cybersecurity startup is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Israel’s Guardian Optical Technologies raised $3.1 million in Series B funding from Mirai Creation Fund, Goldbell Investments, and TransLink Capital. The startup, established in 2014, has raised $8.2 million in private funding. Guardian is developing a 3D in-vehicle sensor platform.


The House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill calling for the Department of Homeland Security to help defend industrial control systems and other critical infrastructure from cyberattacks. No companion legislation has been introduced yet in the Senate.

The GSMA IoT Security Guidelines are endorsed by 16 mobile carriers from around the world. The guidelines offer 85 recommendations for implementing a common IoT security framework, while also providing a security assessment checklist.

Market Research

IDTechEx forecasts the environmental gas sensors market will grow to more than $3 billion in 2028, with most of the growth coming from IoT applications, including smart cities, smart homes, and wearable devices. The Environmental Gas Sensors 2018-2028 report is available here.

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