Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Suzuki works on flying taxis; Tesla rear camera causes recall; Lidar’s Luminar acquires Freedom Photonics.


Suzuki will collaborate with SkyDrive on flying cars. SkyDrive is working on an air taxi service that it wants to launch at the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka, Japan.

Recalls: The car company Tesla is recalling 947 vehicles in the United States because rearview image lags and does not display immediately when the car is put into reverse, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). …. Mercedes-Benz USA is recalling some 2010 vehicles in which various control units may have been updated with incorrect software configuration during a service repair, says the NHTSA. The software caused system failures, including a loss of drive power, reduced exterior lighting, or loss of dynamic control functions, including stability and traction control.

Lidar: Automotive tech company Luminar is acquiring Freedom Photonics, maker of high-performance laser chips. Luminar will work with Freedom Photonics on lidar systems. “Component-level innovation and integration is critical to our performance, cost and continued automotive technology leadership. Bringing Freedom Photonics into Luminar enables a new level of economies of scale, deepens our competitive moat and strengthens our future technology roadmap,” said Jason Eichenholz, co-founder and CTO at Luminar. “We’ve worked closely with the Freedom team for the past several years. They have proven to be the best in the world for breakthrough semiconductor laser chip technology, where both power and beam quality are needed simultaneously for true high resolution at long range.”

EV charging: A new CoolSiC 650 V silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET from Infineon Technologies uses SiC trench technology to improve power performance in high-power applications, including servers, telecom, industrial SMPS, fast EV charging, motor drives, solar energy systems, energy storage, and battery formation. The devices improve switching behavior at higher currents and lowers reverse recovery charge. They come in D 2PAK SMD 7-pin package with .XT interconnection technology.

Pervasive computing
IoT: STMicroelectronics’ VIPerGaN50 for single-switch flyback converters up to 50 Watts uses a 650V gallium-nitride (GaN) power transistor, which helps power efficiency in small packages for smart meters and home appliances. Consumer and industrial designers can use GaN wide-bandgap technology to meet ecodesign codes.

High performance computing: Aimed at commercializing exascale or at least making it more accessible for mainstream HPC and AI customers, AMD announced it expanded its Instinct ecosystem with an accelerator in a PCIe format. The newest accelerator in the MI200 family, the MI210 accelerator puts the AMD CDNA 2 Architecture with 64 GB of HBM2e GPU memory, 104 compute units, 181 TFLOPs peak half precision (FP16) performance, and 1700 MHz peak engine clock, among other specs, into the offers the PCIe format. The Lumi supercomputer team used the MI210 to prepare scientists off the Lumi supercomputer, which uses AMD EPYC processors and AMD Instinct MI200 accelerators.  “We’ve utilized AMD Instinct MI210 accelerators to get hands on experience with the Instinct MI200 family, preparing our scientists to tackle the many challenging and complex projects they will run once Lumi is fully deployed” said Pekka Manninen, Director of the LUMI Leadership and Computing Facility, CSC. In addition to the MI210 accelerator, AMD added more commercial ISVs — including Ansys, Cascade Technologies, and TempoQuest. The ISVs provide specific applications to accelerated workloads in simulations, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), weather forecasting, and computer aided engineering (CAE). AMD also added more partner support and boosted its accelerator applications and library in its ROCm 5 software. The Instinct ecosystem now supports ASUS, Dell Technologies, Gigabyte, HPE, Lenovo, and Supermicro now.

Cloud, data center: More hyperscale data centers are going up, according to Synergy Research Group, which pegs the number at 314 planned hyperscale data centers. Over 1,000 hyperscale data centers now exist, with almost 40% in the United States. The U.S., according to the report, has half of all worldwide capacity and the most planned hyperscale data centers in the pipeline, followed by China, Ireland, India, Spain, Israel, Canada, Italy, Australia, and the UK. ….NVIDIA introduced its Grace CPU Superchip, a discrete data center CPU based on its Arm Neoverse. The chip has 144 high-performance cores and 1 terabyte/second memory…. AMD announced its data center CPU with 3D die stacking — its the 3rd generation EPYC processors with AMD 3D V-Cache technology. Codenamed Milan-X, the 3rd gen EPYC delivers up to 66 percent performance uplift across a variety of targeted technical computing workloads versus the comparable, non-stacked 3rd gen AMD EPYC processors, said AMD in a press release. The EPYC processors use L3 cache from Micron,        Ansys Cloud now offers automatic access to AMD’s 3rd gen EPYC processors with AMD 3D V-Cache technology as part of its computer-aided engineering (CAE) workflows on the new Microsoft Azure HBv3 virtual machines (VMs). AMD reports that in Azure’s early testing, Microsoft saw up to 80% improvement in large-scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and up to 50% improvement in explicit finite element analysis (FEA) crash tests. … Keysight delivered a 800G test solution for validating that 112 Gbps serial data center interfaces are conforming to industry standards. The solution includes Keysight’s M8040A 64 GBaud high performance bit error ratio tester (BERT) with a N1060A Digital Communication Analyzer (DCA) for receiver testing and Keysight’s Infiniium UXR-Series real-time oscilloscope for transmitter testing. Also automated test software verify that receiver conform IEEE 802.3ck specifications (M8091CKPA), transmitters conform to IEEE 802.3ck specifications (N1091CKCA and D90103CKC), and transmitters conform OIF-CEI-112G PAM4 specifications (N109212CA and D9050CEIC).

Cloud avoidance (edge computing): A neuromorphic chip that uses federated learning to accelerate a spiking neural network (SNN) so data can be processed locally away from data centers has been developed by Fraunhofer IIS. Eleven Fraunhofer institutes are involved int the SEC-Learn (Sensor Edge Cloud for Federated Learning) project. The chip is in production now.

Cloud to fabs: GlobalFoundries qualified Cadence’s digital solution on AWS (Amazon Web Services) for GF’s 22FDX platform. Cadence reports that the memory designer Xenergic used the Cadence Cloud Passport to tape out a test chip featuring Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP and low-power memories on the GF 22FDX platform.

In a blog, Synopsyswonders if 2022 is the year the EDA really shifts to the cloud.

Space computing: STMicroelectronics announced a 2.5V rad-hard digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for satellites. The RHRDAC121 DAC is a 12-bit 1Msps successive-approximation register (SAR) DAC that consumes 0.6mW at its maximum speed and supply voltage. Uses are in circuits for telemetry, housekeeping, and precision sensor-gain adjustment. The DAC has an SPI-compatible serial output, internal voltage reference, and automatic power-on-reset to zero-volt output that helps reduce circuitry because it has higher precision and minimal external components.

The Lapsus$ hacker group says it has hacked of Okta —a two-factor authentic company protecting access to many customers’ internal systems. Also  Samsung, NVIDIA, and Verizon, among others were hacked, claimed the group. ….Last week, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned of possible threats to U.S. and international satellite communication (SATCOM) networks.

Safety: Windpower turbine company Vestas used Ansys SCADE model-based software development environment to help design Vestas’ wind turbine control system’s controller. The SCADE helped Vestas demonstrate that its complex sensor fusion in its controller complied with safety standards. Vestas did not use third-party programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

People, companies
Lam Research’s president and CEO Tim Archer testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to support the CHIPS act and research that might be done through the National Labs and offered support for a National Semiconductor Technology Center.

Read more news at Manufacturing, Test and Design, Low Power.

New Technical Report Library
Semiconductor Engineering has rolled out its new technical report library for the chip industry. These are academic/research organization reports (not marketing). There’s a drop-down menu of 16 different categories and we’ve added several hundred of the most recent papers, and we are continuing to add dozens each week. If you have research papers you are trying to promote, we will review them to see if they are a good fit for our global audience.

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