Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Apple goes with Arm; Intel pulls 2020 guidance; FCC opens 6GHz.


PCs get work-from-home bump
Rather than using Intel chips, Apple will be making its own chips for its Mac computers, using Arm cores, Bloomberg reports. TSMC will manufacture the chips.

Intel, meanwhile, was up 14% quarter year-over-year its PC business, which it attributes to more people working from home and needed new equipment. Despite a strong quarter, however, the company pulled its 2020 forecast because the COVID-19 pandemic is generating too much uncertainty to be confident about the latter part of 2020. “Enterprise and government are a big unknown for us right now,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO, in Q1-2020 quarterly results call. The Data Center Group (DCG) is up 43% year-over-year, which means the server market is strong. Datacentric revenues, of which DCG is part, grew 34% year over year. Intel reported that it maintained essential factory operations with 90% on-time delivery.

IoT, 5G
The U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) voted 5-0 to open up 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band to consumer devices. The 6 GHz band (5.925–7.125 GHz), reserved for microwave services used by utilities to monitor power grids, will be available for unlicensed use but under certain rules. Unlicensed users will have access to the full 1200 MHz using indoor low-power operations, which are less likely to interfere with incumbent users. Standard-power devices can use 850 megahertz in the 6 GHz band. Some high-data rate communication will can be used The band will be available in later this year, which will usher in WiFi 6, the FCC says in its press release.

Codasip released its SweRV Core EH1 Support Package for Western Digital’s SweRV Core EH1. Both Codasip and Western Digital are part of the CHIPS Alliance, an open-source development environment. Codasip is making a free basic version of SweRV available via GitHub, but the professional version has more EDA tool support. The EH1 is a 32-bit, 2-way superscalar, 9 stage pipeline core.

An investment program that is part of the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) will be offering Arm’s Flexible Access to 10 startups a year.

The U.S. FCC has been planning to carve out and auction off some of the spectrum reserved in 1999 for automotive safety communications — such as vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to infrastructure communications. The automotive industry has never fully been able to use all the spectrum and has disagreement among the ranks which technology to use. The automotive industry is still pushing to hold onto the spectrum, according to a Bloomberg article.

If you are missing all the stress from tense driving situations, Waymo is showing off footage from its 2009-2010 automated driving competition.

California-based Nuro, makers of a still-experimental self-driving delivery van, are helping out during the COVID-19 pandemic with contactless delivery of medical supplies in temporary hospitals in Sacramento and San Mateo, Calif.

Increasing women in your workforce is a hidden opportunity for semiconductor companies, says industry organization SEMI in a report on sponsoring women. “It is in the best interest of individual companies – and the electronics manufacturing and design supply chain as a whole – to invest in the huge untapped potential that the female workforce represents,” said Ajit Manocha, CEO and President, SEMI, in the report. SEMI’s report — “Sponsorship of Women Drives Innovation and Improves Organizational Performance” — shows examples of programs that work and what the benefits are.

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