Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

ADAS, ADS crash data from NHTSA; sensor glove; IoT dev kits; STT-MRAM.


Automotive, mobility
U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) release its first crash reports from ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems, i.e., SAE Level 2) and ADS (automated driving systems, i.e., SAE Levels 3-5).  The systems had to be in use at least 30 seconds before the crash in order for it to be reportable. The car may have had the system turned off at the time of the crash but if the system had been engaged 30 seconds before the crash, the incident had to be reported. From July 20, 2021 through May 15, 2022, NHTSA had 392 crash reports in cars with an ADAS system, with Tesla reporting the most accidents. Of the full-blown ADS Level 3-5 reports, from July 13, 2021 through May 15, 2022, 130 accidents were reported. Waymo had the most at 62, followed by Transdev at 34, and Cruise at 23. Of course, no fully self-driving cars are available yet to the general public, so the ADS number is lower.  The NHTSA issues a Standing Order that requires car makers and operators have to report crashes involving ADAS and Level 3–5 systems. 

Keysight and Sauce Labs, a testing-automation company for software development the provides services via the cloud, have joined forces to offer cloud-based, AI-driven testing of enterprise applications on mobile devices, browsers, and secure desktops. Keysight’s test-automation platform —Eggplant — and Sauce Labs’ device clouds and software platforms aims to help developers test applications across many environments.

Microsoft no longer supports the Internet Explorer, the web browser that was a frequent an attack target,  as of June 15.

Trend Micro announced VicOne, a security service that will provide security over-the-air for the electric vehicles and connected cars. The service will Trend Micro also formed a strategic partnership with MIH Consortium, an open EV platform alliance led by Foxconn, and has recently joined the Scalable Open Architecture for Embedded Edge (SOAFEE) initiative. “The software-defined vehicle is the future of the global automotive industry and a driving force in accelerating the development of innovative automotive technology applications,” said Dipti Vachani, SVP and GM, Automotive and IoT Line of Business, Arm, in a press release. “By joining other leaders across the automotive industry as a new member of SOAFEE, VicOne is bringing important expertise in security standards to help ensure a safer future for the automotive industry.”

Pervasive computing
Qualcomm Technologies acquired Cellwize Wireless Technologies Pte. Ltd., a mobile network automation and management company.

Tekscan created a glove with a matrix of sensors that can sense pressure. Using conductive and pressure-sensitive inks on thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), this glove can handle curved surfaces because it has a high-tensile strength and resists wear and tear from stretching. SEMI’s FlexTech provided some funding for the project (FlexTech project FT19-19-187), although Tekscan funded 60% of the project. Use cases are about studying hand strain or pressure strain in automotive, consumer packaging, agricultural robots, and medical devices.

Renesas launched two IoT development kits for its RA and RX families of 32-bit MCUs. The kits, CK-RA6M5 and CK-RX65N have Renesas’ wireless module —the RYZ014A Cat-M1 Pmod — plus multiple sensors, a high-performance MCU, hardware-based security, and a reliable software stack. Users can connect to AWS FreeRTOS and IoT Core, via FSP (Flexible Software Package) for the CK-RA6M5 and RDP (RX Driver Package) for the CK-RX65N.

Renesas also revealed some results of its embedded spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random-access memory (STT-MRAM) test chip in 22nm. The chip’s 32-megabit (Mbit) STT-MRAM memory cell array clocked a 5.9-ns random read access and 5.8-MB/s write throughput.The STT-MRAM is being designed for IoT applications. The maximum junction temperature of 150°C.

Cadence reported that its TSMC N5 process design IP portfolio has over 20 design wins in systems and semiconductor companies. The IP portfolio includes 112/56/25/10 Gbps Ethernet PHY/MAC, PCIe 6.0/5.0/4.0/3.1 PHY/Controller, 40Gbps Ultralink D2D PHY, and complete PHY/Controller for GDDR6, DDR5/4, and LPDDR5/4x. The design wins are in high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), networking, storage, and automotive. Cadence said it is working with customers on early TSMC N3 and N4 process IP.  Cadence also reported that TSMC has certified Cadence’s TSMC N3E and N4P digital and custom/analog flows, and some test chips have been taped out.  Cadence is offering N3E and N4P PDKs (process design kits) and design flows. Lastly, Cadence’s RFIC solutions support TSMC’s N6RF design reference flow and PDK for mobile, 5G, and wireless chips.

Synopsys, Keysight, and Ansys have developed a new RF design flow for TSMC’s N6RF process, for designing 5G chips. In addition to circuit simulation, the design flow includes layout productivity performance, accurate electromagnetic modeling, and electromigration/IR-drop analysis.

TSMC also certified Siemens Digital Industries Software’ Aprisa digital implementation toolset for N5 and N4 advanced process technologies, and Siemen’s Calibre nmPlatform tool and Analog FastSPICE platform are now certified for TSMC’s N4P and N3E processes. As part of the custom design reference flow (CDRF) for TSMC’s N3E process, Analog FastSPICE platform supports Reliability Aware Simulation, which includes aging, real-time self-heating effect, and advanced reliability features.

Infineon added a new Bluetooth 5.2 core-spec‑compliant SoC for IoT to its AIROC Bluetooth Portfolio. The AIROC CYW20820 Bluetooth & Bluetooth LE SoC has an ARM Cortex-M4 MCU with floating point unit, integrated with multiple digital interfaces, optimized memory subsystem, and a power amplifier delivering up to 11.5 dBm transmit output power in LE and BR (basic rate) modes, according to a press release. The SoC has many uses in home automation and systems with sensors used in medical, home, security, and industrial use cases.

Bruker’s new add-on module for its multiphoton microscopes uses 3D holographic photostimulation for researchers looking at the biological neural networks and brain computation. The NeuraLight 3D Ultra module has Bruker’s spatial light modulator (SLM), a liquid crystal chip with access to a larger field of view, better targeting, and processes at 600 hologram frames per second.

SK hynix will use Lam Research’s dry resist fabrication technology — which extends the resolution of EUV — in advanced DRAM patterning. “As DRAM continues to scale, innovations in EUV patterning are critical for delivering the performance needed for today’s increasingly connected devices at a cost that is right for our customers,” said BK Lee, head of R&D process at SK hynix, in a press release. “The dry resist technology that we are working on with Lam enables exceptionally precise, low defect, and lower cost patterning.” 

People, companies, industry groups
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) supports a letter signed by 123 CEOs urging U.S. Congress to enact the competitiveness legislation. The House has based the CHIPS Act and the America COMPETES Act, while the Senate completed the USICA— U.S. Competition and Innovation Act a year ago. The FABS Act is in the house now. The next step is reconciliation of the bills.

RISC-V processor IP company Codasip appointed Mike Eftimakis as its vice president of strategy and ecosystem. Eftimakis was most recently the director of business innovation strategy at Arm. Read more news at Manufacturing, Test and Design, Low Power. More to check out on Semiconductor Engineering:

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