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Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

GPS trackers for hackers; Flex Logix adds PUFs; Keysight O-RAN certs.

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Security
Flex Logix
Technologies is partnering with Intrinsic ID to secure and protect any device using its eFPGA, so the device can’t be modified maliciously, through physical attacks or remote hacking. Flex Logix’s EFLX ePFGA will have Intrinsic ID’s SRAM physical unclonable function (PUF), a military-grade security IP that gives a device a unique silicon ID. The ID secures confidential data in the eFPGA’s bitstream, which can’t be read, copied, or altered if the device is attacked or found. The root secret is never stored and therefore invisible and unclonable.

Two things are driving the need for security in embedded FPGAs. One is that eFPGAs are gaining traction across a variety of mission-critical applications, such as packet processing, networking and 5G, because they add programmability where standards and protocols are frequently updated. The second reason is that they are being increasingly used by government agencies, which demand built-in security. “People told us they want encryption of the configuration file,” said Andy Jaros, vice president of sales and marketing at Flex Logix. “Tying it to PUFs makes it chip-specific.”

Automotive, mobility
A GPS-tracker has flaws that hackers can exploit to remotely attack any vehicle that tracker is on, according to an alert from the CISA, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security. Security company BitSight discovered six flaws in the Chinese-made MiCODUS MV720 GPS trackers and reported it to CISA. The tracker is used worldwide for theft protection and fleet tracking. The MV720 GPS trackers connect to a MiCODUS server that allowed devices to use a hard-coded password and that a reflected cross-site scripting vulnerability could allow an attacker to gain control by tricking a user into making a request, among other vulnerabilities. BitSight said that MiCODUS has 1.5 million GPS tracking devices in use today across 420,000 customers, including individual consumers; government, military, and law enforcement agencies; and corporations spanning a variety of industries.

Arm’s Dipti Vachani, senior vice president and general manager, automotive and IoT line of business, wrote about a recent ride in a Cruise AV (autonomous vehicle) and revealed that Arm’s collaboration with Cruise is expanding beyond its initial solution for sensor processing that used Arm CPUs. The goal now is to increase the efficiency of the compute system while maintaining performance, and “to support Cruise in the scale out of their autonomous platforms.” Getting the compute performance required within the power, cost, and thermal constraints of the vehicle is a major problem, said Vachani. Cruise will be using a suite of Arm technology, including devices from Arm ecosystem partners on Arm’s high-performance CPUs, and Arm’s automotive-enhanced (AE) line of IP “to improve the efficiency of their compute platform.”

Synopsys also summarized, in a blog, its automotive IP achievements and the safety-critical hardware features in its ASIL-D-compliant ARC SEM130FS processor.

Renesas completed its acquisition of Reality AI, which specializes in embedded AI and Tiny Machine Learning (TinyML) solutions for advanced non-visual sensing in automotive, industrial and commercial products. Reality AI’s AI experts and AIoT R&D center in Columbia, Md., is now part of Renesas.

Siemens Digital Industries Software entered into an agreement to buy ZONA Technology, an aeroelastic simulation company based out of Scottsdale Ariz. Aeroelasticity is the study of the interactions of a flow (fluid, air) against a non-rigid, or elastic, structure, such as an airplane, and how it affects the aerodynamics of the structure. ZONA Technology’s aeroelastic simulation technology, which is used by large aircraft OEMs to predict flight loads and flutter behavior, will be added Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio, specifically in the Simcenter software portfolio. The goal is to create an end-to-end digital workflow for aeronautics designs.

Pervasive computing, connectivity
Rambus is offering its serial presence detect (SPD) hub and temperature sensors as part of its server and client DDR5 memory module chipsets for data centers and PCs. The SPD hubs and temperature sensors add system management and thermal control to the DIMMS. “The new performance levels of DDR5 memory place an increased premium on signal integrity and thermal management for server and client DIMMs,” said Sean Fan, chief operating officer at Rambus. The SPD hub (SPD5118) has I2C and I3C bus serial interface support, advanced reliability features, expanded NVM space for customer-specific applications, low latency for fastest I3C bus rates, an integrated temperature sensor, and meets JEDEC DDR5 SPD Hub operational requirements (JESD300-5A). The temperature sensor (TS5110) precision thermal sensing, along with the I2C and I3C bus serial interface support, low latency for fastest I3C bus rates, and JEDEC DDR5 Temperature Sensor operational requirements (JESD302-1.01) compliance.

One of the first O-RAN (open radio access network) certifications has gone to MICAS for its 5G Open RAN Radio Unit (O-RU). MICAS used Keysight Technologies’ Keysight Open Radio Access Network Architect (KORA) solutions to test its O-RU. Keysights’ KORA is a suite of O-RAN test tools that span early pre-silicon development to system integration. KORA is now available as a cloud application, also with the company’s LoadCore software for testing 5G Core (5GC) now available as a metered, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solution in AWS Marketplace. The O-RAN ALLIANCE launched a certification and badging program earlier this year, with the certifications attesting that the equipment follows O-RAN specs, while the badging program confirming interoperability or end-to-end functionality.

NI demonstrated its Satellite Link Emulator (SLE) at the Farnborough Air Show 2022 this week. The SLE has Ansys Systems Tool Kit (STK) is integrated with NI PXI hardware and LabVIEW FPGA, which are used together to validate communication links between satellite and ground stations against accurate and realistic channel parameters in real-time.

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

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