Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Imagination, BAIC JV forms auto chip company in China; Aldec launches accelerator board; Intel buys Moovit; mmWave D-band.


Imagination Technologies and BAIC Capital have formed an automotive joint venture to create a new automotive fabless semiconductor company focused on China as a client. The JV will be headquartered in the Zhongguancun Integrated Circuit Design Park in Beijing, China, with Bravo Lee serving as CEO. The JV will license IP and software from Imagination to create automotive-grade SoCs. “will focus on the research and development of application processors for autonomous driving assistance systems (ADAS) and voice interactive chips for intelligent cockpits and provide strategic reserves for domestic auto companies represented by BAIC Group in the field of automotive chips,” according to a press release.

Intel acquired mobile-as-a-service (MaaS) company Moovit, which makes trip-planning apps for travelling via different modes of transport and has access to 7,500 transit operators in 3,100 cities with 800 million users worldwide. The Moovit acquisition, costing approximately $900 million ($840 million net of Intel Capital equity gain), will help fuel Intel’s expansion into mobility services. In 2017 Intel bought autonomous vehicle technology company Mobileye. The purchase of Tel Aviv-based Moovit will help Mobileye and Intel achieve autonomous driving services, including robotaxis. Moovit started business in 2012.

Aldec launched a new FPGA accelerator board for high performance computing (HPC), high frequency trading (HFT) applications and high speed FPGA prototyping. The HES-XCKU11P-DDR4 is a 1U form factor board featuring a Xilinx Kintex UltraScale+ FPGA, a PCIe interface and two QSFP-DD connectors (providing a total of up to 400Gbit/s bandwidth), and which hits the ideal sweet spot between speed, logic cells, low power draw and price, according to a press release.

Rambus reports above forecast revenue for first quarter of 2020, landing at $64 million in revenue. The company credits a strong performance in its memory interface chip business with hitting above the target in Q1, with demand increasing from data center and cloud. Besides memory, Rambus also concentrated on high-speed interfaces and security of data, demand for which in data centers, cloud, networking, AI and 5G added to the strong quarter.

5G, 6G
The U.S. Department of Commerce may be close to signing off on a rule for U.S. companies that participate in 5G standards development where China’s Huawei Technologies is also participating, reports Reuters. Because Huawei is on the U.S. Commerce Department’s entity list, U.S. engineers are holding back their participation in 5G standards meetings if Huawei is involved. Without U.S. participation, it is feared that the standards will skew toward China’s needs.

The MIPI Alliance released its standard of the MIPI RF Front End Control Interface (MIPI RFFE) v3.0, to 5G use cases — including automotive, industrial and IoT — and to meet international 3GPP 5G standards that call for tight timing precision and low latency. MIPI RFFE defines RF front end component standards to ease design. This latest version of the standard has enhanced triggering functions that lower latency in a complex environment crowded with different spectra and equipment.

CEA-Leti is investigating millimeter wave D-band, at 140 GHz, which may play a major role for 6G wireless communication. “Because CMOS technologies cannot produce devices that deliver the maximum transistor frequency needed for sub-THz applications, CEA-Leti is investigating optimized RF circuit designs with innovative architectures for these applications, and new materials and devices to address D-band frequencies and beyond,” says a CEA-Leti press release.

ANSYS achieved certification for its next-generation system-on-chip (SoC) power noise signoff platform for all TSMC‘s advanced process technologies. The platform helps customers verify the power requirements and reliability of chips for artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G mobile, and high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

Gartner named Synopsys a leader for fourth year in a row in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing (AST). The other three quadrants are visionaries, challengers, and niche players. Application security testing market is “the buyers and sellers of products and services designed to analyze and test applications for security vulnerabilities,” according to Gartner.

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