Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Toyota BEV vehicle-to-grid project; NHTSA probes GM Cruise; Siemens’ RISC-V Linux OS; Keysight’s network security test platform.


Automotive, mobility

Automaker Toyota and Texas-based electricity distributor Oncor Electric Delivery (Oncor) are embarking on a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) pilot project to explore the feasibility of transferring energy from BEVs’ batteries back to the grid. Toyota and Oncor want to better understand the interconnectivity between BEVs and utilities. The project will start testing at Oncor’s research and testing micro-grid at its south Dallas System Operating Services Facility (SOSF). Oncor is adding V2G technology systems, which include a V2G charger, solar panels, and battery storage to its micro-grid for testing and evaluation. The two companies also will study energy customers’ experience and benefits of participating in V2G. “We envision a future where Toyota BEVs also can be utilized by our customer to power their homes, their communities or even power back the electric grid in times of need,” said Christopher Yang, group vice president of Toyota Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions team in a press release. “Our collaboration with Oncor is an important step for us to understand the needs of utilities, as we plan to work closely with them to ensure every community can embrace Toyota’s shift to electrified vehicles.”

The U.S National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating complaints about GM Cruise vehicles’ autonomous driving system braking and stopping in appropriately. The Cruise robotaxis, which are retrofitted Chevy Bolts, are in service in San Francisco.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a $2.9 billion investment plan to add 90,000 EV chargers to the state. The CEC says that will more than double the current number of 80,000 EV charges throughout the state.

Renesas Electronics and Fixstars Corp. announced a joint development agreement to develop tools to optimizing and speed up simulation software for autonomous driving and ADAS-based systems. Renesas’ R-Car V4H SoC currently is used for L2 and L3 driving, which along with the simulation can speed development of a software-defined car. The first version of the development tools are available today for Renesas’ R-Car V4H SoC.

Hyundai Motor Group and SK plan to build an EV battery plant in the U.S. state of Georgia to supply Hyundai’s American assembly lines.

The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli America’s Cup team is using the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio of software and services to design, simulate, and optimize its racing yacht for the forthcoming America’s Cup challenge (37ᵗʰ America’s Cup), according to press release from Siemens Digital Industries Software. The team used Xcelerator in the Cloud via high-performance computing (HPC) clusters, running thousands of simulations per day to explore new designs.

Hamamatsu Photonics is using Siemens’ mPower for the power integrity analysis of optical semiconductor designs, which are used in applications in the scientific measurement, medical and automotive markets. Hamatus makes photodiodes, photo ICs, image sensors, infrared detection devices and LED offerings that support multiple wavelength ranges (e.g., infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x-ray, high-energy).

MathWorks Simulink now has a hardware support package for Infineon’s latest AURIX TC4x family of automotive microcontrollers.


Keysight announced its 400GE network cybersecurity test platform that has an 8 x 400GE QSFP-DD test interface, for data center network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) and operators who need to validate that their products and services support hyperscale loads without compromising security and usability. Keysight’s APS-M8400 aggregates compute and FPGA resources, without the need for additional switches or infrastructure, and can emulate the rigorous data center loads for hyperscale application and cybersecurity tests, including encrypted traffic loads. The platform can generate up to 3+ Tbps of Layer 4-7 traffic, 5+ billion concurrent connections, 2.4 Tbps of transport layer security (TLS) traffic, and 2.4 million TLS connections per second.

SEMI Taiwan launched a Semiconductor Cybersecurity Risk Rating Service for SEMI Taiwan members to assess cybersecurity risks in real time and provide risk remediation guidance. Launched by the SEMI Taiwan Cybersecurity Committee, the service was developed by SEMI Taiwan, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), and other semiconductor industry partners. The service uses third-party risk scoring and risk posture assessment.

Pervasive computing

Quadric.io, which designs processor IP that simplifies the design and programming of general purpose neural processing units (GPNPUs), completed its Series B funding, raising an additional $10M of equity and debt financing on top of its $21M equity investment announced in February. Xerox Ventures and Mesh Ventures now join DENSO, MegaChips, Leawood VC, Pear VC, Uncork Capital, and Cota Capital as investors. Quadric announced its software-first processor IP in November, called Chimera GPNPU, which is a licensable IP processor core sold to semiconductor and systems OEM design teams building advanced custom silicon chips. Chimera GPNPUs are an alternative to complicated heterogeneous multicore solutions for devices running machine-learning algorithms.

China’s Oppo showed off its new H1 health monitor, a small mouse-like device that checks sleep, breathing, and subtle movements when it is placed by a human. The monitor is part of Oppo’s new OHealth brand for monitoring vital signs. The brand also includes augmented reality glasses and is considered an attempt to diversify away from smartphones.

Siemens Digital Industries Software’s Sokol Flex OS software now supports RISC-V embedded development with a commercial-grade Linux platform for the RISC-V architecture based on the open-source Yocto Project industry standard.

Synergy is using Keysights’ user equipment (UE) emulation tools to validate the performance of Synergy’s 5G radio access network (RAN) performance. Keysight’s tools emulate real network traffic over radio and O-RAN fronthaul interfaces and enable functional, conformance, and performance testing of O-DUs over fronthaul functional split option 7.2x.5G Smart RAN technology.

Vodafone is working specialist chip developers to create silicon that will simplify massive MIMO implementations, the antennae that will make Open RAN possible. The companies Accelercomm (based in UK), EdgeQ (based in US), Lime Microsystems (based in UK), and Saankhya Labs (based in India) are working on ‘dedicated network aware silicon’ accelerators that are purpose-built for mobile base stations to handle network traffic at lower energy consumption.

More to check out on Semiconductor Engineering

Read the latest automotive, security, and pervasive computing articles:

Cybersecurity Risks Of Automotive OTA
Over-the-air updates will introduce the potential for security gaps as vehicles grow increasingly software-defined.

Indoor Gas Sensors Proliferate With Better Standards
As technology improves, competition heats up for smaller, less power-hungry gas sensors based on relatively inexpensive chips.

Why Better Mapping Technology Is Critical To Autonomous Vehicles
Accuracy down to a couple centimeters with consistent connectivity will be required for AI systems to guide vehicles, but today’s technology is a long way from that.

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