Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

DoJ wants Tesla docs; an EU Wolfspeed SiC factory; Rambus’ RCD for 6,400 MT/s data centers.


The United States Justice of Department asked Tesla for documents relating to its Autopilot driver assistance system and its Full Self-Driving (FSD).

Among other tech company woes, some of which are leading to layoffs, Apple sales dropped 5% year over year and it missed its earnings target this quarter.

The U.S. state of Kansas will commit $304M to Kansas-based OSAT Integra Technologies to build a large factory in Kansas, if the U.S. government can pitch in on some of the funding. Tax incentives are also part of the deal. The plant will cost $1.8 billion and cover 1 million square feet, have 2,000 employees and create 3,000 additional jobs among suppliers and other local businesses, according to an AP story.

More than 1,000 semiconductor industry startups were funded globally in 2022. We tracked the investments in our report. Chip Industry Startup Funding Annual Report & Analysis: 2022.

Automotive, mobility

Wolfspeed proposes to build a 200mm silicon carbide (SiC) integrated circuit fab in Saarland, Germany that will cater to the European Union’s automotive, industrial, and energy sectors. The 200mm fab will be the largest in the world, says Wolfspeed, and the company also plans to build an R&D center on the 35 acre site. The project is part of a collaboration within the IPCEI for Microelectronics and Communication Technologies framework, and depends upon state aid approval from the European Commission. The E.U. must still approve the plans. SiC can reduce the power use in electric vehicles, making them more energy efficient, which increases their range.

A EV price war is spurring EV manufacturers to cut prices on their cars. Ford, Tesla, Mercedes have cut the prices of their vehicles.

Automotive OEMs want to speed up the design process, but tools to make that happen will take time to develop. Speeding up that schedule by shifting left is difficult enough in consumer electronics, and it’s much more difficult in automotive where safety is the overriding concern. Read more about what OEMs and the chip industry are doing to compensate.

Ford Motor Company lost $2.2 billion in 2022 and has almost completely sold its stake in Rivian, the electric pickup truck and SUV company. Ford did make an operating profit of $2.6 billion in the Q4 on sales of $44 billion. Ford’s CFO John Lawler said chip supplies were still an issue in 2022 and will continue to be volatile in 2023.

Siemens Digital Industries Software introduced its Questa Verification IQ software, which uses machine learning to analyze logic chip designs. It will help with verification closure and traceability. Questa Verification IQ is integrated with Siemens’ Polarion REQUIREMENTS software to capture all data from all the engines run across the project. The data capture helps in managing requirements, coding, testing, and release across the design and verification process. A digital thread optimized for functional safety compliance tasks provides teams with a traceable info needed from requirements to verification results and implementation. That’s a plus for the automotive industry.

Automotive startup Oxbotica raised $140.0M in Series C investment from new investors and existing investors. Oxbotica offers autonomous vehicle software. Primarily focused on industrial, commercial, and delivery vehicles, its platform can be tailored for specific applications and supports navigation, perception, user interfaces, and cloud fleet management. Read about which 15 other automotive startups raised money in January.

Indonesia‘s nickel and Bolivia’s lithium reserves are attracting EV battery industry investors. Bolivia’s state-owned lithium company develop signed an agreement with a Chinese consortium led by Chinese battery company Contemporary Amperex Technology (Catl) to work together on refining and selling Bolivia’s lithium resources. EV companies BYD of China and Tesla of the U.S. are both planning to invest in Indonesia to make batteries or gain access to a supply of nickel for batteries made elsewhere.


A study by VulnCheck found that some CVEs in the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) have two scores of severity that sometimes conflict — the product vendor’s score and NIST’s store. NIST maintains the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), which includes CVEs.

An attack attributed to a Russia ransomware gang Lockbit pulled down the ION Trading UK system so brokers can’t access it. Lockbit is threatening to release the data it stole from ION Trading UK on Saturday. Meanwhile ION says it will take days to fix the problem.

ResQuant received new funding from Invento VC. ResQuant develops cryptography accelerator FPGA IP cores for various cryptographic algorithms, including post-quantum cryptography standards. They are available as customizable cryptographic accelerators and individual modules. It is also developing FPGA-based Trusted Platform Modules, which will be available as IP or as a chip. Additionally, the startup provides cryptography consulting and post-quantum training to support migration to new standards. Founded in 2020, it is based in Lodz, Poland. Read more about which startups were funded in January.

Pervasive computing

Rambus announced that its new Gen3 6400 MT/s DDR5 Registering Clock Driver (RCD) is available and sampling to the major DDR5 memory module (RDIMM) manufacturers. Gen3 increases the data rate and bandwidth 33% over Gen1 4800 MT/s. The Gen3 6400 MT/s DDR5 RCD makes it possible for the DDR5 RDIMMs used in server main memory to run at up to 6,400 MT/s (megatransfers — or million transfers — per second), a new level of main memory performance for data center servers. “Data center workloads have an insatiable thirst for greater memory bandwidth, and capacity, and our mission is to advance the performance of server memory solutions that meet this need for each new server platform generation,” said Sean Fan, chief operating officer at Rambus in a press release.

The Internet of Things, a term once applied to almost any “smart” gadget connected to the Internet, is becoming more useful, more complex, and more of a security risk as the value of data continues to grow and more people depend on IoT technology.

Embedded FPGAs are being integrated into SoCs in a way that cuts the FPGA power use and maintains its reprogramability. Flex Logix’s Geoff Tate talks about why and how companies are doing this and achieving 100s of thousands of look up tables.

United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) certified Cadence’s 3D-IC reference flow for UMC’s chip stacking technologies.

Upcoming Events

  • International Symposium on Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (Monterey, CA), February 12 – 14
  • ISS Europe: Industry Strategy Symposium (Vienna, Austria), February 15 – 16
  • 2023 International Solid-State Circuits Conference — ISSCC 2023, (San Francisco, CA), February 19 – 23
  • Phil Kaufman Award & Banquet, (San Jose, CA), February 23
  • HPCA 2023: IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture (Montreal, QC, Canada), February 25 – March 1
  • SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning (San Jose, CA), February 26 – March 2
  • DVCon U.S. 2023, (San Jose, CA), February 27 – March 2, 2023
  • Conference on Industrial Computed Tomography iCT 23 (Fürth, Germany), February 27 – March 2, 2023
  • SPIE: Advances in Patterning Materials and Processes XL (San Jose, CA), February 27 – March 1

See our events page for more listings. To check out upcoming webinars, see our webinar listings page. Or scan through this week’s job listings.

Further Reading:

Read the latest automotive, security, and pervasive computing articles, blogs, and white papers, or check out the latest newsletter.

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