Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Zero-emission hydrogen-powered train; DOE H fund; Siemens CO2 tracker; ASE FOPoP.


North Americas’s first zero-emission hydrogen-powered “Train de Charlevoix” will start running in Canada this summer, with speeds up to 85 mph, only emitting water vapor. Germany rolled out the world’s first passenger train fleet in 2022.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the availability of $750 million for R&D to further clean hydrogen technologies, part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in 2022. “Making clean hydrogen from abundant renewable energy provides America with yet another incredibly powerful fuel for many different applications, from low-emissions use in the construction and manufacturing industries to energy storage to powering our cars and trucks,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. The initial concept paper phase of the application is due April 19, 2023 and full applications are due July 19,2023.

Europe and Japan are the leaders in filing hydrogen technology patents, followed by the U.S.  Nikola is targeting Canada as a promising market for the company’s hydrogen full cell trucks.

Hong Kong, meanwhile, developed an off-grid hydrogen-powered EV charger, providing a bridge between two clean-fuel technologies.

Pervasive computing

Keysight added its O-RAN test platform, the Keysight Open RAN Architect (KORA) solutions, to CableLabs’ 5G Labs, in support of teams doing NIST’s and the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2023 5G Challenge.

Data centers have a range of approaches to cooling. The problem is not solved, but there are refinements to older approaches and a few novel ideas that give some hope of better balancing demands.

ASE says its new VIPack Fanout Package-on-Package (FOPoP) has lower latency and higher bandwidth for network and mobile applications. The packaging reduces the electrical path by 3x and boosts bandwidth density by up to 8x, according to ASE. Engine bandwidth can expand up to 6.4 Tbps per unit. FOPoP can be used for application processors, antenna-in-package devices, and silicon photonics (SiPh) applications.

MIPS, Ashling, and Imperas are working together to support RISC-V developers designing for automotive, HPC and data center, and communications and networking markets. The collaboration brings together Imperas’ reference models for the MIPS eVocore P8700 RISC-V multiprocessor, Ashling’s RiscFree SDK tools, and MIPS’ new RISC-V flexible compute solutions.

Renesas expanded its 32-bit RA microcontrollers (MCUs) for applications requiring high performance in small packages such as sensing, gaming, wearables and appliances. The RA MCUs have new groups based on the Arm Cortex-M33 core with Arm TrustZone technology, a 100-MHz RA4E2 Group and 200-MHz RA6E2 Group with 128 Kbyte and 256 Kbyte flash options and 40 Kbytes of SRAM.

Keysight also announced it has a 2 GHz real-time spectrum analysis solution for monitoring satellite signals and interference. Satellite network operators can use the system to monitor the quality of service.

NXP Semiconductors announced a new single-chip solution for NFC authentications with a customizable ARM Cortex MCU, an NFC reader and SESIP-Level 2 security.

Over the next 20 years, chips will be the enabling engines, requiring massive investments in new technology, materials, and manufacturing processes. How to continue building chips will require substantive changes across every manufacturing and packaging process.

Market analyst firm MarketsandMarkets says the automotive IoT market will reach $322 billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.7% from 2023 to 2028.

Automotive, mobility

Infineon and Continental are working automotive server-based vehicle architectures, which organize a vehicle’s electronics into a few zones with a few powerful Zone Control Units (ZCUs) and central high-performance computers (HPCs). These zones would replace the hundred or more individual control units. Continental uses Infineon’s AURIX TC4 microcontroller for its ZCU platform. The TC4 introduces Infineon’s RRAM (resistive random access memory) into automotive use.

Codasip and IAR are working together to offer automotive developers a route to launch ISO 26262-qualified embedded applications based on Codasip’s RISC-V L31 core. Developers will be able to use the functional safety-certified version of IAR’s development toolchain,  the IAR Embedded Workbench for RISC-V, to design low-power embedded automotive applications. “The automotive market is shifting rapidly driven by increased needs for accelerated innovation with reduced complexity and cost. RISC-V is offering exactly this,” said Jamie Broome, vice president of automotive business and product, Codasip in a press release. “Codasip is delivering custom compute with full ownership and control. Through our collaboration with IAR, we provide automotive companies with a straightforward solution for certifying their products for ISO 26262 and other functional safety and security standards.”

Siemens will demo systems for visualizing CO2 emissions in logistics networks at a transport logistic trade fair in Munich, on May 9–12, 2023. The system uses method based on the international GLEC standard (Global Logistics Emission Council) to calculate emissions and understand where the polluters are in the supply and transport chain. The company will also show a way to improve supply chains with digital twins and a control tower that syncs production and supply processes in real time.

Chips may suffer more from self-heating in the future, but techniques are being explored to mitigate against self heating.

Volkswagen will invest $193 billion in EVs, including software and batteries.

The Khronos Group, an industry consortium that works on interoperability standards, has launched a working group to create an open high-level heterogeneous computing framework for streamlining certification of safety-critical systems in automotive, avionics, medical, and industrial markets. The creation SYCL SC Working Group will use the SYCL 2020 standard as a basis for parallel programming of diverse computing devices using standard C++17.

PDF Solutions and Voltaiq are putting their know-how together to help battery manufacturers boost yield, reduce costs, and speed up building of EV battery factories. PDF Solutions’ Exensio Process Control and Manufacturing Analytics platform is being combined with Voltaiq’s Enterprise Battery Intelligence platform, which will help customers assess battery quality earlier in the production.


Riscure released an update to its embedded software security platform True Code. The True Code 2023.1 update redesigned the fuzzing and simulation (dynamic testing) features into benchmarks. Also included is a server API and a new hardware abstraction layer (HAL) for making mock implementations of memory-mapped devices. Riscure also updated its Glitch Amplifier, a hardware for fault injection testing.

Riscure helped Thales achieve the first GSMA consumer device certificate for its Qualcomm-based iSIM product, which met all the SGP.25 Protection Profile requirements. Riscure executed the security evaluation campaign.

Recent security technical papers:

Click here for more security papers.

 Upcoming Events

  • IRPS 2023 – International Reliability Physics Symposium, Mar. 26 –30
  • International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD), Mar. 26 –29
  • Tiny ML Summit 2023, Mar. 27 –29
  • MEMCon 2023: Next-Gen Datacenters, Memory Innovation & CXL, Mar. 28 –29
  • Impact of New Regulations on the Semiconductor Design Ecosystem, Mar. 28
  • SNUG Silicon Valley, Mar. 29 – 30
  • RSA Conference 2023, Apr. 24 – 27
  • SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics 2023, Apr. 24 – 27
  • Int’l Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security & Trust (HOST), May 1 –4
  • IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, May 22 – 25
  • SEMICON West 2023, July 11-13

See more events on our events page.

Further Reading:

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