Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

EV profit eludes Ford for now; Infineon, Delta MOU for EV tech; Hyundai’s car-charging robot.


Automotive, mobility

Ford expects to lose $3 billion from EV sales this year, but said that part of the business will begin generating profits soon. The company still expects to hit its overall profit numbers for the year, however.

Volvo is making a new electric vehicle (EV) in China and exporting it to Europe and Japan, according to a Nikkei Asia interview. Volvo is owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, a Chinese company based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. Geely also owns Lotus, which it purchased in 2017, and has a joint venture with the Mercedes-Benz Group for Smart cars.

Hyundai Motor Group demonstrated its automatic charging robot (ACR) for EVs in a video. Hyundai says the robot, which plugs into the port by itself using control technology applied by a 3D camera-based AI algorithm, operates reliably in all environments regardless of charger location, weather, and obstacles.

Chiplets made of chips from different foundries creates challenges during assembly. Only now is the industry starting to understand what the extent of the challenges are.

Samsung uncorked its new brand of ultra-wideband (UWB) chipset, the Exynos Connect U100, with centimeter-level accuracy for mobile and automotive devices. The new Exynos Connect brand consolidates the short-range wireless communication types, such as UWB, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The chipset uses time of arrival (ToA) and 3D angle of arrival (AoA) measurements to provide accuracy of single-digit centimeters and under five degrees, which helps for indoor real-time location tracking.

Infineon and Delta Electronics signed a memorandum of understanding to expand their long-term cooperation on industrial to automotive applications. The two companies are working on efficient and higher-density technologies for EVs. The agreement includes a wide range of components, such as high-voltage and low-voltage discretes and modules, as well as microcontrollers to be used in EV drivetrain applications, such as traction inverters, DC-DC converters, and on-board chargers.

VinFast, the Vietnamese car maker, announced it is rolling out its new EV SUV VF9 domestically at first. VinFast already delivered its 45 VF8 all-electric SUVs to U.S. customers at its nine stores across California in early March. The VF8’s Eco and Pro versions have a range of 207 and 191 miles respectively.

MobileDrive used Siemens’ digital twin technology to build next-gen ADAS (advanced driver assistance system). MobileDrive used models during development of the ADAS to improve it before going to the prototype phase.

Learn more about Chinese automotive chip startups in the recent analysis report on Chinese startups funded in 2022.

Stellantis is investing more than €130 million in the Eisenach Assembly Plant in Germany, to tool it for production of the BEV (battery electric vehicle) successor of the Opel Grandland compact SUV, which is made in the plant today. The BEV production will begin in the second half of 2024.

Water accumulating on a tow-hitch harness module of a PCB  “may cause an electrical short, which can result in a fire” in some Hyundai vehicles, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Hyundai is recalling some 570,000 Hyundai and Kia model cars because of this. The NHTSA is advising car owners to park outside until their cars get fixed.

Toyota launched a new 3-wheeled mobility scooter called the C+walk S in Japan that “walks” at a walking person’s pace and drive on sidewalks. The C+walk S has obstacle detection safety functions that help avoid collisions with obstacles or pedestrians.

QP Technologies has extended its broad plastic package assembly portfolio with two new offerings — a 64-pin thin quad flat pack (TQFP) and a 52-pin metric quad flat pack (MQFP) plastic encapsulated package. QP says the options are ideal for military-aerospace (mil-aero), automotive, industrial and other applications requiring cost-sensitive, robust device packaging that provides high thermal and electrical performance.

Guidehouse Insights analyst Sam Abuelsamid warns about how all  the electronics needed for autonomous and software-defined vehicles are creating huge power drains. In a blog on SAE’s website, Abuelsamid writes “Simply using a brute force approach of adding more battery and more computing horsepower is not an acceptable option. Electric propulsion is already quite efficient, but every aspect of the vehicle must become thriftier with its use of electrons if all the competing goals are expected to be achieved.”


MITRE Engenuity announced the formation of an advisory council to boost the impact and expand the focus of the Center for Threat-Informed Defense. The goal is to expand the center’s R&D focus and its industry partnerships, “truly changing the game on the adversary.”

Security concerns over the use of data from the Chinese social media video app TikTok have led the British Parliament to block the app. The data could be used by China for spying. The CEO of TikTok testified in front of the U.S. Congress, saying TikTok in the U.S. has a separate U.S.-based server.

Intel published a paper with ABI Research about the need to stop attacks that mimic normal, approved use. The paper mentions fileless malware attacks that deploy into memory and living off the land (LOTL) attacks that take over whitelisted systems. The companies contend that hardware telemetry is needed to detect activity and alert administrators an attack is underway. A software security layer is also needed to interpret the telemetry.

A researcher from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a list of cybersecurity misconceptions or blindspots toward the human elements in the security equations to which highly trained cybersecurity experts may be susceptible. They include assuming users are clueless, using the wrong communication style for an audience, and having rigid security that gets in the way of daily workloads.

Pervasive computing

Renesas will acquire Panthronics, a fabless semiconductor company specializing in high-performance wireless products. The deal, which should close at the end of this year, will add near-field communication technology to the Renesas’ portfolio of communications chips.

Renesas also announced it has a new industrial microprocessor for EtherCAT communication protocol that targets high-speed, accurate real-time control for industrial systems. The RZ/T2L MPU’s hardware architecture is based on higher-end product, the RZ/T2M.

While terms 3D and 2.5D are often are used interchangeably, they are very different technologies with different challenges. Understand the difference.

Toshiba, the storied semiconductor manufacturer and OEM of computers and industrial and consumer devices, accepted a $15.2 billion buyout offer from Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), a private equity firm.


Recent automotive technical papers:

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Recent security technical papers:

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