Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

US, international security guidance; public USB phone charging stations compromised; Intel Foundry partners with Arm, Rambus.


Public USB phone charging stations are now another vector that bad actors can use to plant malware and steal data on devices — known as “juice jacking,” according to the United States’ Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC is encouraging people to stay away from these public charging stations, found in airports and hotels, because of bad actors can install malware on the charging station that then pushes the malware to devices connected to it. Instead, use an AC outlet and bring your own charging cords and wall jack, preferably one used only for transferring power, not power and data.

Pervasive computing

Siemens and Microsoft are working together to offer generative artificial intelligence (AI) to industrial companies for design engineering and to smarten the factory floors. The goal is to connecting shop floor workers with teams across business functions through AI-powered collaborative apps, and to find and prevent product defects with industrial AI. Many factories have complex robotics, so debugging, controlling, connecting, automating, and maintaining the robotics and other tools is challenging.

Intel Foundry and Arm are working on leading-edge SoC design for mobile devices, optimizing the designs for power, performance, area, and cost (PPAC) for Arm cores to be manufactured on Intel’s18A process. Their efforts are concentrating first on mobile applications, but will later move to automotive, IoT, data center, aerospace, and government applications. Rambus is also working with IFS on SoCs for the data center, edge, 5G, automotive and military-aerospace applications, and has joined the IFS Accelerator IP Alliance.

Renesas sampled its 22-nm process wireless microcontroller (MCU) with Bluetooth 5.3 Low Energy. The new IC is an extension to Renesas’ RA family of 32-bit Arm Cortex-M microcontrollers. The chip can consolidates into one device Bluetooth’s offerings, such as direction-finding applications using Bluetooth 5.1’s Angle of Arrival (AoA) / Angle of Departure (AoD) features or adding low-power stereo audio transmission via Bluetooth 5.2’s isochronous channels.

Photonic ICs have great promise. The high speed and low heat make this technology essential, but it’s extremely complex to design. With talent hard to find and train, photonic IC design is becoming a good opportunity for bachelors- and masters-level physics majors to get in on the ground floor and help develop the technology.

Axelera AI validated its Metis AIPU (an edge AI chip containing as many as 100 million gates and different clock and power domains) using Ansys’ simulation software for digital power integrity signoff.

A RISC-V verification debate reveals that conforming to the ISA is a lot more complex than just making sure the instruction run properly.

Synopsys is now offering an emulation system to make digital twins of advanced SoCs to make the software bring-up, power optimization, and debug of complex billion-gate and multi-die systems run more smoothely and quickly. The Synopsys ZeBu Server 5 emulation system supports 1.6x greater capacity, 2x higher throughput, and 2x better emulation performance with less than half of the power consumption of the former ZeBu system, says Synopsys.

Automotive, mobility

Kudan and Visionary.ai have joined Cadence’s Tensilica DSP Vision and AI Software Partner Ecosystem, bringing simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) and AI image signal processor (ISP) to the mix. The new additions will help support advanced automotive, mobile, consumer, and IoT applications. SLAM is used in household products that have camera or sensor systems, such as robotic vacuums, to identify one’s position and orientation in an environment with high precision. Visionary.ai’s product uses AI instead of “hardwired” ISP functions, to make high-quality videos in real-time, even in low light conditions.

It is difficult to untangle and accurately predict all the cascading effects from thermal issues in in 2.5D and 3D-IC. Work is underway to map heat flows in interposer-based designs, but there’s much more to be done.

Ansys is joining Europe’s PowerizeD Research Initiative, offering up its digital twin technology to the initiative. The goal is to sustainable and resilient energy applications that will cut carbon emissions by making power electronics smarter. The digital twin workflows will be used to efficiently find and predict thermal stress, which makes power electronics eat up power faster and age more quickly. Infineon is coordinating the initiative.

ASICLAND selected Arteris IP’s FlexNoC interconnect IP and supporting AI options for automotive, AI enterprise and AI edge SoCs.

Siemens received its 6th Supplier of the Year award from General Motors. GM uses Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio digital twin technology.

DARPA conducted its third experiment to assess the performance of off-road unmanned vehicles in its Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency (RACER) program.


U.S. federal agencies and their international partners have released their Secure-by-Design and -Default Principles and Approaches document. The document is guidance, not a regulation, to encourage progress through investment and cultural shifts “necessary to achieve a safe and secure future.” Important points include (1) take ownership of the security outcomes of your technology products, shifting the burden of security from the customers; (2) embrace “radical transparency and accountability”; and (3) build the right organizational structure “to prioritize security as a critical element of product development.”  The participating partners include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the cybersecurity authorities of Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, and New Zealand (CERT NZ, NCSC-NZ).

Riscure is working with Radboud University on a research project (named Predator) to advance the knowledge of pre-silicon security. The project is funded by the Dutch Research Council (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, NWO) under the Open Technology Programme.

Researchers at Cado Labs warned about Legion malware, a Python-based credential harvester and hacktool, related to last year’s AndroxGh0st, in a blog. Cado Labs, part of Cado Security, said the AWS credential harvester and SMTP hijacker can be installed on vulnerable SMTP servers with vulnerable versions of Apache to perform remote code execution (RCE). The data collected from the attacks can be sent into a Telegram chat via the Telegram Bot API. Services targeted are Twilio, Nexmo, Stripe/Paypal (payment API function), AWS console credentials, AWS SNS, S3 and SES specific credentials, Mailgun, Plivo, Clicksend, Mandrill, Mailjet, MessageBird, Vonage, Nexmo, Exotel, Onesignal, Clickatel, Tokbox, SMTP credentials, and database administration and CMS credentials (CPanel, WHM, PHPmyadmin).

CrowdStrike introduced an EDR/XDR platform for IoT assets. The platform, called CrowdStrike Falcon Insight for IoT, collects the threat data in one user interface. The system is used for protection, detection, and response across all types of IoT devices.


Recent automotive technical papers:

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Recent security technical papers:

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Recent computing technical papers:

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Upcoming Events

  • CadenceLIVE Silicon Valley 2023, April 19 – April 20
  • SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics 2023, April 24 – April 27
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  • Women in Semiconductor: WIS 2023, May 1
  • International Memory Workshop, May 21 – May 24
  • Embedded Vision Summit, May 22 – May 24
  • RISC-V Summit Europe, June 5 – June 9


  • RSA Conference 2023, April 24 – April 27
  • IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust (HOST), May 1 – May 4
  • IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, May 22 – May 25
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Further Reading

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

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