Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

FAA air taxi blueprint; Keysight RedCap device testing; UMC’s 40nm RFSOI platform for 5G mmWave.


Pervasive computing

Microsoft and AMD are working together on an AI processor, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Tenstorrent adopted Arteris IP’s Ncore and FlexNoC interconnect IP for its AI RISC-V chiplets. The chiplets will be configurable for different uses and workloads. Some use cases include AI high-performance computing for data center, such as cloud servers, and edge devices and edge servers. Developers will be able to use the chiplets to design multi-chip components, server systems, and custom processors and accelerators.

Semiconductor foundry UMC announced that its 40nm RFSOI platform for 5G mmWave applications is now ready for production. The process technology is aimed at front-end products, such as RF switches, low noise amplifiers, and power amplifiers that need to handle the wider bandwidth of mmWave frequencies. mmWave, at the frequency between 24GHz and 60GHz, promises fast transfer rates, with some tricky issues for designers. UMC’s RFSOI solutions ranges from 8-inch to 12-inch wafer manufacturing. The company is targeting customers that are designing integrated RF chips, which include beamformers, core and passive devices, and front-end components on a single IC.

IoT software is not the embedded systems software of old. Its role is expanding now, with software becoming more critical and complex, but always central to design and security.

Keysight now has approval to offer 5G New Radio (NR) reduced capability (RedCap) conformance test cases for use with Keysight’s 5G network emulation conformance test platform (TP168). The RedCap test cases will help service providers, chip designers, and device makers verify that their protocol, radio frequency (RF) transmitter and receiver, and radio resource management (RRM) meet the RedCap specs. The RedCap specification, part of 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G NR Release 17 (Rel-17), allows for 5G NR-Light products, which are a new tier of reduced capability devices.

April funding included 7 startups in the wireless category; 10 in displays and AR/VR; 1 in energy harvesting, and 3 in sensors. See all the categories here and the summary table here.

Automotive, mobility

The automotive market is growing for Qualcomm. The semiconductor company’s automotive segment was up 20% to $447 million over last year Q2 of $371 million. Handsets at $6.1 billion and IoT at just shy of $1.4 billion are still bigger markets for Qualcomm, but those markets softened year-over-year.

ML automotive chip design takes off so much you might think they will replace humans someday soon. Tools use reinforcement learning for a variety of applications including developing AI chips.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) updated its blueprint for air taxis to say that air taxis will fly much as helicopters do today, using existing routes and infrastructure, including helipads and early vertiports. Pilots will be on board the air taxis and communicate with air traffic controllers where required. Eventually, air taxis will fly on specific routes in corridors one way at first between major airports and a vertiport, followed by passing lanes and two way routes. The air taxis eventually may be pilotless. The FAA expects that aircraft technology will evolve to aircraft automation and real-time data sharing between aircraft. Aircraft and pilots will need to be certified to fly. The blueprint is viewable here.

Fig. 1: A graphic from an FAA video explaining the air taxi blueprint on how to fit air taxis safely into U.S. airspace. Source: FAA

Fig. 1: A graphic from an FAA video explaining the air taxi blueprint on how to fit air taxis safely into U.S. airspace. Source: FAA

The FAA says the 58 aviation stakeholders in its UAS Detection and Mitigation Systems Aviation Rulemaking Committee (called 383 ARC or just ARC) will soon develop recommendations for drones flying in the wrong places — or the expanded detection and mitigation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Part of their goals is to make sure the technology used to find and stop hostile UASes does not hurt any airplanes or other legit flying craft. The work begins in May, with a final report due in early 2024.

Minnesota-based Zeus Electric Chassis, Inc. showed off its all-electric bucket truck concept for vocational medium duty work vehicles at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo 2023. Zeus Z-19 Smart Chassis can be adapted to different truck styles. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has qualified the company’s Zeus Z-19 Class 5 vocational chassis, which has a 19,500 gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), for the California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). The HVIP program helps companies switch over to zero emission vehicles. Just last week California approved a regulation requiring a transition in phases toward zero-emission medium-and-heavy duty vehicles.

Electric car maker NIO will be using NXP’s 4D imaging radar chipset. The radar can be used to detect cars, people, and objects 300m (0.19 of a mile) ahead on a road. The 4D means measuring range, speed, direction, angle of arrival, and elevation. NXP says its technology uses a fine-resolution point cloud that can detect objects beyond the sight of a human, and in almost any weather condition.

Infineon signed a long-term agreement with Chinese SiC supplier TanKeBlue to secure additional competitive SiC sources.


Keysight formed a cybersecurity partnership program for managed security service providers (MSSPs) to improve security at their customers’ companies by simulating attacks via the breach and attack simulation (BAS) tool, Keysight Threat Simulator. On-premises hosting and cloud-based hosting and attack warnings and remediations are part of the program.

Google will start rolling out passkeys on its platforms to replace passwords. Passkeys are both easier and more secure, says Google, and will enable users to unlock accounts with a fingerprint, a face scan, or a screen lock PIN. Last year Google, Apple, and Microsoft vowed to support the passwordless sign-on called passkeys from the FIDO Alliance.

Data leakage may be bigger risk for chipmakers with the use of ML in IC design, hardware defects, and more job market churn. Increasing complexity, disaggregation, and continued feature shrinks are adding to problem.

Startups funded in April in security were Micro Innovation Integrated Circuit (China), Keydom (China), and SandGrain (the Netherlands). Micro Innovation makes reconfigurable cryptographic security chips and intelligent network controller chips. Keydom offers secure mobile payment NFC chips, smart card chips, and point-of-sale terminals. SandGrain provides security ICs with a unique, immutable hard-coded identity written at the wafer level.


Taiwan-based memory semiconductor company Winbond announced its sustainability results late last week for 2021 and its goals, breaking it down by air, water, and waste. It reduced greenhouse gas emission by 229,245 metric tons of CO2e; recycled 7,212 metric tons of waste, with recovery rate of 93%; and recycled 10.59 million cubic meters of water, and water recycling rate of 83% in Taichung Fab. More info here about the company’s plans and awards.

Infineon broke ground on a plant in Dresden, with some funding from the EU Commission. The plant will expand production capacities at the existing Dresden site. Manufacturing will begin in the fall of 2026. The plant will have the latest environmental technologies and will be among the most environmentally friendly manufacturing facilities of its kind.


Recent automotive technical papers:

Click here for more automotive research.

Recent AI/ML/DL technical paper:

Click here for more AI/ML/DL research.

Recent security technical papers:

Click here for more security papers.

Upcoming events

  • ITF World 2023: Imec’s flagship event, May 16 – 17
  • PCIM Europe 2023, May 9 – 11
  • Annual ESD Alliance Membership Meeting & CEO Outlook, May 18
  • International Memory Workshop, May 21 – 24
  • SEMICON Southeast Asia, May 23 – 25
  • Embedded Vision Summit, May 22 – 24
  • RISC-V Summit Europe, June 5 – 9
  • Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium-RFIC 2023, June 11 – 13
  • SEMICON China, June 29 – July 1
  • MIPI DevCon 2023: Mobile and Beyond, June 30
  • DAC 2023- Design Automation Conference, July 9 – 13
  • SEMICON West 2023, July 11 – 13
  • 2023 Flash Memory Conference & Expo, August 8 – 10
  • SPIE Optics + Photonics 2023, August 20 – 24
  • Hot Chips 2023, August 27 – 29
  • IEEE International System-on-Chip Conference (SOCC): SoCs/ SiPs for Edge Intelligence & Accelerated Computing, September 5 – 8


  • IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, May 22 – 25
  • io Security Trainings and Conference USA 2023, May 30 – June 3
  • 32nd USENIX Security Symposium, August 9 – 11

See more events on our events page.

Further Reading:

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

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