Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Google hit with AI suit; Musk’s xAI; Apple’s rapid security responses; DAC and Semicon West updates; reactions to the EPA’s proposed emissions rule; Rambus’ post quantum cryptography (PQC) hardware security solution; Microsoft hack details; CISA alerts; DNA-based bio-sensors.


Google was hit with a class action suit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, alleging data scraping from millions of users without consent and violation of copyright laws to train and develop its AI products. Last month, the same law firm filed a suit against OpenAI for ChatGPT.

Despite calling for a pause on development of advanced AI in March, Elon Musk launched xAI, a new company focused on artificial intelligence, “to understand the true nature of the universe.”

Apple issued a flurry of iOS Rapid Security Responses (RSR) for iOS 16.5.1 and iPadOS 16.5.1. because “processing web content may lead to arbitrary code execution” and “the issue may have been actively exploited.” Version (c) fixed an issue that prevented some sites from displaying properly.

Automotive electronics, autonomous vehicles, data security, AI chips, and the need for AI/ML to process more data more quickly were all hot topics at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) 2023 and Semicon West. CISOs from Intel, TSMC, ASML, Applied Materials, and Lam Research unanimously called for the semiconductor industry to pull together to share information and develop cybersecurity protocols as a community, at a SEMICON West forum.

Top: ASML’s circles of security trust; bottom: Intel uses NIST’s Defense of Depth. Source: Semiconductor Engineering / Susan Rambo

Fig. 1: Top: ASML’s circles of security trust; bottom: Intel uses NIST’s Defense of Depth. Source: Semiconductor Engineering/Susan Rambo

The EU accepted the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework, meaning “personal data can flow safely from the EU to US companies participating in the Framework, without having to put in place additional data protection safeguards.”

Broadcom won approval from the European Commission (EU) to acquire VMware. The $61 billion proposed acquisition is Broadcom’s largest ever and will boost the chipmaker’s portfolio of infrastructure and management software.

Startups raised a total of $3.5 billion in June for AI hardware, RISC-V SoCs for IoT applications, chips in space, embedded FPGAs, wireless, robo-taxis, and augmented reality.

Automotive ecosystem

Toyota and Stellantis voiced concerns about the EPA’s proposed rule for Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards. Toyota said the rule “underestimates key challenges” related to minerals and infrastructure, while Stellantis said the “requirements exceed what is feasible.” Twenty-five U.S. states claimed the rule was a “too-aggressive shift to electric vehicles (EVS).”

Rocsys raised $36 million in new funding for an autonomous EV charging system that uses a robot in the docking process. The company said “manual charging creates unnecessary headaches that can stall adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles.”

Solid-state batteries integrated with high-activity cathode and anode materials will enter mass production between 2030 and 2035 with energy density of up to 500 Wh/kg and a driving range two to three times greater than existing liquid lithium batteries, according to TrendForce.

PDF Solutions acquired Lantern Machinery Analytics to enhance “process control and yield improvement offerings by providing unique data and capability in the area of vision inspection for electric vehicle battery cell manufacturing.”

Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles will integrate Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) starting in 2025. The company is also expanding its Mercedes-Benz Charging Network.

Audi apprentices reimagined the 1971 NSU Prinz 4L and created the EP4 featuring a powertrain with components from the Audi e-tron and the Audi Q7 TFSI e-quattro. A two-cylinder gasoline engine with 30 hp (22 kW) was replaced with a 240 hp (176 kW) electric motor.

Infineon agreed to supply Semikron Danfoss with silicon-based electromobility chipsets consisting of IGBTs and diodes. The chips are used in power modules for inverters for the main drive in electric vehicles.

Imperas collaborated with Cadence to facilitate NSITEXE‘s development of RISC-V-based processor IP for functional safety and next-generation embedded systems for automotive AI applications. NSITEXE is a subsidiary of DENSO.

Renesas released the R-Car S4 Starter Kit development board for building software using the R-Car S4 system on chip (SoC), allowing engineers to start an initial evaluation of car servers, connected gateways, connectivity modules, and more.


Rambus released its next-generation Root of Trust IP, offering “a complete post-quantum cryptography (PQC) hardware security solution that protects valuable data center and AI/ML assets and systems.”

Cycuity announced its Radix security product and engineering processes are certified as compliant with standard ISO/SAE 21434, focused on cybersecurity risks related to designing and developing automotive electronics.

Microsoft published details of a hack by China-based Storm-0558 that “gained access to customer email accounts using Outlook Web Access in Exchange Online (OWA) and Outlook.com by forging authentication tokens to access user email.” The attack affected about 25 organizations, including government agencies and related individual accounts.

Microsoft also identified a phishing campaign by Russia-based Storm-0978, also known as RomCom, involving “the abuse of CVE-2023-36884, which included a remote code execution vulnerability exploited before disclosure to Microsoft via Word documents, using lures related to the Ukrainian World Congress.” The campaign targeted defense and government entities in Europe and North America.

CISA issued a number of alerts, including security updates from Microsoft, Fortinet, Adobe, and Mozilla, plus nine Industrial Control Systems (ICS) advisories. The agency also added five known vulnerabilities to the catalog.

CISA and the FBI released a joint advisory to “provide guidance to agencies and critical infrastructure organizations on enhancing monitoring in Microsoft Exchange Online environments.”

In addition, CISA, the FBI, the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), and the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS) released a joint advisory to “help organizations detect and protect against newly identified Truebot malware variants.”

Advanced manufacturing industry (AMI) applications pose unique security challenges. Researchers at University of New Hampshire suggest “guidelines for the defense method design that can effectively protect the hardware in AMI.”

Pervasive Computing

BMW unveiled motorcycle smartglasses, providing head-up display to project navigation, speed, or gear, into the rider’s field of vision in real time. The goggles feature two sets of lenses (one tinted and one 85% transparent), an integrated light sensor, RX adapter, and a lithium-ion battery with up to 10 hours of operation.

Fig. 2: BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide Smartglasses. Source: BMW

Siemens EDA introduced artificial intelligence (AI)-powered, cloud-ready integrated circuit (IC) software, which can help designers “achieve verification accuracy up to 6 sigma and higher yield at speeds that are orders of magnitude faster than brute-force Monte Carlo simulations, while helping to significantly improve coverage and accuracy.” The company also expanded its collaboration agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help joint integrated circuit (IC) and electronics design customers leverage AWS’s advanced cloud services to shorten design cycles, optimize engineering resources, and boost verification coverage using Siemens EDA products.

Bedrock attracted $25.5 million in new funding to develop its autonomous underwater vehicles. The AUV can collect data such as the seafloor shape, the hardness of the seafloor substrate, the outlines of objects, magnetic readings for detecting metallic objects, and, soon, sub-bottom sonar profiling of what lies below the surface.

Product Certifications

Siemens, Synopsys, and Cadence received Intel 16 process certifications. Products certified include:

  • Siemens’ nmPlatform tool for integrated circuit design verification, which requires fewer masks and simpler back-end design rules. Siemens is targeting the tool at storage controller, RF (WiFi, BT), mmWave, defense, aerospace, government, and consumer applications.
  • Synopsys’ digital and custom design flows, powered by a full-stack AI-driven EDA suite. Synopsys is targeting advanced mobile, RF, IoT, consumer, storage and military, aerospace, and government (MAG) systems.
  • Cadence’s digital and custom/analog flows and design IP. Cadence said the corresponding process design kits (PDKs) are available to accelerate development and secure U.S. Military, Aerospace and Government (USMAG) applications.


Researchers from several universities paved the way for DNA-based biosensors by using “DNA double crossover-like motifs as building blocks to construct complex 3D crystal architectures.” DNA computing could potentially execute “massively parallel information processing at a molecular level, while maintaining compatibility with biological systems.”

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers and colleagues used machine learning to identify abnormal cardiac rhythms in firefighters. Eventually, a portable heart monitor could help prevent on-duty firefighter fatalities from sudden cardiac death.

Harvard University researchers designed a pump that can replace bulky and rigid power components in soft robotics, following previous designs of soft valves and sensors. The soft, compact pump has adjustable pressure flow and opens up possibilities for soft robots in applications such as food handling, manufacturing, and biomedical therapeutics.

Purdue University researchers developed comfortable, breathable clothes with wearable electronics, simplifying the manufacturing process and boosting sensing capability for bioinformation like blood pressure, body temperature, and respiratory patterns.

Texas A&M University researchers published a technical paper presenting “a detailed review of the different fabrication processes of the CMOS Image Sensors and its impact on the image quality of smartphone pictures.”

Researchers at the University of Stuttgart, Robert Bosch, Audi, and Porsche published a technical paper presenting an advanced modeling approach for safety mechanisms in a fault tree analysis to cope with electrification, automated driving, and connectivity in vehicles.


Find upcoming chip industry events here, including:

  • Rambus Design Summit, July 18 and 19, online
  • 2023 Flash Memory Conference & Expo, August 8 – 10, Santa Clara, CA
  • 32nd USENIX Security Symposium, August 9 – 11, Anaheim, CA
  • SPIE Optics + Photonics 2023, August 20 – August 24. San Diego, CA
  • DARPA: Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI), August 22 – August 24, Seattle, WA

Upcoming webinars are here.

Further Reading

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



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