Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Aldec, Codasip cloud efforts; Boeing MAX 737 fix; EDA anti-piracy; rad-hard chips off to Mars.


Pervasive computing — data center, edge, IoT
Codasip and Metrics Design Automation announced they have integrated Metrics’ SystemVerilog RTL Simulation Platform within Codasip’s SweRV Core Support Package, version, and it will be accessible on the cloud.

Aldec’s TySOM Embedded Development Kits have qualified for Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT Greengrass. TySOM is a family of Xilinx Zynq SoC-based EDKs for IoT developers design edge devices. Data streams are processed locally and automatically export to AWS. MQTT messaging is used, with Lambda functions, over secure connections between devices and cloud.

5G, comms
Chinese smartphone and comms equipment company Huawei is diversifying its application processor supply chain for 5G smartphones to be prepared in case of trade war with the United States, Digitimes reports. Although it shipped fewer smartphones Q2 year-over-year, Huawei did ship more smartphones worldwide than any other phone vendor in 2Q2020, according to the analyst firm Canalys. Apple is the only smartphone vendor that beat its own phone shipments year-over-year, 2Q.

Intel and VMware are collaborating on an integrated software platform for virtualized Radio Access Networks (RAN) using Intel’s FlexRAN software reference architecture and a VMware RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC). The virtual RAN will have real time resource management, traffic steering and dynamic slicing.

, Cadence, Synopsys, and Mentor, a Siemens Business, will jointly develop an industry-standard protocol to combat software piracy in electronic design automation (EDA). EDA software piracy happens when individuals use a legitimate license number for unallowed uses: to increase the number of seats or gain access without paying. The partnership takes the form of a  committee, the License Management/Anti-Piracy (LMA) Committee within the Electronic System Design Alliance (ESD Alliance). The committee will develop the SEMI Server Certification Protocol, a standard that will provide strong protection against piracy by defining how servers can be uniquely identified.

Being in a hurry hurts security. A study from the IT analyst company Enterprise Strategy Group commissioned by Synopsys finds that nearly half (48%) of survey respondents — who were all cybersecurity and application development professionals — consciously push vulnerable code to production due to time pressures. “Organizations need to address application security holistically throughout the development life cycle,” said Patrick Carey, director of product marketing for the Synopsys Software Integrity Group, in a press release. “Of the organizations consciously pushing vulnerable code into production, 45% do so because the vulnerabilities identified were discovered too late in the cycle to resolve them in time. This reaffirms the importance of shifting security left in the development process, enabling development teams with ongoing training as well as tooling solutions that complement their current processes so that they may code securely without negatively impacting their velocity.”

U.S. NASA astronauts safely splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico in their SpaceX-made capsule on Sunday, Aug. 2. It was the first water landing since the Apollo missions, 45 years ago, and the first mission in a capsule built and operated by a private company.

The Internet retail giant Amazon’s plan to create a constellation of 3,236 satellites that will beam internet coverage to the whole Earth cleared a regulatory hurdle last week. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Amazon’s Kuiper constellation (see FCC documents) for a non-geostationary orbits in Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) and Mobile-Satellite Service (MSS) Ka-band frequencies.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved U.S. airplane manufacturer Boeing’s plan to fix the issues with now grounded 737 MAX passenger planes, according to a story in The Seattle Times. Two 737 MAXs crashed in 2018 and 2019, killing 346 people. The way Boeing handled the aftermath, revelations on how unsafe and badly implemented the system was, why the plane needed the system in the first place, coupled with a too-cozy relationship between regulators (FAA) and the regulated (Boeing) left the planes grounded and distrust rampant. The plans include adding sensors, moving wiring, fixing how the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) behaves, and better pilot warnings and training. Instead of one angle of attack sensor, the MAX will have two. Pilots will be alerted if the two sensors disagree. The MCAS, which pilots had to wrestle all the way to the ground because it was continually correcting the nose height under information from a faulty sensor, will now only activate once, not repeatedly, and the horizontal tail (called a horizontal stabilizer) will be wired separately and the magnitude of tail correction will be limited so pilots can still maneuver it properly during an event. The FAA opened its 45-day open-comment period on Thursday.

Renesas has 20 rad-hard chips on board the NASA mission to Mars that launched last week. The chips are in subsystems on the Perseverance rover and on seven instruments, including in power management and distribution, inertial measurement unit, precision data handling and processing, and navigation and flight entry, descent, and landing control. Renesas’ Intersil rad-hard ICs are being used as voltage regulators and references, synchronous buck and LDO regulators, PWM controllers, MOSFET drivers, 16-channel multiplexer, SPST switch, RS-422 line transmitters and receivers, and microprocessor supervisory circuits.

British company Spirent Communications introduced new software for earlier and more efficient testing of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) during product development, says Spirent in a press release. With SimIQ, developers can work across the lifecycle through the creation, sharing and replay of I/Q data files.

People & companies
The U.S. Congress has two bills cooking to help strengthen the U.S. semiconductor industry. “Two bipartisan bills, the CHIPS for America Act and the American Foundries Act, each call for bold federal investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing incentives and research initiatives,” writes John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, in The Hill. “Congress should seize this opportunity. Doing so would strengthen America’s economy and national security, make U.S. supply chains more resilient, and improve our country’s response to future crises.”

Hardware cybersecurity company Tortuga Logic’s board of directors has appointed Andreas Kuehlmann as executive chair and interim CEO effective immediately. Cofounder Jason Oberg, the previous CEO, will become chief technology officer. Kuehlmann was formerly the head of engineering at Coverity (now owned by Synopsys). At Synopsys he was general manager of the the Software Integrity business unit. He has a PhD in electrical engineering.

Synopsys has named Jason Schmitt as the general manager of the Software Integrity Group and member of the senior executive team. Schmitt served as the CEO of Aporeto, a SaaS/cloud company, now owned by Palo Alto Networks. He was vice president and general manager of Enterprise Security Products at Hewlett Packard, working on ArcSight security operations and Fortify application security businesses. He held leadership roles at Barracuda Networks, Steelbox Networks, Ariba, SPI Dynamics and Accenture.

Video of the week

Who Owns A Car’s Electronics Architecture?
The competitive battle brewing between OEMs and Tier 1s over who owns the architecture of the electronic systems and the underlying chip hardware. This has become a growing point of contention as both struggle for differentiation in a market where increasingly autonomous vehicles will all behave the same way. That, in turn, has significant implications for customization and standards, as well as the hiring of chip expertise inside of these companies as companies race toward fully autonomous driving. Kurt Shuler, vice president of marketing at Arteris IP, talks with Semiconductor Engineering.


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