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Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

SEMI launches FHE standards effort; Arm, Darpa partnership; Moortec sensing fabric; 5G NB-IoT device talks to GEO satellite.

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Pervasive computing — data center, edge, IoT
SEMI formed a new standards committee to develop global standards for flexible hybrid electronics (FHE). The SEMI Standards Flexible Hybrid Electronics Global Technical Committee will develop FHE standards for design, materials, manufacturing, packaging and systems and to drive industry growth. IPC is also working on FHE standards as an industry standards body that grew out of the PCB industry. The group is working to produce standards for flexible hybrid electronics, stretchable wearables, and e-textile wearables.

Imagination Technologies formed a partnership with RISC-V International Open Source Laboratory (RIOS Lab) to incorporate some of Imagination’s GPU IP on RIOS Lab’s RISC-V development board. “By collaborating with the RIOS Lab, we’re able to provide a comprehensive GPU solution for those looking to design with the RISC-V architecture, while also supporting the development of an open-source ecosystem,” said John Rayfield, Chief Technical Officer, GPU & Compute, Imagination.

MediaTek reports a successful field trial to transfer data through a bi-directional link from MediaTek’s earthbound narrowband internet-of-things (NB-IoT) device to a commercial satellite, the Inmarsat’s Alphasat L-band satellite in Geostationary Orbit (GEO) above the equator. The standards organization 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) will review the results as part of Rel-17 standardization work on Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN). According to a press release, “the successful test builds the foundation for hybrid satellite and cellular networks to enable new ubiquitous 5G IoT services at a global scale.”

U.S. based satellite company Skylo will develop and deploy a 5G NB-IoT chipset for geostationary satellites networks with Sony Semiconductor Israel (formerly Altair Semiconductor).

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is working on a standard to push Exposure Notification System (ENS) alerts to wearables. The ENS system is currently a smartphone-based alert contact tracing system used to warn people who have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

The prpl Foundation released 1.0 of its prplWRT open-source software stack for WiFi routers and gateways. prplWRT is built on OpenWrt, an open-source Linux-based operating system for embedded systems and IoT.

Security
Arm
and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) signed a partnership agreement to give DARPA access to Arm products — IP, tools and support — for research projects.

Automotive
NSITEXE adopted Synopsys’ HAPS-80 prototyping tools to develop its Data Flow Processor (DFP) IP, which is a RISC-V based accelerator with a 512-bit vector processing unit for vehicle control microcomputers. NSITEXE will work with its semiconductor customers by providing a pre-configured HAPS-80 system running their DFP processor IP.

Moortec’s sensing fabric, used for in-chip monitoring during test and in field, is now available on TSMC’s N6 process technology.

Dialog Semiconductor says its power management ICs (PMICs) will be used in Renesas’ R-Car M3 and R-Car E3 automotive computing platforms. The DA9063-A system PMIC and the DA9224-A sub-PMIC are AEC-Q100 Grade 2 qualified.

FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) and Waymo cemented their 4-year-old autonomous driving technology partnership by inking an exclusive agreement for FCA to use Waymo Driver in FCA’s light commercial vehicles, to move goods and services autonomously someday. FCA will put L4 Waymo Driver into its Ram ProMaster light commercial, and has already installed it in its Pacifica minivans, according to a press release.

General Motors further detailed its technology rollout plan for electrification, intelligent driving and connectivity in China. To be locally sourced and constructed in China, GM vehicles, 40% of which will be electric using GM’s EV platform and Ultium battery, will connect to 5G and roadside infrastructure (vehicle to infrastructure). GM says that in 2022, 5G will be available on all new Cadillac models and most Chevrolet and Buick vehicles made in China for the Chinese market. Over-the-air updates will routinely keep the cars “up to date.” GM’s joint venture partner is China’s SAIC automotive company.

Porsche has invested in machine learning technology from Israeli startup company, Aurora Labs, for secure over-the-air updates to vehicles that can sense update issues and restore previous software versions. Porsche’s investment for $2.5 million dollars US gives the company a percentage stake in Aurora Labs.

Aerospace
Clue Technologies, a company that builds computing systems for aeronautics, is using OneSpin’s 360 DV-Verify product for its systems that need safety certification for aircraft. DV-Verify is a coverage-driven assertion-based verification tool.

People & Companies
Intel’s Rahul Goyal, the vice president and director of R&D strategic enablement, was re-elected board chair of Silicon Integration Initiative, joint venture working on interoperability standards for IC design tools. This will be Goyal third one-year term. He was first elected board chair in 2018 and has served on the board since 2003. Also on the board are representatives from Ansys; Cadence Design Systems; GLOBALFOUNDRIES; Google; IBM; Mentor, a Siemens Business; Qualcomm Technologies; Samsung; Synopsys; and Texas Instruments.

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