Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Synopsys uncorks electronic/photonic platform; Rambus’ speedy HBM PHY; Toyota’s smart cities investment; more hydrogen fuel stations in CA.


Synopsys announced an electronic and photonic co-design platform for photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design, layout implementation, and verification. The OptoCompiler provides schematic-driven layout and advanced photonic layout synthesis in the same platform.

Rambus says it clocked 4.0 Gbps on its HBM2E memory interface (PHY and controller), which is a desirable speed for AI/ML training and HPC. The memory interface and an HBM2E DRAM from SK hynix ran at 3.6 Gbps, with 460 GB/s bandwidth on a single HBM2E device. SK hynix and Alchip will be developing a 2.5D HBM2E memory system solution using TSMC N7 process and CoWoS advanced packaging.

The DSP Group is using Synopsys’ DesignWare ARC EM5D Processor IP for smart codecs for true wireless stereo (TWS) headsets. The processor, used in DSP Group’s DBMC2-TWS, will help handle processing needed for advanced sound processing features, such as adaptive ANC (active noise cancellation), smart ambient awareness control, and user ear placement characterization.

Speaking of noise cancellation, the latest over-ear headphones from Bang & Olufsen are using ams digital ANC via ams’ AS3460 Digital Augmented Hearing device. The device manages hearing modes, automatically switching modes depending on the sound environment. The crossfading happens through a dedicated digital signal processor from ams within the Augmented Hearing Engine. According to a press release, “at a switch-over between preset modes, the AS3460 automatically fades one mode out and the other mode in so that the difference is not noticeable to the user, and so that high noise cancellation performance is maintained continuously.”

U.S. political campaign email systems are getting hit by foreign attackers again from multiple countries, Microsoft warned in a blog. Microsoft let the world that it detected Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers.

Ericsson warned the communications network industry again that Open RAN, an open version of radio access network, has serious security flaws. The company is a supplier of RAN equipment and has warned about Open RAN in the past, according to TelecomTV.

won a $6.6 billion contract to supply 5G equipment to U.S. telecom Verizon.

Huawei and China Unicom verified a 5G indoor distributed Massive MIMO, according to a press release. The system will improve indoor 5G network access and is intended for use in larger indoor venues, such as stadiums and transit hubs.

Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development
, the R&D section of Toyota, formed a $800 million global investment fund called Woven Capital to invest in autonomous mobility and smart cities, according to Auto News. The fund will use Woven City, 175 acres at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan that it is turning into a prototype city and proving grounds for smart city and autonomous technology.

Some Shell Oil gas stations in California will have hydrogen refueling installed — 48 stations will be added to 9 existing stations. Toyota and Honda have promised to sell more hydrogen fuel sales in California. 

General Motors and Nikola Corporation, the zero-emission truck company, entered partnership in which GM will provide production services and fuel cells and EV batteries for Nikola for Class 7/8 truck. GM gets 11% ownership stake in Nikola.

SkyWater Technology, the only solely U.S.-owned pure-play foundry, says its U.S. DOD-accredited facility expansion is ahead of schedule and has started tool installation The facility will not only benefit the DOD (Department of Defense) but also help the rad-hard markets, which include medical and space.

Pay dirt: The U.S. space agency NASA will buy dirt harvested from the moon from private companies and they don’t have to bring it back at first.  NASA will pay according to its RFP $15k to $20k for 50g up to 500g of Lunar regolith and/or rock materials to encourage companies interested in mining the moon.  October 9, 2020 is the deadline for submitting a proposal.

People & Companies
Hardware cybersecurity company Tortuga Logic’s board of directors appointed Andreas Kuehlmann as executive chair and interim CEO to replace Jason Oberg, who will become the CTO (chief technology officer) of Tortuga Logic.

Kushagra Vaid, the general manager of Microsoft Azure Cloud Hardware, has joined the board of directors of Flex Logix.

Applied Materials formed a Growth Technical Advisory Board with members from industry and academia to advise how Applied Materials technology may be applied to speed up breakthroughs in many industries. To see who is on the board, which includes two Noble laureates in physics, read the press release here.

Tim Archer, Lam Research’s president and CEO, was appointed chairman of the National GEM Consortium, a non-profit organization that uses fellowships to support underrepresented groups in STEM fields (African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanic Americans) who are at masters and doctoral-level in the U.S. to complete graduate school and internships.

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