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Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Pervasive computing in IC manufacturing; Synopsys security; Arm’s IoT commitment.

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Pervasive computing — Data centers, cloud, 5G, edge
In a move to improve data collection for IC manufacturing, PDF Solutions entered a definitive agreement to acquire Cimetrix Incorporated. Cimetrix makes connectivity products for smart manufacturing, which PDF Solutions will use in its Exensio product to facilitate moving IC manufacturing data from the factory floor to cloud-based analytics platforms.

Arm has released a guarantee to its Flexible Access and IoT customers that the company will be investing in Flexible Access and IoT. The company plans to simplify IoT software and add endpoint AI to its Flexible Access. Arm will also continue supporting CPUs for Flexible Access for five years and will add future Cortex-M and Ethos-U products to Flexible Access shortly after they come to market. Nvidia is acquiring Arm, depending on regulatory approvals.

Intel announced its structured ASICs the eASIC N5X for cloud and edge to accelerate5G, artificial intelligence, cloud and edge workloads. Along with the eASIC comes an Intel FPGA compatible hard processor system. Developers can transfer their design and logic from the FPGA, which has an embedded hard processor inside, to the eASIC, which has much lower power usage than an FPGA.

Mythic announced its AI analog matrix processor chip M1108 with analog compute-in-memory for the edge. The company says its dual analog/digital chip can surmount tradeoffs of other processor types by combining flash memory with analog compute. The flash has great density and tiny size but it is slow, writes Mike Henry, Mythic’s co-founder and CEO, in a blog. Conversely analog compute is fast and power efficient. “When you combine flash memory and analog compute,” Henry wrote in October, “you get a sum that is far greater than the individual parts that results in incredible density (20X lower cost and single-chip form factor), ultra-low power (10X compared to digital), and high-performance that rivals the compute of $700 GPU systems.” Inside M1108 are 108 AMP tiles — Mythic’s Analog Matrix Processor (AMP). Each AMP tile has Mythic’s ACE —Analog Compute Engine, which consists of an array of flash cells and analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), a 32-bit RISC-V nano-processor, a SIMD vector engine, SRAM, and a high-throughput Network-on-Chip (NOC) router. Four control tiles can connect to a system host processor via high-bandwidth PCIe 2.0 interface. Built on 40nm process technology, M1108 can run at 35 trillion-operations-per-second (TOPS) on RES-NET50, YOLOv3, and OpenPose Body25, at 4W, says Mythic in a press release. The chip broadly targets the edge in many markets, such as AR/VR, drones, video surveillance, smart city, and automation on the factory floor.

The United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) awarded five companies — Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and IBM — its Commercial Cloud Enterprise (C2E) contract for cloud services, according to NextGov.

Security
Synopsys is making its portfolio for software security and testing available to public sector organizations in United States through the U.S. Government Services Administrations (GSA) Schedule. The GSA Schedule is a list of contractors who provide services to governments (federal, state, local) in U.S. at more beneficial terms. The GSA Schedule Contract Number 47QTCA19D009K, and Sterling Computers is the vendor Synopsys is working with to offer portfolio. “Being on the GSA Schedule makes it easier for the public sector to take advantage of Synopsys’ software security solutions,” said John Savio, director of Federal Sales for the Synopsys Software Integrity Group.

APT10, a hacking entity based in China, has attacked some Japan-based organizations, including the automotive industry, according to a story in Security Week. The attacks use dynamic-link library (DLL) side-loading, which targets Microsoft DLLs and inserts malicious files, an attack that was first seen in 2000.

Industry organization SEMI wants the United States government to go cautiously and bear in mind the microelectronics industry recommendations when identifying technology essential to U.S. national security. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is tasked with identifying emerging and foundational technology essential to U.S. national security that should not be traded to China or other countries under U.S. arms embargoes. These regulations could inhibit the semiconductor industry from innovating, says SEMI in a press release, and suggests that semiconductor manufacturing equipment not be included as foundational technology. For one, the equipment has already widely in use around the world.

Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) list added organizations Secomea and The Joomla! Project to its CNAs — CVE Numbering Authorities. The CNAs are allowed to added CVE identifier numbers to incidents. According to CVE, 145 organizations from 24 countries participate in the CVE Program as CNAs. Secomea offers secure remote access for control systems that the company says is certified according to IEC62443 standards.

Automotive, micromobility
E-scooters may soon come with pedestrian detection cameras, according to the Washington Post. Luna, based in Dublin, Ireland, is working with Swedish electric scooter micro-mobility company Voi to put Luna’s camera, telematics, and edge AI on Voi scooters. Luna uses GPS with centimeter precision (usually GPS is not that precise). According to a blog on Voi’s website,  “Luna can offset inaccuracies of legacy GNSS by overlaying a real-time kinematic (RTK) correction service on top of the “flicker” (error) in GPS to bring location accuracy to centimetre level.”

Military/aerospace
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) is shutting down the iconic radio telescope Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico because it is too dangerous to repair. Cables on the telescope recently snapped. The dish, built in the 1960s, was also in Hurricane Maria, which did not hit the telescope directly but caused some damage.

Stratolaunch has started building a prototype of a plane that can fly at Mach 5 after launching from another plane in flight.

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