Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Cruise driverless in SF; OneSpin boosts RISC-V verification; Synopsys on open source vulnerabilities.


Self-driving car company Cruise now has driverless cars on the streets of San Francisco, Calif., reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Cruise, which is backed by General Motors, is testing five driverless cars in the urban — and very hilly — environment of San Francisco. Cruise is using an EV — the Chevy Bolt — as a test vehicle. At Level 4 driving, the cars will not have a without a backup operator. However, a passenger may be sitting in the passenger seat, reports The Verge,

Uber decided it will sell its self-driving car unit to Aurora, an AV start-up that plans to release an autonomous truck first. “While autonomous trucking is where we will deliver our product first, our relationship with Uber puts us in the unique position to be a leading player in both autonomous trucking and passenger mobility,” wrote Aurora co-founder and CEO Chris Urmson. Uber will investing $400 million in the Aurora.

AiMotive, a self-driving car software and IP company, is using Synopsys’ VCS simulation and Verdi debug to verify its aiWare hardware IP for neural network (NN) acceleration for automated driving applications.

Samsung Foundry is using Cadence’s Spectre X Simulator for 5nm PCI Express (PCIe) PHY IP for automotive, mobile, consumer and healthcare applications. According to a press release, Spectre X Simulator “offers the higher capacity analog simulation needed for advanced-node designs, while also increasing performance and maintaining accuracy.”

NXP Semiconductor announced a suite of new radar sensor chipsets, including an image radar system that makes super-resolution images for precise environmental mapping and scene understanding. Also a new 4D imaging radar corner and front sensors can give 360-degree coverage around a car. The radar sensors are built on 16nm FinFET and 40nm RFCMOS technology.

ON Semiconductor named Hassane El-Khoury as the company’s president, chief executive officer and member of its board of directors, effective Dec. 7, 2020.

Siemens announced it is developing a software toolkit for member clubs of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The FIA represents motoring clubs and is the governing body for motor sports worldwide. The toolkit will be used to support the FIA Mobility Advocate — which “combines modeling for mobility, autonomous vehicles, and the environment, with enhanced analysis outputs to help meet current and future mobility goals,” according to a press release. Siemen’s Mobility’s Intelligent Traffic Systems and Digital Industries Software will be used as part of the toolkit.

Mentor, a Siemens business, recognized China-based company Nobo Automotive Systems with a PCB Technology Leadership Awards for its design team’s work. Nobo Automotive Systems specializes in automotive interiors. See the full list of 2020 award winners here.

On the RISC-V front, OneSpin reports its 360 Design Verification (DV) tools and its formal verification plan contributed to the bug-free delivery of OpenHW Verification Task Group’s CV32E40P RISC-V core. The OneSpin verification tools found bugs missed by simulation. “The OneSpin RISC-V integrity formal verification solution has systematically detected corner-case bugs in the exception logic and pipeline,” said Steve Richmond, verification manager at Silicon Labs and co-chair of the OpenHW Verification Task Group. “These issues would only be triggered under rare conditions in the instruction sequence, memory stalls, and Control and Status Register programming. Constrained-random simulation tests to find these issues would require large investments in development and simulation time.”

Silicon Labs will be using the Imperas’ RISC-V reference model as part of its RISC-V processor verification work, according to a press release.

Pervasive computing — Data centers, cloud, 5G, edge
OpenFive will license Flex Logix‘s EFLX eFPGA for use in a low-power communications SoC. The SoC will be usable in data center and edge applications. “EFLX eFPGA offers density, performance and the ability to do large arrays,” said Shafy Eltoukhy, CEO of OpenFive, in a press release.

Security habits of IT people — Synopsys published its annual survey of IT professionals to see how they are managing DevSecOps and, in particular, the vulnerabilities of open-source software. This year, Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center (CyRC) found that 40% of 1,500 IT professionals had delivery schedules interrupted to address open-source vulnerabilities, and the patching takes too long to get patches applied — 51% said it takes two to three weeks to apply an open-source patch. Aging open-source code is a known problem. Synopsys found that 75% of the codebases it audited have open-source components with known security vulnerabilities.

Guardicore Labs reports that 83,000 MySQL database servers were hit by a ransomware campaign this year during 92 attacks, according to an article in Dark Reading. The attackers used password brute-force to gain access and steal and delete data from databases. Guardicore calls it the “Please_Read_Me” attack and says most of the attacks originated from 11 IP addresses, mainly located in Ireland and the U.K.

The U.S. IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act was signed into law this week. The act requires that IoT devices paid for with government money must meet security standards to be established by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

In the Information Security Forum’s outlook for 2021, edge computing will be a tempting target for attackers. As summarized in Security Magazine, organizations won’t have the visibility, security, and analysis capabilities associated that they have with cloud service providers when operating on the edge. Specifically attackers will exploit blind spots, resulting in significant downtime.

Secure Thingz, an IAR Systems Group company, announced updates to its secure provisioning tools, Embedded Trust and C-Trust. These tools provide a secure way push software to devices in the field — a big concern for IoT consumer and industrial, because the transfer of code into the device is a significant attack surface. The tool can help companies protect IP from being cloned or counterfeited and meet mandates from governments for standard base level of security on IoT devices. The company also added support for Renesas E2 Lite into its Secure Desktop Provisioner, which secures prototyping and production work.

Japan now has samples from the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu. The capsule landed in Australia on Dec. 5th.

SpaceX tested its SN8 rocket with Raptor engines in a live test that ended with the rocket returning to earth and almost sticking its landing before blowing up.

U.S. White House unveiled the United Statesspace policy, which includes streamlining authorizations for space-related exports, expand America’s commercial space sector , protection of the electromagnetic spectrum, cybersecurity for U.S. systems in space, and development of space nuclear power and propulsion (SNPP) systems. International cooperation is also a goal. It is unclear what the impact will be of the new policy, according to an article in Space.com, stating that the new document has many similarities to a policy issues 10 years ago by the previous administration.

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