Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Waymo’s careful language; Synopsys, CISQ: troubled SW costs $2.08 trillion in 2020.


Autonomous car company Waymo is making a point of not calling itself a self-driving car company because the company said in a blog to do so would be a dangerously misleading. Waymo says it will instead call its technology ‘fully autonomous driving technology.’ “Unfortunately, we see that some automakers use the term ‘self-driving’ in an inaccurate way, giving consumers and the general public a false impression of the capabilities of driver assist (not fully autonomous) technology,” writes ‘The Waymo Team.’ “That false impression can lead someone to unknowingly take risks (like taking their hands off the steering wheel) that could jeopardize not only their own safety but the safety of people around them.” The Washington Post points out Waymo is throwing shade at Tesla, which called a recent update to its driver assistance “Full Self-Driving” according to the Washington Post.

Japanese fabless semiconductor company MegaChips has licensed Arteris IP’s FlexNoc Interconnect and Resilience Package for an on-chip communications backbone in an automotive Ethernet TSN switch chip.

To serve the compound semiconductors used in electric vehicles, 5G RF tech, and power devices, Onto Innovation is acquiring Inspectrology. Massuchusetts-based Inspectrology specializes in overlay metrology for controlling lithography and etch processes in compound semiconductors. The compound semiconductor wafer has two or more materials, such as gallium nitride and silicon carbide, as opposed to the single semiconductor, such as silicon. These wafers can be harder to manufacture and inspect. Overlay metrology combined with Onto’s inspection and software technologies will enable Onto “offer a more comprehensive process control solution for the lithography cell in the rapidly expanding compound semiconductor market,” said Mike Plisinski, Onto Innovation’s chief executive officer in a press release.

Synopsys and the Consortium for Information & Software Quality (CISQ) have found that poor software quality cost the U.S. $2.08 trillion in 2020, according to their study “The Cost of Poor Software Quality In the USL A 2020 Report.” The metric to watch here is CPSQ or cost of poor software quality, which is affected by operational software failures caused by unpatched vulnerabilities (2020 CPSQ $1.46 trillion), unsuccessful development projects (2020 CPSQ $260 billion, up 46% since 2018), and legacy software (2020 CPSQ $520 billion, a decline from two years ago). According to a press release, methodologies such as Agile and DevOps are also part of the problem. These methodologies built for speed and flexibility in development lag in producing quality software.

Intel released its facial recognition system for RealSense ID, with an active depth sensor and a specialized neural network. An SoC and embedded secure element encrypts and processes user data. The device cannot be fooled by a photograph, video, or mask, says Intel, and it can adapt to a user’s changing appearance (such as changes in facial hair, glasses).

Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back
Qualcomm Technologies announced its Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform based on 8nm process. The platform has a Snapdragon X51 5G Modem-RF System, which can handle mmWave and sub-6 GHz 5G; standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes; time division duplexing (TDD), frequency division duplexing (FDD), and dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), according to a press release. The platform contains Qualcomm’s Kryo 460 CPU with up to 2.0 GHz, Adreno 619 GPU, and Hexagon 686 processor, a combo that Qualcomm says had a 70% AI performance improvement compared to the previous generation.

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