Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Auto IC scarcity proves U.S. needs to invest, says US chip industry; VW, Microsoft; Arm and Facebook Connectivity, Magma.


With the chip supply so tight it is shutting down automotive production lines, U.S. chip company CEOs signed a Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) letter asking the U.S. president to include funding incentives for the chip manufacturing in U.S. economic recovery plans. The letter references the CHIPS for America Act and asks the president to work with Congress to support U.S. chip manufacturing and “to fund these initiatives to make them a reality.” CEOs of AMD, Analog Devices, Cree, Globalfoundries, Intel, Lattice, Marvell, Maxim, Micron, ON Semiconductor, Qorvo, Silicon Labs, Skyworks, TI, Western Digital, and Xilinx signed the letter. Also signing on were Nvidia, Broadcom, IBM, and the SIA’s President & CEO John Neuffer. “We therefore urge you to include in your recovery and infrastructure plan substantial funding for incentives for semiconductor manufacturing, in the form of grants and/or tax credits, and for basic and applied semiconductor research,” the letter said. “We believe bold action is needed to address the challenges we face. The costs of inaction are high. We stand ready to work with you to achieve our shared goals.”

Volkswagen Group and Microsoft are teaming up to build a cloud-based Automated Driving Platform (ADP) for the agile development of automated driving functions. The Car.Software Organisation in Volkswagon will work with Microsoft create the agile development tools for automated driving and ADAS systems. Running on Microsoft Azure cloud services, ADP will use data sets from simulations and Volkswagon’s real-life traffic data gleaned from its test cars. Volkswagen and Microsoft have been working on the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud (VW.AC), since 2018. VW.AC cars have already exchanged data between the vehicles and the cloud through Azure edge services, and VW is using the cloud to deliver car updates, according to a press release. The VW.AC engineering team is based in Seattle, where Microsoft if based.

Socionext is using Arteris IP‘s FlexNoC interconnect IP in some of its ISO 26262-compliant automotive SoCs, one of which is a 5nm automotive SoC. Socionext is also using Arteris’ hardware reliability and functional safety features in its Resilience Package.

Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back
The Arm ecosystem, which focuses many on IoT and embedded devices, recorded 4.4 billion chips based on Arm Cortex-M were shipped in the last quarter. The prior quarter showed 6.7 billion shipments from the ecosystem, a record. Arm also announced it is working with Facebook to make the internet and connectivity available for people without access. The plan is to use the open source Magma software for allowing operators to expand network capacity and reach by using LTE, 5G, Wi-Fi, and CBRS. “We are working with Facebook Connectivity to integrate the performance, power efficiency, and pervasiveness of Arm-based solutions with Magma,” wrote Chris Bergey, SVP and GM, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm in a news blog. “Together we can bring greater connectivity to emerging markets and dense urban areas by enabling service providers with open, flexible, and extensible carrier-grade networks.” Magma, which Facebook got off the ground in 2019 through an open source, will now be managed by the Linux Foundation.

Renesas is buying Dialog Semiconductor, known mainly for low-power ICs aimed at IoT, for 4.9 Billion Euros (5.9 Billion USD). The acquisition will bolster Renesas’ IoT offerings with Dialog’s low-power technology.

Many IT, OT, and IoT devices are still holding a flaw in Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections that makes the connections vulnerable to be hijacked, according to an article in Dark Reading. Forescout researchers found that nine ISN (Initial Sequence Numbers) generational vulnerabilities affect the TCP/IP stack. Patching is the solution, but “identifying and patching devices running the vulnerable stacks is challenging because it is often unknown which devices run a particular stack, and embedded devices are notoriously difficult to manage and update,” writes Forescout.

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