Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Autonomous tech on Mars; C-Band auction; FlexLogix’s move to GloFlo FDSOI.


The NASA‘s Mars Perseverance Rover, which landed safely on Mars this week, has some new autonomous systems. The landing craft flew autonomously to find a good landing spot. When on the ground, the rover can drive in an autonomous traverse mode. Also autonomous is the small helicopter, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, being tested on Mars. The helicopter can fly up to 90 seconds autonomously with on-board gyros, accelerometers, camera, altimeter, and inclinometer to estimate the state of the vehicle in real time. (The helicopter can’t be flown from earth in real time.) The estimation of the state of the helicopter is fed into an algorithm onboard that continuously controls the blades. Also onboard the rover is a robotic sample caching system, a coring drill that puts the samples inside the rover, which packages them up, and drops them for a later return to earth.

Flex Logix is designing eFPGA (embedded FPGA) IP for the Globalfoundries 22FDX’s process. Both eFPGA 4k logic and DSP (digital signal processing) tiles are in design now. The process is used for low-power embedded applications, such as automotive (ADAS, IVI), IoT, wearables, networking and WiFi, 5G: <6GHz and mmWave handset solutions, backhaul, base stations, LEO satellite communications, and mmWave radar. “We have seen substantial interest in 22FDX due to its special capabilities for fast, low-power integrated circuits especially for aerospace and communications,” said Geoff Tate, CEO and cofounder of Flex Logix. “The EFLX 4K Logic and DSP cores are now in design on GLOBALFOUNDRIES 22FDX and will provide flexibility and acceleration for these customers’ integrated circuits while boosting performance and cutting cost compared to using a standard external FPGA. Customers are already in the design and development phase of SoCs that will use the EFLX 4K for 22FDX.” 22FDX is an FDSOI process.

Siemens updated its Simcenter Testlab software to handle data more efficiently for users by adding more in-software processing, more formats, more ways to view the data. The testlab is used for physical testing of materials in systems by applying multi-physics, such as NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) conditions.

On Semiconductor announced new 650V silicon carbide MOSFETs that are targeted for use in power related devices, such as electric vehicles, on-board chargers, solar inverters, server power supply, and uninterruptible power supplies. The chips are automotive AECQ101 qualified and industrial grade.

RadSee, an Israeli startup, is offering a 4D automotive imaging radar solution that uses off-the-shelf 77GHz chips and proprietary AI algorithms and system architecture to combine pictures from camera with radar images from high-performance two radar chips. The system can classify objects in motion or static up to 400 meters (1/4 of a mile) away and gives a 120° view. RADA Electronic Industries Ltd., a defense technology company, plans to invest $3 million for a 12% stake in RadSee, which adapted advanced, military-caliber high-frequency radar technology for a commercial automotive market.

Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back
The U.S. FCC’s C-Band auction is now over. It was a record-setting auction of prime midband spectrum, according to a press release, with all 5,684 licenses won for over $81 billion. C-Band in the U.S. auction 107 is 3.7 – 3.98 GHz band, which was reserved for satellite TV but was most used for broadcast TV’s satellite downlink. C-Band stretches to 4 GHz, but the FCC is reserving 20 MHz at 3980–4000 MHz for satellite communications. “The successful close of bidding in the C-Band auction notches another win for U.S. leadership in 5G by delivering 280 MHz of the prime, mid-band spectrum needed to power high-speed Internet services,” said FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr in a statement. The auction started in December 2020.

People, companies
Arteris IP added 28 Network-on-Chip (NoC) semiconductor IP licenses in 2020, according to a press release, reaching a total of 159 licenses throughout the company’s history. The NoC products are used as communications interconnects on ICs. Products include Arteris IP Ncore, FlexNoC, CodaCache, AI Package, Resilience Package, and PIANO Interconnect IP.

Ali Sadigh joined Si2’s Technical Team as a principal software design engineer. He has 25 years of experience in computational electromagnetics, circuit simulation, and industrial data acquisition and management, from positions he held at the AVEVA Group, Cadence Design Systems, IBM EDA, among others. Si2 (Silicon Integration Initiative) is an industry group working on standardization of semiconductor design and making it available more openly available.

Sigfox’s CEO Ludovic Le Moan is stepping down. Jeremy Prince as now its new CEO. Franck Siegel has been appointed deputy CEO.

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