Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

proteanTecs chip telemetry in with TSMC; Infineon WiFI 6; rocket lands, blows up.


Chip-telemetry company proteanTecs has joined TSMC’s IP Alliance Program, which puts proteanTecs’ Universal Chip Telemetry (UCT) IP into TSMC’s catalog of production-proven IP. UCT is a monitoring system designed directly into chips to pull measurements from inside the chip throughout its lifecycle, including after placement in systems in the field. Monitoring the health of a chip will be especially useful in automotive markets where systems need to last 15 years or more, and must fail safely. Using machine learning, the UCT system has agents embedded in chips that can deliver visibility into the chips’ health. TSMC’s IP Alliance Program is one component in its Open Innovation Platform (OIP). proteanTecs also targets data center, communications, and AI.

Melexis announced it has a license for exclusive use of Chronoptics’ multipath and linearity error correction technologies to deal with the multipath interference in time-of-flight 3D cameras used in automotive applications. A wide field of view or highly reflective objects can throw off the correct depth values in an image. Chronoptics, which designs and integrates time-of-flight 3D cameras, has correction technologies to overcome the depth value issues. Melexis designs time-of-flight sensors.

STMicroelectronics says it is committing to support customers of its SPC56 automotive microcontrollers for longer. “To ensure lifetime support for our customers’ new applications, and those already in the market, we are unveiling the extension to 20 years, of our unique product longevity commitment, which we launched in 2014, assuring the availability of SPC56 MCUs until at least 2034,” said Luca Rodeschini, general manager of the Automotive Processing and RF Division at STMicroelectronics. The 32-bit chips are deployed in millions of powertrain, chassis and body-electronics applications. The company also announced an acoustic alert chip for automotive systems warnings called HFDA801A. The HFDA801A is a 2MHz switching pulse-width modulation (PWM) Class-D amplifier with a quad-bridge configuration. The chip will be in production in second half of 2021.

Infineon launched its 650 V CoolSiC Hybrid Discrete for Automotive for fast-switching automotive applications, such as on-board chargers (OBC), power factor correction, and DC-DC and DC-AC converters. The devices uses 50 A TRENCHSTOP 5 fast-switching IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) and a CoolSiC Schottky diode. Chinese company OBC company VMAX uses the latest CoolSiC Hybrid Discrete in their next-generation OBC/DC-DC system, according to a press release.

Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back
Because many home networks have become congested with devices competing for bandwidth, Infineon has launched its AIROC Wi-Fi 6/6E and Bluetooth 5.2 product series, for media streaming, AR/VR, smart home, automotive infotainment, and security cameras, among other uses. The AIROC offerings operate in the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz spectrum. Wi-Fi 6 is Wi-Fi brand for IEEE 802.11ax standard. It is intended to bring security and reliability into congested networks and is also designed to conserve battery power.

Fabless chip company Melexis is also using PDF Solutions’ Exensio Fabless, a cloud-based manufacturing analytics platform.

DARPA research teams can now use additional Flex Logix EFLX eFPGA 12nm and 16nm technology, in an extension to an agreement between the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Flex Logix. The EFLX eFPGAs tools are part of the DARPA Toolbox, an initiative that provides researchers low-cost access to tools and IP.  “Since partnering with DARPA in 2017, Flex Logix has provided its eFPGA to many U.S. Government funded programs which need the flexibility and reprogrammability of eFPGA in chips at more advanced nodes,” said Geoff Tate, CEO and co-founder of Flex Logix in a press release. “Because researchers often only get funding to tape-out a chip once, it makes strategic sense to also include EFLX and the EFLX Compiler to the Toolbox Initiative in support of DARPA’s research programs.”

Imperas donated its latest RV32/64K Crypto (scalar) Architectural Validation Test Suites to the RISC-V Verification Ecosystem. The released tests support new RISC-V ISA Crypto specification proposed as the “K” extension, current draft spec 0.8.1, and will be updated as the spec is publicly reviewed and ratified. Additionally, the free RISC-V Open Virtual Platform Simulator was updated with the new Crypto extensions. The RV32/64K Crypto (scalar) Architectural Validation Test Suites are available now on GitHub. The free riscvOVPsimPlus package including many test suites and functional coverage analysis is available on OVPWorld.

Synopsys unveiled its integrated development environment (IDE) called Euclide, which can debug and optimize code for design and verification flows by identifying complex design and testbench compliance checks during SystemVerilog and Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) development. “Synopsys Euclide is a unique, innovative and highly interactive code development platform that accelerates design and testbench development for VCS users,” said Sandeep Mehrotra, vice president of engineering in the Verification Group at Synopsys, in a press release. “With Euclide, engineers can detect bugs early, ensure RTL code compatibility with Design Compiler and ZeBu, and optimize simulation performance with VCS.”

The SpaceX SN10 Starship prototype stuck its landing for the first time and blew up 8 minutes after landing. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket delivered more satellites into orbit and returned to land on its platform in the ocean.

Aldec, which make tools for FPGA and ASIC hardware verification, added 62 new DO-254 HDL rules to its ALINT-PRO’s DO-254 rules plug-in. The plug in helps engineers obtain DO-254 certification. Aldec also made several enhancements to its tool’s Design Entry capabilities to boost productivity.

People, companies
Brewer Science has appointed Ken Joyce as executive vice president. Joyce was the principal management consultant at Ken Joyce — Global Management Consulting Services and served 15 years at Amkor Technology, including a stint as CEO. According to a press release, Joyce will lead Brewer Science’s strategic growth alternatives.

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