Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Pipeline shutdown; fab cybersecurity projects; rad-hard memory processing in space.


A ransomware attack shutdown 5,500 miles of gas pipeline in the eastern United States for a week and sparked some panic buying and an executive order from U.S. President Biden. The Colonial Pipeline Co. paid nearly $5 million in ransom to Eastern European hackers, according to Bloomberg article. The hacker group DarkSide was responsible, members of whom the U.S. government believes live in Russia, although the group is independent from the Russian government. This attack compares with the recent Solarwinds attack which was launched by the Russian government. The U.S. energy industry has been an easy target for cyber threats because of older technology and well-known SCADA vulnerabilities.

SEMI is part of the efforts to keep the semiconductor fab equipment safe from cyberattacks. The organization is using the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) in a project at a Taiwan semiconductor company. “The project findings conclude some misalignments between business strategy, management, and operation vary across different issues among eight interviewed departments,” wrote Ming-chang (Bright) Wu and Willis Towers Watson Taiwan in a recent SEMI blog. “Shaped by international standards and practices, the CSF provides a systematic structure to track trajectory of cybersecurity improvement over years.” The SEMI International Standards Document Number 6506 is where the new standard “Specification for Cybersecurity of Fab Equipment” is being formed.

Fraunhofer IIS has been working on a Filter4Flow project to improve ventilation used in COVID-19 patients. Using a new combination of highly responsive sensor elements and a virus filter, Fraunhofer scientists improved the monitoring of COVID-19 patients requiring artificial ventilation by bringing integrating its new filter and sensor system directly into the breathing tube.

Infineon Technologies announced that its new radiation-hardened (rad hard) 144-Mb Quad Data Rate II+ (QDR-II+) SRAM is certified to QML-V. QML-V is the highest quality and reliability standard certification for aerospace-grade ICs in the DLA Qualified Manufacturers List Class V. The SRAM has a high-speed external cache memory designed for radar, on-board data processing, and networking applications in space. More emphasis is put on in-space processing now rather than beaming data back for processing. For instance, NASA’s Perseverance Rover’s he on Mars does some processing on board.he SRAM is available now.

Human Horizons unveiled its four newest EV models of the HiPhi X SUV at the Shanghai Auto Show. The company is also opening HiPhi Hubs — similar to dealerships — around China, according to a press release. The press release also mentioned a growing network of charging stations around the country in working with charging partners such as State Grid, China Southern Power Grid, and TELD.

Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back
Xsight Labs is using Synopsys’s ZeBu Server 4 emulation tool to validate of its X1 intelligent networking switch processor.

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