Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Intel neuromorphic computing; auto production lines close; Waymo challenge.


National Instruments is offering free online training courses to anyone anywhere, until the end of April to help support the engineering community during COVID-19 crisis. Some instructor-led virtual training is available at reduced cost. NIWeek has been postponed this year until August 3-5, 2020.

Click here for more news about how the semiconductor industry is handling COVID-19.

AI, machine learning
Intel is releasing a neuromorphic system, a system that is supposed to compute like a human brain. Available to certain researchers and government labs, the Pohoiki Springs system will available this month over the cloud.

Cadence announced it added machine learning to — and has otherwise optimized and streamlined — its digital full flow platform, to shorten the time to final signoff. The company improved the handoff between what was the Genus module and the Innovus module, by putting some of their functions together in new iSpatial module, which integrates Cadence’s Innovus GigaPlace and GigOpt with Genus Synthesis Solution. iSpatial can be trained using the customers’ designs to find ways, through machine learning, to minimize design margins, in contrast to a traditional place and route flow, says Cadence in a press release.

Edge, cloud, data center
ASIC designer Inomize is using Synopsys DesignWare 56G Ethernet PHY IP for high performance computing, software defined radio (SDR) and communications SoCs. Inomize chose the IP for its unique transmitter and receiver architecture and its reliability in different harsh environments, according to a press release.

The Kinsa thermometer, which sends data to a phone app and then back to the manufacturer, may help track the COVID-19 spread, according to a CNET story. Although tracking temperature doesn’t show 100% indicate if a person has COVID-19, one symptom is having a fever. Temperature taking has been helpful in finding and isolating people who have COVID-19 in countries such as South Korea and China.

IoT and mobile devices are becoming more susceptible to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks because cybercriminals are shifting their tactics, according to a Dark Reading article.

Automotive production lines in the U.S. are shutting as part of the social distancing to flatten the spread of novel coronavirus and COVID-19, and also out of lowering demand for their products. Ford, GM, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Toyota North America, Volkswagen of America, Tesla, are shutting lines down. Mercedes is expected to.

Recharging your electric car by lamppost is a reality on Sutherland Avenue, in London, U.K., according to a Siemens press release. After finding through its research found a third of British motorists were planning to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle for their next vehicle but the paucity of charging points deterred them, Siemens worked with ubtricity and Westminster City Council to add EV charging to 24 lampposts on the street. Westminster is on target to hit 1,000 charge points in 2020, having now 296 lamp column charge points total with more to roll out soon.

Waymo launched the next phase of its Open Dataset/Virtual Challenges program by expanding the Waymo Open Dataset by 800 new segments. Researchers are invited to participate in the Waymo Open Dataset Challenge from now until May 31, 2020. Winners will be announced at CVPR 2020 in Seattle on June 14, 2020, depending on circumstances. The five challenges are (1) 2D detection: Given a set of camera images, produce a set of 2D boxes for the objects in the scene; (2) 2D tracking: Given a temporal sequence of camera images, produce a set of 2D boxes and the correspondences between boxes across frames. (3) 3D detection: Given one or more lidar range images and the associated camera images, produce a set of 3D upright boxes for the objects in the scene. (4) 3D tracking: Given a temporal sequence of lidar and camera data, produce a set of 3D upright boxes and the correspondences between boxes across frames. (5) Domain adaptation: Similar to the 3D detection challenge, but Waymo will provide additional segments, 100 of which have 3D box labels. 1st place: $15,000; 2nd place: $5,000; 3rd place: $2,000.

Self-driving truck startup Starksy Robotics — which had operators remotely driving automated trucks — is shutting down. The cofounder Stefan Seltz-Axmacher writes in a blog, “We didn’t need ‘true AI’ to be a good business …We also saw that investors really didn’t like the business model of being the operator, and that our heavy investment into safety didn’t translate for investors.”

DSP Concepts, which designs audio development tools and IP used in automotive and customer products, looks at the bright side. “Our Chinese customers, for example, were closest to the epicenter of this crisis and are far ahead of the United States in dealing with it. For the moment, and barring any future spread, some companies are back operating at more than 80% capacity. In fact, our home entertainment customers who are making set top boxes and other home theater products are experiencing a larger demand and are pressing forward with product launches. Of course, this is expected in a moment when more and more people are staying at home. The challenge is that, as they press forward, it is incumbent on their global partners to keep up while still helping to stop the spread locally.”

Space & flight
Elon Musk’s SpaceX sent 60 satellites into orbit and is still planning on its first mission to send people to the International Space Station in May, despite the novel coronavirus.

Physical Optics Corporation is using Ansys’s simulation software SCADE for ARINC 661 to develop the avionics in U.S. military aircraft, according to a press release. The ARINC 661 — Cockpit Display System Interfaces to User Systems is a standard for how cockpit display systems (CDS) communicate with user applications. ARINC is part of the SAE ITC. With older software in military aircraft, “Ansys SCADE for ARINC 661 provides the ability to rapidly generate avionics software in full compliance with ARINC 661 and enables alignment to the FACE Technical Standard,” said Eric Bantegnie, vice president and general manager at Ansys.

People & Companies
Cadence has elected Ita Brennan and Lewis Chew to its board of directors. Brennan is senior vice president and chief financial officer at Arista Networks (cognitive cloud computing) and Chew is executive vice president and chief financial officer at Dolby Labs (audio and imaging technology).

The configurable RISC-V embedded processor IP vendor Codasip was awarded funding under a grant agreement from the European Union’s Horizon 2020, for “RISC-V Digital Architecture for the Next Generation of Connected Era.” The EU’s Horizon 2020 is an R&D program to make EU science and industry more competitive by funding research and companies. The grant agreement is No. 881172.

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