Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Arm details CCA confidential computing; seeing through smoke; Codasip adds RISC-V core for automotive.


Cadence will be capturing design insights from Presto Engineering, an ASIC designer working on high-performance system-in-package (SiP) development for the automotive and Industrial IoT markets. Presto, which also provides semiconductor services such as test and qualification, will use Cadence’s EDA and analysis tools (Allegro X Package Designer Plus, Clarity 3D Solver, Sigrity XtractIM technology, and Celsius Thermal Solver) and share feedback with Cadence on software features, functions, and workflows. Presto is based in France, with offices around the world.

The automotive components manufacturer, DENSO is adopting Siemens’ software portfolio for its model-based development (MBD). Siemens Digital Industries Software participated in a pilot projects with DENSO using Siemens’ Simcenter portfolio of simulation and test applications. “Thanks to high quality Siemens software products, expertise in consulting and technical service, our three-year MBD pilot has been successful,” said Masaki Suzuoki, general manager MBD Promotion Dept. Engineering Digital Transformation Promotion Div. DENSO Corporation. “Full scale deployment will start throughout the company in Japan.”

RISC-V processor IP supplier Codasip added a new version of its processor RISC-V IP core that may be suitable for automotive, AI / ML applications. The A71X has a 64-bit core with dual-issue support, which means it can process instructions from one thread in two different execution units. It runs Linux, has a floating-point unit and atomic instructions. All of them can run Linux as they support Machine, Supervisor & User privilege modes and have a Memory Management Unit.

KLA announced four tools for automotive chip making. The 8935 high productivity patterned wafer inspection system, the C205 broadband plasma patterned wafer inspection system, the Surfscan SP A2/A3 unpatterned wafer inspection systems, and I-PAT inline defect part average testing screening system, which uses data collected from other KLA tools at critical process steps.

Renault Group and STMicroelectronics have agreed to work on power electronics for power electronics systems of battery-operated and hybrid vehicles.

Volvo will be using lidar as standard equipment next year on its electric XC90 SUV, reports Reuters.

Ford Motor Co.’s CTO Ken Washington is stepping down to take a job at Amazon.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) says it has found a way to help firefighters see moving objects in the low visibility situations, such as in a smoke from a fire, in real time. The m-Widar (micro-Wave image detection, analysis and ranging) system that NIST and Wavsens LLC worked on using radio signals to make real-time images and videos of hidden and moving objects. “Our system allows real-time imaging around corners and through walls and tracking of fast-moving objects such as millimeter-sized space debris flying at 10 kilometers per second, more than 20,000 miles per hour, all from standoff distances,” said the NIST’s lead system developer, physicist Fabio da Silva, in a press release.

Last week a working group electrified propulsion from SAE International — the automotive safety organization — introduced its electric engine guidelines for electric aircraft engineers. The new work in progress, SAE ARP8689: Endurance Tests for Aircraft Electric Engines, will provide guidance on testing durability and integrity requirements of electric engines. on new aerospace.

Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back
Cadence added more RF mmWave capabilities into its latest version (16) of AWR Design Environment and now has improved sharing of design data among AWR and other Cadence platforms, such as Virtuoso, and Allegro. The cross-platform interoperability supports RF IP integration for heterogeneous technology development.

Socionext has selected Flex Logix’s EFLX 4K eFPGA for use in its 7nm ASIC destined for wireless 5G products. The eFPGA adds reprogrammability to the ASIC. “Now that the ASIC becomes reconfigurable, it enables our wireless customers to deliver a flexible 5G platform that can support carrier specific requirements today and in the future,” said Yutaka Hayashi, vice president of Socionext’s Data Center and Networking Business Unit in a press release.

Samsung unveiled 3GPP Rel.16 compliant 5G chipsets that the company will be using in its electronic devices. Specifically, the chipsets consist of a third-generation mmWave radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) chip, a second-generation 5G modem SoC, and a digital front end (DFE)-RFIC integrated chip.

Infineon is developing a camera with a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor — used to measure distance between the sensor and an object by timing a particle or wave’s round trip to the object and back to the sensor — to potentially move some camera functions on the smartphones underneath the display. Working with pmdtechnologies on the ToF and ArcSoft on the under-display vision-based imaging, Infineon is hoping to design an more accurate camera system for facial recognition and payment.

Consumer IoT tracking devices for children, the elderly, and pets are becoming accepted for safety reasons. Those three segments alone will reach to collectively reach an installed base of 68 million by 2026, according to ABI Research.

John McAfee, founder of antivirus firm McAfee Corp, died in a Spanish prison.

As part of the new Arm’s Armv9 architecture, Arm is working on its Confidential Compute Architecture (CCA), a way to keep supervisors (kernels or hypervisors) from accessing resources — such as memory where the confidential data is stored — while retaining the right to manage the resources. This week Arm announced some technical specifics about its CCA. Realm Management Extension (RME) will define hardware architecture for realms, which are areas where data can be moved. Dynamic TrustZone technology means the Trustzone can have changing workloads because the memory does not have to dedicated specifically to the Trustzone. A Granule Protection Table is a list of approved devices or entities that can access realm resources. A device has to be on the table to gain access. RME firmware and open source projects are in the works.

People, companies
FormFactor is working with Northrop Grumman Corporation on an automated cryogenic wafer probe system for superconducting compute applications. Operating at 4 Kelvin and below, the system can be used to test superconducting circuits that need to operate at or near absolute zero. Northrop Grumman researchers are working on superconducting technologies including a Reciprocal Quantum Logic (RQL) processor

Synopsys signed a definitive agreement to acquire BISTel’s semiconductor fab and flat panel display solutions, which will include an engineering team that can work on real-time predicative analysis. BISTel, a 21-year-old South Korean-based company, makes engineering equipment systems (EES) and AI software for smart manufacturing for different product lines, of which semiconductor and flat panel displays are two. The acquisition will make it possible for Synopsys to expand its process control solutions with real-time, adaptive intelligence capabilities required for efficient wafer fab operations, according to a press release. BISTel has software that consolidates data pulled from manufacturing equipment and uses AI for improving yield and process flow along with finding root causes of errors. The acquisition is expected to close for an undisclosed amount in Synopsys’ fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021.

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