Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Fraunhofer GEO satellite IoT tests; Synopsys, Samsung Foundry automotive ISO 26262.


Xilinx is investing an undisclosed amount in fabless semiconductor startup Kameleon Security, which is working on a cyber protection chip for servers, data centers, and cloud computing. The proactive Security Processing Unit (ProSPU) already secures the boot and has a root of trust (RoT). The chip will be demonstrated at the Open Compute Project (OCP) Global Summit, which is planned for November 9–10, 2021 in San Jose, California. Kameleon was founded in 2019.

Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back
Qualcomm Technologies announced a wearables accelerator program for its Snapdragon Wear Platform that will bring device manufacturers (ODMs), service providers, platform players, independent hardware and software vendors, and system integrators together to collaborate, provide training, and share ideas. The Qualcomm Wearables Ecosystem Accelerator Program has more than 60 companies involved in the wearables industry will participate. Participants include Arm, BBK, Fossil, Oppo, Verizon, Vodafone, and Zebra. The program features accelerator matchmaking sessions and concept demonstrations. Qualcomm Technologies is a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Cadence delivered a tool that puts machine learning into the digital chip design process. The Cadence Cerebrus Intelligent Chip Explorer has a cockpit-style interface that gives teams to access to machine learning via the cloud or on-prem computing. The machine learning automates some of the design, suggesting alternative designs that a human engineer might not think to explore, and it reuses models for future designs.

Fraunhofer IIS’ transmission tests have proven that the IoT communication protocol mioty can be used on geostationary (GEO) satellites. The energy-efficient mioty communication technology can simultaneously transmit of data packets from a large number of sensor nodes over long distances. “Through the tests, we were able to demonstrate that massive networking of IoT transmitters via satellite isn’t just possible, it’s straightforward. This paves the way for an entirely new class of applications in which sensors can transmit data from the ground directly to a satellite, independent of terrestrial infrastructure. Some sectors in particular — logistics, transportation, mobility, shipping and agriculture — will benefit greatly from direct IoT solutions via satellite, which can provide connectivity even in the most remote corners of the world,” said Florian Leschka, group manager system design at Fraunhofer IIS in a press release.

Automotive, transportation
Synopsys announced that its safety-critical VC Functional Safety Manager (VC FSM) is advancing as part of Samsung Foundry’s unified functional safety solution to help its customers verify that automotive SoCs comply with ISO 26262. The VC FSM helps customers perform and track safety analysis, verification, and implementation of SoCs requiring functional safety — teams can analyze how design changes against ISO 26262 metrics and can prove that their chip architectures will meet a certain Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) early in the planning and design stage. VC FSM automates the Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Failure Modes Effects Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA), both of which need to occur to establish a chip’s functional safety. The work between Samsung — which provides automotive design methodology for chip designs — and Synopsys has created innovations in Samsung’s process that support for top-down flow, what-if analysis, and quick synthesis for RTL design data extraction to get failure rate estimates before a synthesized gate-level netlist is ready. Other innovations are support for application lifecycle management tools for easier integration in customer flows and handling failure modes and fault injection in analog parts of the SoC.

UL, the test, inspection, and certification (TIC) company associated with the non-profit Underwriters Laboratories standards organization, will purchase Method Park, a German-based engineering company that focuses on the safety-critical and security aspects of the automotive, medical, and aerospace industries. Method Park specializes in process engineering, software solutions, training, and advisory services. The company’s 200 employees will join UL.

Electric car startup Rivian, which is working on EV trucks, SUVs, and delivery vans for Amazon, delayed its production because of the chip shortage and . The company, backed by Ford, Amazon, among others, is looking to open another U.S. production facility and battery factory. Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz maker is planning on opening eight EV battery factories and an EV production line to compete with Tesla.

NASA has deemed Boeing‘s Starliner capsule ready to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on July 30. Space telescope Hubble is back in operation after a payload computer problem.

Space tourism began with two high-profile — and very short — “missions” into space that were more like very expensive amusement park rides, the latest being Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin flight on July 20. Blue Origin launched its capsule into suborbital space, which made a safe landing eleven minutes later on dry-land.

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