Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Cadence Flexlock locks in ASIL-D; Synopsys’ Rapid Scans; COVID medtech.


SGS-TÜV Saar certified that Cadence’s Tensilica Xtensa processors with FlexLock meets the ISO 26262:2018 standard to ASIL-D level. The new FlexLock feature is key to the certification because it supports lockstep, a fault-tolerant method that runs the same operation on two cores at the same time and then compares the output. Any difference in the output can be examined for issues and voted on which operations are correct and safe. As an added benefit to ASIL-D, FlexLock also enables design teams to accommodate two cores running independently in ASIL-B solutions, according to press release. FlexLock also allows the option of running local memories and caches of two cores in lockstep, to protect against memory faults. Cadence says that Tensilica Xtensa processors with FlexLock are well suited for the automotive market and tailored for AI, vision, radar, lidar, audio, vehicle-to-everything (V2X), and control applications. “Cadence Tensilica FlexLock processors optimized for automotive applications are among the first in the industry to achieve full compliance with ASIL-D functional safety standards,” said Wolfgang Ruf, head of functional safety for semiconductors at SGS-TÜV Saar in a press release. German-based SGS-TÜV Saar is a test, audit, verification, and certification company for automotive, aerospace, industrial, and consumer electronics industries.

NXP Semiconductors and insurance tech company MOTER Technologies have collaborated on a secure data exchange platform that will enable the automobile industry to offer — or sell — data coming from connected vehicles to the insurance industry. The insurance industry could use such data for risk assessment, cost modeling, among others. The platform combines NXP’s S32G2 vehicle network processors, “offering a new type of vehicle edge compute with the ability to access vehicle-wide data, with MOTER data analytics software to help fully monetize vehicle data for new and improved automotive insurance services,” says the press release.

The former CEO of EV truck company Nikola is facing securities fraud charges in the U.S. related to statement he made that may have mislead retail investors about the company’s progress. Trevor Milton, who founded the company but left in September, says he is innocent, through a statement from his lawyers.

Parts shortages remain an issue, some of it causes by the continued spread of COVID-19 variants. For example, Toyota announced production suspensions because it can not obtain all the parts it needs due to COVID-19.

Test lab DEKRA has been recognized by CharIN as one of the first test laboratories for interoperability certification of charging stations for electric vehicles. CharIN is an industry group founded in 2015 by Audi, BMW, Daimler, Mennekes, Opel, Phoenix Contact, Porsche, TÜV SÜD, and Volkswagen to encourage companies with an interest in electric vehicle charging. The group boosts the adoption of the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard for battery-powered electric vehicle charging.

Synopsys announced it added its Rapid Scan capabilities to its Coverity static application security testing (SAST) and Black Duck software composition analysis (SCA) tools. The Rapid Scan is just that — a fast, lightweight way to scan code check-in or early-stage build during the development. The scan is intended to detect basic vulnerability defects early in software development lifecycle. “Users can run quick preventative scans to detect and eliminate surface-level vulnerabilities as their developers write and commit code, and they can use the same solutions to run deep scans later in the SDLC prior to deploying their applications,” said Jason Schmitt, general manager of the Synopsys Software Integrity Group in a press release. Scan early and often.

Vtool Smart Verification announced a visual debug improvements added to its latest release of Cogita, the visual debug platform used in ASIC verification. Cogita 3.8.0 has a visual representation of test results using log files as input. Big data logs are able to be manipulated and have navigation throughout, and the system classifies data with machine learning that produce conclusions and insights.

Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back
Foxconn Industrial Internet and Qualcomm Technologies announced a high performance Gloria AI Edge Box platform. The box uses the Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 inference accelerator. Qualcomm Technologies says the edge computing system clocks at 70 trillion operations per second (TOPS). Deployed with the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform, Gloria is designed to support up to 24 FHD cameras for video analytic applications such as traffic analysis, security, and smart retail.

Maxim Integrated’s MAX78000 ultra-low power neural-network microcontroller is in AI-edge company Xailient’s low-power IoT face-detection system.

ABI Research estimates that the use of digital twins in urban planning will save cities US$280 billion by 2030. The company also estimates the technology complexity of IoT and competition in the IoT market will result in 7.2 billion IoT antenna shipments in 2025. “Increased radio complexity, device miniaturization, lower power consumption, and a complex certification landscape are among many factors making integration of antennas more difficult,” says Tancred Taylor, IoT hardware and devices research analyst at ABI Research, in a press release. “These challenges are well-known in the smartphone industry. However, unlike the smartphone market which comprises few OEMs and high product volumes, many OEMs in IoT do not have the in-house specialization to address this complexity and have a much broader range of products they want to create. This generates a large opportunity for antenna manufacturers to offer support and additional services throughout the project design cycle and offer value by moving beyond their traditional role as component manufacturers.”

NASA’s launch of the Boeing Starliner OFT-2 to the International Space Station (ISS) is delayed until August 3rd. The cause: the Russian Nauka multipurpose lab module that was docked at ISS tilted the space station for a short time when a thruster on the module activated unexpectedly. The Starliner will not have any humans aboard during this first systems test flight.

COVID-19 technology, medical
ams OSRAM announced a one square millimeter camera module with a digital output for single-use medical endoscopes. The image sensor and optics are mounted on the tip of the device (“chip on a tip”) for better image quality. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered increased demand for disposable bronchoscopes, according to ams OSRAM’s press release.

Qorvo’s Omnia SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test platform completed two independent studies —a key milestone set by the United States’ NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADxSM) initiative. Atlanta’s Center for Microsystems Engineered Point-of-Care Technologies (ACME-POCT) completed two independent studies, an adult study and a pediatric study, verifying the low SARS-CoV-2 limit of detection (LOD) and high specificity/sensitivity of the Qorvo Omnia Antigen Test. The test already has emergency use authorization.

The healthcare sector, over all other industry sectors, will face the greatest impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, said Glenn Snyder, principal and lead analyst for MedTech at Deloitte. He will be a featured speaker at a recent SEMI webinar Future of MedTech. The incorporation of 5G is also fueling innovation in healthcare.

King’s College London is using Cambridge-1, the U.K. supercomputer with 80 NVIDIA DGX  A100 systems to make synthetic human brain images and analyze them with AI. The AI model was developed by King’s and NVIDIA data scientists and engineers. The study compares images of healthy and diseased brains. An NVIDIA DGX A 100 system includes NVIDIA’s A100 GPUs, BlueField-2 DPUs, and HDR InfiniBand networking.

A recent BBC article mentions ANSYS’ tools are being used to model helmets that will help collect data about head injuries in sports.

People, companies
Anirudh Devgan will become Cadence’s CEO in December 2021, when Lip-Bu Tan to transitions to role of executive chairman. Tan became CEO in January 2009. Devgan served as president of Cadence since 2017. He oversees R&D, sales, and field engineering as well as corporate strategy, marketing, and business development groups, including mergers and acquisitions.

Five Ansys employees will be honored at the Women of Color (WOC) STEM Conference — Digital Twin Experience (DTX). Sujata Bandyopadhyay, Lakshana Mohee, Vidyu Challa, Terri Washington, And Eunhee Kim will be recognized with awards.

The RISC-V Summit, produced by RISC-V International, will be co-located with SEMI’s DAC this year. Monday, Dec. 6 through Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Brewer Science will demo smart devices and FHE (flexible hybrid electronics) at the NextFlex Innovation Days 2021, an international industry showcase held virtually August 3rd through August 5th.

Ned Curic, currently VP of Alexa Automotive, Amazon, will become Stellantis’ chief technology officer (CTO) on August 30, 2021.

Kent Helfrich is replacing the Matt Tsien in the role of CTO of R&D at GM Ventures. Helfrich has been named as vice president, Global Research and Development, CTO and president, GM Ventures, effective Aug. 1. Tsien is retiring after 45 years with the company.

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