Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Automated driving in Arctic; automotive invests in chip telemetry, proteanTecs; security advice with Synopsys.


Cadence announced its new platform for speeding up the creation of virtual and hybrid prototypes of complex systems, such as those found in automotive systems. The Cadence Helium Virtual and Hybrid Studio enables teams to verify embedded software and firmware on virtual and hybrid configurations before the RTL is ready, in systems where software and hardware need to be created simultaneously. The Visual Studio has a GUI for creating the platform where the developers can execute and debug the software stack and the hardware design. The Hybrid Studio gives developers the option to try out hybrid configurations using a library of hybrid adapters, transactors, and smart memory. The Hybrid Studio natively integrates into Palladium (emulation) and Protium (prototyping) platforms. A virtual library of models is available, which includes Arm technology model portfolio with Armv9-A, and developers can access reference and starter virtual and hybrid platforms that can boot Linux and Android operating systems. “Validating embedded software concurrently with RTL and earlier in the development process is critical to ensuring the success of next-generation mobile, automotive and hyperscale SoC designs,” said Paul Cunningham, senior vice president and general manager of the System & Verification Group at Cadence. The Helium Virtual and Hybrid Studio is part of the broader Cadence verification full flow.

Synopsys launched its ARC 128-bit VPX2 and 256-bit VPX3 DSP IP for low-power embedded SoCs. The IP uses the same VLIW/SIMD architecture as the higher performance 512-bit ARC VPX5 DSP processor, but can deliver up to two-thirds lower power and area. Target applications that can benefit are embedded workloads such as IoT sensor fusion, radar and LiDAR processing, engine control, voice/speech recognition, natural language processing, and other edge AI applications.

Three companies are working together on autonomous public transport North of the Arctic Circle. The Nordic companies Sensible 4 Oy, Mobility Forus, and Holo will be running an autonomous driving pilot project in the challenging weather conditions on the roads of the city of Bodø in Northern Norway in February 2022 — February is typically the coldest month of the year in Bodø, with 6.5 hours of daylight. Using two custom-built electric Toyota Proaces, the test will be driven on public roads in mixed traffic, along a 3.6-kilometer (2.24-mile) route in the city center. The goal is to support the public transportation system. Norway’s Mobility Forus will operate the vehicles, using Finnish tech company Sensible 4’s all-weather self-driving software, and Danish Holo’s data and supervision platform. “Self-driving fleet operation on public streets in urban areas is challenging for any autonomous technology. Doing it in a city located above the Arctic Circle is even more challenging,”  says Harri Santamala, CEO, Sensible 4, in a press release. A safety driver on board the vehicles during the pilot.

The automotive business is investing in proteanTecs, the chip-health monitoring company with the Universal Chip Telemetry. Porsche SE, the major shareholder of Volkswagen Group, and Allied Group subsidiary Champion Motors, are investing in the company along with Advantest and MediaTek. Monitoring the health of chips throughout their lives — manufacturing to in-field use — is of great interest to automotive, data center, and 5G communications sectors.

KLA is using AI in improve inspection of wafers to catch more on-chip failures. The Voyager1035 laser scanning patterned wafer inspection system is an inline defect monitor for advanced logic and memory chip manufacturing.

STMicroelectronics launched integrated intelligent high-side drivers for automotive uses. The VN9D30Q100F and VN9D5D20FN are switches with digital current sensing. The diagnostic circuitry has its own analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with 10-bit resolution and 5% precision to provide digital readings of the load current and case temperature, eliminating reliance on an ADC in the host microcontroller.

Pervasive computing
Samsung Foundry certified Synopsys’ PrimeLib, a unified library of characterization and validation models for 5nm, 4nm, and 3nm process nodes. The certification also includes accreditation of PrimeSim Continuum, part of the Synopsys Custom Design Platform and an integrated simulator technology embedded within the PrimeLib solution. Applications that benefit from PrimeLib are AI chipsets, high-performance computing, 5G, automotive, hyper-connectivity, and aerospace and defense applications. When designing ICs at advanced process nodes, IC designers need high-quality libraries and cloud readiness for system design that can characterize cycles of advanced models, such as electro-migration (EM), aging, and liberty variation format (LVF). The PrimeLib uses embedded PrimeSim SPICE and HSPICE engines, integrated with validation capabilities to produce PrimeTime golden signoff-quality libraries and PrimeShield design robustness analysis.

NEC will be using Xilinx’s 7nm Versal AI Core series in 5G radio units, which are massive MIMO radios capable of beamforming, a key technology that will make 5G possible in dense usage areas and with mmWave.

Synopsys is now offering access to the cybersecurity and technology advice from its partner The Chertoff Group, an advisory services firm that applies security expertise, technology insights, and policy intelligence. The group will provide timely cyber policy insight for enterprise and product-level security, unified threat modeling to identify better defensive coverage and prioritized countermeasures, and technical testing and validation outcomes translated into business context, to help leadership understand and defend against cyber security risks.

Companies, people
RISC-V processor IP company Codasip is opening a new UK design center. Simon Bewick will lead the centers, for which Codasip wants to hire over one hundred engineers.

The U.S. Patent Office and Trademark Office is calling for applicants for its Patents for Humanity: COVID-19 award. Winners will receive a certificate that grants them accelerated USPTO processing for one eligible matter.


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