Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

MS warns of more SolarWinds-type attacks; Google security baselines; U.S. to ban China Telecom; hypersonic missile tests.


The automotive chip shortage is still affecting automotive OEMs. U.S. automakers Ford and GM reported lower 3rd quarter income year over year related to the chip shortage. They, as well as other automotive OEMs around the world, have had to temporarily shut assembly lines down when chips were not available.

Infineon Technologies signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai Motor Group to support startups working on fostering automotive startups and startups working on future mobility, smart cities, and smart factory applications. Startups would have access to Infineon’s Innovation Space in Singapore, and the two companies will organize events, hackathons, and challenges.

In the U.S., Hertz, the rental car agency that filed for bankruptcy in 2020 and emerged from it in June, plans to buy 100,000 Tesla electric cars for its rental fleet in 2022.

NI will acquire NH Research (NHR) and has entered a definitive agreement with Heinzinger. To boost its position in electrification and battery test. NHR provides high-power test and measurement applications such as electric vehicles and batteries. NI wants to purchase the EV systems business of the Germany-based Heinzinger.

Pervasive computing
Ansys worked with TSMC to analyze thermal issues on TSMC’s 3D-IC designs using Ansys’ RedHawk-SC Electrothermal, RedHawk-SC, and Ansys’ Icepak, a computational fluid dynamics simulator, to TSMC’s 3DFabric. RedHawk-SC was used for electromigration and voltage drop (EM/IR) signoff of TSMC-SoIC technology – a chip stacking technology in 3DFabric.

Cadence unveiled its new Tensilica HiFi 1 DSP (digital signal processor) for wearables and hearables capable of ultra-low power use for always listening modes. The DSP uses the LC3  codec.“The Low Complexity Communication Codecs (LC3 and LC3plus) co-invented by Fraunhofer help minimize energy consumption for battery-constrained Bluetooth devices. Fraunhofer and Cadence have a long history partnering on various codecs including LC3/LC3plus, which Cadence has optimized on its Tensilica HiFi DSPs,” said Manfred Lutzky, head of the audio for communications department at Fraunhofer IIS in a press release.

Synopsys is developing a broad IP portfolio for TSMC N4P process.

Siemens Digital Industries Software announced it will continue its ongoing collaboration with longtime foundry partner TSMC has resulted in an array of new product certifications, and that Siemens’ tools are being certified for TSMC 3DFabric technology for 3D-IC production. Siemens completed the design requirements for 3DFabric.

The U.S. military’s top officer confirmed that China possibly tested two hypersonic weapons this summer, in an interview with Bloomberg. Hypersonic weapons can travel 5 to 20 times the speed of sound and can leave Earth’s atmosphere like a ballistic missile does, but are able to change course — which ballistic missiles cannot do. (For a short video tutorial on hypersonic weapons, see the Carnegie Endowment’s video from 2020.) U.S. General Mark Miley, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed that it appears China is pursing an Earth-orbiting system and that the test “is very concerning.” The U.S. and Russia have both tested hypersonic weapons.

In a notice from Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC), Microsoft said it has detected nation-state activity from Nobelium, the threat actor behind the 2020 SolarWinds compromise that hit nine U.S. federal agencies. (Nobelium is Microsoft’s name for the SolarWind hackers, which the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has tied to the Russian government.) The new activity, which Microsoft has detected increasing since May 2021, shows that Nobelium has been trying to gain access to broader targets via delegated administrative privileges at “cloud service providers (CSP), managed service providers (MSP), and other IT services organizations” based in the U.S. and Europe. “This latest activity shares the hallmarks of the actor’s compromise-one-to-compromise-many approach,” said MSTIC. “In one example intrusion chain observed by MSTIC during this campaign, the actor was observed chaining together artifacts and access across four distinct providers to reach their end target. The example demonstrates the breadth of techniques that the actor leverages to exploit and abuse trust relationships to accomplish their objective.”

Google and other tech companies have set a vendor-neutral minimum standard baseline for security called the Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP).

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and CISA have released the first of a four part series of 5G cybersecurity guidance for cloud infrastructures, called Security Guidance for 5G Cloud Infrastructures: Prevent and Detect Lateral Movement. The U.S. Department of State will be creating a cyberspace bureau headed by an ambassador-at-large and will name a new special envoy for critical and emerging technology, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Wednesday.

Citing national security concerns, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revoked authorization for the U.S. subsidiary of state-owned China Telecom Corp to operate in the U.S.

TÜV SÜD certified IAR Systems’ build tools for RISC-V in Linux-based frameworks for functional safety development. The certification followed the requirements of functional safety standard IEC 61508, automotive standard ISO 26262, and covers IEC 62304 (medical software), IEC 60730 (household appliances), ISO 13849 and IEC 62061 (machinery control), IEC 61511 ( process industry), ISO 25119 (agriculture and forestry), and the European railway standards EN 50128 and EN 50657.

A hacker targeted Iran’s fuel distribution system forcing gas stations to shut down, and hackers threatened to expose — and have exposed — some documents from the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the U.S.

Cisco released security updates for multiple products, but a Cisco SD-WAN bug is at high severity. The CVE-2021-1529 documents an OS command-injection flaw that “could allow an authenticated, local attacker to execute arbitrary commands with root privileges,” according to Cisco. The flaw is in the CLI of Cisco IOS XE SD-WAN Software.

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are now a popular target for cybercriminals, said Akamai Technologies in new research. Speaking of Akamai, which produces Zero Trust protections against ransomware, the company completed its acquisition of Tel Aviv-based Guardicore last week.

Companies, people
Most engineers become engineers to solve problems and help someone else first before thinking about salary, said a KLA Corporation report released this week. Of the engineers and students interviewed, 65% said they entered the field to create something that would change people’s lives. The KLA Engineering Inspiration Report — a report KLA and research services company IPSOS conducted June 4 – July 29, 2021 in five countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, and Israel) — tabulated the responses from 1,083 students and 2,278 engineers who participated in the study. 86% of students say they are very passionate about the opportunity to become an engineer, and 82% of engineers would recommend becoming an engineer to someone they know. The report also found that men were more likely than women to have been exposed to engineering earlier in life by a friend or family member. Only one-third of women vs. 50% of the men interviewed reported following in the footsteps of a family member.

The Biden Administration has named Kim Wyman, former Washington State secretary of state as CISA’s senior election security lead.

Arteris IP went public this week, issuing 5 million shares of common stock in a rare IPO for an IP company. The vast majority of IP startups have been sold to much bigger IP vendors, unable to reach the revenue or valuation threshold needed for a stock offering.

Codasip’s founder Karel Masařík has been elected to RISC-V technical steering committee.

proteanTecs has been recognized by TSMC as a recipient of the 2021 TSMC Open Innovation Platform (OIP) Partner of the Year award for an emerging IP company.

Read the most recent Automotive, Security, & Pervasive Computing newsletter. Check out job, event, and webinar Boards: Find industry jobs and upcoming conferences and webinars all in one place on Semiconductor Engineering. Knowledge Center: Boost your semiconductor industry knowledge. Videos: See the latest Semiconductor Engineering videos.

Leave a Reply

(Note: This name will be displayed publicly)