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Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

$199M from DOE for cleaner cars, trucks; FAA’s C-band spectrum concerns.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is funding 25 cleaner car and truck projects with $199 million. Projects include long-haul trucks powered by batteries and fuel cells, and at improving the nation’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. The Volvo Group North America (VGNA) will receive $18 million in federal funds under DOE’s  SuperTruck 3 Program. Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) received U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck 3 Program.

Last week, semiconductor company Ambarella announced it was acquiring Oculii, designer of radar perception AI algorithms for autonomous vehicles (AVs). Oculii uses AI to improve the performance of radar, increasing resolution without adding more antennas to the car. Oculii’s Virtual Aperture Imaging technology can increase a radar hardware’s resolution by 100 times, according to Oculii’s web page, by dynamically learning from and adapting to the environment.  Ansys said Oculii is using Ansys’ 3D High Frequency Electromagnetic Simulation Software (HFSS) during AV design to determine the best placement for antennas and sensors on an AV, with a predictive accuracy of 80-90%.

Ford Motor Company showed off an electric concept pickup truck that looks a 1970s F-100. Ford’s electric F-150 goes into production next year.

NI added a new inverter test system (ITS) to its electric vehicle (EV) test flow for traction inverter electronic control units (ECUs). The ITS can simulate EV powertrains to perform hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests of traction inverter ECUs. Also, D&V Electronics — which makes power emulators — and NI are collaborating on power-level inverter test in which a power emulator is inserted into the test workflow to safely run durability and thermal testing of the inverter component at full power. The traction inverter in EVs convert the dc power from the high-voltage battery to ac to run the drivetrain motors. They also manage the regenerative braking, voltage boosting, and switch protection.

Synopsys acquired New York-based Concertio Inc., a startup that uses AI to optimize system performance “by applying low-level accelerations and by tailoring the many system and application settings to work in concert with the currently running workloads,” according to Concertio’s website.  Synopsys will use Concertio’s autonomous software agents to increase the ability its SiliconMAX Silicon Lifecycle Management (SLM) Platform to dynamically improve how compute resources are used at the edge, such as in automotive and industrial IoT devices, as well as in cloud-based data centers. The agents are embedded in target systems, learn about the systems’ behavior, and dynamically optimize the systems’ performance. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal, which Synopsys said are not material to its financials.

proteanTecs’ Universal Chip Telemetry (UCT) monitoring technology now supports TSMC’s advanced 3nm process. UCT is monitoring IP built into chips that can pulls data about the chip’s health for use before and after the chip is in the field.

Apple has patched a vulnerability in Apple’s macOS that could allow an attacker to bypass the SIP (System Integrity Protection) and remotely perform installs and operations. Microsoft’s Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team discovered the flaw when it was reviewing what processes are entitled to bypass the SIP protection. A bad actor could hijack the installation process during any script installation and insert its own kernel driver, malware, or system overwrites. The problem, called named Shrootless, logged under CVE-2021-30892.

Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix may hold back some info from the U.S. government about chip shortages to protect trade secrets, reports Reuters.

Pervasive computing, 5G
VMWare completed its spin-off from Dell.

AT&T and Verizon will hold off temporarily on 5G deployments in the C-band spectrum in the United States while they works with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the FAA’s concerns that the 5G deployments in C-band spectrum could interfere with aviation equipment. FAA released a warning here.

Google’s parent company Alphabet launched a drug-discovery startup called Isomorphic Labs that will use AI to find new drugs.

Companies, people
Mentor Graphics Polska Sp. z o.o
will merge into Siemens Industry Software Sp. Z.o.o. in the first quarter of 2022. 

KLA is opening an Artificial Intelligence-Advanced Computing Lab (AI-ACL) in Chennai, India for AI-focused research and development. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras will operate the lab as a partner with KLA.

Amkor Technology will open a new factory for advanced packaging technology in Bac Ninh, Vietnam, focusing on providing advanced system in package (SiP) assembly and test solutions. Demand is high for advanced packaging, and the location offers more room to expand, a strong labor market, local support, and location diversity for a stronger supply chain.

Codasip, which produces customizable RISC-V processor IP, has signed ASIC, SoC, and FPGA  design firm XtremeEDA as a Codasip Certified Design Services Company.

onsemi completed its acquisition of the silicon carbide (SiC) producer, GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT). “As we move to a carbon free economy, SiC technology is a key driver to enable zero emissions in high efficiency electric vehicles, renewable energy, and charging infrastructure,” said Hassane El-Khoury, president and CEO of onsemi, in a press release. “By integrating GTAT, onsemi can now provide end-to-end power solutions from SiC crystal growth to fully integrated intelligent power modules.”

Qorvo has acquired United Silicon Carbide (UnitedSiC), a provider of silicon carbide power semiconductors.

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