Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

AWS glitches; Infineon’s teaching moment; proteanTecs’ chip telemetry goes mobile, consumer; Intel plans IPO for Mobileye.


Pervasive computing
An outage in network equipment at the US-EAST-1 Region of Amazon Web Services this week reminded customers of the downside to having every appliance run via a data center. Users accessing apps tied to AWS on the East coast found services did not work, including Alexa, Ring, smart appliances, some Amazon warehouses and packaging delivery, web APIs such as Slack, and some streaming services, such as Netflix. The issue also affected Amazon’s own monitoring equipment and incident response tooling, “which is delaying our ability to provide updates,” stated on AWS’ service health dashboard. The convenience of a phone app to unlock a front door became a major inconvenience when people could not get into their homes, because the Ring app was down, according to a story in Bloomberg. AWS has not announced the cause of the outage, but it was likely an overwhelmed internal network devices, according to Data Centre Dynamics. (A screenshot of the AWS service health dashboard from that day can be found here.)

The chip-health monitoring company proteanTecs is offering its predictive analytics engine to mobile and consumer electronics customers, so its customers can glean data on a chip’s health and system performance throughout its manufacture and lifetime. Using an agent embedded in the chip, proteanTecs can pull data — the company calls it Universal Chip Telemetry (UCT) — to understand what is stressing the chip, such temperature, vibration, and even software. The company already serves the automotive, data center, and communications markets.

Siemens Digital Industries Software’s mPower power integrity analysis tool for analog, digital, and mixed-signal IC designs is now certified for TSMC’s N7 and N5 process technologies.

Infineon is giving its high-precision CO2 sensor module to technical classes in 11 Higher Technical Schools (Höhere Technische Lehranstalten, HTLs) in Austria where students will create IoT systems that measure the CO2, temperature, humidity, and air pressure, to indicate when to ventilate a classroom. Infineon also launched its fifth generation of its CAPSENSE capacitive and inductive touch-sensing technology for human-machine interface (HMI) used in IoT consumer and industrial products. The company says it enhanced CAPSENSE, which is embedded in PSoC microcontrollers, with “advanced solutions like proximity sensing with improved detection range, gesture detection and directivity, along with hover detection for tomorrow’s advanced touchscreens,” according to a press release.

Intel announced its intent to take Mobileye public. Intel acquired Mobileye, an Israel-based startup specializing in driver-assistance and autonomous driving and vision chips, in 2017, after it went public in 2014. Intel said it will maintain majority ownership of Mobileye and the two companies will continue to work together as partners on technology. Amnon Shashua continuing as the company’s CEO.

Lam Research announced its Syndion GP, a product for manufacturing chips with a precise, deep-silicon etch needed in power devices and power management integrated circuits destined for the automotive, electric power delivery, and energy industries. The system can manufacture devices at 200 mm and 300 mm wafer sizes.

Volvo Cars and battery company Northvolt are opening a research center in Gothenburg, Sweden, according to a story in Reuters. Volvo Cars plans to produce and sell only electric vehicles by 2030.

Toyota had to shut some of its production lines down in Japan because of supply chain issues, Reuters reported. The shutdown will cut car output by 9,000 vehicles, out of Toyota’s goal to produce 800,000 units in December.

Stellantis — the automotive group that includes Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat, and Peugeot — and electronics manufacturer Foxconn are teaming up to design and sell flexible semiconductors for automotive industry. “Our software-defined transformation will be powered by great partners across industries and expertise,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO in a press release. “With Foxconn, we aim to create four new families of chips that will cover over 80% of our semiconductor needs, helping to significantly modernize our components, reduce complexity, and simplify the supply chain. This will also boost our ability to innovate faster and build products and services at a rapid pace.”

STMicroelectronics introduced the third generation of its silicon-carbide (SiC) power devices for EV use in traction inverters, on-board chargers, and DC/DC converters, among other uses. The chips use SiC MOSFETs, which have a higher voltage rating and a fast intrinsic diode with bi-directional properties needed when on-board chargers transmit used electricity from the car battery to the infrastructure.

South Korea-based Nextchip is adopting Rambus’ RT-640 Root of Trust and MACsec-IP-160 Protocol Engine for hardware-level security in Nextchip’s Apache6 automotive processor, used in ADAS systems.

Read more news at Manufacturing, Test and Design, Low Power.

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