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Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Rivian to build U.S. factory; Log4j; key fob subscriptions; solar-powered fuel; compact lidar.

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Automotive
Features of Toyota’s key fobs for entering vehicles get turned off when drivers do not start paying a subscription fee when the complementary subscriptions end, says an article in Ars Technica.

SiLC Technologies announced its compact Eyeonic Vision Sensor, a FMCW lidar sensor, is now commercially available. The sensor has a silicon photonic chip that keeps a lidar’s size down.

Zero emission vehicles
A series of Ansys multiphysics simulations has helped the Swiss solar-powered transportation startup Synhelion develop convert solar heat into a liquid synthetic fuels that can replace fossil fuels. Ansys’ computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) software helped the startup, which accessed them at a discount through the Ansys Startup Program, successfully design a system to concentrate solar heat into a high-temperature solar heat that then converts carbon dioxide (CO2) and water into the synthetic fuel. The fuels can replace fossil-fuel based gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel and be used in conventional internal combustion engines and aircraft turbines, according to a press release. The company can use 100% of the light spectrum by concentrating solar energy through a thermochemical process. Synhelion will be building its first production plant in 2022. The synthetic fuel emits less CO2 and fewer noxious gases when it is burned, according to Synhelion’s web site.

The electric vehicle charging company alpitronic will use Infineon’s EasyPACK CoolSiC modules and EiceDRIVER X3 drivers for a 50 kW hypercharger for residential EV charging. The modules will be the CoolSiC MOSFET 1B and 2B modules.

Nissan plans to build battery recycling factories in U.S., Europe by 2025, according to a story in Reuters. The car company will recycle and reuse the batteries to lower production costs.

EV truck and SUV startup Rivian is building a $5-billion factory in the U.S. state of Georgia that will be able to produce 400K vehicles a year. The company’s long anticipated vehicles have yet to be produced in large quantities. The company already has a factory in Illinois. This factory will be producing EVs by 2024. The car company recently when public and reported a “negative gross profit of $(82) million for the third quarter of 2021” as the company is ramping up its factory production.

French officials banned a taxi company G7’s use of the Tesla Model 3 after a fatal accident with the vehicle in Paris, according to Reuters. The accident may have been caused by a stuck accelerator (an ABC News video has video of the car speeding on a Paris street). Hopefully unrelated to any accidents, video games can be played on Tesla’s cockpit console. Tesla added video games to a recent over the air update.

Pervasive computing
MediaTek’s new Dimensity 9000 premium SoC is the first silicon to use Arm’s Total Compute solution, announced earlier this year. The SoC, which is targeted at immersive gaming on a mobile device, is the first to use the Armv9 Cortex CPU.

Infineon launched its AIROC Bluetooth LE and 802.15.4 families for use in low-power IoT products for the Matter smart home standard.

Cadence’s Clarity 3D Solver helped Butterfly Network enhance the design its ultrasound-on-a-chip system. The chip is designed to go into Butterfly Network’s handheld ultrasound probe, which can connect to smartphones that serve as a screen, among other configurations. Butterfly Network’s scanners have been covered in the press as a way to bring ultrasound to rural areas that might not have access to hospitals or for people who need frequent scans.

TSMC introduced its 5nm N4X process technology for high performance computing (HPC) products — the ‘X’ is TSMC’s indicator for HPC. N4X has 15% greater performance than N5, has back-end metal stack optimization, and super-high-density metal-insulator-metal capacitors for extreme performance loads. The first half of 2023 is the target date for TSMC’s N4X to enter risk production. Also, now certified on TSMC’s advance process technologies:

  • Siemens Digital Industries Software’s mPower solution for power integrity analysis of analog, digital and mixed-signal IC designs is now certified for N5 and N
  • Synopsys’ SiliconSmart Library Characterization Solution is certified for TSMC N5, N4 and N3.

The U.S. air quality analyzer market will reach $2.23 billion (USD) by 2028 and will expand at a CAGR of 6.3% from 2020 to 2028, according to a forecast from ResearchAndMarkets.com. Concern about air quality in indoor spaces is driving the growth.

Security
The Log4j flaw was found last week in the popular free Java-based open-source logging library Log4j. The vulnerability is dangerous because it is easy to exploit and is already being exploited by hackers. A variety of devices — servers, PCs, mobile — use Log4j, including IoT devices. The Apache Software Foundation developed the software released a security fix, among others who have released fixes.

Volvo Cars reported that a third party illegally accessed and stole some of its R&D property. Volvo and the battery company Northvolt are working together on battery R&D. The companies are opening a new R&D center in 2022.

Companies, people
KLA has set a goal to use 100% Renewable Electricity across global operations by 2030.

Cadence’s president and CEO, Anirudh Devgan, will receive the 2021 Phil Kaufman Award for Distinguished Contributions to Electronic System Design. The ESD Alliance, a SEMI Technology Community, and the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation annually present the award, which will be given in a ceremony in March 2022.

 

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

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