Week In Review: Automotive, Security and Pervasive Computing

New EV tool and commitments; pausing next-gen GPT; longevity of EV batteries; Cerebras releases open use GPT; new full-stack AI-driven EDA suite; Microsoft security GPT tool; SiC-based automotive packaging; IoT design challenges; Apple security updates; CISA new vulnerabilities; university semiconductor programs.


The Biden administration uncorked a fueling station locator tool to help consumers locate charging stations by fuel type, a plan to install 24,000 charging stations at federal facilities by next fiscal year, as well as other clean energy commitments.

Source: Department of Energy: Alternative Fuels Data Center & Station Locator

Europe is making progress on a plan that requires all new cars and vans to be zero-emission, starting in 2035.

Industry leaders and others signed a letter calling for the “immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4,” even calling for the government to step in and institute a moratorium if the pause cannot be enacted quickly. Steve Wozniak and Elon Musk are among the 1,500 signers. “AI labs and independent experts should use this pause to jointly develop and implement a set of shared safety protocols for advanced AI design and development that are rigorously audited and overseen by independent outside experts,” the letter states.

Meanwhile, AI chip startup Cerebras released seven new GPT-based large language models for open use, saying it’s the first time a company has used non-GPU based AI systems to train LLMs up to 13 billion parameters, and is sharing the models, weights, and training recipe. All models were trained on the 16 CS-2 systems in the Cerebras Andromeda AI supercomputer. Find technical specs here.

AI is even becoming much more prominent in chip design, begging the question will AI replace engineers or be a tool for them. Four experts dove into these topics at the recent DesignCon.


Global chip sales reached a record $574 billion in 2022, up 3.3% from the prior year, with automotive and industrial sectors experiencing the largest growth.

Longevity of electric car batteries are top of mind for savvy EV shoppers, particularly given the cost of a replacement battery. Recurrent just published a 15,000 car study, finding only 1.5% have been replaced (outside of the Chevy Bolt recall), and most replacements are under warranty (the federal minimum warranty is 8 years or 100,000 miles). However, many EVs are only a couple of years old, so the research admittedly is still early in the EV evolution.

Source: Recurrent


KIA released details on it three-row seat EV9 SUV, touting conditional Level-3 autonomy, an all-electric range of 336 miles on a single charge, and ultra-fast 800-volt charging capacity with sufficient charge to power the vehicle for 148 miles in approximately 15 minutes.

Amkor is providing silicon carbide-based automotive packaging. Wide bandgap materials like silicon carbide are very efficient and can allow EVs to charge faster and go further on a same-sized battery.

Daimler Truck is utilizing Siemens‘ Xcelerator portfolio of software and services to build an integrated IT and next-gen engineering digital environment, rolling it out globally across all Daimler Truck engineering hubs, brands and business segments.

IoT, IIoT, and Connectivity

 Maximizing features and functions while minimizing costs is an ongoing balancing act for IoT designs, and the number of choices can be overwhelming. The menu includes SoC selection, OS and software protocols, wireless connectivity options and RF, network use, power and thermal management, battery life, available IoT standards, cybersecurity needs, as well as many other factors.

At this week’s SNUG Conference, Synopsys announced Synopsys.ai, a suite of AI-driven solutions for every step of chip design, from system architecture to design and manufacturing, along with the ability to access the tool from the cloud.

Winbond teamed up with STMicroelectronics to combine its specialty memory ICs (DDR3 DRAM) with ST’s STM32 MCUs and MPUs in smart industrial and consumer applications.

Infineon’s AIROC CYW20829 Bluetooth LE system on chip is now ready with the newly released Bluetooth 5.4 specification, supporting the entire spectrum of Bluetooth Low Energy use cases including smart home, sensors, mesh networks, gaming and more.


CISA (the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) issued an alert this week on Apple products, encouraging users to apply the necessary updates. CISA also added 10 new vulnerabilities to the Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog.

Microsoft unveiled a chatbot for cybersecurity, utilizing  OpenAI’s GPT-4, touting it’s the “first and only generative AI security product enabling defenders to move at the speed and scale of AI.”

The University of Florida published a new hybrid solution that is fully resilient against the state-of-the-art attacks on logic locking.

Do we now need a friends and family password to protect against scammers? The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers of audio deepfake scams, with perpetrators using AI to clone the voice of a family member as a method of scamming consumers for money.

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) released a cybersecurity maturity assessment tool for small and medium size businesses who want to assess their current cybersecurity maturity level.

Workforce shortage

The talent shortage is a top-of-mind challenge globally for building a semiconductor workforce to support all the new fabs. This week several U.S. university and STEM programs were announced to build out a much-needed supporting workforce:

  • Purdue University launched a oneAPI center to advance AI and high performance computing research projects.
  • Georgia Tech and GF are jointly creating new “research and development opportunities on GF semiconductor technology, curriculum development, training programs, internships, and joint faculty/engineering exchanges.”
  • SRC is offering a hand-on, paid research experience with the SRC Undergraduate Research Program. Deadline April 14.
  • Indiana University will create new degree programs in microelectronics, semiconductors and nanofabrication.
  • North Carolina’s Agricultural and Technical State University will be the beneficiary of a new R&D facility focused on SiC, partnering with Wolfspeed (CHIPS Act funding dependent).
  • The U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Argonne National Lab and Stellantis launched a Battery Workforce Challenge to help build the next-generation of engineers to address demand for the EV/battery workforce. The program includes a three-year collegiate engineering competition; vocational training; youth education in STEM; and career and technical education.

Outside of the U.S., Samsung Electronics inked agreements with several South Korean universities to offer semiconductor bachelors and masters programs.

Faced with a shortage of approximate 200,000 workers this year, China is boosting its push, as well, with chip engineering bootcamps and higher pay.

Upcoming events

Find the calendar for all relevant chip industry events here, including these upcoming conferences:

  • User2User North America, April 13, Santa Clara, CA
  • CadenceLive Silicon Valley, April19-20
  • RSA Conference 2023, April 24-27, San Francisco
  • HOST: HW-Oriented Security & Trust May 1-4, San Jose, CA
  • International Memory Workshop May 21-24, Monterey, CA
  • Symposium on Security & Privacy, May 22–25, SF/online
  • Hardwear.io Security Trainings and Conference, May 30-June 3 Santa Clara, CA

Further reading

Semiconductor Engineering publishes a monthly Automotive, Security and Pervasive Computing newsletter.  Find the latest newsletter here or visit our channel page which also includes top stories, videos, blogs and white papers.

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