Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

Arm Neoverse; raising Arizona R&D; Samsung buys Zhilabs.


Internet of Things
At Arm TechCon, Arm unveiled its Neoverse brand identity, providing an infrastructure foundation for 5G, the Internet of Things, edge computing, and other applications. The Arm Neoverse IP will proliferate next year from Arm and its technology partners. With Arm’s “Ares” platform, to be introduced in 2019, the company promises to deliver 30% per-generation performance improvements.

Arm also announced at this week’s TechCon completing strategic partnerships with Intel, myDevices, and Arduino to bring more capabilities to the Arm Pelion IoT platform. Arm’s Pelion Device Management is being paired with Intel’s Secure Device Onboard service, enabling the Pelion platform to onboard and manage Intel Architecture (x86) platforms in addition to Arm-based IoT devices and gateways. The company also brought out Mbed Linux OS, which is integrated with the Pelion IoT Platform. Arm is partnering with myDevices to simplify device and solution onboarding, using myDevices’ IoT in a Box solutions. Arduino is partnering with Pelion Connectivity Management, offering users a choice of competitive global data plans to suit projects of any size.

Lastly, Arm is collaborating with Cybereason to secure IoT devices across many sectors. Cybereason offers the AI Hunting Platform for cybersecurity protection. The company will integrate its protection, detection, and response capabilities into the Pelion IoT Platform. SoftBank Corp. last year invested $100 million in Cybereason, which has a total of $189 million in private funding. Arm is owned by SoftBank Group.

IoT at sea: Rolls-Royce will use Intel chips in developing a worldwide system for autonomous ships to bear cargo across the seven seas. The U.K. company has autonomous shipping research and development centers in Finland and Norway. It estimates these ships could each generate 1 terabyte of data per day, making use of their position and visual sensors, along with high-resolution cameras. Rolls-Royce plans to use Intel’s Xeon Scalable processors aboard the ships and in related data centers. Data is already stored in Intel’s 3D NAND flash-based solid-state drives. Rolls-Royce will later consider use of the chipmaker’s Optane SSDs and field-programmable gate arrays.

Researchers at ESET, a software security firm in Slovakia, said three energy and transport companies in Ukraine and Poland were infected with malware over a period of three years, and that malware could be used to launch devastating cyberattacks, Reuters reports. The malware infections may have originated with Russia’s GRU spy agency, it was said. FireEye says a group known as Sandworm was likely responsible for causing power outages in Ukraine in December of 2015.

IBM Security runs a cybersecurity training facility in Cambridge, Mass. Not everyone who needs such training can go to Cambridge, so IBM has created a custom semi-trailer truck that can go to places where people can benefit from the training. The “cyber tactical operations center” will visit the National Mall, college campuses, and security conferences in the U.S. before engaging on a European tour.

Your Internet connection was okay last week, right? The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers would be relieved to learn that. On October 11, ICANN changed the cryptographic key protecting the Domain Name System. The organization had planned to do this in 2017 but was concerned that the changeover would disrupt Internet-based operations. ICANN is upgrading the top pair of cryptographic keys used in the Domain Name System Security Extensions, which defend the Internet’s foundational servers.

The Malwarebytes cybersecurity firm reports cybercriminal activity targeting businesses increased 55% during the third quarter of this year, compared with the second quarter of 2018. It adds that cybercriminal activity aimed at consumers rose just 4%, in comparison. The Emotet and LokiBot malware strains, which go after banking services, were largely behind the Q3 increase in cybercriminal activity, according to Malwarebytes.

Automotive Tech
TomTom this week acknowledged that it lost a contract with Volvo Cars, awarded in 2016, to provide location and navigation services to Volvo vehicles starting in 2019. Analysts at ING speculated that the Volvo business had gone to Google, which competes with HERE Technologies and TomTom for vehicle-based mapping, location, and navigation services.

The state of Arizona established the Institute for Automated Mobility, a public-private partnership that will be overseen by the Arizona Commerce Authority. Intel is taking a leading role in the initiative, making an unspecified investment in the effort, on top of the state’s $1.5 million in funding. Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University, all public institutions of higher learning, are involved in IAM, along with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Earlier this year, Michigan and Microsoft formed The American Center for Mobility, a not-for-profit organization for autonomous vehicle research.

NIO, the Chinese manufacturer of premium electric vehicles, reports delivering 3,368 ES8 high-performance electric SUVs through September 30, of which 3,268 were delivered during the third quarter of this year. The carmaker says it increased monthly ES8 deliveries from 381 in July to 1,766 in September.

Rambus will work with Riscure to offer security testing on a global basis to microchip manufacturers, government institutions, and security evaluation laboratories. The Differential Power Analysis Workstation from Rambus will be expanded to include the Riscure Inspector Fault Injection products to form a comprehensive side-channel analysis platform, the companies said.

Iluvatar CoreX licensed FlexNoC Interconnect technology from Arteris IP for use in a deep learning system-on-a-chip device. Iluvatar CoreX designs chips for cloud computing and high-performance computing.

Synopsys brought out the Platform Architect Ultra for the design of AI-enabled SoCs. Denso used the architecture to design AI chips for automotive SoCs. Synopsys also announced that STMicroelectronics selected the ASIP Designer Tool for use by the chipmaker’s Microcontroller and Digital IC groups. The EDA company engaged with Arm to support the new Neoverse IP. Early adopters successfully taped out products targeting cloud-to-edge infrastructure with Synopsys’ Design Platform with Fusion Technology, Verification Continuum Platform, and DesignWare interface IP. Lastly, Synopsys said the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency selected the ZeBu emulation technology for use in DARPA’s Posh Open Source Hardware program, part of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative, working with Lockheed Martin and Analog Devices.

Canada’s Thalmic Labs, a developer of wearable electronics, is ending sales of its Myo armband, used to control computers, drones, smartphones, and other products through gestures. The Ontario-based company has raised more than $135 million in private funding from such investors as Amazon’s Alexa Fund and Intel Capital.

Redpine Signals introduced the RS12000 SmartMCU line of microcontrollers for IoT applications. The chips are based on Arm’s Cortex-M4F core running at up to 250MHz.

Sierra Wireless brought out the AirPrime HL7800 LPWA for use on LTE-M, narrowband IoT, and GNSS networks. The module is available in the CF3 form factor and can scale to 3G or 4G networks in the future, the company says. Meanwhile, Kent Thexton, interim president and CEO of Sierra Wireless since May 31, was named president and CEO on a permanent basis effective November 1.

Marvell Technology Group increased its share repurchase program by $700 million to just over $1 billion. About the same time, Stifel upgraded its rating on MRVL shares from “hold” to “buy,” setting a 12-month target price of $21 a share. Marvell’s stock closed Thursday at $18.09.

Solar Winds of Austin, Texas, slashed the terms of its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The provider of IT management software was planning to sell 42 million shares at $17 to $19 a share, which would raise $756 million at the midpoint pricing of $18. The company revised the offering to 25 million shares at $15 to $16 a share, raising $387.5 million at the midpoint pricing of $15.50. The stock will trade on the Big Board as SWI.

Samsung Electronics acquired Barcelona-based Zhilabs; financial terms weren’t revealed. The Spanish firm specializes in network data analysis, which could prove crucial to the Korean company as it presses into 5G cellular communications. In August, Samsung said it would spend $22.23 billion on developing 5G, AI, automotive chips, and biopharmaceuticals.

Temasek is acquiring Sygnia, an Israeli provider of cybersecurity technology and services. Reuters reports the purchase price, which was not revealed, is $250 million.

Atlanta-based ControlScan purchased Dunbar Cybersecurity of Hunt Valley, Md. ControlScan provides managed security services and compliance offerings. Dunbar has a security operations center and offers the Cyphon security information and event management platform.

Luna Innovations of Roanoke, Va., acquired Micron Optics, which provides optical components and laser-based measurement technology for the aerospace and automotive industries, for $5 million. Established in 1990, Atlanta-based Micron Optics specializes in high-performance fiber optic-based test products for the telecommunications industry and distributed fiber optic-based sensing.

Market Research
Juniper Research forecasts there will be 51 billion IoT connections in 2022, representing 140% growth compared with 2018. It further predicts there will be 46 billion industrial and enterprise IoT connections in 2023. The market research firm has a new report, The Internet of Things for Platform Providers, available here.

The Linley Fall Processor Conference will be held Wednesday, October 31, and Thursday, November 1, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Santa Clara, Calif. Topics include advanced automotive processors, deep learning processors, embedded processors, IoT devices, networking processors, and server processors. Flex Logix Technologies will have a presentation on October 31 about “A High-Performance Reconfigurable Neural Accelerator with Low DRAM Bandwidth,” given by Cheng Wang, the company’s senior vice president of engineering.