Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

Forrester predictions; cybersecurity agency; Nissan chairman arrested.


Internet of Things
Forrester Research released its 2019 Internet of Things predictions. Some key points: Bundled service offerings will catalyze a sleepy consumer IoT market; cybercriminals will lay siege to a smart-city implementation; and a market for IoT managed services will emerge in 2019.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up. Those days present some opportunities to purchase IoT products for business or the home. Here are some deals on wearables. Amazon is having a seven-day sales extravaganza with its Cyber Monday Deals Week promotion, which runs through December 2, for Amazon Prime members. They’ve got LoRa IoT in a Box and other offerings.

President Donald Trump signed into law a bill that creates the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department of Homeland Security. The legislation reorganizes the department’s National Protection and Programs Directorate into an agency-level unit for DHS.

Cybersecurity professionals need to think like cybercriminals to do their job, Josephine Wolff, an assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, writes in this opinion piece. “We should think carefully about the skills we need, about the rules and principles that we know how to teach and also about how to encourage students to break those rules and find ways around those principles,” she concludes.

Most tech folks are revved up about 5G cellular communications, yet security experts have some caveats about the technology. The 5G security protocol known as Authentication and Key Agreement (AKA), for example, has security shortcomings that were revealed with Tamarin, a tool for examining cryptographic protocols, this article notes.

The FortiGuard Labs team at Fortinet has predictions about the cyberthreat landscape in 2019. Key points: Cyberattacks will become smarter and more sophisticated; greater use of artificial intelligence fuzzing and vulnerabilities; the rising price of zero-day exploits; the swarm-based botnets known as hivenets; and poisoning machine learning. See this blog post for more details.

Seer Interactive reports that the personal information of donors to charities, political party supporters, and online shoppers can be easily accessed due to poor website security practices. It estimates that up 20% of e-commerce sites leave their customers exposed to cybersnoopers, and this personal data – full names, street addresses, methods and dates of payments, and email addresses – can often be discovered with basic Google searches.

Russia’s Group IB plans to open a global headquarters in Singapore, CEO Ilya Sackhov says. The cybersecurity firm does business around the world and has offices in Dubai, London, and New York, in addition to Moscow.

Check Point Software Technologies is moving to address the cybersecurity market with greater aggressiveness, Harsh Chauhan of The Motley Fool writes in this analysis. One move is the completion of the Dome9 acquisition for $175 million in cash. Dome9’s technology will augment the company’s Infinity cyberdefense platform and possibly help to get more enterprise customers, he writes.

Automotive Tech
Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of Nissan Motor, was arrested Monday in Tokyo and charged with underreporting his compensation to the financial authorities in Japan. This follows an internal investigation by Nissan, which will seek to remove Ghosn and Greg Kelly, a representative director of the automotive manufacturer, for “significant acts of misconduct.” The French government, the biggest shareholder in Renault, is moving cautiously on Ghosn’s future with the carmaker. Nissan and Renault are tied to Mitsubishi Motors, where Ghosn is chairman of the board, in an international alliance with cross-ownership.

Sales of automotive electronic systems will increase by 7.0% this year to $152 billion and by 6.3% next year to $162 billion, according to IC Insights. The market research firm forecasts auto electronic systems will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 6.4% from 2017 through 2021, leading all other major system categories, including communications, computer, and consumer applications.

Nuance Communications plans to spin off its Automotive business segment into an independent, publicly traded company, Nuance Auto. The segment had $279 million in revenue for the fiscal year ended September 30. The company expects to complete the spinoff by the end of fiscal 2019. Nuance Auto offers cognitive assistants and voice recognition for vehicle infotainment and communication systems.

Is there a future for Faraday Future? This news analysis raises questions about whether the electric vehicle startup can continue operating after a year of various business setbacks. The company this month said it is working with Stifel Nicolaus and Miller Buckfire to line up $500 million in new financing from outside investors, after an arbitration decision in Hong Kong regarding Faraday’s relations with Evergrande Health Industry Group, an investor that had promised to provide $2 billion in private funding to the startup. Faraday will proceed with production of its FF 91 luxury vehicle at its factory in Hanford, Calif., and plans to deliver vehicles to its paid reservation holders next year. Faraday also is aiming for an initial public offering in 2020.

Valeo demonstrated its Drive4U autonomous vehicle prototype, capable of Level 4 autonomy, on the streets of Paris, France. The giant supplier of auto parts doesn’t plan to enter the contest for self-driving car superiority; the company wanted to show that it can provide the sensors and other technology required for autonomous vehicles.

Ford Motor is working with Walmart and Postmates to provide grocery deliveries in Miami with self-driving vehicles. Similar test programs are under way in Oklahoma City; San Jose and San Mateo, Calif.; and in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Renesas Electronics is expanding its partnership with Mahindra & Mahindra and with Mahindra Racing in developing EVs. The development team is working on system-level upgrades with the Renesas RH850/E2x microcontroller and the chip company’s automotive battery management ICs.

CVC Capital Partners acquired a 20% equity stake in DKV Mobility Services Group, a family-owned fleet services company in Germany. The Wall Street Journal estimates the enterprise value of DKV at about €2 billion ($2.29 billion).

Micron Technology will work with the BMW Group to develop automotive memory offerings for self-driving cars. Micron’s memory and data storage technologies will be combined with BMW’s Test Automation Framework for testing in the carmaker’s lab in Munich, Germany. The advanced driver-assistance system market is forecast to be worth $91.83 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 20.96% between 2018 and 2025, according to MarketsandMarkets.

France’s BlaBlaCar, a carpooling and ride-hailing service company, agreed to acquire Ouibus, a bus operator owned by SNCF, the national railway company in France. As part of the deal, SNCF, Insight Venture Partners, and other investors are putting $114 million into BlaBlaCar, bringing its total private funding to more than $300 million.

China’s Zotye Auto plans to start selling crossovers and SUVs in the U.S. in 2020, through a partnership with HAAH Automotive Holdings. Based in Hangzhou, near Shanghai, Zotye is also collaborating with Ford on developing EVs for the Chinese market.

DECA Technologies joined the OSAT Alliance at Mentor, a Siemens Business. DECA is offering a new assembly design kit for its M-Series advanced fan-out wafer-level package process to be used with Mentor software to mutual customers of DECA and Mentor.

Inovonics of Louisville, Colo., released its Internet protocol gateway for commercial monitoring applications in the Industrial IoT. The company’s EN4080 IP gateway is meant for customers in Australia, New Zealand, and North America, while the EE4080 IP gateway serves customers in the European Union.

Cypress Semiconductor introduced a new chip in its ultra-low-power PSoC 6 microcontroller line for computing, connectivity, and storage in IoT edge devices. The new MCUs include more embedded memory with 2 megabytes of flash memory and 1MB of SRAM for compute-intensive algorithms, connectivity stacks, and data logging.

Analog Devices brought out device-level security and time-sensitive networking switching capabilities for industrial automation applications. It also introduced the ADcmXL3021 module, billed as a complete sensing system, using ADI’s MEMS sensor technology. The Symeo subsidiary of ADI debuted the 60GHz LPR-IDHP-200 line of industrial radar sensors.

The ParTech subsidiary of PAR Technology unveiled PAR IoT, a cloud-based system for remote monitoring with near-real-time alerting for temperature failures and power disruptions. The offering includes commercial-grade sensors, up to 100 wireless sensors with one PAR IoT Gateway, a notification service for when sensors are out of compliance or power is interrupted, the PAR IoT Portal, and the ability to monitor the system through the Web or mobile applications, whether Android or iOS.

Lantronix released the SGX 5150 MD IoT gateway for the secure access and management of medical devices in hospitals, laboratories, and other health-care environments. The gateway provides connectivity for EKG machines, glucose analyzers, infusion pumps, patient monitoring systems, and ventilators. It is supported by the company’s MACH10 Global Device Manager IoT management software platform and the Lantronix Gateway Central service.

Skyworks Solutions says Semtech is integrating its high-efficiency front-end modules with their next-generation LoRa devices and wireless radio-frequency technology for picocell gateways. Those modules for LPWAN applications include the SKY66420-11, SKY66421-11, and SKY66423-11.

Renesas introduced the RYF0E embedded controller, an energy-harvesting device based upon the company’s silicon-on-thin-buried-oxide process technology. The part is a 32-bit Arm Cortex-based embedded controller that can operate at up 64MHz.

Qualcomm Technologies is collaborating with Naver Labs of Seongnam, Gyeonggi province, China, on augmented reality, autonomous driving, IoT, and robotics technology. The companies plan to demonstrate their products and services at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

Market Research
Worldwide spending on robotic process automation software will reach $680 million this year, up 57% from 2017, and growing to $2.4 billion in 2022, Gartner forecasts. Banks, insurance companies, telecoms, and utilities are currently the largest adopters of RPA tools, the market research firm reports.

Arm has been able to take a long-term perspective under ownership by the SoftBank Group since 2016, CEO Simon Segars says in this interview. “We’ve hired a couple of thousand more engineers into the company in those two years, so that we can invest in parallel in the opportunity that is 5G and AI and IoT and autonomous vehicles, as well as maintaining our core roadmap,” he notes, adding, “We wouldn’t been able to do that as a public company.”

Citrix acquired Sapho of San Bruno, Calif., for about $200 million in cash. Sapho offers an enterprise application development platform for legacy software and had attracted around $27 million in private funding.

Oracle agreed to acquire San Jose, Calif.-based Talari Networks, a provider of software-defined wide-area network technology; financial terms weren’t disclosed. The transaction is expected to close before the end of this year. Talari will become part of the Oracle Communications global business unit. The startup had raised about $68 million from private investors.

Legrand bought Netatmo, a supplier of smart home products; financial terms weren’t revealed. The startup has $51 million in annual revenue. Legrand is the world’s largest manufacturer of sockets and switches.

Welcome Back
The recent closing of Rethink Robotics put dozens of employees out of work. Two European companies this month stepped in for a renaissance of Rethink’s people and technology. Denmark’s Universal Robots is merging its Boston office with Rethink’s former headquarters in Beantown and hiring more than 20 of Rethink’s 100 employees. Germany’s Hahn Group, a former Rethink partner, acquired the robotics startup’s patents and trademarks. BIS Research forecasts the market for collaborative robots (cobots) could increase from $283 million in 2017 to $3.26 billion by 2022.

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