Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

Smarter buildings; 5G security; Tesla news.


Internet of Things
Smart-building technology is a factor in marketing new facilities to prospective tenants. The new Cambridge Crossing development in Cambridge, Mass., aspires to attract tech-oriented tenants much like nearby Kendall Square, this analysis notes. Philips has agreed to lease seven floors in Cambridge Crossing’s first office building, making that location its North American headquarters.

Processing and analyzing data at the edge is a market Intel would like to dominate. Jonathan Ballon, vice president and general manager of the chipmaker’s Internet of Things Group, talks about making IoT devices smarter in this interview. “What we find is that close to half of these types of edge deployments are actually processing, storing, and analyzing the data on-prem at the edge. What they send back to the data center is just the metadata for more asynchronous training,” he says.

Wing, a graduate of Alphabet and X research and development lab, is initiating a commercial drone delivery service in Canberra, Australia, after more than four years of testing. The country’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority has given its regulatory approval to the nascent service. About 100 homes in the Crace, Franklin, and Palmerston suburbs of the national capital will have access at the initial launch of service, with the Gungahlin and Harrison suburbs to follow.

This week in Huawei – the U.S. government is changing tactics on the worldwide development of networks for 5G cellular communications. Rather than trying to convince intelligence-sharing allies to ban the use of networking and telecommunications equipment made in China, the Trump administration is now suggesting that those allies develop strict 5G security standards – so strict that sketchy suppliers would be scared off.

Cisco Systems released “Anticipating the Unknowns,” a benchmark study for chief information security officers. The company had an independent research partner to conduct a double-blind survey with respondents in 18 countries. Cisco has been heavily investing in cybersecurity in recent years, through acquisitions and internal R&D.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) does poor work in notifying victims of a cyberattack, according to a report by the Office of the Inspector General within the U.S. Department of Justice. The shortcomings included varying quality in victim notification reports.

Symantec reports that two-thirds of hotel websites inadvertently leak the booking details and personal data of guests to third-party sites, including advertisers and analytics firms. Marriott International, which recently had a massive data breach extending over years, was not included in the study of more than 1,500 hotel websites in 54 countries. “While it’s no secret that advertisers are tracking users’ browsing habits, in this case, the information shared could allow these third-party services to log into a reservation, view personal details, and even cancel the booking altogether,” said Candid Wueest, the primary researcher on the study.

JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon says cybersecurity is the “biggest threat” to the financial services industry in his annual letter to shareholders. He notes that the company spends nearly $600 million a year on cybersecurity and employs 3,000 people involved in those efforts. “Indirectly, we also spend a lot of time and effort trying to protect our company in different ways as part of the ordinary course of running the business,” Dimon wrote. “But the financial system is interconnected, and adversaries are smart and relentless – so we must continue to be vigilant.”

Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab is resigned to the U.S. government prohibiting federal agencies from using its antivirus software, a ban imposed at the end of 2017. The company chalks up the ban to geopolitics beyond its control. The company has increased sales in other geographic markets as a result, leading to a 4% gain in 2018 revenue to $726 million.

D3 Security issued a report saying that most companies are using little or no automation in cybersecurity. The 2019 Automation and Integration Survey was completed in collaboration with the SANS Institute.

Tesla seeks to divert attention from its continuing controversies and financial results by promoting improvements in its advanced driver-assistance system technology. The company will soon have a software update for its Navigate by Autopilot system, introduced in late 2018. Tesla will host an investors day event next Friday, April 19, at its headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., allowing investors to get into a Tesla vehicle with Autopilot capability. Meanwhile, Panasonic says it is reviewing whether to make further investments in its Gigafactory battery joint venture with Tesla.

Jailed once more in a Tokyo detention center, Carlos Ghosn released a video statement this week decrying the actions of Nissan Motor executives, accusing them of mismanaging the automotive manufacturer. “I’m talking here about a few executives who obviously for their own interests and for their own selfish fears are creating a lot of value destruction,” he said. Nissan stated that Ghosn and Greg Kelly, another former Nissan executive, were dismissed from their positions due to ethical issues.

Flex Logix Technologies brought out the InferX X1 edge co-processor, which will be available as chips for edge devices and on half-height, half-length PCIe cards for edge gateways and servers. InferX X1 is programmed using the company’s nnMAX Compiler, which takes TensorFlow Lite or ONNX models.

Synopsys reports being recognized by Forrester Research in The Forrester Wave: Software Composition Analysis, with the company’s Black Duck SCA offering getting the highest score in the Software Development Life Cycle integration, policy management, and training criteria.

The “Arm Ecosystem” is the subject of a blog post by Rhonda Dirvin, senior director of Arm’s Automotive and IoT Business. A recent white paper by The Linley Group says, “Having shipped in more than 130 billion chips, the Arm architecture has become as familiar as breathing to many SoC designers.” She adds, “It struck me that the Arm Ecosystem is more than just the world’s largest compute ecosystem. It is shared oxygen for SoC designers.”

OmniVision Technologies introduced the OV2778 automotive image sensor. The component is housed in a 6.5-millimeter by 5.7mm automotive chip-scale package.

Ambarella debuted its S6LM camera chip, which it says can improve the clarity of home security cameras, while also benefitting professional security cameras. The chip design company is currently sampling the S6LM system-on-a-chip device.

Amazon acquired Boulder, Colo.-based Canvas Technology, a developer of autonomous robotics for factories and warehouses; financial terms weren’t revealed. Founded in 2015, Canvas had raised $19 million in private funding from Playground Global, Morado Ventures, Xplorer Capital, AME Cloud Ventures, and other investors.

Qorvo signed a definitive agreement to acquire Active-Semi International, a privately held fabless semiconductor company specializing in programmable analog power chips; financial details weren’t disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by the end of Qorvo’s fiscal first quarter on June 29. Active-Semi will become part of Qorvo’s Infrastructure and Defense Products group. Active-Semi’s product portfolio addresses applications in 5G, automotive electronics, data centers, industrial systems, and smart homes.

Deutsche Boerse agreed to acquire Axioma for $850 million. The New York-based risk management software supplier will be combined with Deutsche Boerse’s index business to create a new index analytics firm. Deutsche Boerse will hold 78% of the new company, while General Atlantic, a private equity firm, will invest $715 million in the new venture for an equity stake of about 19%. Axioma raised more than $30 million from ThirdStream Partners, Goldman Sachs, Salmon River Capital, and other investors.

Reuters reports Volkswagen is considering taking a big equity stake in Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (known as JAC Motors), its Chinese electric vehicle joint venture partner, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter. Beijing last year removed equity restrictions on ownership of Chinese companies making EVs or plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Uber Technologies lodged its S-1 filing on Thursday, saying it seeks to raise $1 billion from its initial public offering, expected next month. The ride-hailing giant is more likely to raise around $10 billion from the offering, at a company valuation of $90 billion to $100 billion, less than the $120 billion investment bankers were expecting at one point. The company plans to trade as UBER on the New York Stock Exchange. Expectations for the giant IPO, which could be among the largest in U.S. history, are being trimmed in the wake of Lyft’s IPO, which started out strong yet has yo-yoed in price since the debut two weeks ago. The LYFT offering was priced at $72 a share. It closed on Thursday at $61.01 a share, down $10.99 or about 15% from the initial price.

Also on the trading horizon is the IPO of Zoom Video, the videoconferencing company from San Jose, Calif. The company has set IPO terms to 20.87 million shares at $28 to $32 a share, which would value the company at about $7.7 billion at the midpoint price. Zoom plans to trade as ZM on Nasdaq. The lead underwriter is Morgan Stanley. Zoom raised about $160 million from private investors. Emergence Capital Partners holds 12.5% of the company prior to the IPO, while Sequoia Capital has 11.4%. For 2018, Zoom posted net income of $7.6 million on revenue of $331 million.

Tufin Software Technologies raised $107.8 million from its IPO, selling 7.7 million shares at $14 a share, with an initial market capitalization of $454 million. TUFN on the NYSE closed the first trading day up $5.10 to $19.10, up more than 36% for the day. Tufin provides network security policy management software.

PagerDuty raised $217.68 million from its IPO, selling 9.07 million shares at $24 a share, with an opening market cap of about $1.77 billion. PD finished its first trading day on the Big Board at $38.25, a gain of $14.25 or around 59%. The San Francisco-based company provides an incident resolution platform.

Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council, said Thursday that the Trump administration will let the private sector drive the development of 5G infrastructure, without any intervention by the U.S. government. “I don’t want the government to run this,” he said at an event hosted by CTIA, the wireless industry association.

The U.S. Department of Defense selected Amazon and Microsoft to contend for a $10 billion cloud services contract, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI. IBM and Oracle were earlier disqualified from bidding on the contract. Only one cloud vendor will win the contract, which now may be awarded in mid-July.

Market Research
Juniper Research forecasts the digital twins market will rise to $13 billion a year by 2023, up from an estimated $9.8 billion this year, for a compound annual growth rate of 35%. Digital Twins in IoT: Market Strategies, Challenges & Overlook, 2019-2023 can be previewed here. Juniper also offers a free white paper, How AI is Transforming Digital Twins.

Frost & Sullivan has a new report, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) – Global Market Analysis, Forecast to 2023.

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