Week in Review – IoT, Security, Auto

Samsung and Synopsys; FDA warning; Rivian revealed.


Synopsys announced successful deployment of the Synopsys Yield Explorer yield learning platform for fast ramp-up of new products on Samsung‘s advanced finFET technology nodes. Using the secure data exchange mechanism in Yield Explorer, Samsung is able to share the data required for yield analysis, such as chip design, fab, and test, with its customers while maintaining the confidentiality of proprietary information from each party. “Our customers expect us to provide fast and cost-effective manufacturing for their products so they can meet demanding market requirements,” JY Choi, vice president of the Foundry Design Technology Team at Samsung Electronics, said in a statement. “The secure collaboration model using Yield Explorer has greatly helped us to work efficiently with key customers to achieve target production yields quickly. We look forward to expanding this cooperation with Synopsys as we ramp up production on our 5-nanometer technology node.”

Synopsys released the latest version of its LucidShape CAA V5 Based software product, which enables designers to perform comprehensive optical simulations and analyses of automotive lighting products within the CATIA V5 environment. LucidShape CAA V5 Based version 2019.06, now available, makes it faster and easier than ever for designers to conceptualize and explore design solutions for automotive lighting to meet aesthetic and functional requirements.

Internet of Things
Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT Platform earned the company the title of “visionary” in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT Platforms.”

The Food and Drug Administration says insulin pumps made by Medtronic MiniMed are potentially vulnerable to cyberattacks. It is recalling the product and providing alternative insulin pumps to patients. More details from the FDA are available here.

This week in Huawei: The Trump administration relaxed its ban on selling microchips and other technology products to Huawei Technologies, under pressure from the U.S. semiconductor industry. This analysis looks at the policy reversal, which apparently puts trade issues above national security, after months of trying to convince allies that Huawei represents a clear and present danger to the West. Andrew Ross Sorkin writes that the administration’s going soft on Huawei points to a more important issue – China’s implementation of 5G cellular communications is already outstripping the U.S., and that technology gap will only grow wider in the 2020s. The Defense Innovation Board, which advises the Department of Defense, warned in April that the U.S. is falling behind in 5G connectivity.

The smaller providers in health care are generally not following standard cybersecurity practices, such as hiring a chief information security officer, a report by CHIME and KLAS says. Those organizations are more likely to depend on penetration testing rather than leveraging risk management, setting up compliance committees, and having bring-your-own-device management.

Massive data breaches are affecting mergers and acquisitions, especially if those breaches go unreported to the public and to the people affected by them, this analysis notes. The acquisition of Yahoo by Verizon Communications is a case in point. The Yahoo acquisition lost $350 million in value when the size of earlier breaches came to light, and Verizon was hit with a class-action lawsuit. A survey of 2,700 information technology professionals and business executives found that 93% of respondents said cybersecurity evaluations have become critical to M&A decisions.

Cyren, a software-as-a-service security provider in McLean, Va., put out a report saying parties offering phishing-as-a-service are often hiding their malicious links on popular cloud services. “By hosting phishing websites on legitimate cloud services, like Microsoft Azure, phishers are able to present legitimate domains and SSL certificates, lulling even the most attentive user into thinking a given phishing page is trustworthy,” the report states. Magni Sigurdsson, senior threat researcher at Cyren and co-author of the report, said using cloud services carries additional benefits for the phishing-as-a-service industry. “Companies like PayPal have bots and crawlers out there looking for these sites, but these guys are evading them by encrypting the domains or blocking the crawlers,” he said. “We’ve also seen an increase in using legitimate cloud platforms like Azure and OneDrive that often aren’t looked at by these crawlers, because they’re whitelisted.”

Rivian Automotive’s R. J. Scaringe is adept at getting big companies to invest in his startup. Amazon this year put $700 million into the company, while Ford Motor kicked in $500 million. The company has raised $1.7 billion without selling a single vehicle, this analysis notes, although Crunchbase puts Rivian’s total private funding at $1.4 billion. Either way, it’s a lot of money for a company that was in stealth mode until recently and won’t start producing electric vehicles for another year.

Cars with keyless ignitions can keep the engine running after occupants leave the vehicle, a safety hazard that has led to the deaths of at least 36 people in the U.S. since 2006, due to carbon monoxide fumes produced by the vehicle. Legislation has been introduced in Congress to address the issue.

During the second quarter of this year, Tesla delivered 77,550 Model 3 sedans, exceeding analyst estimates for the quarter. The car tech company also reported delivering 17,650 Model S and Model X electric vehicles. For Q2, Tesla produced more than 87,000 vehicles, with about 83% of them being Model 3s. Meanwhile, Tesla said a fire that occurred in April in a Model S vehicle in Shanghai, China, was caused by a single battery module, not a system defect.

Lee Iacocca, the automotive industry executive who died Tuesday at the age of 94, was an early booster of electric-assisted bicycles, before they became cool in the 21st century, Bradley Brownell writes. Iacocca started EV Global with $100 million of private funding to offer the E-Bike. The product was far ahead of its time, this analysis notes.

Ricoh agreed to acquire DocuWare, a supplier of document management and workflow automation software. The transaction is expected to close during this summer. Financial details weren’t revealed. Ricoh has partnered with DocuWare for years, using its software internally and for its customers. Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital and Nemetschek Group are among the selling shareholders in DocuWare.

Broadcom is in “advanced talks” to acquire Symantec, the cybersecurity software company that has seen a rough patch in recent weeks, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Symantec’s stock spiked on Wednesday following the report, topping $25 a share and pushing the company’s market capitalization to more than $16 billion. The deal could be weeks away, according to Bloomberg. Broadcom has been telling Wall Street analysts that it wants to acquire more software companies, veering away from chip vendors.

Accenture agreed to acquire BCT Solutions, a privately held cybersecurity and technology consultancy in Australia. BCT was established in 2015 and has offices in Brisbane and Canberra. It employs 44 people. Accenture has set aside $1.5 billion for acquisitions this year and has been active during 2019. Last month, the company bought Boston-based Energy Bridge Group, which provides IT consulting and systems integration, and Déjà vu Security of Seattle, which does IoT security testing.

Exabeam of San Mateo, Calif., agreed to acquire Skyformation, an Israeli cloud security startup. It is the first acquisition for Exabeam, which received $75 million in private funding during May. Established in 2014, Skyformation uses behavioral analytics to protect clients from cyberattacks.

Resideo Technologies bought Pittsburgh-based LifeWhere, which uses machine learning and analytics to predict potential failure of critical home appliances, including air conditioners, furnaces, and water heaters. LifeWhere was established in 2016. It represents the third acquisition that Resideo has made since it was spun off from Honeywell last October as a stand-alone, publicly held company.

Cleveland-based Keyfactor purchased Redtrust of Spain, marking an international expansion for the cybersecurity concern. Redtrust provides centralized certificates and digital signature management to protect digital identities. Keyfactor, formerly known as Certified Security Solutions, last year raised $77 million in private funding from Insight Venture Partners.

Health Catalyst filed for a $100 million initial public offering. The Salt Lake City company provides health-care data warehousing and analytics. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq as HCAT. Goldman Sachs serves as the lead underwriter for the offering. Health Catalyst reported a net loss of nearly $62 million on revenue of $112.6 million in 2018. The company raised almost $400 million in private funding. Sequoia Capital holds an equity stake of 21.9% prior to the IPO, while Norwest Venture Partners owns 21% and UPMC has 6.3%.

Japan Display, a supplier to Apple, reports putting together a $500 million bailout led by Harvest Group of China. The funds reportedly include a $100 million investment from Apple, which gets its iPhone screens from Japan Display. Apple accounts for more than half of Japan Display’s revenue. Oasis Management of Hong Kong is investing $150 million to $180 million in the display manufacturer, which is trying to raise a total of $743 million. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports Apple is relocating manufacturing of its Mac Pro desktop computer from the United States to China.

Tele2 CEO Anders Nilsson says Europe’s rollout of 5G services is halting due to U.S. sanctions against Huawei and governments in the European Union carefully considering the use of Chinese equipment in 5G wireless networks.

The Loon unit of Google is heading toward its first commercial trial of its balloon-based service for remote areas. The company is working with Telkom Kenya, which would provide 4G cellular service to mountain villagers. Loon has hoisted its balloons over Peru and Puerto Rico to offer cellular service following natural disasters.

And Semiconductor Engineering now has an Events page for the industry. Check out upcoming conferences, including SEMICON West & ES Design West next week.

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