Week in Review: Iot, Security, Automotive

Achronix/BittWare smart accelerator card; Mobileye and NIO AVs; Synopsys’ die-die PHY; OTA firmware updates; digital twins IoT; Google opens ROT.


STMicroelectronics is now supporting LoRaWAN firmware updates over the air (FUOTA) in the STM32Cube ecosystem.

Microsoft is adding ANSYS Twin Builder to its Microsoft Azure Digital Twins software, which companies use to create digital twins of machinery and IoT devices that are deployed in remotely. The digital replica of actual devices helps companies predict when maintenance is needed, and ANSYS’s Twin Builder adds physics and simulation-based analytics for simulating the twin.

Altair Semiconductor’s cellular IoT chipset, the ALT1250, will be in Encore, PassTime’s automotive tracking device. The chipset has a multiyear battery and low power consumption, according to a press release. The tracking device will have a hardware-based security framework and a set of host, peripheral and sensor interfaces for use in industrial and consumer IoT applications. Altair is a Sony Group Company, PassTime has been in GPS telematics for automotive and transportation industry for over 20 years. Altair is also working with Renesas on ultra-small and ultra-low-power cellular IoT solutions. “Our combined technical excellence and differentiated IP will allow us to design the smallest and lowest power multi-protocol cellular chip-to-cloud solution for Industrial IoT applications,” said Sailesh Chittipeddi, executive vice president and general manager of Renesas’ IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit.

Smart buildings, cities
MediaTek and Elliptic Labs, which designs virtual smart sensors for AI that have ultrasound in them, announced that Elliptic Labs is joining MediaTek’s Rich IoT program. The sensors will be added to some MediaTek IoT processors and chipsets. OEMs using the chipsets will be able create room occupancy detection applications for smart home and gesture control using the existing hardware in their devices.

IoT software platforms for smart buildings are dominated by seven vendors, says independent research firm Verdantix. Siemens, Schneider Electric, Johnson Controls, iviva by Eutech, Switch Automation, Accruent and Spacewell lead the market out of the 13 vendors that Verdantix reviewed. The report looks at how well the companies fulfilled customer demands for monitoring, analyzing and controlling building services.

Qualcomm is offering a development kit for adding Amazon Alexa Voice Service in smart home products.

Broadcom is expanding its work with Infosys in business operations software by adding Broadcom’s automation.ai to Infosys’s SAP. The addition will help customers automate tests and some managerial tasks. The product will be called Continuous Testing for SAP S/4HANA.

Mobileye and NIO are collaborating on a level 4 autonomous electric and non-electric vehicles for China aimed at consumers and the robotaxi market. NIO will build and produce AVs for Mobileye using Mobileye’s L4 AV kit, which includes Mobileye’s system-on-chip, software (a driving policy, safety software and mapping solution), and other hardware (cameras, radars, lidars, cables, modem, GPS and additional mechanical components). NIO will then create an EV version for Chinese consumers and configure an EV robotaxi for Mobileye. Intel’s says its Mobileye company is now its fastest growing business on an annualized basis. Mobileye just had its first investor summit, where CEO Amnon Shashua forecast was rosy for Mobileye’s ADAS systems.

IDTechEx predicts the global autonomous car (SAE Level 3+) and robotaxi services will become a $2.5 trillion market by 2040. By then, the whole supply chain and OEMs will work more collaboratively together to achieve safe autonomy, and private car ownership will go down, says IDTechEx, as shared mobility will be cheaper without the cost of a human driver. IDTechEx forecasts that by 2040 30% of travel will be through shared AVs and by 2031 global passenger car sales will top out.

Advanced nodes may be needed for some autonomous driving functions and yet advanced nodes have may have some reliability issues. Cadence announced this week that its Tempus Power Integrity Solution for has signoff timing-aware IR drop analysis for 7nm chips and below. “Using the new tool, customers can significantly lower IR drop design margins without sacrificing signoff quality, thus improving power and area,” says the press release.

Autonomous vehicles will be racing on the speedway that hosts the Indianapolis 500 in two years. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and Energy Systems Network (ESN) announced a $1 million first prize for the team whose autonomous vehicle (AV) wins a high-speed AV race Oct. 23, 2021. Similar to the DARPA Grand Challenge, the Indy Autonomous Challenge will have five rounds to qualify teams: a white paper, a video or live demonstration of an AV, a simulated third-round race, a live vehicle test on the IMS, and the main race. ANSYS, the simulation sponsor, will supply its VRXPERIENCE Driving Simulator powered by SCANeR and its SCADE software development suite to teams to help them develop their autonomous vehicle software. The company will also provide $150,000 in prizes to third round top finishers. First prize is $1 million, second and third is $250,000, and $50,000 respectively.

ANSYS had double-digit growth in revenue in Q3. Among other products released in the quarter, ANSYS released ANSYS Autonomy, which the company says enables engineers to develop safer autonomous vehicles.

Google announced OpenTitan, an open source silicon root of trust project in which Google provides guidelines for design and integration of hardware root-of-trust into open-source ICs destined for data center servers, storage devices, peripherals, and other technologies. The guidelines will be based on its own Titan security chip.

Rambus also had strong Q3 results, attributing growth to revenue from design wins for interface and security IP and SoC designs in data center, edge, IoT and government. It also expanded GDDR6, HBM2 and 112G offerings for AI, data center, 5G and automotive.

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