Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

Arm adds automation engine; Synopsys’ security report; Capital One; Ford purchases.


Rambus agreed to acquire Hillsboro, Ore.-based Northwest Logic, a purveyor of memory, PCIe, and MIPI digital controllers. The transaction is expected to close in the current quarter. Financial terms weren’t disclosed; Rambus said in a statement, “Although this transaction will not materially impact 2019 results due to the expected timing of close and acquisition accounting, Rambus expects this acquisition to be accretive in 2020.” Northwest Logic’s digital IP controller cores are meant to be incorporated in ASICs and FPGAs.

Arm is launching Pelion Connectivity Management 2.0, including a new automation engine. New features are said to enable organizations to automatically manage millions of devices across multiple countries and different networks. Portugal’s NOS, a mobile network operator (MNO), is using Pelion Connectivity Management to migrate and manage their whole worldwide Internet of Things subscriber base. Nigel Chadwick, Arm’s vice president and general manager, Pelion Connectivity Management, writes in a blog post, “These new automation capabilities significantly improve the IoT services, speed, and reliability of connectivity that MNOs deliver to their enterprise customers – whether it’s the provisioning of new devices or ensuring monthly bills never go over a set threshold.”

Synopsys brought out “The State of Software Security in the Financial Services Industry,” a report that can be downloaded here. The electronic design automation vendor commissioned the Ponemon Institute to survey financial services organizations around the world. “While the financial services industry is relatively mature in terms of their software security posture, organizations are grappling with a rapidly evolving technology landscape and facing increasingly sophisticated adversaries,” Drew Kilbourne, managing director of security consulting for the Synopsys Software Integrity Group, said in a statement. “There is no single right approach to software security, but this study clearly shows that there is a significant need for improvement in supply chain risk management. There is also an opportunity for many organizations to expand the scope of their software security programs to cover all their business-critical applications and shift their efforts further left in the software development life cycle.”

Marvell Semiconductor debuted low-power PCIe fourth-generation NVMe solid-state driver controllers for use in data centers and edge computing devices. Chris Kilburn, corporate vice president and general manager, Client Channel, Advanced Micro Devices, said in a statement, “AMD recently introduced the world’s first PCIe 4.0-ready desktop PC platform, the third- generation AMD Ryzen processor and AMD X570 chipset for socket AM4. We are delighted with the Marvell DRAM-less PCIe Gen4 SSD controller helping bring the increased bandwidth and performance required to elevate the user experience with next-generation computing devices.”

Here’s a video from ClioSoft, “Successfully Moving a Design Environment to the Cloud.”

Silicon Labs debuted the Si497x7 line of hybrid software-defined radio tuners, an extension of the chip company’s family of Global Eagle and Dual Eagle AM/FM receivers and digital radio tuners. These are its first automotive radio tuners supporting the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) standard, the Austin-based company notes.

Foster City, Calif.-based Qualys is making its Global Asset Discovery and Inventory application free to all businesses.

Internet of Things
AT&T is collaborating with Badger Technologies, a product division of Jabil, on retail automation, developing autonomous robots with 5G wireless networking capabilities. The robots could conceivably warn customers about store hazards, while also seeing to more mundane tasks, such as identifying out-of-stock, misplaced, or mispriced inventory. “In-building cellular solutions, including 5G and edge computing, are critical drivers of digital transformation for retailers,” Mo Katibeh, Chief Marketing Officer, AT&T Business, said in a statement. “These technologies will eventually equip robots with both the compute power and lower latency needed to increase revenue, improve the in-store experience, and elevate employees to better assist customers. Badger Technologies’ robots can help retailers make sure they have products in stock and in the right place, increasing customer satisfaction. That leads to increased revenue. That’s the power of data.” AT&T has launched 5G cellular communications service in a widening number of U.S. cities this year.

Maytag is marketing its Smart Front Load Washer and Smart Front Load Dryer, Internet-connected laundry appliances that sell for $1,249 apiece. The units offer remote smart or stop capabilities, assign tasks (like transferring a wash load to the dryer or folding clean clothes) to family members with customized text messages, and send end-of-cycle notifications.

Ondas Networks reports completing wireless network testing with Altaeros, using the SuperTower aerial cell tower from Altaeros and Ondas Networks’ FullMAX technology. “We are excited to partner with Ondas to expand commercial access to IoT,” Joe Ryan, vice president of business development at Altaeros, said in a statement. “Altaeros is eager to begin deploying SuperTower-based networks to meet the global demand for connectivity in both dense and remote locations. Ondas’ ability to provide highly reliable and extremely secure long-range wireless connectivity using fewer radios makes them the ideal partner to make these SuperTower networks a reality.”

Falkonry of Sunnyvale, Calif., unveiled Falkonry LRS 2.0, a new version of its flagship operational machine learning system. “Users expect a responsive, scalable, consumer-grade experience, like online maps, when reviewing operational data,” Dr. Nikunj Mehta, founder and CEO of Falkonry, said in a statement. “With Falkonry LRS 2.0, we provide one place for users to store, review, and analyze all their operational data, where it can be used immediately. This will allow customers to quickly gain insights and solve real operational problems that can save millions of dollars annually.”

Renesas Electronics uncorked four RX651 32-bit microcontrollers supplied in ultra-small 64-pin BGA and LQFP packages. “The explosive growth of the IoT and Industry 4.0 has sparked the need for higher performance, smaller form factor connectivity modules that support the various security aspects required with IoT connectivity—such as confidentiality, data integrity and availability. The RX651 delivers on this need with smaller MCU package sizes that are ideal for compact IoT applications, without compromising performance,” Daryl Khoo, Vice President of Marketing, IoT Platform Business Division, Renesas Electronics, said in a statement. “The 64-pin RX651 MCUs give customers the small footprint, high performance, and security features they need to safeguard their connected industrial and manufacturing systems against cyberattacks.”

Capital One was hit with a data breach affecting more than 100 million people. The company said 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers were stolen in the cyberattack. Arrested Monday was Paige Thompson, a 33-year-old software engineer who worked at Amazon Web Services, which hosted the Capital One database that was breached. Thompson was apparently careless about leaving online boasts and hints about her role in the breach. Federal authorities say the suspect recently threatened to “shoot up” an unnamed social media company in California. Thompson and her housemate, Park Quan, were taken into custody at their Seattle home, where FBI agents found 20 illegally possessed weapons in Quan’s room, including assault-style rifles. While this episode is one of the largest data thefts from a bank company, it is just one of nearly 3,500 successful cyberattacks against financial institutions during 2019, according to reports filed with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

This week in Huawei – the embattled Chinese company reported revenue of $58 billion in the first half of 2019, increasing by 23% compared with the same period in 2018, despite all the efforts of the Trump administration to deny access to U.S. customers and keep Huawei Technologies from buying microchips and other products from American companies. While the company’s smartphone sales shriveled outside of China, inside its native market Huawei’s phones continue to be popular. The second half of this year may be more challenging, however. “Given the foundation we laid in the first half of the year, we continue to see growth even after we were added to the entity list. That’s not to say we don’t have difficulties ahead. We do, and they may affect the pace of our growth in the short term,” Huawei Chairman Liang Hua told reporters.

A meeting of top national security officials in the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance was held this week in the United Kingdom, covering a broad variety of topics. Interior Minister Priti Patel, just appointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said in a statement the leaders would discuss cybersecurity, encryption, and “online harms.” She added, “The U.K. is a global leader on national security and child protection and we are committed to working with our close partners on shared challenges.” The nations in the Five Eyes alliance are Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security warns that small aircraft are vulnerable to cyberattacks, especially if owners of private planes don’t restrict physical access to the aircraft. The department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency responded to a Rapid7 report that hackers could exploit an aircraft’s controller area network and cause it to give false readings to pilots.

At the upcoming Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Kudelski Security researchers will launch a blockchain with vulnerabilities in order to gain feedback on how to make such systems more secure. The company’s FumbleChain project is written in Python 3.0, so participants can easily read and modify the source code.

Avatier Chairman and CEO Nelson Cicchitto writes about seven common cybersecurity mistakes made with artificial intelligence technology.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence released draft guidance on securing corporate-owned, personally enabled mobile devices.

School districts are becoming more frequent victims of cyberattacks involving ransomware and other malware, this analysis notes. Several school systems in Louisiana have been affected by malware in recent weeks. Local and state government agencies are also seeing an increase in cyberattacks.

Ford Motor acquired two small companies, Journey and Quantum Signal, which may help the automotive manufacturer in its transition to a supplier of electrified vehicles providing new mobility modes. Journey was formed in the 2018 merger of DoubleMap and Ride Systems; it is being combined with TransLoc, another Ford-owned transit technology firm. Quantum Signal specializes in mobile robotics. “We won’t provide all the modes, but we can be the trusted partner to bring things together for their customers,” says Brett Wheatley, vice president of marketing and growth for Ford Smart Mobility LLC. Meanwhile, Ford will test a private LTE/5G network in the 3.5-gigahertz CBRS band within a parking structure at its campus in Dearborn, Mich. Dell, Ericsson, and Juniper Networks are supplying systems for testing connectivity with connected cars.

Audi was implicated in the emissions testing scandal that has enveloped the Volkswagen Group in recent years. Prosecutors in Germany this week brought fraud charges against Rupert Stadler, the former CEO of Audi, and against three other unnamed defendants.

Salesforce.com completed its $15.7 billion acquisition of Tableau Software, although the companies will maintain separate operations while the Competition and Markets Authority in the U.K. reviews the transaction.

Takeaway.com made a $6.2 billion bid for Just Eat, a rival in the food delivery business. The proposed combination could be more competitive with Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

Microsoft acquired BlueTalon, which provides a data privacy and governance service. Financial details weren’t revealed. BlueTalon had raised $27.4 million in private funding from investors that included Bloomberg Beta, Maverick Ventures, Signia Venture Partners, and Stanford University’s StartX investment fund.

VMware purchased Bitfusion.io, a startup specializing in accelerating complex computing workloads, especially for AI and machine learning applications. Crunchbase says the startup raised a total of $8.3 million, including a $3.3 million corporate investment by Samsung Ventures.

CTS bought Quality Thermistor for $75 million in cash and a $5 million earnout plan. The developer of temperature sensors makes its headquarters in Boise, Idaho, with an operation in Tecate, Mexico.

Amazon acquired E8 Storage, an Israeli flash-based data storage technology startup, Reuters reports, citing a source familiar with the deal. E8 had raised $18.3 million in total private funding.

Dynatrace Holdings completed its initial public offering, raising nearly $570 million by selling more than 35.6 million shares at $16 per share. The supplier of application monitoring software had set its IPO terms at $11 to $13 a share, then boosted it to $13 to $15 a share, before going out at $16. The stock trades as DT on the New York Stock Exchange. Dynatrace finished its first day of trading at $23.85 a share, up $7.85 and up 49% for the day, after opening at $25.50 a share.

The European Union is funding the three-year Enhance Lighting for the Internet of Things (ELIoT) project, which will promote use of LiFi wireless communications for IoT devices. The project has €6 million (about $6.65 million) in funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research program.

Market Research
Juniper Research forecasts the number of voice assistants used to access smart home devices will increase from 105 million this year to 555 million by 2024. The company has new research, Smart Homes: Strategic Opportunities, Business Models & Competitive Landscape 2019-2024, which is available here. It also offers a free whitepaper, Smart Homes – the Rise of Smart Security.

IDTechEx predicts the medical wearables market will be worth $19.7 billion by 2024. Those wearable medical devices include smart clothing, smart footwear, fever monitoring gadgets, and mobile cardiac telemetry devices. Remote Patient Monitoring 2019-2029 is available here.

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