[Semiconductor Engineering] Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Waymo 3D object detection; Microsoft Azure; Synopsys PIC Design at nanoscale and macroscale.

By Susan Rambo 2020-04-03

Source: https://semiengineering.com/week-in-review-auto-security-pervasive-computing-9/

Synopsys has added nanoscale and macroscale illumination optics to its RSoft Photonic Device Tools version 2020.03. ARVR designers can use the RSoft-LightTools Bidirectional Scattering Distribution Function (BSDF) interface to make interpolated BSDF files for optimized nanoscale and macroscale optics, such as freeform optical prism projectors, eye tracking technologies, and optical planar waveguides with diffraction gratings. To its Photonic System Tools, the company added performance simulations models for long-haul data networks, aerospace and defense systems and 5G and free-space optical comm systems. The PIC Design Suite has enhancements that improved characterizing passive photonic devices for non-uniform frequency and wavelengths, and app notes and models for data center interconnects and sensors in PIC designs.

Broadcom is using Synopsys‘ Fusion Design Platform for 7nm and 5nm designs.

AI, machine learning on the edge
The Ergo edge processor for AI inference delivers 4 theoretical operations per second (TOPS), 55 TOPS/W, capable of processing large neural networks in 20mW and requires no external RAM. The first product from startup Perceive, which emerged from stealth this week, the Ergo will be used in smart security cameras and is pitched at audio and image consumer devices that need privacy and security. It has video and audio inferencing, runs o YOLOv3 and M2Det, among others. The chip is built on GlobalFoundries 22FDX platform.

Imagination Technologies has an update of its mobile graphics class available for developers.

u-blox is acquiring IoT communication-as-a-service provider Thingstream. Thingstream uses standard MQTT protocol and is considered a global service because Thingstream’s transmits MQTT‑SN messages over 2G, 3G, LTE, and LTE‑M networks and works with 600-odd telecom carriers in 190 countries without necessitating a cellular data plan.

NXP is adding support for Microsoft Azure RTOS (real-time operating system) to its MCUXpresso software development kit (SDK) to streamline development of industrial and IoT edge applications. Renesas and Microsoft have also been collaborating on a device-to-cloud process for IoT developers and will bring Microsoft Azure IoT building blocks, including Azure RTOS, Azure IoT device SDK for C, IoT Plug and Play, IoT Central and IoT Hub, to Renesas’ microcontroller (MCU) and microprocessor (MPU) devices over this year. The Renesas Synergy AE-Cloud2 Kit with Microsoft Azure support will be available online through Renesas and Microsoft in Q2 2020; the Renesas RX65N Wi-Fi Cloud Kit will be available later this year.

Ansys won the IoT Breakthrough’s Industrial Internet of Things Award for its Ansys Twin Builder, which combines precise virtual replicas of products with raw sensor data from IIoT platforms.

Cree and Wolfspeed announced a 650V silicon carbide MOSFET family using its C3M MOSFETs that is designed for next generation onboard charging in electric vehicles, data centers, solar and other industrial applications.

Synopsys added MIPI C-Phy/D-Phy IP for finFET processes to its DesignWare MIPI IP portfolio. Both MIPI C-Phy and D-Phy are physical layers that connect to SoCs and processors used in high-performance, cost-optimized cameras and displays, says MIPI Alliance, but D-Phy is used to interconnect cameras and displays to an application processor, whereas C-Phy “supports cameras and displays.” Synopsys says this new MIPI IP interoperates with its ASIL B Ready ISO 26262 certified CSI-2 and DSI/DSI-2 controllers, used for automotive camera systems and radar sensors, among other uses. The MIPI C-Phy/D-Phy IP for 7-nm and 12-nm processes is available now, with 16-nm, 6-nm, and 5-nm processes scheduled for third quarter of 2020. The DesignWare PHY and controllers operate at up to 24 Gb/s for high-performance imaging and automotive SoCs, according to Synopsys. The MIPI Alliance is working on an A-Phy specification for autonomous driving in late 2019 and presumably in 2020.

Engineers from Waymo, self-driving car startup, presented an algorithm that they say improves 3D object detect by automating augmenting data. Called Progressive Population Based Augmentation (PPBA), the algorithm appears to be more efficient at augmenting 3D datasets. Collecting data of all the things that can happen on or near a roadway is huge task — 2D image sets can be augmented but 3D has been more difficult. Waymo applied methods proven by Google Research and its Brain Team in their AutoAugment, which improved object recognition.

IAR Systems‘ security development tool C-Trust now supports NXP‘s LPC55S6x Arm Cortex-M33 MCUs. The MCU has multiple security features, the configuration of which C-Trust — part of IAR Embedded Workbench for Arm — aims to make more straightforward using Security Context Profiles. The MCU, according to a press release, has crypto accelerators, symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, a PUF (Physically Unclonable Function) to fight cloning and counterfeiting, a true random number generator (TRNG), a unique device identifier, secure GPIOs, secure authenticate debug capabilities, a secure boot with root-of-trust keys and anti-rollback protection, real-time PRINCE encryption/decryption of the on-chip flash, and support for the Device Identification Composition Engine (DICE) as specified by the TCG (Trusted Computing Group).

People & Companies
MagnaChip Semiconductor is selling its Fab 4 and its Foundry Services Group to a special purpose company founded by Alchemist Capital Partners and Credian Partners. The semiconductor company wants to focus on its analog power and OLED and MicroLED displays.

The SI2 says OpenAccess 22.50 (DM5) will no longer be supported and no further source code changes will be made, effective June 1, 2020. members should consider plans to migrate to the new OpenAccess 22.60 (DM6).