E-Chips & Connected Car News Tips: NIRA, Silicon Labs, ams, GCT, Edmunds.com, LILEE & On Semiconductor

embeddedchipstipstiny In embedded chips and connected car news tips this week are Automile, NIRA, Silicon Labs, ams, GCT, Edmunds.com, LILEE and On Semiconductor.

Automile Gets More Mileage from Funding

Fleet telematics company Automile, announced that it has raised $6.2 million to further accelerate its growth. Jason Lemkin and his new SaaStr Fund led the round, with support from existing investors Dawn Capital and Christoph Janz, an early-stage investor in Zendesk, and his Point Nine Capital fund. New investors in the round include Twitch founder, Justin Kan, along with Skype founder, Niklas Zennström, and Pingdom founder, Sam Nurmi.  Over 80 percent of the businesses trying out Automile’s free 60–day trial convert into paying clients.

NIRA’s Cloud Takes Road Data

NIRA’s cloud platform software has been update to be able to collect relevant road data via the car’s OBD interface. Last winter, approximately 10 000 kilometers of road data were gathered this way, and in the summer of 2016, NIRA, in cooperation with Infocar AB, will be taking the next step in their data collection. The collection rate then gets multiplied by up to 24 000 kilometers of road data – per day.

For an autonomous car to know what distance it must keep to the car in front of it, it needs information about the current road conditions. If the vehicle is also aware of the road surface quality, risks are reduced even further. NIRA Dynamics software Road Surface Information, and the cloud solution Cloud by NIRA, enable just that and now, in cooperation with Infocar, the company is taking the next step in the rollout of the solution.

Silicon Labs Prototyping Thunderboard React Developer Kit

Silicon Labs has introduced a cost-effective prototyping vehicle that makes it easy to connect wireless sensor nodes to mobile devices and the cloud to help businesses make data-driven decisions. Silicon Labs’ new Thunderboard React developer kit features a battery-powered, sensor-rich demonstration board with Bluetooth® low energy technology and a powerful ARM® Cortex®-M4 processor for IoT connectivity, along with open-source design files and software for mobile apps running on Android and iOS devices. All hardware schematics, firmware, mobile apps and cloud software are available at no charge to developers.

Thunderboard React simplifies IoT design by providing the sensing, processing and wireless components needed to connect a battery-powered sensor node to a cloud database. The on-board sensors measure motion, light and environmental conditions, and this real-time sensor data is transmitted to the cloud over a Bluetooth connection. An intuitive mobile app displays the data on smartphones and tablets while enabling the user to control the board.

ams divests NFC & RFID
ams , a leading worldwide manufacturer of high performance sensor and analog solutions, has signed an agreement to divest NFC and RFID reader IP, technologies and product lines to STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) for an up-front cash consideration of USD 79.3m (approx. EUR 71.5m) plus a substantial deferred earn-out consideration contingent on future results of up to USD 37 million. With this transaction, ams takes another significant step on its path to being the leading provider of sensor solutions worldwide. ams will retain its sensor-related NFC/RFID tags business and relevant design capabilities to create wireless IoT sensor solutions and support upcoming sensor nodes.


Global Connector Technology (GCT), a leading global supplier of PCB connection solutions, has introduced a range of high-performance USB Type-C connectors that sets new market standards in design flexibility, transfer speed, power and usability.

Designed for mobile and smart devices, the USB Type-C connector is ready for next generation applications delivering speeds up to 10 Gbps for data transfer, audio and video connectivity, supporting HDMi, DisplayPort and VGA.  The connector also supports USB Power Delivery standards of charging capability, with rapid charging up to 100 watts.

Edmunds EdQuaters Turns Vintage Cadillac into Coffee Bar

Edmunds.com, the leading car information and shopping network, yesterday celebrated the grand opening of its brand new headquarters at the Colorado Center in Santa Monica, Calif. The 143,000-square-foot “EdQuarters” was designed by M+M Creative Studio, and it sets a new bar for workplace culture and amenities in Los Angeles’ emerging “Silicon Beach” tech scene.

Highlights of the new office space include:

    • a 6,000-lb. installation of 1966 and 2016 Corvettes (to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary) set wheel-to-wheel and rotating above the reception area
    • a 32-foot custom stainless steel slide that connects the two floors
    • a 1948 Cadillac Fleetwood re-purposed into a beer and coffee bar
    • 130 feet of sliding glass panels that transform the office into an indoor/outdoor workspace
    • a 150 sq. ft. outdoor projector screen to accommodate movie nights for employees and their families
    • two 600+ gallon saltwater fish tanks that will be home to 160 fish
    • frozen yogurt machine with toppings bar, in addition to other complimentary food and beverage options
    • game room featuring classic video games.

LILEE Drives WeDriveU

LILEE Systems, the leading provider of advanced industrial IoT and wireless communication solutions and services for the transportation industry, announced today that WeDriveU, the leader in corporate transportation solutions, has integrated LILEE Systems’ passenger Wi-Fi solution within its Commute Alternatives offering.

WeDriveU is the first corporate transportation provider to take advantage of LILEE’s rail-proven, high-end connectivity solution for connected commuters. WeDriveU’s complete managed solutions move 5.5 million passengers annually, helping employers improve productivity, attract and retain talent, ease parking constraints, improve access to public transit and boost sustainability. On the latest WeDriveU client program, LILEE found that nearly every passenger had taken advantage of the high-speed Wi-Fi to connect to the corporate VPN while on board, resulting in approximately 13% more employee productivity based on their ability to work while connected to their office during their commute.

On Semiconductor Offer More PIMs

ON Semiconductor has expanded its portfolio of automotive Power Integrated Modules (PIMs) with the introduction of the STK984-190-E. Optimized for driving 3-phase brushless DC motors in modern automotive applications, this module contains six 40 V, 30 A MOSFETs configured as a three-phase bridge with an additional 40 V, 30 A high-side reverse battery protection MOSFET. The MOSFETs are mounted onto a direct bonded copper (DBC) substrate, resulting in a compact module with excellent thermal performance taking up only half of the board space used by an equivalent discrete solution.

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