Connected Car News: Fisker Inc., HERE, Blis, Faurecia, Cadence, Toshiba, Renesas, CalAmp, pmdtechnolgies, Airbiquity, Rightware, NXP, Jeep, FABU, Keysight & Wind River

In connected car news this week were Fisker Inc., HERE, Blis, Faurecia, Cadence, Toshiba, Renesas, CalAmp, pmdtechnolgies, Airbiquity, Rightware, NXP, Jeep, FABU, Keysight and Wind River.

Fisker Inc.

Fisker Inc., an e-mobility and technology company headquartered in Los Angeles, California, developing a range of electric vehicles and proprietary solid-state battery technologies, has officially announced its new working partnership with former U.S. Representative, Richard (Dick) Gephardt. Although not made public until now, Gephardt, a former member of the board at Ford Motor Company, has been working with Fisker over the past five months as a key consultant as Fisker readies itself for some significant industry announcements – advising on U.S. state manufacturing partners, labor contracts and best practices with innovative compensation plans.

HERE and Blis

HERE Technologies, a global leader in mapping and location platform services, and Blis, a global pioneer in advanced location data technology, today announced a partnership that will enhance Blis’ audience ability to deliver premium, accurate and scalable points of interest (POIs) across all of its location-targeting insight capabilities and tools.

HERE Places, the company’s global database of places, will enhance Blis’ robust POI database, which maps verified GPS data to real-world locations. With access to more than 1 billion unique POIs in over 70 markets, the Blis POI database is segmented by location categories and audiences to help the world’s biggest brands effectively and accurately identify and target locations of interest for both media planning and buying.

Faurecia and JDI

Faurecia, one of the world’s leading automotive technology companies and Japan Display Inc. (JDI), a leader in automotive displays, today announced a partnership to enhance the digital user experience in vehicles.

Faurecia and JDI will cooperate on the development and integration of large displays into automotive interiors. The two companies will leverage their know-how and expertise so that the functionalities and design of large displays will be a key element of cockpit attractiveness.

Cadence Safety

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) today announced that products in the Cadence® Tensilica® functional safety portfolio and its design processes achieved certification of ISO 26262 compliance up to ASIL D for the development of automotive applications. The Tensilica products and processors offer the broadest range of ISO 26262-compliant processors and DSPs and continue to expand across vision, AI, radar, lidar, sensor fusion, wireless/wired communication, audio/voice processing and highly optimized controller applications. Tensilica processors enable design engineers to develop automotive subsystems with the processing capability needed for ADAS applications and autonomous vehicles, while staying within strict power, cost and schedule constraints. Tensilica DSPs and task-optimized processors are very effective for processing the raw data from sensors to extract features, analyzing the results and taking critical actions in real time at lower power and cost points than general-purpose processors.

System designers can optimize an ISO 26262-compliant processor/DSP for tasks spanning AI, vision, radar, audio and specialized control, including adding their own processor architectural ideas, and programmers can develop optimized ISO 26262-compliant software using the matching optimized C/C++ development tool suite and runtime libraries to create highly efficient ASIL D systems. Customer-defined processor enhancements such as new instructions, custom SIMD datapath or VLIW parallel execution slot can be implemented with Tensilica Instruction Extension (TIE) language, and yet are still within the scope of ISO 26262 compliance. Lower power consumption and higher performance are achieved for optimal target application efficiency and with less effort for compliance.

Toshiba Automotive SoCs

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation (y announced development of an image recognition SoC (System on Chip) for automotive applications that implements deep learning accelerator at 10 times the speed and 4 times the power efficiency of Toshiba’s previous product[1]. Details of the technology were reported at the 2019 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco on February 19.

It has three features.

  • Parallel MAC units. DNN processing requires many MAC computations. Toshiba’s new device has four processors, each with 256 MAC units. This boosts DNN processing speed.
  • Reduced DRAM access. Conventional SoC have no local memory to keep temporal data close to the DNN execution unit and consume a lot of power accessing local memory. Power is also consumed loading the weight data, used for the MAC calculations. In Toshiba’s new device, SRAM are implemented close to the DNN execution unit, and DNN processing is divided into sub-processing blocks to keep temporal data in the SRAM, reducing DRAM access. Additionally, Toshiba has added a decompression unit to the accelerator. Weight data, compressed and stored in DRAM in advance, are loaded through the decompression unit. This reduces the power consumption involved in loading weight data from DRAM.
  • Reduced SRAM access. Conventional deep learning needs to access SRAM after processing each layer of DNN, which consumes too much power. The accelerator has a pipelined layer structure in the DNN execution unit of DNN, allowing a series of DNN calculations to be executed by one SRAM access.

The new SoC complies with ISO26262, the global standard for functional safety for automotive applications.

Renesas MCU with Embedded Flash

Renesas Electronics Corporation announced the world’s first (Note 1) microcontroller (MCU) with embedded flash that integrates a hardware-based virtualization-assisted function while maintaining the fast, real-time performance of the RH850 products. This hardware-based virtualization assist technology can support up to ASIL D (Note 2) level of functional safety, providing greater levels of system integration. The RH850/U2A MCU is the first member of Renesas’ cross-domain MCUs, a new generation of automotive-control devices, designed to address the growing need to integrate multiple applications into a single chip to realize a unified electronic control units (ECUs) for the evolving electrical-electronic architecture (E/E architecture).

Based on 28 nanometer (nm) process technology, the 32-bit RH850/U2A MCU builds on key functions from Renesas’ RH850/Px Series for chassis control and RH850/Fx Series for body control to deliver improved performance and implement a virtualization-assisted function to support operation in chassis/safety, body, domain control and low-end/mid-range gateway applications. To support the ASIL D level required for chassis/safety applications, the hardware-based virtualization assist technology allows customers to implement multiple software with different functional safety levels on the RH850/U2A MCU and run concurrently without interference, while maintaining the real-time performance required to control the vehicles.

CalAmp Acquisitions

CalAmp owner of LoJack, a technology solutions pioneer transforming the global connected economy, announced two strategic acquisitions that will significantly expand the company’s connected vehicle and asset tracking services and market reach into Mexico, the United Kingdom and other geographies.

CalAmp agreed to acquire Car Track, S.A. DE C.V., the exclusive licensee of LoJack® technology for the Mexican market.

CalAmp has also acquired TRACKER, a LoJack licensee and market leader in SVR and telematics services across the United Kingdom. Post integration, TRACKER will be strategically aligned with LoJack Italia and help drive CalAmp’s European expansion by leveraging the company’s complete, vertically integrated portfolio of telematics devices, cloud and software services to develop advanced connected car solutions targeting auto dealers, OEMs, insurance providers and other enterprise customers. The purchase price is approximately US$13 million (£10 million).

pmdtechnologies for BYTON

pmdtechnologies ag and BYTON, the premium intelligent electric vehicle brand, announced that pmdtechnologies ag’s 3D Time-of-Flight sensors will be used for the in-car gesture control camera system operating the 48-inch Shared Experience Display (SED) in BYTON’s first production model, the M-Byte SUV.

The pmd 3D ToF sensor has a set of illuminators at the top of M-Byte’s Camera, which continuously emits invisible light into the car cockpit. The ToF sensor measures the time it takes for the camera light to bounce back from objects and persons, whether they are stationary or moving enabling the in-car gesture control camera system.

Airbuiquity Demos OTAmatic

Airbiquity, a global leader in connected vehicle services, will demonstrate its OTAmatic over-the-air (OTA) software and data management solution at embedded world 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany on February 26-28. Located in the NXP Semiconductors booth, the company will showcase its technology integration with the NXP MPC-LS Vehicle Network Processing Evaluation Board (EVB) for efficient, secure, and highly-scalable multi-ECU software updates and data management powered by advanced high-performance service-oriented gateways compatible with multiple vehicle network interfaces.

AWS for Lyft

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that Lyft, Inc. is going all-in on the world’s leading cloud—to enhance Lyft’s ridesharing marketplace which is available to an estimated 95 percent of the U.S. population, as well as in select Canadian cities, drive growth of its bike and scooters businesses, and enable its self-driving technology. Since its inception, Lyft has leveraged AWS’s unmatched performance and scalability to power its on-demand transportation platform, which facilitates more than 50 million rides a month. Lyft runs its operations, which provides a multimodal platform for drivers and riders in the U.S. and Canada, as well as backend platform systems, financial applications, and website on AWS. The company is leveraging the breadth and depth of AWS’s services, including database, serverless, machine learning, and analytics, to automate and enhance on-demand, multimodal transportation for riders and drive innovation in its autonomous vehicles business.

Rightware Here Kanzi Maps

Rightware and HERE Technologies announce the availability of Kanzi Maps, the new map renderer from Rightware, with fresh mapping data from HERE for evaluation and development by joint customers. The solution is available as a Kanzi Maps pre-release from Rightware and under a HERE Open Location Platform (OLP) evaluation license from HERE.

Maps will increasingly become a central element of the automotive UX. Automakers now have the opportunity to visualize advanced automotive data, including highly accurate maps, lane data, and other location-based information, creatively across next-generation digital cockpits. Kanzi Maps integrates directly into the Kanzi UI development toolchain, enabling future autonomous driving use cases by fusing map, sensor, ADAS, and other data, while remaining true to the OEM’s visual brand identity.

NXP and Green Hills

NXP Semiconductors and Green Hills Software, a worldwide leader in embedded safety and security, have announced a strategic partnership focused on production-grade ADAS and autonomous driving applications. The partnership, and the addition of Green Hills’ INTEGRITY® real-time operating system (RTOS), expands the growing ecosystem surrounding NXP’s S32 portfolio for ADAS and central compute systems. Together, the companies aim to deliver high-volume, production-grade electronic control units (ECUs) that foster the development and testing of life-critical autonomous applications.

Many of the consumer-grade autonomous platforms used in today’s self-driving pilots and experimental offerings do not offer the safety and security required for high-volume automotive production. NXP and Green Hills have provided leading carmakers and tier 1 suppliers with the safe technology required to produce millions of cars over the years. This joint experience is being leveraged to tackle the next levels of autonomous development for SAE Levels 2, 3 and beyond.

NXP offers its S32 family for safe and reliable autonomous driving, which includes NXP’s scalable portfolio of functional safety products for ADAS. The S32 family is designed to address the performance, safety and near-term commercial needs of Levels 2 and 3 driving, while providing an eye to longer-term release in Level 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles.

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI), the world’s largest supplier of automotive semiconductors1, today announced a vehicle network processing chipset solution for high-performance service-oriented gateways, which enables automakers to unlock the value of connected vehicle data and offer new services. The MPC-LS chipset solution combines the proven NXP automotive MPC5748G microcontroller and enterprise networking LS1043A communications processor to offer the high levels of performance and networking required for service-oriented gateways. For development, evaluation and demonstrations, the chipset solution is supported by an evaluation board, enablement software and a growing ecosystem.

Jeep Electrification and Expansion

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) confirmed today plans to invest a total of $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants, and to work with the city of Detroit and state of Michigan on building a new assembly plant within city limits. The move would increase capacity to meet growing demand for its Jeep® and Ram brands, including production of two new Jeep-branded white space products, as well as electrified models.

FABU Phoenix Chip

FABU, a leading artificial intelligence company focused on intelligent driving systems, has announced the results of recent design metrics for the company’s Phoenix-100 perception chip for autonomous driving solutions. The Phoenix-100 conducts real-time, high precision perception of the environment to support safe and accurate intelligent driving technologies. The results, extrapolated from benchmark testing of the chip’s deep learning accelerator silicon, point to FABU’s superior performance, lower power consumption and enhanced memory capacity when compared to design metrics for similar vision computing chips from other major developers of vision-based advanced driver-assistance systems.

In addition to higher performance, the Phoenix-100 also integrates key functionalities onto the chip that are not included in other competitors’ modules. Unlike other AI processors, which primarily support sensor input from cameras, FABU’s automotive-grade AI processor is built not only to support multiple types of sensor data, including camera, LiDAR and radar, but also the fusion of these data types for tracking and planning. While camera data is important for safe and effective operation of autonomous vehicles, LiDAR and radar provide more complete and reliable detection of the environment than camera sensors alone, particularly at night or in foggy conditions.

Higher performing data processing chips with superior computing speeds are essential for the safety and functionality of autonomous driving applications. Faster, better performing chips can process and synthesize larger data volumes from cameras, sensors and other data sources in real time to more accurately perceive the environment and perform the AI algorithms that help operate autonomous vehicles safely and efficiently.

Keysight Partners with Nordsys

Keysight Technologies, Inc. ( leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, today announced a new alliance with Nordsys GmbH to combine the two companies cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) and testing competences.

Keysight and Nordsys have signed a license agreement at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that enables Keysight’s test solutions to include central software components from Nordsys for testing V2X systems. The partnership includes test solutions for long-term evolution-vehicle (LTE-V), as well as 5G in the future.

Wind River Helix Virtualization Platform

Wind River, a leader in delivering software to critical infrastructure, t announced the release of Wind River Helix Virtualization Platform (Helix Platform). The offering combines the company’s industry-leading commercial real-time operating system (RTOS) and embedded Linux distribution into an edge compute software platform, and allows other operating systems to run unmodified within the same framework, providing a software development environment across the Wind River portfolio.

From modernizing aerospace platforms to updating industrial infrastructure and advancing autonomous driving, the rise of more sophisticated edge computing across industries means that system developers will need to adapt quickly to modern software and cloud deployment practices, while maintaining dedicated, long-standing software. This paradigm shift to a more modern development approach will bring benefits in terms of flexibility, scope of applications and manageability. But it also brings new design challenges and uncertainties in terms of the pace of change, hardware and software technology choices, as well as future-proofing. As critical infrastructure also become more intelligent, with various forms of artificial intelligence running on edge devices, further layers of complexity and uncertainty are being introduced.

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