Connected Car News 2/16: Boring Co., FCA, Synopsis, MagnaChip, Renesas & Marelli

In connected car news are Boring Company, Geely, HAAH, FCA, Synopsys, MagnaChip, Renesas, Panthronics and Marelli.

First Tunnel Bored in Vegas

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced that excavation is complete for the first of two tunnels that will comprise the Boring Company’s underground transportation system beneath the LVCC campus. The project is scheduled to debut in January 2021.

LVCC Loop will connect the LVCC New Exhibit Hall with the existing campus (North/Central/South Halls). Three stations locations will offer convenient access between key LVCC destinations and nearby transportation connections. The Loop will deploy AEV high occupancy vehicles of up to 16 passengers each based on the Tesla Model 3 chasis.

Geely Auto G-Cleans Air

Geely Auto announced that all of its future vehicles will be equipped with Geely’s G-Clean Intelligent Air Purification System (IAPS), a new system that is able to automatically filter out harmful particulates from the vehicles internal air environment.

Geely Auto’s new IAPS system was developed in just 20 days in reaction to the onset of the 2019 Coronavirus which has affected large areas of China, Geely’s engineers worked non-stop with suppliers to bring the concept from the drawing board to future production vehicles in record time and will be seen in production cars from March 2020.

Geely vehicles equipped with the new IAPS system will receive an advanced new active carbon chemical filter that can effectively absorb harmful gases such as formaldehyde as they enter the vehicle and is also able to filter out irritating odor and harmful pollutants once they are detected by the automatic system. In addition, the IAPS is equipped with a negative ion generator that is able to sterilize and deodorize in vehicle pollutants and aim to remove in airborne viruses, bacteria, fungi, and molds, etc, achieving the same level of air filter as an N95 respiration system.

Geely has already introduced the new IAPS system into 150 Geely Jiaji MPV’s that have been given to frontline workers battling the Coronavirus epidemic across China.

Elektrobit EB Corbos Used by EPI

Elektrobit’s state-of-art product line, EB corbos, is being used within the European Processor Initiative (EPI), a project currently implemented under the first stage of the Framework Partnership Agreement signed by the Consortium with the European Commission (FPA: 800928), whose aim is to design and implement a roadmap for a new collection of low-power European processors for extreme scale computing, high-performance big data, and a range of emerging applications. The goal of this project is to deliver a high-performance, low-power processor, implementing vector instructions and specific accelerators with high bandwidth memory access, meeting high security and safety requirements.

EB will provide significant parts of the automotive software stack which is targeting the embedded automotive platform utilizing a dedicated embedded variant of the EPI chip being developed within the project’s automotive stream.

HAAH Looking for VANTAS MFG Home

HAAH Automotive Holdings and its new VANTAS brand announced today that a Site Selection Team (SST) composed of members from HAAH and Chery Automobile has begun searching for potential sites for the production of VANTAS vehicles in the United States.

The VANTAS brand was announced earlier this week by HAAH Automotive Holdings which is working under a technical cooperation agreement with Chery.  All vehicles sold in the U.S. and Canada will be assembled in American plants bringing new jobs to America.

FCA & IDEMIA’s eSIM

FCA takes its forward-thinking global telematics program to the next level with the integration of IDEMIA’s eSIM (DAKOTA) and Subscription Manager platform (Smart Connect). These groundbreaking services, already operational, are enabling each day FCA to optimize vehicle operations.

The DAKOTA eSIM will be embedded directly into new FCA vehicle models that will be launched in multiple regions. Combined with Smart Connect, this solution gives the automaker the flexibility to dynamically choose the best connectivity provider throughout the lifetime of the vehicle on a worldwide scale.

IDEMIA’s solutions not only pave the way for in-demand services such as emergency calls, predictive maintenance and insurance-related services, but also simplify the manufacturing process and provide the capability to remotely update software and tailor connectivity packages to local regulations and requirements.

As connected cars are expected to account for more than 90% of overall vehicle sales by 2024 and the value of in-car connected services is set to jump 28% between 2017 and 2030, the market is primed for DAKOTA and Smart Connect.

Synopsys Acquires INVECAS

Synopsys, Inc. announced that it has completed its acquisition of certain IP assets from INVECAS. This acquisition broadens Synopsys’ DesignWare Logic Library, Embedded Memory, General Purpose I/O, Analog, and Interface IP portfolio. The acquisition also adds a team of experienced R&D engineers to accelerate Synopsys’ physical IP roadmap across a range of process technologies to address customers’ evolving design requirements in markets such as consumer, IoT and automotive. INVECAS will retain its HDMI IP and ASIC Design Solutions.

MagnaChip BCDs

MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation (“MagnaChip”) (NYSE: MX), a Korea-based designer and manufacturer of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products, announced that it now offers a 0.13 micron BCD process with improved performance to help automotive power semiconductor designers build more competitive products.

BCD (Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS) is a process technology that combines three different process technologies onto a single chip: Bipolar for analog signal control and CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) and DMOS (Double Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor) for digital signal control and high-power handling, used primarily for power semiconductors.  In particular, the process announced today has been certified as Grade-1 under AEC-Q100, a reliability standard for automotive electronics and, therefore, is suitable for diverse automotive power semiconductors — including motor driver ICs, BMSs (Battery Management Systems) and DC-DC ICs. With the introduction of this process, the company plans to launch targeted marketing activities to attract more automotive semiconductor designers as customers.

Driven by the adoption of electric vehicles, the automotive semiconductor sector – including power products – is projected to see considerable growth over the next five years.  According to IHS Markit technology research, now a part of Informa Tech, the automotive semiconductor market is forecasted to grow from $42 billion in 2019 to approximately $60 billion in 2023.*

The MTP (Multi-Time Programming) IP applied to this newly enhanced 0.13 micron BCD process technology enables a chip to be reprogrammed at least 1000 times, a desirable feature for power semiconductors that require repeatable memory programming, such as motor driver ICs, power management ICs and level shifter ICs.  Also, unlike the previous 0.13 micron BCD process technology, which requires additional photo layers to realize MTP IPs, this new 0.13 micron BCD process does not require additional photo layers  as a result of IP design optimization.  By virtue of no additional layers, MagnaChip’s new 0.13 micron BCD process could allow its customers to reduce cost and shorten the “time-to-market.”

Renesas Partners with Panthronics

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, and Panthronics AG, a fabless semiconductor company specializing in high performance wireless products, jointly announced they are collaborating to bring best-in-class solutions to the consumer, industrial, and Internet of Things (IoT) markets. The collaboration realizes technical leadership in performance, size reduction, lower BOM and power consumption, while offering OEMs faster time to market.

Renesas is pairing its wireless charging ICs with Panthronics’ near-field communications (NFC) readers and controllers to accelerate adoption with a broader set of customers and applications. Panthronics NFC solutions deliver highest power and connectivity for wireless charging applications thanks to their patented sine wave driver architecture. Renesas delivers cutting-edge wireless power solutions both for the receivers used in smartphones and other applications, as well as the transmitters inside charging pads and automotive in-car applications.

Marelli New Sight in Turin

Marelli will open in Turin, Italy, a new site that will host the R&D center of Marelli Automotive Lighting devoted to Lighting and Body Electronics (LBE), and an area devoted to Sensors development aimed at Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

Another area of Marelli Automotive Lighting activity in the R&D hub will be devoted to the development of Electronic Control Units (ECU) for the management and control of lighting systems in the vehicle, that have become increasingly relevant in the last years following the evolution of lighting technologies.

The hub will also host an area fully dedicated to ADAS, focusing in particular on the development of sensors and cameras. The activities in this field will take advantage of Marelli’s capabilities in several fundamental areas of expertise, like Software Engineering, Functional Safety, Safety Of The Intended Functionality and Cybersecurity applications.

These will be also complemented by the competencies and technologies derived from the recent agreement with XenomatiX, to offer modular LiDAR system solutions based on “solid state” technology, and from the previous acquisition of Smart Me Up, a French start-up specializing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) perception technology. This step marks a further advancement in strengthening the role of Marelli as a key player in the area of ADAS technologies, positioning the company as a competent partner that can effectively support its customers for their projects in the ADAS field.

SIG for Ethernet-Based Automotive

The OPEN Alliance (One-Pair Ether-Net) Special Interest Group (SIG),  a non-profit industry alliance established to drive wide scale adoption of Ethernet-based automotive connectivity, today announced that membership has grown to more than 400 partnering companies, including the world’s leading automotive manufacturers, semiconductor companies and tier one suppliers, but also companies from other sectors, like testing and advanced application/technological services. The OPEN Alliance has become a networking organization where all expertise in the field of Automotive Ethernet comes together.

BMW i Invests in AutoFi

BMW i Ventures announced today an investment in AutoFi, a technology company transforming the way cars are bought and sold.

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, AutoFi is a retail platform that allows car buyers to purchase and finance a car from a variety of financial institutions within or outside the dealership. Thanks to AutoFi’s deep integrations with financial institutions, the customers can submit simple credit applications to a number of key lenders, incl. Chase and Santander, and get instant decisions, which in return increases engagement, conversion and F&I penetration.

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