Connected Car News: Solid Power, Samsung, Renesas, LDRA, NFC Forum, Valens, Maxim, CMT & Ansys

In connected car news are Solid Power, Samsung, Renesas, LDRA, NFC Forum, Valens, Maxim, CMT and Ansys.

Solid Power to Trade on NASDAQ

Solid Power, Inc. (“Solid Power”), an industry-leading producer of all-solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, and Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation III (“DCRC”) (NASDAQ: DCRC) today announced a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in Solid Power becoming a publicly listed company. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be named “Solid Power, Inc.” and its common stock and warrants are expected to trade on NASDAQ under the new ticker symbol “SLDP” and “SLDP WS,” respectively. Upon closing, Solid Power is expected to have a nine-person board composed of a majority of independent directors and will continue to be led by Solid Power’s existing management team, which brings deep technological and manufacturing experience.

Samsung Automotive Memory Chips

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today unveiled an extensive lineup of cutting-edge automotive memory solutions designed for next-generation autonomous electric vehicles. The new lineup includes a 256-gigabyte (GB) PCIe Gen3 NVMe ball grid array (BGA) SSD, 2GB GDDR6 DRAM and 2GB DDR4 DRAM for high-performance infotainment systems, as well as 2GB GDDR6 DRAM and 128GB Universal Flash Storage (UFS) for autonomous driving systems.

Advanced features in infotainment systems such as high-definition maps, video streaming and 3D gaming, together with the growing use of autonomous driving systems, have been driving the demand for high-capacity, high-performance SSDs and graphics DRAM throughout the automotive industry.

In 2017, Samsung was the first in the industry to introduce UFS solutions for automotive applications. Today, the company is well-positioned to provide a total memory solution with the new automotive SSD and GDDR6 DRAM.

Samsung’s 256GB BGA SSD controller and firmware are developed in-house for optimized performance, offering a sequential read speed of 2,100 megabytes per second (MB/s) and a sequential write speed of 300MB/s, which are seven and two times faster than today’s eMMC, respectively. Furthermore, the 2GB GDDR6 DRAM features up to a 14 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) data rate per pin. Such exceptional speeds and bandwidth will support complex processing of various multimedia applications as well as large amounts of autonomous driving data, contributing to a safer, more dynamic and more convenient driving experience.

In addition, Samsung’s new automotive solutions meet the AEC-Q100 qualification — the global automotive reliability standard — allowing them to operate stably in extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C to +105°C, which is an especially crucial requirement for automotive semiconductors.

Recently, sensor deployment in autonomous vehicles to continuously monitor immediate surroundings has been increasing, and high-speed processing to interpret and predict this data for safer driving is becoming critically important. By introducing automotive memory solutions previously championed in servers and AI accelerators, Samsung is helping to pave the way for safer autonomous driving.

Having already completed customer evaluations, the new automotive memory products are currently in mass production./

Renesas’ New Microcontrollers

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced two new microcontrollers (MCUs) designed for automotive actuator and sensor control applications supporting edge evolution in next-generation electronic and electrical (E/E) architecture. With the new RL78/F24 and RL78/F23, Renesas expands its RL78 Family of low-power 16-bit MCUs and strengthens its broader automotive portfolio, offering customers highly reliable, high-performance solutions for systems ranging from actuators to zone control.

With E/E architecture extending to include zone and domain control applications, control mechanisms are evolving to accommodate body control for automotive systems such as lights, windows, and mirrors; motor control for engine pumps and fans; and multiple sensor control. Moving forward, high-speed and secure connectivity with zone and domain controllers will be mission critical for edge electronic control units (ECUs). Renesas’ next-generation RL78/F24 and RL78/F23 MCUs address changing technology demands for actuator and sensor control with enhanced security, rich connectivity, and functional safety capabilities. The new devices support the CAN FD high-speed communication protocol (RL78/F24) and EVITA-Light security and are optimized for systems targeting ASIL-B levels under the ISO 26262 functional safety standard.

The future of automotive systems design lies in a vehicle-centralized, zone-oriented E/E architecture, and that shift is sparking higher demand for more advanced functionality and better performance in actuator controller applications. The new RL78/F24 and RL78/F23 MCUs deliver up to approximately 70 percent faster operating frequencies than the previous generation, which can more than double the performance in brushless motor control (BLDC) applications. Renesas also enhanced the hardware accelerator and timer functions for motor control and added a 12-bit A/D converter, offering customers the enhanced functionality and performance levels they demand.

Key Features of RL78/F24 and RL78/F23 MCUs

  • 40 MHz operating frequency
  • Supports several connectivity interfaces, including CAN FD (RL78/F24), LIN, SPI, and I2C
  • EVITA-Light support security functionality (support for AES-128/192/256 encryption algorithms)
  • Pin compatible with the RL78/F14 and RL78/F13 MCUs with the same power efficiency
  • On-chip flash memory capacity of 128 KB or 256 KB
  • Package lineup ranging from compact 5 × 5 mm 32-pin QFN to 100-pin QFP
  • Support for high temperatures up to 150°C
  • RL78/F24 Target Board and RL78/F24 12V Motor Control Evaluation System Starter Kit soon to be released for RL78/F24 (under development)


Samples of the RL78/F24 and RL78/F23 MCUs will be available starting April 2022, and are scheduled to enter mass production in the second half of 2023.5

LDRA Partners with OpenSynergy

LDRA, the leading provider of automated software verification, source code analysis and test tools, and OpenSynergy, specialist in high-quality embedded automotive software, today announced their partnership to support and promote a defense-in-depth strategy combining hypervisor technology with secure coding techniques.

Automotive connectivity is an ongoing concern, with vulnerability to attacks from bad actors being demonstrated in models from a range of manufacturers. The inexorable rise in popularity of electric vehicles can only add to that unease because several features of connected EVs such as the batteries and their charging systems are associated with inherent safety implications.

Automotive application developers are already familiar with the demands of functional safety standards, including ISO 26262’s defined development, validation, and verification processes, and with the capacity of the LDRA tool suite to help achieve those aims. The benefits of virtualization in the automotive sector are also well known, and class-leading COQOS hypervisors present an opportunity for development teams to realize reduced cost; reduced device seize, weight and power (SWaP); improved CPU performance, and a NAconvenient migration path for unmodified legacy applications.

It is their capacity to provide a mechanism for domain separation, however, that is critical to automotive cybersecurity. The need for inter-process communication (IPC) between those domains is inevitable and a likely source of vulnerabilities. The role of secure application code is pivotal in that context because the code handling the data processed by IPCs has a key role to play in defending a potential weakness in a virtualized architecture.

OpenSynergy focuses on the automotive virtual platform COQOS Hypervisor SDK based on VIRTIO technology. The hypervisor on this platform runs directly on the System-on-Chip (SoC) application cores and creates several virtual machines (VMs). Each VM is isolated from the others. This separation makes it possible to run functions with different real-time behavior and functional safety requirements simultaneously on a single SoC.

“The wisdom of a defense-in-depth strategy is unquestionable,” said Matthias Stumpf, Vice President (VP) Sales OpenSynergy. “Defenses against cyberattack are often envisaged as analogous to a medieval castle with moats, perimeter walls and armed soldiers all operating independently. But the combination of LDRA’s secure coding and OpenSynergy’s hypervisor technology goes beyond that analogy by combining defenses that are mutually supportive, ensuring a level of security that they could not provide independently.”

“Automotive application software developers have a lot to contend with,” added Ian Hennell, Operations Director, LDRA. ”The demands of ISO 26262 are challenging enough, and the emergence of the connected car with its implications for cybersecurity only adds to those challenges. By providing a tool suite that allows security and functional safety objectives to be fulfilled concurrently and accommodates a focus on the secure coding of software associated with inter-process communications, we hope to help lighten the load.”

Both the LDRA tool suite and the OpenSynergy hypervisors have been certified by SGS TüV as suitable for development of safety-related software compliant with ISO 26262. In addition, the LDRA tool suite offers tool qualification support packs for the qualification of LDRA tools for high assurance applications requiring regulatory approval.

NFC Forum CR13

The Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum, the global standards-body for NFC technology, announced today Certification Release 13 (CR13) that, for the first time, adds certification for the automotive car access NFC use case as specified by the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC). CR13 enables users to unlock and start their vehicle with a smartphone even if the battery is dead. This certification will support CCC’s Digital Key releases 2 and 3. In addition, NFC wireless charging will also be available in the first quarter of 2022 as part of this release.

“Cooperation with other standards bodies is a strategic priority for CCC,” said Daniel Knobloch, president, CCC. “The cooperation with the NFC Forum resulted in a dedicated certification scheme supporting the long-term goal of interoperability between NFC enabled vehicles and smart devices.”

The CCC Digital Key is a standardized ecosystem that enables mobile devices to store, authenticate, and share Digital Keys for vehicles in a secure, privacy-preserving way that works everywhere. The digitalization of car keys enables the flexibility to share keys with family and friends as well as opening new mobility concepts. NFC is a standard feature on the almost three billion smartphones and, increasingly, in smart cars, making it one of the most prolific and versatile technologies in the world.

About CR13

Cooperation between the NFC Forum and the CCC resulted in a certification offering of Digital Key NFC interfaces with dedicated device classes for vehicles and devices that addresses requirements from the mobile and automotive industries.In additionan automotive grace period of 72 months was implemented for the automotive device class, ensuring a long-term availability of the certification offering to meet the development cycles of the automotive industry.

“With the release of CR13, the NFC Forum is opening device certification to non-members. This is a significant step to addressing the global need for NFC interoperability across multiple ecosystems, including automotive,” said Mike McCamon, executive director, NFC Forum. “Smartphones and other NFC-enabled devices that conform to CR13 can support a wide variety of NFC implementations while also improving the user experience and can be used in many other applications that support a contactless lifestyle, including payments, smart homes, identity, mobility and Internet-of-Things.”

NFC Wireless Charging Certification Available Early 2022

NFC Forum also announced today that certification for the NFC wireless charging feature of CR13 is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2022. It will enable enrollment of interoperable products using the NFC wireless charging feature to the broad NFC ecosystem.

New Certification Test Plan Generator Tool Automates Applying for Certification

The Test Plan Generator Tool (TPG Tool) will help applicants more easily apply for certification by automating the process of feature declaration and test cases selection with the result that an hours-long process can now be done in minutes. Moving from a paper-based process to this web-based, free tool ( will save time and money for vendors and authorized test labs.

Valens and Sumitomo

– Valens Semiconductor (NYSE: VLN) and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (TYO: 5802) announced today that they are collaborating in the field of A-PHY technology and deployments. The companies will work together to ensure that Sumitomo Electric’s wiring harness systems meet the channel requirements of the A-PHY specification, while Valens will add the Sumitomo Electric cable assembly and matching on-board connectors as an ordering option for its VA70XX customer evaluation kits. The cooperation will streamline the deployment of MIPI A-PHY technology across the automotive industry.

MIPI A-PHY is the first standardized, asymmetric, long-reach Serializer-Deserializer (SerDes) physical layer interface targeted for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving systems (ADS). It was released by the MIPI Alliance in September 2020. Soon after, in July 2021, the technology was adopted by the renowned IEEE standardization body as one of its own standards. A-PHY’s primary mission is to transfer high-speed data between cameras, radars, LiDARs and their related ECUs.

Sumitomo Electric will provide differential/coaxial cables that meet the A-PHY specification, and the two companies will work together to expand the variety of cabling options in the future. Valens will feature Sumitomo Electric cables in a live A-PHY demonstration at CES 2022 (Suite 29-139, Venetian Hotel).

“Deployment of MIPI A-PHY in automotive systems just got even easier with Sumitomo Electric committing to ensuring that their off-the-shelf cables meet the A-PHY channel requirements,” said Gideon Kedem, Valens SVP and Head of Automotive. “Sumitomo Electric is a world-class company with more than 30% market share in wire harnesses manufacturing and assembly, so we’re thrilled to welcome them into the ranks of the rapidly growing A-PHY ecosystem.”

“At Sumitomo Electric, we view A-PHY as the connectivity infrastructure underlying the cars of tomorrow, so it was important for us to make sure our cables meet this standard’s channel requirements,” said Hiroki Hirai, Sumitomo Electric General Manager of CAS-EV Development Promotion Division. “We are excited to help Valens – the leading provider of A-PHY-compliant chipsets – bring additional flexibility to their evaluation kits and to provide a faster route towards the deployment of A-PHY by OEMs, both in Japan and around the world.”

Continental Invests in Apex.AI

-Continental is participating in the German-U.S. software specialist Apex.AI as a strategic investor. In doing so, the technology company is underscoring the great importance of intelligent software applications for future generations of vehicles. Continental and Apex.AI have already been cooperating since 2020 on the industrialization of an innovative operating system for vehicles. With the minority stake now completed, the two companies are intensifying their collaboration in order to rapidly provide a near-series solution. The investment amount is not being disclosed.

Apex.AI has developed the meta-operating system Apex.OS from a widely used programming framework, the open source code ROS (Robot Operating System). Apex.OS is the first system of its kind for automotive applications that seamlessly supports all phases of software development and use without time-consuming customization, from the concept phase to pre-development to production use – and has already been certified by the German testing organization TÜV Nord for its high, international safety standards in the automotive industry. This means that the software system is approved for series use on the road.

AGCO, Your Agriculture Company, (NYSE:AGCO), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural machinery and precision ag technology, announced that it has made a 2.53% equity investment in Apex.AI, an emerging leader in safety-certified software for mobility and driverless vehicles.

Maxim MAX 16137

Designers working to achieve automotive functional safety in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) can now reduce solution size and complexity with the MAX16137 single-window voltage monitor with built-in self-test (BIST) from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM). This window monitor IC delivers robust protection by tracking both undervoltage and overvoltage levels with 1-percent accuracy allowing designers to accelerate system-wide functional safety by providing advanced diagnostics and reset capabilities. The MAX16137 also cuts solution size in half and helps reduce design complexity.

CMT Scoring Model Approved by NY State

-Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), the global leader in smartphone telematics, announced its behavior-based premium insurance scoring model has just been approved in New York for personal lines. By adding the Empire State, CMT now has scoring models approved in 48 of 50 U.S. States plus Washington D.C.

CMT’s solution assesses crash risk based on an individual’s behavior behind the wheel. The telematics-based offering uses highly predictive factors like speeding, hard braking, and phone distraction (both tapping and phone motion) for an unbiased and accurate picture of crash risk. This enables insurers to offer auto insurance to a consumer based on their driving behavior.

Ansys TSMC Certification

Ansys achieved certification of its cutting-edge multiphysics signoff solutions for TSMC’s advanced N3 and N4 process technologies. This enables joint customers to meet critical power, thermal and reliability standards for highly sophisticated artificial intelligence/machine learning, 5G, high-performance computing (HPC), networking and autonomous vehicle chips.

The certification of Ansys RedHawk-SC for TSMC N3 and N4 process technologies includes power network extraction, power integrity and reliability, signal electromigration (EM), thermal reliability analysis for self-heat, thermal-aware EM and statistical EM budgeting. Redhawk-SC will analyze very large 3nm network designs by using elastic compute, big-data analytics and high capacity of its underlying Ansys® SeaScape infrastructure. Totem is similarly certified for transistor-level custom designs. The predictive accuracy of Redhawk-SC and Totem have also been verified through TSMC’s certification.

“As our long-standing ecosystem partner, Ansys has been making continuous efforts to help our mutual customers maximize the benefits of TSMC’s industry-leading process technologies,” said Suk Lee, vice president of the Design Infrastructure Management Division at TSMC. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Ansys to address critical customer challenges in power and performance and enable next-generation silicon designs for 5G, AI, HPC, networking, and automotive applications.”

“To best serve our customers’ needs, it is essential that we collaborate closely with TSMC on the leading edge of silicon technology for design solutions enablement,” said John Lee, vice president and general manager at Ansys. “This collaboration with TSMC makes the signoff fidelity of our Ansys multiphysics simulation platform possible and Ansys remains committed to powering the best user experience for our joint customers.”

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