Connected Car News: J.D. Power, BrightDrop, Renesas, Accedian, DSP Concepts, BlackBerry, Qualcomm, Storedot, Rightware & Water Technology

In connected car news are J.D. Power, BrightDrop, Renesas, Accedian, DSP Concepts, BlackBerry, Qualcomm, Storedot, Kanzi & Water Technology.

J.D. Power Buys AI of We Predict

J.D. Power, a global leader in data analytics and customer intelligence, today announced that it has acquired the data and predictive analytics business of We Predict, the UK-based provider of global automobile service and warranty analytics. We Predict’s software, which is used by auto manufacturers and suppliers to project future component failures and future warranty claims and costs, will be leveraged by J.D. Power to enhance its vehicle quality and dependability analytics, expand repair cost forecasting and provide critical valuation data.

BrightDrop Buys Marain Software

BrightDrop, the technology company decarbonizing last-mile delivery, is acquiring fleet optimization software from Marain Inc., a California-based technology startup. BrightDrop will integrate Marain’s artificial intelligence-powered fleet optimization software into BrightDrop’s ecosystem of last-mile solutions to analyze, forecast and identify multi-modal solutions for fleet customers as they plan their journey to full-fleet electrification.

Renesas Acquires Reality AI

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Reality Analytics, Inc. (Reality AI), a leading provider of embedded AI solutions, under which Renesas will acquire Reality AI in an all-cash transaction. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close by the end of calendar year 2022, subject to shareholders’ and required regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. The acquisition will significantly enhance Renesas’ endpoint AI capability, providing more flexibility and efficiency for system developers to make their products AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) ready and get to market faster.

The importance of embedding AI into products has soared lately in the connected world as workload requirements at the endpoint have evolved. For IIoT (Industrial IoT), consumer, automotive and other embedded applications that demand machine learning based intelligent decision-making physically closer to the source of the data, low latency and high security are a must. In collaboration with its partners, Renesas has been offering development environments and software that allow AI to be embedded in its low-power, highly secure MCUs (microcontrollers) and MPUs (microprocessors). The Reality AI acquisition allows Renesas to expand its in-house capability to provide comprehensive and highly optimized endpoint solutions both from the hardware as well as the software perspective. This enables system developers to realize endpoint intelligence across a wide range of IIoT, consumer and automotive applications.

Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, U.S., Reality AI offers a wide range of embedded AI and Tiny Machine Learning (TinyML) solutions for advanced non-visual sensing in automotive, industrial and commercial products. They provide machine learning with advanced signal processing math, delivering fast, efficient machine learning inference that fits on the smallest MCUs. Reality AI’s flagship Reality AI Tools®, a software environment built to support the full product development lifecycle, provides analytics from non-visual sensor data. Their inference-based AI solutions can be implemented across various endpoint AI applications. Good examples of the company’s versatile expertise are industrial anomaly detection and automotive sound recognition using AI-built sensors.

Combining these technologies with Renesas’ broad range of MCU and MPU portfolios designed to provide the best-in-class AI inference and signal processing capabilities will help developers seamlessly apply advanced machine learning and signal processing to complex problems.

In addition to expanding embedded AI technologies, key IPs, software and tools, the acquisition will bring an AIoT center-of-excellence in Maryland by acquiring Reality AI’s experts. This move will extend Renesas’ global software development talent base and spearhead its commitment to address the needs of customers eager to utilize AI.

Accedian Skylight Interceptor

Accedian, a leader in performance analytics and end-user experience solutions, announced the release of Skylight Interceptor™, the company’s cloud-based Network Detection and Response (NDR) solution. A new addition to the Skylight solution family, this launch marks Accedian’s entrance into the cybersecurity market.

Skylight Interceptor helps major enterprises and service providers protect networks by delivering prioritized, context-rich incidents that speed detection and response to security threats. It enables organizations to identify the sophisticated zero-day threats that are often missed by traditional perimeter security solutions.

Skylight Interceptor is built on Accedian’s 17 years of experience in the network performance and analytics industry, managing the largest and most complex networks on the planet with the most precise, granular, and contextual data, and rich visibility. This solution bridges the gap between security and IT operations with a common platform, complementing existing security solutions and adding an essential new layer to an organization’s cyber defense posture.

With Skylight Interceptor, organizations can:

  • Protect from tomorrow’s cyber attacks… today: Skylight Interceptor provides deep visibility into network traffic, capturing and correlating metadata from both north-south and east-west as it traverses the network, protecting from zero-day attacks that other security measures may miss.
  • Simplify threat hunting and forensics: Gain comprehensive, high-quality network traffic data for threat hunting and the ability to search for forensic details in seconds. The solution correlates events into incidents using AI/ML to only generate alerts on legitimate cyber threats, preserving critical response time and valuable SOC resources.
  • Expand Zero Trust: Skylight Interceptor helps companies further extend their Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) to include a vital new layer of contextual, real-time data integration. It adds a powerful new tool to enrich the speed and accuracy of their overall threat triage and evaluation process.

LG Partners with DSP Concepts

-DSP Concepts, the Audio of Things category leader and the creator of the Audio Weaver® development platform, has been chosen by LG Electronics (LGE) as the AI Sound technology partner for the automotive industry.

LGE first launched Deep Neural Network-based, on-device AI Sound technology for the LG OLED TV product line in 2019. The solution achieved superior sound quality and received critical acclaim for two consecutive years with OLED65CX in 2020 and OLED65C1 in 2021. Now LGE is adopting the DSP Concepts Audio Weaver platform so that automotive engineers can utilize AI Sound to significantly enhance the in-cabin sound experience. AI Sound is a machine learning-powered technology that expands any stereo or surround sound content into enveloping spatial audio. The AI Sound algorithm analyzes content to detect genre, then identifies dialog, effects, and frequencies. In real-time, and on a scene-by-scene basis, AI Sound uses those data points to produce an unparalleled immersive sound experience.

“Based on our successful collaborations with DSP Concepts for LGE’s premium consumer electronics products, we are looking forward to strengthening our leading audio technology brand by expanding adoption of the Audio Weaver platform for the automotive industry,” said Jeonghyu Yang, Vice President, Leader of the SoC Fundamental Technology Lab at CTO Division in LGE. “Audio Weaver gives automotive OEMs a fully optimized, hardware-independent audio framework that streamlines the integration of advanced processing algorithms making it easy to enhance the audio experience for drivers and passengers.”

The two companies plan to continue the collaboration to make additional machine learning-powered audio algorithms from LGE available on Audio Weaver, and will endeavor to collaborate on future technologies aimed at delivering remarkable new audio experiences.

“Recent technological advancements in the automotive industry, especially in electric vehicles, have led to exciting new innovations in automotive audio,” said Chin Beckmann, CEO and co-founder of DSP Concepts. “With Audio Weaver, car makers can access leading-edge LGE algorithms like AI Sound to build a fully orchestrated immersive sound environment in the cabin.”

BB Powers Renault Jiangling

BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) and BDStar Intelligent & Connected Vehicle Technology Co., Ltd. (BICV) today announced that BlackBerry® QNX® technology has been selected to power BICV’s next-generation intelligent cockpit, currently deployed by Renault Jiangling in their first fully electric sedan – ‘Yi’. Leveraging the QNX® Neutrino® Realtime Operating System (RTOS) and QNX® Hypervisor, this leading-edge system provides an engaging and immersive driving experience, underpinned by a safe, secure and reliable software foundation.

Renesas’ High Perfromace MPUs

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced Renesas’ highest-perfomance RZ/T2M motor control microprocessor units (MPUs) for applications such as AC servo drives and industrial robots. The RZ/T2M combines fast and highly precise realtime motor control capabilities and the latest industrial Ethernet on a single-chip, while also supporting functional safety operation. By providing all essential peripheral functions for motor control, the RZ/T2M enables customers to reduce the number of external components, thereby decreasing BOM costs and product size.

“Functional safety continues to be an important requirement for many of our customers”

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“There is growing demand for factory automation and the deployment of industrial robots to boost productivity,” said Toshihide Tsuboi, Vice President of Industrial Automation Business Division at Renesas. “The RZ/T2M is capable of controlling the servo motors that drive robots at extremely high speed and with high precision. I anticipate that it will contribute to the development and widespread adoption of sophisticated industrial robots that can work safely alongside humans.”

Boosting Realtime Control Performance

The RZ/T2M is built around two Arm® Cortex®-R52 cores with a maximum operating frequency of 800 MHz. Connecting the peripheral functions used for motor control to a dedicated bus linked directly to the CPU enables the CPU to access these functions with low latency. In addition, the large memory capacity (576 KB) is tightly coupled with the CPU, reducing the fluctuation in execution time that can occur when cache memory is used and delivering deterministic, fast-response processing. These advantages enable the RZ/T2M to deliver rapid and highly precise control for applications that require high performance such as AC servos, inverters, and industrial robots.

Support for Multiple Industrial Ethernet Protocols and Next-Generation TSN Networks

In addition to major industrial networking protocols such as EtherCAT, PROFINET RT, and EtherNet/IP, Renesas has added support for the PROFINET IRT protocol in the RZ/T2M. The new MPU also includes an Ethernet switch that supports the next-generation Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) standard, allowing multiple devices to operate in precise synchronization.

Support for Functional Safety

In most cases, building industrial equipment that complies with functional safety requirements involves the addition of two external MCUs for safety monitoring, which increases BOM costs. The RZ/T2M has a hardware configuration designed with functional safety operation in mind, so only one external MCU is needed to implement functional safety. The RZ/T2M can perform functional safety operation in parallel with motor control and network communication. In addition, later this year Renesas plans to release functional safety solutions, including a SIL3-certified software kit combination that includes a self-test software kit enabling failure self-diagnosis by the RZ/T2M, and a SIL3 system software kit for mutual diagnosis and software isolation functionality. IAR Embedded Workbench for Arm Functional Safety Edition, an integrated development environment certified for functional safety-related development and an essential tool for deploying the above software, will support the new RZ/T2M processors.

“Functional safety continues to be an important requirement for many of our customers,” said Anders Holmberg, CTO at IAR Systems. “Companies choosing the new Renesas’ RZ/T2M in their next design can be sure that IAR Systems will support them with certified development tools and professional technical support globally, substantially reducing both design time and project cost.”

Winning Combinations

Renesas offers Winning Combination for Motor Control System with Industrial Network and Functional Safety that combine the RZ/T2M with complementary Renesas components that work together seamlessly. This includes a high-precision current detection solution combining the RZ/T2M with an isolated ΔΣ modulator, a high-precision rotational position detection solution combining the RZ/T2M with an RS-485 device and photocouplers, a functional safety solution combining the RZ/T2M with an MCU for mutual monitoring, and an optimized power supply configuration. Renesas offers more than 300 Winning Combinations with compatible devices from the Renesas product portfolio to enable customers to speed up the design process and bring products to market more quickly. They can be found at https://www.renesas.com/win.

Qualcomm Partners with PATEO

–Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced the company’s relationship with PATEO CONNECT+ (hereinafter referred to as “PATEO”) in the automotive intelligent cockpit field. Based on the powerful 4th Generation Snapdragon® Cockpit Platforms, Qualcomm Technologies and PATEO will expand their relationship to develop solutions to support vehicle intelligence, smart car connectivity, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), intelligent cockpit and multi-domain fusion based central controller. The working relationship is aimed toward facilitating the mass production of the next-generation PATEO Qinggan intelligent cockpit platform solution, offering the automotive industry a cutting-edge immersive intelligent driving and riding experience.

A key component of the Snapdragon Digital Chassis™, the Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms are designed to provide automakers and Tier-1 suppliers the capabilities to redefine in-vehicle experiences. The 4th Generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms are high-performance cockpit solutions designed to support multiple electronic control units (ECUs) and a central processing unit (CPU) with multi-domain capability, providing a bottom-layer performance support for the combination of SOA, system-on-chips (SoCs) and display screens as well as the integration of select informational driver assistance system (ADAS) capabilities and intelligent cockpit. The launch of the platforms aims to enable the transformation of the next- generation intelligent connected vehicles’ (ICVs) electrical/electronic (E/E) architecture to a zonal system computing architecture.

In this relationship, PATEO will utilize its innovative capabilities and experiences with the 3rd Generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms from Qualcomm Technologies to build upon and unlock the performance potential of the 4th Generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms and build the new-generation Qinggan intelligent cockpit platform solution.

“As a leading company in China’s smart cockpit segment, we believe the innovation capability of PATEO is impressive. Qualcomm Technologies is excited to establish a relationship with PATEO. The R&D experience and implementation achievements accumulated throughout our working relationship provides Qualcomm Technologies confidence in this cooperation. We believe that the brand-new intelligent cockpit platform solution that will be developed will usher in the development of the industry.” Said Lei Xian, vice president, sales and business development, from Qualcomm International (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

“Qualcomm Technologies is the technology leader in the ICV field, and the important driving force for the automotive digital transformation as well. PATEO is very proud to work with Qualcomm Technologies. Based on the 4th generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms, we believe that the all-new PATEO Qinggan digital cockpit platform solution will provide the automotive industry a digitally advanced product to bring immersive, intelligent and next generation driving experiences,” said Ken (Yilun) YING, founder & Chairman of PATEO.

NEXTGEN TV New Test Data

Pearl TV, the coalition of U.S. broadcasters transitioning to NEXTGEN TV, announced new field test data with Auton performed at the “Motown 3.0 Open Test Track” in Detroit, Mich., that demonstrated how robust the transport layer and software applications of the ATSC 3.0 “NEXTGEN TV” standard are in non-real time data delivery of streaming video and secure broadband files to vehicles. These results, coupled with the previous physical layer testing programs conducted by both Pearl TV and Auton of ATSC 3.0 in mobile environments, further demonstrates the standard’s relevance in providing an alternative and viable wireless distribution pipe to vehicles.

“The Motown Test Track continues to be a lead research and development environment for service providers, like Auton, automakers, OEM vendors, media distributors, and internet service providers of all types to convene and foster new application development,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV. “The innovation from the broadcast industry behind the NEXTGEN TV standard is unbound and is reflective of its commitment to enabling a national wireless data distribution fabric for the automotive industry, which it needs to deliver mobile video, audio and digital content to the on-the-move public.”

As the automotive industry faces a rapidly increasing demand for wireless connectivity to the growing market for connected and autonomous vehicles, it will require a digital operating environment with ubiquitous access to the internet, cloud and meta content. As 5G and other technologies gradually emerge, ATSC 3.0 uniquely offers a one-to-many delivery option, with a robust, fully scalable platform at a lower cost than other solutions.

The testing was performed in concert with the E. W. Scripps Company’s ATSC 3.0 Lighthouse station WMYD powered by the Triveni Digital Broadcast Chain. This collaboration proved the ability of the standard to deliver files in a wide range of urban, suburban and exurban environments, underscoring the diverse range of mobile use cases possible with broadcast internet.

StoreDot Moving Forward

StoreDot, the pioneer of extreme fast charging technologies for electric vehicles, is signalling its ambitions for rapid growth with a network of strategic global investments and partnerships that spans the entire battery ecosystem. The company is on track to begin mass producing its ‘100in5’ cells as early as 2024, delivering 100 miles of charge in just five minutes.

StoreDot, which has raised a total of $200M to date has now received investments from major global automotive manufacturers including Daimler, Volvo, Polestar, VinFast and Ola Electric. It is already working closely with its partners to collaborate on future electric vehicle fast charging architectures.

The company is moving towards mass production of its ‘100in5’ cells in China, with its long-standing manufacturing partner, EVE Energy. Samples of Electric Vehicle size pouch cells are already being shipped for testing by automotive manufacturers. In addition, cylindrical cells in both 2170 and 4680 formats are currently being optimized and are planned to be sampled later this year.

Dr Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot CEO “Our growing global network of strategic partnerships and our expanding geographical footprint demonstrate that StoreDot is much more than just an innovator of extreme fast-charging battery technologies. We now have an unprecedented group of strategic investors and partners that span the entire battery ecosystem, and we are collaborating with our partners to make Extreme Fast Charging a reality while we plan to grow our production volume capabilities.

“We are now working with the relevant ecosystem of the charging value chain – from the infrastructure to the vehicle – to optimize StoreDot’s XFC technology for future EV models.

“It is therefore essential that we engage with the right partners including a global manufacturing footprint, to rapidly progress towards volume production in 2024. Moreover, our roadmap for automotive manufacturers spans into the next decade, by which time we target to achieve 100 miles of range in just two minutes of charge.”

Further long-standing partners include BP Ventures, which is a mutual advocate for fast-charging and the need to align the charging infrastructure with the ecosystem efforts, as well as TDK and Samsung Ventures. StoreDot has also received significant backing from three venture capital funds.

Last month StoreDot completed a live demonstration showcasing its extreme fast charging battery technology already capable of delivering 100 miles in 5 minutes. The demonstration took place at EcoMotion Week 2022 in Israel, an increasingly popular global event that brings together leading EV makers.

Rightware for Maserati

Rightware announced that global icon Maserati used its Kanzi user interface (UI) toolchain to create the primary human-machine interface (HMI) for its 2023 Grecale compact luxury SUV. Kanzi software powers the graphics in both the digital instrument cluster and head-up display (HUD).

Kanzi enabled a highly productive process for creative design and software engineering, accelerating Grecale HMI development while bringing significant cost savings to the complex project, resulting in a major leap forward for the driving experience.

“To have the high-end, performance-oriented brand Maserati select Kanzi to develop its first digital instrument cluster is an honor,” said Freddie Geier, CEO of Rightware. “Brand identity is central to the company, and Kanzi enabled its team to design and implement a signature UI true to the Maserati lineage.”

Maserati Firsts

Not only is the Grecale the brand’s first vehicle with a full digital instrument cluster, it is also the company’s first production vehicle with on-screen graphics designed in-house. The Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena implemented a design produced by the Style Center in Turin.

In the past, Maserati provided high-level UI concepts to its HMI supplier, which in turn managed design and implementation. Using Kanzi, a small team of Maserati designers and engineers was able to take the instrument cluster and HUD from initial design concepts to mass-production-ready in just under two years.

The result is a content-rich digital cockpit which maintains the classic Maserati look. Kanzi allowed the team to deliver a unique UI with rich 3D graphics in the instrument cluster without losing the appearance of the brand’s traditional mechanical gauges.

Kanzi Benefits

With Kanzi, Maserati had complete control of the user experience and graphical visualization from prototype through production. Rapid prototyping in Kanzi Studio gave the team the flexibility to iterate the design often throughout the process. With traditional tools and workflows, such intensive iteration tends to cause lengthy delays.

UI design has traditionally taken at least three years. Moving from the start of design to production-ready in less than two years is a major achievement. Beyond shortening the development cycle, Kanzi enabled Maserati to leverage leading-edge graphics to create a contemporary and unique user experience.

Maserati plans to offer the Grecale with traditional and hybrid powertrains, and eventually a fully electric version. Each variant will require unique information to be shown on the digital displays while maintaining the look-and-feel of the model family. Leveraging the advanced capabilities of Kanzi, Maserati can easily manage UI variants within a single project, maximizing reuse for a consistent brand identity.

New RH90 Components from Water Tech

Water Technology (NASDAQ: SKYT), the trusted technology realization partner, today announced a new component of its RH90 IP ecosystem to enable 90 nm strategic rad-hard by process solutions for microelectronic devices used in harsh environments. Mobile Semiconductor will provide two static random-access memory (SRAM) compilers for SkyWater customers developing products on its maturing RH90 platform.

This is the latest step in SkyWater’s RH90 technology roadmap. The company has leveraged the $170 million investment by the Department of Defense (DOD) to broaden onshore production capabilities for strategic rad-hard electronics. Through the DOD’s support, SkyWater also provides complementary technologies for commercial applications in extreme environments such as space and medical imaging.

Mobile Semiconductor’s 90 nm strategic rad-hard single port SRAM and dual port SRAM memory compilers are built on a soft error resistant fully depleted silicon on insulator (FDSOI) technology. Strategic rad-hard performance is achieved using dual interlocked storage cell elements (DICE). These compilers incorporate additional innovative rad-hard by design (RHBD) techniques including triple mode redundancy (TMR), DICE latches, and critical charge analysis to reduce single event transients (SET) and single event upset (SEU), as well as bit separation to reduce multi-bit upset (MBU). Optional multi-bit error detection and single-bit error correction is available to reduce soft error rates even further.

SkyWater’s RH90 platform is based on MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s 90 nm FDSOI CMOS process technology with enhancements including dual gate transistors and copper dual damascene interconnect. Early access multi-project wafer (MPW) and dedicated product development engagements are available for customers to develop next generation products.

According to Brad Ferguson, SkyWater’s SVP/GM of aerospace and defense business and chief government affairs officer, “We continue making strides towards maturing and qualifying our Trusted, onshore RH90 foundry technology to support high reliability strategic defense programs. SRAM is a foundational building block for this platform, and our partnership with Mobile Semiconductor has enabled us to offer an SRAM compiler developed specifically to meet our RH90 customers’ performance requirements.”

Mobile Semiconductor’s CEO, Cameron Fisher said, “Mobile Semiconductor has been providing radiation hardened memory compilers to the aerospace industry for over 14 years. We are excited to be working with SkyWater as they set a new standard for hardened microelectronics. I am confident that the performance of these two new rad-hard memory compilers will be of great value to SkyWater’s RH90 customers.”

For more information on SkyWater’s RH90 and Mobile Semiconductor’s SRAM compilers, please visit: Rad-Hard EAP – Skywater Technology.

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