5G brings world of new opportunities

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5G MENA Digital Symposium 2021 commenced today. There was a session on secrets to the deployment of nationwide, flexible and robust 5G networks. Masum Mir, VP and GM, Cable and Mobile Business Unit, Cisco, said that 5G brings a world of new opportunities.

There are use cases in connected cars, Industry 4.0, venues, smart cities, smart meters, smart energy, etc. You require redefined security and experience, full-stack automation, and programmable platform.

There are learnings and insights for success. These include coverage planning, distributed architecture, cloud operations, and service transition from 4G to 5G. You need to plan beyond coverage and connectivity, and embrace continuous integration (CI) and continuous development (CD) and skill transformation.

Cisco’s 5G innovation provides simplicity at scale for mobile subscribers, mobile IoT, and nationwide 5G IoT and consumer deployments.

Consumer 5G
There was a panel discussion on consumer 5G: from devices to FWA and beyond. The participants were Patryk Debicki, Field CTO, Guavus, Amar Padmanabhan, Software Engineer, Facebook Connectivity, and Hani Mohammad Yassin, Senior Director/Technology Strategy, Etisalat Group. Gabriel Mohr, Principal, Arthur D. Little, was the moderator.

Amar Padmanabhan, Facebook, said they are working on network-intensive solutions. They are working with Oculus on the AR side. These are technologies that require fundamental shift from 4G devices. A bulk of social interactions are moving to the digital world. Experiences are going to get richer, as we go forward. They will need new network architectures, powered by 5G.

Hani Mohammad Yassin, Etisalat, added that 5G consumer proposition is a challenge. Operators are experimenting how to present 5G to consumer markets. In GCC, we have had success on 4G networks. 5G devices are still expensive. We are offering higher data bundles for 5G. There is also 5G access fee charge from some operators. 5G-specific content will be main driver for consumers.

Patryk Debicki, Guavus, added that gaming devices are expensive today. In 5G, there will be mobile edge computing. That means, gaming devices can become cheaper. Mobile edge compute will need to handle the gaming compute. 3GPP addressed the network analytics function that predicts the consumer’s mobility. It allows preparing content for the customer.

Yassin noted that the younger generation is getting social interactions online. Everything is on demand. Media can be a key monetization lever for 5G.

Debicki added that media is an interesting entity. With 5G, media can be taken to another level. Customers can be provided with specific QoS. 5G allows you to allocate the QoS. It can also analyze the QoS. You can charge only if the level is above a certain value. 5G addresses the access management in a great way. It will allow operators to differentiate on tariffs, depending on consumer behavior. The network becomes an engine for gaming. 5G will be about B2B models.

Padmanabhan said lot of monetization experiences come from sporting events. Delivering critical experiences means network changes in a fundamental way. We need some sort of data localization that is relevant to some campus.

In South Korea, MNOs have actually achieved growth in ARPUs. Yassin said that is a unique experience. The South Koreans have developed certain apps relevant for the local market. They applied those to the devices and networks. An integrated proposition is more suitable in this case. Apps with immersive experience will come over time.

Debicki noted that the variety of 5G devices will play a key role, and whether they support standalone or non-standalone. You need insights of the device capabilities. Yassin said there are lot of questions regarding 4G and 5G. Collaboration is very important among the different partners. We have still not at achieved the full potential of 5G yet. We are only scratching the tip of the iceberg as far as 5G capabilities are concerned.

Debicki said there are lot of metrics regarding smartphones. By 2025, operators will have more consumer IoT devices than smartphones. This is an area that will grow rapidly and overtake smartphones. Padmanabhan agreed there will be heterogeneity. There will be different devices, different access technologies, etc. The platform will need to be cloud-native, etc. There are lot of data center technologies that we are bringing into the open source world.

Autonomous sensors and future apps

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Phil Amsrud, IHS Markit, presented market updates, autonomous sensors and future applications. He presented the global vehicle production by SAE level through 2026. The autonomy forecast model is that in 2025, there will be 0.6 million L4, and 2.6 million L3 vehicles. The emergence of L2+ in response to L3 will also happen. ADCs will evolve, and their respective SoC and memory content will also improve.

Phil Amsrud.

General trends impacting sensors ADAS systems are that L1 and L2 apps will continue to be the majority of shipments and revenue. Self-driving cars are capturing the imagination. L2+ has established itself as a preferred alternative to L3 and an enabler for L4/L5.

In terms of sensor shipments, cameras are dominating. Imaging radar is starting to get traction. In LiDar, frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) seems to be getting all the attention. There is the driver and occupant monitoring system, as well.

Image sensors continue to increase their resolutions. Sensing apps are going to 8MP. Additional developments include high-dynamic range and LED flicker mitigation/reduction. FIR is still limited in apps, but getting some attention since the AAA results in 2019.

For radar sensors, 24GHz is not being used in new designs. 77-81GHz will dominate frequencies for external apps and 60GHz will be for internal apps. New suppliers are entering the RF CMOS sensors market. High resolution, imaging, and radar are being evaluated.

In automotive LiDar systems, we are expecting some consolidation to happen. Solid-state solutions are preferred, but a combination of technologies may result. Aesthetics mater for privately-owned cars, so hiding sensors is important. Roof-mounted sensors are unacceptable.

Driver monitoring (ADAS) transforming into interior monitoring. The driver monitoring system (DMS) emerged to ensure the driver is present and engaged. Radars looking at DMS can monitor the driver health. NCAP is mandating systems to ensure driver is alert and attentive. DMS/OMS is also monitoring for occupants, including infants. Multiple radar, image, and other sensors will also detect unlawful activities, and health and safety of the occupants.

HD mapping is among the next wave of sensors (AD enablers). Crowd-sourced mapping also provides real-time traffic and road conditions. HD maps and cameras, radars and LiDar can allow self-driving cars to be operated in many different conditions.

ADAS/AD systems continue to grow, driven by L1/L2 systems. Powerful SoCs are changing the car’s architecture, and enabling sensor growth and diversity. Radar also continues to grow. There is no convergence observed for LiDars. FMWC is getting considerable attention right now.

SiC history from 2015-2020
Earlier, Stefan Zürcher, Team Leader, Process Engineering & Lab, AP&S, talked about the journey and development history on SiC from 2015-2020. There was process development on 100/150mm SiC. There were black spots on Al metallization, PR- and metal peering, and corrosion effects on Ag/Al pads. The layer was constructed with 2 resist layers with positive resist. There was qualification of a new process for metal lift-off on customer site.

The motivation for metal etch include rise of overall process performance. The challenges for metal etch included the avoidance of etch defects, defined undercut for each metal layer, and fine-tuning the etch/strip/rinse. Ti/Ni/Ag (evaporated) etch mask was developed. There was no residual metal. The throughput is 10 wafers per hour. Qualification of new process for metal etch and PR-strip was achieved on customer sites.

There is also the proces transfer of single wafer to batch. The equipment is currently installed at customer sites. There is calculated throughput at 150 wafers per hour. Successful integration and qualification of metal lift-off and metal etch on SiC was thus achieved. There is continuous process optimization for performance and stabilization.

GaN meeting automotive requirements
Dr. Kurt Smith, VisIC Technologies, presented on GaN to meet automotive high reliability requirements. D3GaN was chosen to meet the high reliability needs. To assess the reliability, there are operational limits of the devices. HIgh-voltage testing is the most limiting test condition, and is used for lifetime projections. This is considered the most conservative. All lateral GaN devices use the same epitaxial structure. Lateral GaN devices start similar.

The high-field regime (off-state) is the most restrictive wear out mechanism. Devices developed meet the lifetime requirements. On-state and switching are a combination of current and voltage. Switching overlap testing (SOT) will be the DC test combining field and current density in excess of peak switching. Large data shows that power devices should be extremely robust. The initial high-temperature operating lifetest (HTOL) shows stable operation. Understanding all the factors in operation is necessary to assess the reliability.

For GaN high electron mobility transistors, the difference is the gate. D-mode on power devices use insulated gate on top of the epitaxial layer. D-mode provides an easier path to product adoption in high-reliability apps. D3GaN has excellent margin to the onset of gate leakage. D3GaN us an excellent technology for meeting the high reliability needs.

EU supporting growth of microelectronics

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Day 2 of the SEMI Technology Unites global summit commenced with two sessions, on EU Digital Forum and Advanced Packaging, respectively.

Marco Ceccarelli.

At the EU Digital Forum, Marco Ceccarelli, European Commission, presented an overview of EU policies supporting the growth of microelectronics in Europe. The European Union made a historic agreement, Next Generation EU, to accelerate the recovery of regions and sectors hit by the pandemic, and to increase the resilience of the European economy. The new Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-27 includes initiatives such as the Key Digital Technologies Joint Undertaking and the Digital Europe Program.

EC President, von der Leyen, declared the Europe Digital Decade. AI, Europe’s digital sovereignty, data and infrastructure are the key programs. Digital Europe focuses on capacity and deployment of more mature technologies. IPCEI or Important Projects of Common European Interest, is a program sponsored by member states.

Horizon Europe is yet another platform. 5 mission areas have been identified, each with a dedicated mission board and assembly. The board and assembly help specify, design and implement the specific missions, which will launch under Horizon Europe in 2021. Cluster 4 is on digital industry and space. Related partnerships are for smart networks and services, EuroHPC, photonics, AI, data, and robotics.

Key digital technologies build on ECSEL JU experience and achievements. It also extends scope and includes integrated photonics and higher layers of software. The Digital Europe Programme ensures that Europe drives digital transformation. It will build essential digital capacities, such as HPC, AI, cyber security, and advanced digital skills.

There was also a joint MS declaration on processors and semiconductor technologies. There is a new IPCEI on microelectronics. The IPCEI on microelectronics is divided into 5 technology fields: energy-efficient chips, power semiconductors, sensors, advanced optical equipment and compound materials. An industrial alliance on microelectronics has also been proposed. InvestEU is another program to mobilize private and public investments through an EIB guarantee. Targets include semiconductors, processors, manufacturing ICT components, and AI. There is also the need for skills in microelectronics. Sector Skills Alliance has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ program. The microelectronics METIS project is to develop a skills strategy.

The semiconductor sector is facing exceptional transformations and challenges. New opportunities must arise. The EC underlines the need to join forces for the impactful actions. With committed industrial partners, we can build a platform.

MADEin4 developments
Ilan Englard, Applied Materials Israel, (AMIL) spoke on the MADEin4 Project. There have been metrology advances for digitized ECS (Semiconductor and Automotive) Industry 4.0, at the EU Digital Forum, SEMI Technology Unites global summit. It is Metrology Advances for Digitized Electronic Components and Systems (ECS) Industry 4.0.

MADEin4 is a consortium of 47 partners from 10 countries connecting the full range of the supply chain, from semiconductor equipment manufacturers and system-integrating metrology companies to RTOs and organizations working on key application areas such as the automotive industry.

The MADEin4 Project develops next-generation metrology tools, machine learning methods and applications in support of Industry 4.0 high volume manufacturing in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. He talked about the semiconductor and automotive domains. There are many similarities between them. He added that data is now the new oil, with AI, cyber-physical systems (CPS), digital twins, etc., all coming into play.

Ms. Juliette Vandermeer.

Ms. Juliette Vandermeer, Bruker, presented on Advance X-Ray Metrology Equipment As Part Of A European Semiconductor and Automotive Industry 4.0 Cycle Time and Yield Improvements Scheme, at the EU Digital Forum.

Bruker’s objective in MADEin4 include the development of new x-ray metrology. It has the enhanced total reflection x-ray flourescence (TXRF) spectrometer for automated contamination monitoring/mapping. Yield optimization is the key driver for TXRF. Contamination control is essential. Metal contaminants degrade the silicon device performance in many ways. The TXRF allows the identification of the contamination and its location on the wafer. It covers light (F, Na, Mg, Al), transition, and heavy elements.

Miklos Tallian, Semilab, presented on advanced photo-luminescent metrology equipment. There are challenges with inspection tools, metrology tools, failure analysis tools and lab equipment, etc., at the fabs. There are buried, non-visible electricity active defects, as well. Semilab developed a new technology to detect non-visible electrically active defects in semiconductor manufacturing process to increase the reliability of products.

Dr. Andres Torres, Principal Engineer, Siemens EDA, talked about combining manufacturing data with design for improved process performance. Production data exists in silos, and it is underutilized. MADEin4 brings the relevant data together. There are cross industries manufacturing commonalities between semiconductors and automotives. The manufacturing process flows can be optimized. In semiconductors, the metrology abnormalities can be detected. These defects can also be reduced.

There is virtual testing in automotives. There can also be robot operation modeling in automotive manufacturing. Manufacturing of semiconductors and automotives are automated processes with many opportunities for optimization.

Bernard Pelissier, Maxime Besacier, and Jean Herve Tortai, LTM-CNRS, and Ms. Delphine Le Cunf, STMicroelectronics, presented on new industry 4.0 metrology approaches driven by predictive in line control requirements at the EU Digital Forum.

Ms. Delphine Le Cunf, STM, said advanced technology nodes are the technology drivers. The key enabler is to increase productivity. Next, LTM uses the unique metrology toolset based on versatile and hybrid lab techniques implemented on the 300mm platform. LTM actions in MADEin4 are in line with Booster 1 and Booster 2. Maxime Besacier, LTM talked about artificial neural networks (NN) for dimensional metrology. The goal was to improve the robustness of the results, and reduce the measurement uncertainties.

Advancing AI processing architecture for intelligent vehicles

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Edge AI and Vision Alliance (formerly the Embedded Vision Alliance) hosted a webinar today on advancing AI processing architecture for intelligent vehicles

Horizon Robotics is a leading edge AI computing company focused on smart mobility. Its next generation platform is called Journey 3 that is shipping today.

Deon Spicer.

Deon Spicer, Horizon Robotics’ Director of Sales, said the company has a global footprint, with headquarters in China. It has markets in China, Europe and United States. There were six model launches in CY2020. It has 40 design-in contracts and has 60+ ongoing projects. The AI algorithm team competed in the Waymo Open Dataset challenges and performed admirably.

The Horizon dual-core BPU (brain processing unit), the Bernoulli v2 architecture, is natively designed for deep learning. It uses MIMD and maximizes memory read/write in BPU. There is parallel computation with multiple ALUs. Horizon has been able to deliver high performance with low latency.

There is the Matrix 2 perception compute system. Each system has 4x1080P camera inputs at 30fps. It comes with a library of AI algorithms, and is used for 3D detection of vehicles and pedestrians. Functional safety is very important for Horizon and its customers. It has IS) 26262 ASIL D process certification.

Horizon offers the Journey edge AI processor, Open AI toolkit, Matrix perception computer, and co-designed and co-optimized AI algorithms for camera and LiDAR perception.

Horizon Robotics.

Horizon AI technology enables more features, more flexibility, and better overall performance. It uses less than 3W amd less than 60ms latency. There is L4 surround vision. With the LiDAR, and camera perception and fusion, there are 6x cameras doing semantic parsing. There is fused output, and improved perception.

The detector trained on one LiDAR/dataset can generalize to a different LiDAR/dataset. Horizon also develops multimodal solutions for smart cockpit in China. Driver monitoring, distraction alert, smoking detection and mitigations are some of the features available.

Journey 3 on-chip ISP delivers outstanding performance. Horizon is now working in the Journey 5 AI processor and move on to Journey 6 in 2023. Journey 5 will start sampling in the later half of 2021, and ship in 2022. It plans on new architecture for Journey 6, with new BPU cluster, new CPU cluster, new peripherals, etc.

There is an easy-to-use AI toolkit available for developers from Horizon. The performance compiler optimizes the performance. Horizon also has a quick start guide for customers. The key performance indicators for Horizon are accuracy, speed, and efficiency. They have MAPS or mean accuracy-guaranteed processing speed, as a new metric for fair performance evaluation.

Global semiconductor market to grow 18 percent in 2021: Malcolm Penn

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At the IFS 2021 annual semiconductor industry update and forecast today, in London, UK, Malcolm Penn, Founder and CEO, Future Horizons, presented the findings for the global semiconductor industry for 2021.

There was hope in 2020, with enforced stay-at-home and WFH, etc. Demand for IT products, telecoms, etc., increased. The GDP slump was painful, although it was not a classic meltdown. Strong rebound is likely once the weather turns milder and more get vaccinated against Covid-19. The world GDP was -4.4 percent now, vs. -4.9 percent in June 2020.

Malcolm Penn.

Strong rebound is expected in 2021. Supply in the semiconductor market is systemic and strategic. GDP had collapsed in 2020, but end demand skyrocketed offsetting the impact. The global IC unit sales by month is remarkably consistent at +8 percent per year for 2021. In 2020, there was +5.6 percent growth, despite 5.1 percent GDP decline. We bounced back very well. Also, units/silicon area was seeing ~2 percent growth. Wafer vs. time PMCC is 0.9382, IC units vs. time PMCC is 0.09698, and IC units vs. wafers PMCC was 0.9491. PMCC shows how matched the variables are.

Leading edge fab capacity is very carefully managed. New capacity, and demand, are not forecast driven. Semiconductor device and total capex market dynamics see cautious capex spend accelerating, but not near overheating, at 15.6 percent in 2020. TSMC is looking at $28 billion capex spend, and Samsung is looking at $30 billion capex spend in 2021. Dollars per square inch has also remained constant.

The IC ASP cycle is showing fast decline and slow recovery. We should be looking at another oscillating cycle. The economy remains hostage to Covid-19. IC units growth spurt is in progress, holding up strong strain. Fab capacity has been sold out, with no near-term relief in prospect. ASPs recovery could happen in 2021. The economic outlook is fragile, but all the other fundamentals are strong. We need to spend more, and see the results by January 2022. There is likely memory price recovery in H2-2021.

The outlook was +10.2 percent for 2021. Double digit growth is inevitable, with 10 percent as minimum. In March 2020, there was potential for strong H2-2020 rebound. We presented the outlook for global semiconductor industry was +1.4 percent. Besides automotives and smartphones, the industry hardly blinked. Q4 sent everyone scrambling for capacity. Q4-2020 was the start of the next chip industry super cycle. Q4-2020 was a one trillion unit quarter.

Outlook 2021
The improving industry momentum will be going into 2021. There will be more stable economic footing following the US election, the UK-EU trade deal, and less hostile US-China trade embargos and tariff wars. Sound industry fundamentals are providing stable growth platform. Three concers are living with China in an increasingly decoupled world, there is uncertain economic roadmap to unwinding fiscal support, and delays in returning to post-Covid-19 normality. The balance of semiconductors growth has more upsides than downs.

The current outlook for the global semiconductor industry is +18 percent growth for 2021. There is no tight capacity relief before 2022 at the earliest. DRAMs are moving ahead. Scaling is now a continuous improvement vs. full node progress. Samsung is now using EUV for 10nm class D1x process. Its the same with 3D NAND. Micron is ahead with 176 layers. There is a 4D NAND structure in place now, especially from Micron. There is talk about 256 layers down the road.

Emerging memory highlights include XPoint technology and products, ReRAM from Adesto, CBRAM, Dialog, etc. TSMC roadmap is really impressive, in logic. N5 is already in full node, for Apple. N5+ is likely in Q1-2021. In advanced R&D, manufacturing and market, there are new transistor structures and materials. Scaling continues through EUV breakthrough, at TSMC, with Apple having the power of a sugar daddy.

EV as growth driver
Key industry growth drivers include AI and neural networks, electric vehicles, etc. Apple and Foxconn will change the automotive world, as EV is the means to the end. It also opens the door to sub-contracting and economy of scale. Tesla was first one off the block, and had a massive lead. There are 260mm2 inhouse designed SoCs.

Foxconn wants to be the Android of automobiles. It is looking at 10 percent global market share for EV platforms by 2025. First Foxconn open platform EVs are likely by 2022. It has a JV with Taiwan’s Yulon (after Hotai Motors) to develop EV cars. It is bidding to buy Silterra.

There will be a cleaner hydrogen alternative, with no charging points, faster refuelling, and build off the existing LPG architecture. Asia will be market driver with Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Nexo and Honda Clarity.

Automobiles is now just like any other system. It is easier for Apple and Google to enter the autonomous car market, with production outsourced to TSMC and Foxconn. The US car industry is now lobbying Joe Biden to get its chips. There is also disruptive innovation in the OEM direct model. Silicon is the founding block for technology. The ecosystem is well developed now.

Key takeaways for 2021 are that EVs are causing massive automobile industry disruption. There is huge pent-up end-user demand, from cars to holidays, and everything in between. Remote working, videoconferencing, voice activation, etc., are here to stay. There is massive acceleration of personal health and medical, dwarfing everything. There is no shortage of technology, and Moore’s Law is not dead, or sick. The rebound will be strong. The US-China friction has to be dealt with. While China races ahead, the US near-term outlook remains fraught. China GDP grew 1.9 percent in 2020. China economy may overtake the USA by 2028.

What a year, 2020! Welcome 2021!!

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Welcome, 2021! The year 2020 is gone!! It is history!!! It was the year of the Covid-19, or, coronavirus. Note: the pandemic has not yet gone. Now, a new strain is doing the rounds. Some vaccines have already started shipping. Luckily, my family, and I have survived the year 2020! We sincerely hope you and your families have survived, as well. How many of us can survive this year? Fingers crossed, we hope that everyone should! We now look forward to the new year. There are hopes for proper vaccines, and those should be available for all, hopefully, soon!

Today, I wish to speak about how 2020 turned out to be a great year for me. Till March 2020, things were slow, as usual. Thereafter, they changed, and, fast! It all started with Yole Développement, France’s rapid, point-of-care molecular tests that help fight Covid-19, last April. There was a Semtech webinar on 5G fact vs. fiction, and how LoRaWAN plays a role. Next, Messe Muenchen India, hosted a webinar titled: ‘Opportunities in Medical Electronics post Covid-19’.

These were followed by the iconic IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS) 2020 in May 2020. For 57 years, the IRPS has been premiere conference for engineers and scientists to present new and original work in the area of microelectronics reliability. I made a new lot of followers.

Next, came Nokia, with the world’s first drone tsunami evacuation alerts in Sendai City, Japan. Infineon Technologies had a session on smart buildings. The Small Cell Forum spoke about how it was driving the ecosystem of small cell mobile infrastructure. This was followed by Dassault Systèmes and Aden Group for the Akila Care hospital for Covid-19, after the Leishenshan hospital in Wuhan, China! May 2020 ended with SEMI, SEMI Foundation and The Gig Economy webinar titled: Designing the future of work!

June 2020 was an even bigger month! BloombergNEF presented on India’s clean power revolution. Next, there was the 2020 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits. It was held virtually for the first time! Following this came the IEEE 70th Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) 2020. Again, it was virtually held, for the first time. And, again, more followers came in!

Semicon West ahoy!
In July, the Semicon West 2020 event was held virtually, for the first time. According to Al Gore, some of the innovation around new materials is immense! So was ITC India 2020! Among the many presentations, one on ‘silicon lifecycle challenges and expanding role of test’, stood out. From Canada, there was an invite to cover Zinc8 Energy Solutions that redefines long-duration energy storage! And, what readership followed! 😉

Display Week 2020.

August saw SEMI, ESD Alliance, and McKinsey present on the future mobility disruptions on semiconductor design ecosystem. There was the IoT World 2020, as well. There was focus on data exchanges as the IoT market continues growth.

Interesting Display Week!
Next came Display Week 2020, thanks to an invite from long-time friend, Sri Peruvemba. This presented an opportunity to interact with the Display Supply Chain Consortium (DSCC). Foldable displays continue to advance! OLEDs are expected to lead from 2019-2024! An interesting session was about the women in technology.

September saw the Embedded Vision Summit 2020, where, I received an invitation, courtesy, Jeff Bier. Next came the SEMI Strategic Materials Conference (SMC) 2020. One presentation talked about silicon photonics and heterogenous integration challenges. SEMI also hosted a conference with Indium Corp., titled: What’s driving automotive electronics assembly and packaging? The IFA 2020 Berlin went virtual too!

Malcolm Penn, Future Horizons, UK, has predicted that the global semiconductor industry should grow 12 percent in 2021. Yole Developpement had a session on the NAND flash memory business. The Cadence Live 2020 event also went virtual for the first time.

Next came SEMI Global Smart Manufacturing Conference 2020. One standout presentation was on Predict and prevent automotive semiconductor zero defect enablement. In October, the future potential of 5G was unlocked at the GSMA Thrive North America 2020. There was Indian PM Narendra Modi at India Energy Forum by CERAWeek.

Dr. Wally Rhines.

The Chinese American Semiconductor Professional Association (CASPA) organized its annual conference: Next Wave of Semiconductor Innovation, in the USA, last October, where Dr. Walden (Wally) Rhines presented the keynote.

For those keen, fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) has long been described as transformative for cloud security. The algorithm was developed to enable computing on encrypted data sets, keeping the underlying data secure. It is a game-changer in cloud computing. I had to be awake till 4am for this, and am grateful for a wonderful presentation. 😉

Next, BNEF London 2020 summit called for green recovery. This was followed by the SEMI and MATRADE session on the global semiconductor market. There was the 9th Americas Spectrum Management Conference, as well. SEMI organized the MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress (MSEC 2020). A standout report was tinyML, and the massive opportunity when MI meets real world of billions of sensors.

I also had the pleasure of covering Dr. Roslyn Layton, Co-founder, China Tech Threat, on the report: US tightens controls on exports to SMIC, China! Is there a way out? Again, all of these events were in October. I really had a tough time covering all! 😉

In November, there was the Intel FPGA Technology Day 2020, as well as Xilnx’s Xilinx Adapt: 5G event. The 5GAA organized a conference on CV2X in Europe. Yole Développement and Teledyne had a session on glass and silicon bioMEMS components for medical devices. Yole and Chip Integration Technology Center (CITC), the Netherlands, also hosted an event on power and RF packaging. There was the Siemens AG Digital Enterprise SPS Dialog event, as well.

I was pleasantly surprised on receiving an invite from the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) to participate in their 22nd Ministerial Meeting. Since GECF does not feature India, I was curious. So, I attended, and covered! 😉

SIA sets 2030 goals.

Next, Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) examined China’s semiconductor self-sufficiency, in November. There was the IoT TechEx North America 2020, as well. Global Semiconductor and Electronics Forum 2020, presented many more opportunities to network.

Decadal plans
December, the last month of 2020, began with SEMI, USA, webinar on market data resources and equipment materials outlook for 2021. Next, Semiconductor Industry Association had a session on decadal plan for semiconductors setting 2030 goals.

Yole Développement and System Plus Consulting hosted the session on how 3D packaging was breaking new ground. Semiconductor Industry Association had another webinar on how semiconductors were driving automotives. These were followed by the 4th CIS & CEE Spectrum Management Conference, which I could not cover properly enough. This was largely due to the unfamiliar Russian dialect! There was also the RISC-V summit. Finally, my niece, Ms. Shelley Bhattacharjee, got married (see image). 🙂 We had to fly to Bangalore, followed by the mandatory quarantine, on return.

Shelley’s marriage.

Whew! That’s quite a list, and tremendous coverage! 2020 has been a year full of semiconductors. My blog has seen growing number of readers this past year. The global semiconductor industry also continued its unrelenting march, despite a very tough year gone by.

Bangalore trip
During the trip to Bangalore, the sight at the airport was amazing. Long queues for entry, preferably, mobile check-ins, and air hostesses wore PPE kits, etc. Some middle-seat passengers were in PPE kits. We all had to wear masks and head gear. In Bangalore, most of my friends did not even turn up to meet me, after promising. I understand their plight! Those who did, were grateful and thankful. As was I! Everyone lamented the plight that we all were in. They wanted the pandemic to disappear and things getting back to normal. One hopes that does happen this year.

On a personal note, virtual events are good, and probably, here to stay. However, they do not always bring the right audience, and of course, the speakers were missing the applauses. There were no master of ceremonies in many cases. In some cases, there was poor connectivity. Nevertheless, everyone provided post-event recordings. While you get to hear the very best about the latest in technology, there were hardly any demonstrations. Of course, there were the various, different background noises, in some cases, of babies crying, children and various partners screaming, and whistles of the pressure cooker. But then, this is a pandemic. Everyone is working from home! No one was ready for this situation!!

On the other side, literally driven to the corners, the world has found new resilience and adaptability. Thanks to WFH, there is now more family time. Friends long lost, have re-appeared. For me, especially, some industry events, earlier unthinkable, were easily available. Simply because: I put out their story first! 😉

There were some other events related to Industry 4.0, as well, on telecom and solar/PV. Rockwell Automation had its annual conference. As did Siemens! In telecom, there was the GSMA Thrive North America 2020 and the 9th Americas Spectrum Management Conference. Intel and IoT Solutions Alliance presented the telemetry and video analytics for Industry 4.0.

Dr. Wally Rhines featured by way of EDA adoption by IT companies. DVClub Europe (Design & Verification Club) looked at IP integration into complex SoCs. For electronic components, OTI’s ConducTorr CPM materials are now compatible with all OLED display manufacturing! Mention also needs to be made of IoT World 2020.

What’s next?
Already, there are multiple invites to cover conferences all over the world in 2021! There are semiconductors, along with Industry 4.0, medical electronics, telecom, etc. My first stop in the new year will be the Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) 2021, organized by SEMI, USA.

Next, there is the PMWC 2021, at Silicon Valley, USA. The event will honor Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House coronavirus task force member. He has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. There is a possibility of meeting him too! Let’s see how it all goes! There is also the Technology Unites by SEMI, later.

As one wise man said, true unity begins at all of our homes, with our respective families. Let us all hope and pray for a safer, better, and healthier 2021, and beyond. It is time to pat yourselves on the back. Rise, and shine! Stay safe, and prosper, dear friends!!

Semiconductors creating innovation in automobile end market

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Semiconductor Industry Association, USA, recently organized a webinar on how semiconductors are driving demand and creating innovation in automobile end market.

The panelists at the conference were Richard Robinson, Director, Automotive Infotainment and Telematics service at Strategy Analytics, Heinz-Peter Beckemeyer, Director of Automotive Systems at Texas Instruments, Bill Stewart, Senior Director, Vehicle Automation and Chassis at Infineon Technologies, and Ross Seymore, MD at Deutsche Bank Securities.

Richard Robinson, Strategy Analytics, opened the discussion, stating that overall short-term market outlook for production / sales was far more uncertain and potentially weak. There is the US / China trade war and general China slowdown. There are the Brexit uncertainties and German slowdown, as well. Further, there are WLTP issues and the ongoing impact of dieselgate, besides, Covid-19.

Richard Robinson.

However, electronics fundamentals remain strong. Content per car will continue to grow. Key trends include domain collision, where everything is interconnected. Safety is touching everything. The more “silo-ed” your company is, the slower you will be.

New digital infrastructure
The future will see the emergence of a new digital infrastructure, where everything is converged. ADAS, autonomous, connected car, electric vehicles, data-enabled services, and shared mobility, are just some of the mega trends.

There will be architecture changes, as well. 2020-2022 period is one of distributed EE architecture, with limited domain consolidation, and primarily, via CDCs. 2023-2027 will be a critical period of change, with domain controller architecture. The number of CDCs will increase despite the large number of headunits in the market. 2027-203X will see the rise of location or zone-based EE architectures.

Some of the premium OEMs will begin shift to zone-based architecture. 20XX onward, there will be fully centralized processing architecture. There will be future proposed architecture. It is unknown if the automotive industry will actually embrace this approach.

As for component sourcing, the rising importance of semiconductor technologies will lead to OEMs working directly with the semiconductor industry. The IC vendor is more involved with software and application providers. Tier 1 role remains essentially the integration task, but with less freedom of choice, because the OEM significantly controls the network selection and dynamics.

Estimating the 5G mobile subscriptions, Strategy Analytics forecasts there will be 2.18 billion 5G subscriptions by 2025, accounting for 24 percent of all subscriptions. In North America, 5G subscriptions will reach 137 million in 2025 (63.2 percent of subscriptions). So far, this year, Strategy Analytics has seen 5G momentum in USA, China, and South Korea for 5G services, with the latter contributing significantly to global volumes.

Globally, 57 5G networks had launched by the end of 2019, which was roughly 18 months or six quarters after the first 5G launch (in 2017). This compares to just 16 4G LTE networks at the same time in that technology’s life, and just seven 3G W-CDMA networks.

Vehicle production
Vehicle production had steep decline in 2020 due to Covid-19. The total in 2020 will be 74.1 MU, down from 89.0 MU in 2019 (-16.7 percent growth). All regions have been impacted. Biggest percentage falls have been in Brazil, India, and Thailand. Biggest volume falls have been in China, Europe, and NAFTA.

As for Covid-19 impact by domain, many areas for 2020 are now showing over 15 percent decline from 2019 levels. The exceptions are HEV/EV (actually still up on 2019) and ADAS (down a little on 2019), as these are still growth areas in terms of penetration rates.

Looking at the automotive semiconductor growth, the highest growth has been from safety and powertrain domains, such as ADAS, HEV/EV, move to GDI, and more auto transmission. Driver info growth was helped by move towards more complex clusters and connected vehicles, but also held back by integration trends.

Highest growth has been in opto, driven by external and interior lighting, cluster and isolation for HEV/EV. MPU/DSP/SoC growth was driven by ADAS, graphics, and infotainment platform multicore SoC. Linear was driven by RF (radar), IVN bus tx., and battery cell management. Power was driven by EV/HEV growth. Memory was driven by DRAM and flash growth, supporting ADAS, graphics, infotainment, etc.

Strong recovery likely
Strong recovery is expected as semiconductor content per car continues to increase. In 2020, automotive semiconductor demand is expected to decline by 10.1 percent to $37.6 billion, but ADAS and electrification will drive growth from 2021 onwards. In vehicle production, recovery is expected in 2021. Production will likely hit 97.1MU by 2024. There will be CAAGR of 1.8 percent over 2019-24.

China has been experiencing ADAS market growth. China has been growing from 13 percent of ADAS demand in 2017 to 27 percent in 2027. CAAGR from 2019 to 2024 is 30 percent, against 15 percent for total market. Covid-19 has accelerated this trend. The fastest growth is still in India, but Covid-19 is hitting hard here and the market remains tiny. The CAAGR from 2019-2024 is 42 percent. ADAS growth from Japanese vehicle production is now less than 10 percent CAAGR over 2019-2024. It is expected that plug-in car sales will overtake diesels in race to 2030 ban.

Systems innovation
Heinz-Peter Beckemeyer pointed out that Texas Instruments remained a partner in systems innovation. It has advanced-assistance and autonomous driving capabilities for reducing human error. Passive safety systems are reliable solutions for increasing passenger safety. In body electronics and lighting, innovative analog and embedded processors are there to optimize comfort and convenience.

Heinz-Peter Beckemeyer.

For infotainment and cluster, there are immersive systems that keep drivers more informed and less distracted. Hybrid and electric vehicles are reducing emissions by electrifying the systems from the car to the grid. There is also a roadmap toward zero-emission transportation. The move from micro and hybrid has started toward battery and electric in the future.

There are three key powertrain trends. First, is to add power with 48V. This will boost efficiency, manage power-hungry loads, and help in the transition from lead-acid battery to lithium-based batteries. Next, to evolve the battery management systems. There will be wired daisy-chain communication. Wireless will improve the reliability, efficiency, and design flexibility and scalability. Finally, there is a need to integrate the powertrain applications. This reduces weight, increases reliability, and optimizes cost.

Dependable systems
Bill Stewart, Infineon Technologies, said the company is shaping the future of mobility with microelectronics enabling clean, safe, smart cars. Infineon claims to have the industry’s broadest product portfolio covering the entire range of automotive applications.

Bill Stewart.

Increased sensor requirements drive the content in the next five years and beyond. More sensors are required for any next level of automation. Dependable electronics are the foundation for trust. Dependability is the key driver for the megatrend automated driving.

Automated driving systems are fueling the need for trust. Higher level of automated driving requires trust. And, trust requires dependable systems. Dependable systems are highly available and secure systems, increasing the need for more dependable electronics. You can ensure high availability beyond critical operations; a safe and secure system, that operates in all conditions. You can also ensure critical operations in the event of a failure.

Dependability is part of Infineon’s cultural mindset with system understanding as one of its key ingredients. Infineon leverages a deeply embedded system thinking.

Ross Seymore.

Rising content
Ross Seymore, Deutsche Bank, said that Covid-19 impact yields automotive roller coaster. Rising content is the key driver of automotive semiconductors growth. Electrification is driving the doubling of semiconductor content. ADAS adds several hundreds of dollars to the semiconductor content.

From level 2, which includes active safety NCAP 5 Star (basic parking, traffic jam assist, and lane assist), we are moving up to level 3 that will have highly automated features, such as advanced parking, semi- autonomous highway/traffic jam assist, lane assist, emergency braking, etc. Level 4/5 will see to a fully automated car. This includes a fully automated driving pilot, and driverless valet parking, etc.

The session was moderated by Falan Yinug, Director of Industry Statistics and Economy Policy at SIA.

Can CV2X deployment reduce EU transport emissions?

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The 5GAA organized a conference on CV2X. The theme was: reducing EU transport emissions: Can C-V2X deployment play a significant role?

Brian Maguire, Euractiv, said the European Commission is working on a sustainable and smart mobility. The strategy includes 90 percent reduction in emissions by 2050. Policy makers are leveraging digitization and automation, and connectivity.

There was a panel, featuring Ms. Charlotte Norlund-Matthiessen, European Commission, Geert Decock, Manager, Electricity and Energy, T&E, Ms. Henna Virkkunen, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Ms. Isabel Wilmink, Senior Scientist, TNO, and Maxine Flament, CTO, 5GAA.

Environmental benefits of CV2X
Ms. Isabel Wilmink discussed the environmental benefits of CV2X and connected mobility. There are potential for environmental benefits, using traffic control/traffic signal, eco-routing, eco-driving, eco-lanes, alert systems, low emission zones, etc.

On the co-operative adaptive cruise control (CACC) compared to adaptive cruise control (ACC) on rural roads, CO2 reduction of 6 percent per km on average for seven 20-minute trip pairs. Eco-driving on motorways saw CO2 reduction per km averaged over all traffic cars during 1 hour and 20 minutes in situations with congestion.

For intelligent intersections, there was CO2 reduction of 22 percent on average for trucks driving at about 80 kmph on a 2km traject with intelligent intersection and comparing one to no stop. There were CO2 reductions of 13, 21, 18, and 14 percent, respectively, for passenger cars driving at constant speeds of 30, 50, 80, and 100kmph respectively, and comparing one stop to no stop.

With CV2X implementations, existing communications technologies can already meet the requirements of most identified promising use cases in terms of bandwidth and latency. More advanced features could address requirements of QoS guarantees and massive equipment deployment. For the V2V, V2I, and V2N use cases and combinations, there are possibilities of short- and/or long-range communication existing. Some features are currently planned, and the same applies for the deployment possibilities.

Real-world pilots, simulation studies, and driving simulator studies have shown the potential to reduce emissions. Effect sizes were found in the order of 5-20 percent. A high-reduction potential was identified for an ‘everything-to-everything’ scenario. Many services were designed for other purposes. Emission-reduction potential of these services can be optimized by tuning algorithms and parameters for emission and energy use reduction. There is additional potential in MaaS-like services. Successful implementation depends on the business cases, besides technology.

CCAM platform
Ms. Charlotte Norlund-Matthiessen, thanked TNO for bringing new elements in the study. There are traffic-level impacts. This can have the highest impact on infrastructure and air quality, etc. CV2X and MaaS can also have an impact. The congestion cost is 1 percent of the EU budget, which is huge. The EC is making data availability and sharing to be the best. There are moves to collect and share data, as well as data governance. Real-time data collection is also coming up. We also need to make sure that everything is tested.

There is also the CCAM platform. The Co-operative, Connected, Automated and Autonomous Mobility (CCAM) single platform consists of an informal group of private and public stakeholders. The aim of this platform is to advise and support the EC in the area of open road testing and making the link to pre-deployment activities. The JIC lab has mobility solutions. There is an expression of interest open till December 31, 2020.

Decarbonization of transport
Ms. Henna Virkkunen, MEP, said there is a pressing need to make transport more safe and clean. Emissions have been increasing all the time in transportation. Before the pandemic, passenger transport was estimated to grow by more than 40 percent by 2050. This may change due to the pandemic. The modes of transport may not change, necessarily. The increasing need for mobility and transport will remain. The significance of smart mobility and digitalization are also increasing.

Vehicle-to-everything and CV2X are great examples. They are giving opportunities to us for making transport more safe. They will play a big part in the EU’s emission reduction. Digitalization will be key for efficient transport system.

Geert Decock, T&E, said they are working on decarbonization of transport. There are three revolutions happening: autonomous and connected vehicles, electrification of vehicles, and shared mobility and new mobility, which we are seeing with Uber, etc. A fourth is urban planning and policies. We need reduced space for cars in cities.

We need to increase the share of EVs in the fleet. We need to have more rapid charging. We need to see how we can have more batteries on wheels, and manage the growing share of wind and solar on the grid. We see three benefits with smart charging of vehicles. We don’t need to upgrade the grid at the peak times. You can reduce the use of renewables, say, mid day. You can also charge PV or renewable energy in your vehicles. You can help decarbonize the transport sector.

We also need to roll out more smart charging infrastructure. You also need smart meters. Consumers can charge their cars when the electricity is more cheap. We also need data access that is interoperable.

Clear role for connected vehicles
Maxine Flament, 5GAA, thanked the EU for their green targets, especially, the emission reductions. There is a clear role to play for the connected vehicle. Digitalization of vehicles is a tool for smarter decisions. These will lead to cleaner mobility and efficiency gains.

Connected vehicles are already deployed today. There are approximately 180 million units deployed globally. There is some kind of connectivity to the mobile networks. With 5G, we need to ensure that we are using connectivity for the benefit of the environment. We also need to ensure that connected mobility is contributing to the environment. It is all about the traffic flow management. For MaaS, connectivity is very important.

The global trends today are connectivity, automation, shared mobility and electrification. These are together very important to achieve the eventual goals of the EU. Connectivity brings seamless transport for everyone. The combination, in general, comes with more intelligence.

Data framework and connectivity
Ms. Charlotte Norlund-Matthiessen, EC, said that there is need to ensure a framework to allow data to be shared. Geert Decock, T&E, said that the state of charge of an EV is very important. That is under discussion. There is the need for the implementation of the market design rules. There needs to be time-sensitive electricity pricing, flexible tariffs, etc. You should be able to charge your car when it is most beneficial for the grid.

Ms. Isabel Wilmink, TNO, felt that EVs can also be programmed to drive more efficiently. We also need to optimize traffic flows. Vehicles should be able to adapt when they approach the intersections.

Ms. Henna Virkkunen, MEP, added that we can achieve targets. We need to create an innovation-friendly regulation framework. We also have to set the legislation for access to data. We need to boost the investments for fast connections. Good and fast connections are required all over Europe. We need good infrastructure, as well. Access to data is very important for innovation. Governance regulation will play a major part.

Ms. Charlotte Norlund-Matthiessen said we should use green bonus to incentivize. Member states can share their resilience and recovery plans. We need to study the contribution of connectivity further.

Maxine Flament added that connectivity is coming to the vehicles. It will be used for exchanging the relevant data. Manufacturers should bring right connectivity to the vehicles. Mobile network operators need to bring the coverage. Different authorities have to design the right interfaces with the right data. Here, collaboration will be really needed.

There are already many incentives for customers to buy cars that are more efficient. Connectivity brings a whole new light to the intelligence of the vehicle and transport. We need to ensure that things are connected within the vehicles.

Ms. Charlotte Norlund-Matthiessen added there is need for the revision of real-time data information. We need to ensure the right types of data sets that are needed. Next year, we will also consider access to car data. These are frameworks that will help to incentivize.

VSORA PetaFLOPS computational platform for L4/L5 autonomous vehicles

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Paris, France-based VSORA, is delivering the first PetaFLOPS computational platform to accelerate L4 and L5 autonomous vehicles designs. The programmable solution is delivered as an IP block that combines DSP and ML acceleration for the autonomous driving industry. Its multicore DSP and AI architecture eliminates the need for DSP co-processors and hardware accelerators to provide a high degree of flexibility.

Elaborating on the VSORA PetaFLOPS computational platform, Khaled Maalej, CEO and founder of VSORA, said it offers significant processing power to implement AI and ‘traditional’ signal processing algorithms in the same chip simultaneously.

Khaled Maalej.

“The frontier between AI and DSP is fading away, and ADAS/AD (autonomous driving) is proof of that. In ADAS/AD applications, there is no limit in terms of required processing power, the more you have, the better algorithms you can design, to the benefit of higher reliability in your designs. This is key in automotive.”

It is not rocket science to implement a PetaFLOPS solution. The challenge is to design an efficient platform in terms of high processing power and low energy consumption to embed in a car.

For example, a PetaFLOPS platform can only use 10 percent of the resources because it cannot feed all the computational units with data to keep them constantly active is processing only 100 TeraFLOPS (10 times less). A major bottleneck rests with the external memory, and that is one of the main issues we have addressed in our innovative architecture. We can exceed 80% efficiency in most of the cases.

He added: “In addition to high computational power and low energy consumption, we also offer a high-level of abstraction development flow. We compile Matlab-like or TensorFlow-like code, or a combination of both, straight through to RTL to accelerate the development and allow the algorithmic engineers to focus on creating more advanced algorithms. In other words, we remove the implementation from designer tasks, and provide them with quick and accurate end results to enable “trail-and-errors” analysis or to experiment with different algorithms.”

Regarding the automotive mega trends, such as autonomy, electrification, and connectivity, positioned for 2021, he added that lately, lots of financial resources and human effort are spent in ADAS/AD, aiming at getting significant outcomes in 2023, and landmark changes in 2025.

Zero defect for zero accidents
Next, I wanted to know how VSORA has been enabling zero defect, a must to enable zero accidents for autonomous vehicles.

He said that the zero defect must be supported by several elements in the autonomous driving vehicle to reach the zero accidents. In hardware implementation, the most important elements today are algorithms and sensors. While algorithm redundancy is needed, also needed are several sensors in the car.

The data provided by all these sensors must be fused in order to build a reliable environment for driving the car. On a foggy day, for instance, the control system cannot rely on the cameras. Instead, it may have to use radars and/or lidars. The switch between the two types of sensors must happen smoothly and reliably. The VSORA device has been designed to ensure the above.

Next, there is a need to know how are automotive electronics changes, including those in the internal combustion engine (IGE), shaping up? He said car manufacturers are facing a significant challenge in implementing AD vehicles. The car is becoming the most complex system in the industrial world. Microsoft Office includes around 40-million lines of code. The software in the autonomous driving car is requiring around 100-million lines of code!

Maalej added, “Car makers have to build their own OS, and use a computational platform in the range of the PetaFLOPS to handle the complexity.”

Meeting needs
Further, how is VSORA meeting the need for increased power density, integration of disparate technology? Maalej said a PetaFLOPS platform can consume significant energy that may prevent its integration into the car. We had to address this issue and we did so with two approaches:

First, the architecture is designed to reduce to the maximum data transfer from external memory using an embedded RAM for storing and transferring data between the AI and DSP sections of the platform. Unique to our approach is that the SRAM acts as a vast collection of registers. Second, we adjust the computation accuracy of the system on-the-fly as needed.

Achieving ADAS autonomy
Are we currently far from achieving autonomy for ADAS? He noted that while there are still some challenges to solve, in general, the development is advancing very rapidly. The Level 4 (L4) autonomous driving should be available in some high-end cars in 2025/2026.

The L5 autonomous driving, where the dashboard and the steering wheel will disappear, will take longer and not because of intricate technical issues. Rather, because of legal issues (who is responsible when an accident happens?). Basically, L4 is L5 without a dashboard and steering wheel. It has the same level of technology.

Next, how is the multicore DSP and AI architecture eliminating the need for DSP co-processors and hardware accelerators? He said that in virtually, all the existing DSP implementations, an important portion of processing power is off-loaded to a dedicated hardware. This is called co-processors. They are hard-wired and not programmable. If you need/want to change your algorithm, the above prevents you from achieving your objective.

He added: “In our solution, we do not need/use co-processors. Everything is programmable. We have a different architecture and we implemented a new DSP approach, driven by 5G and 6G applications.”

Finally, who all are using VSORA solutions so far? Without disclosing names, a major European car manufacturer already taped out the platform in 7nm process and confirmed the validity of VSORA’s claims.

C-V2X deployment on US roads: 5GAA

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5G Automotive Association (5GAA) underlined the importance of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology in the United States.

This is the age of intelligent transportation. In partnership with key industry leaders, such as Audi, VDOT, Commsignia, American Tower, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, and Qualcomm, etc., C-V2X technology is being deployed on the USA roads. Audi is the first to provide traffic light information to advance safety. There are advancements likely to arrive in Virginia, later this year.

Mike Mollenhauer, Interim Director, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, said that we will need broader deployment to get more benefits. The team is looking at increasing the number of deployments, evaluating and establishing new business models, and additional use cases for the future. The smart vest has also been developed.

Mike Mollenhauer.

Mollenhauer added that the smart vest was originally done by the Virginia Department of Transportation. It was an opportunity to inform the worker of any impending danger. It was also meant to talk directly to the C-V2X vehicles that were passing by. In terms of lessons learned, any time you deploy a new technology, you look at reducing the footprint and power requirements. We are looking at ways to optimize those parameters.

Development teams listened to the communications from the vehicles over the 4G network. We could understand what their locations were, and whether they were relevant actor for the vehicle to respond to. There are some custom components developed by us, including data packages. There are national-level efforts going on for data exchange, and standardizing those, and emission feeds.

Alpharetta first to deploy C-V2X
In North Fulton, the city of Alpharetta, Georgia, became the first to deploy C-V2X. The North Fulton Community Improvement District, in partnership with Applied Information, deployed intelligent transportation systems solutions. The first app was for emergency response services and improving their response times in 2019. The Fire Department can request for green lights to be on during a service.

Two other solutions have been deployed at Alpharetta to improve traffic safety. Travel safety app can be deployed in a 1950 pickup truck. All of this makes the driving experience so much nicer and easier.

Kerry Armstrong (L) and Brian Mulligan (R).

Brian Mulligan, President, Applied Information, and Executive Director, IATL, said that showing the benefits of connected vehicles really changes the game. The infrastructure is very important. This is essential for the benefit of the citizens.

Public education and education of the political process is required more. We are looking at cyclists, as well. A city in California is focused on getting students cycling to schools reach safely. The infrastructure is already established to implement this solution.

Kerry Armstrong, Chairman, North Fulton CID, added that there are communities voluntarily raise their tax and it use for community improvement. So far, the program has been extremely beneficial. We are seeing numerous possibilities to expand those. We focused on the immediate benefits to the community.

Map of Arlington.

The City of Arlington, Texas, and Applied Information also got into a partnership. Daniel E. Burnham, Professional Traffic Operations Engineer (PTOE), City of Arlington, Texas, said that the Applied Information C-V2X solution offered a package in one single solution. We knew that deploying those units will benefit residents. We will expand to many other corridors. Drivers have become more attentive to school zones.

Steve Chiu, Engineering Specialist, Texas DOT, said they also want to collect data from the vehicles. The second project is looking at improving pedestrian safety. New apps can come up as we ask for funding.

Jimmy Kim.

Verizon on C-V2X
Verizon is also working with C-V2X technology. Jimmy Kim, Head of Business Development, Smart Mobility and Transportation, Verizon, said that at the heart is the multi-access edge compute server. This can be deployed in close proximity with cell towers. We are working on C-V2X innovation. The goal is to improve the situational awareness. We are now looking to deploy on public roadways in a controlled fashion. Powered by AWS, a partner, our MEC will deployed across the country.

We are seeing growth in media and entertainment, healthcare, education and transportation. We have launched in Boston, San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Atlanta, and Washington DC area. By the end of the year, we will launch in five additional cities, with more to come. There are still many areas that need to be worked out. We are looking at widespread adoption over the next decade.

Audi, Applied MoU
5GAA members, Audi and Applied Information, announced a new joint initial C-V2X deployment in Alpharetta, Georgia, sealed by a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

Anupam Malhotra, Director, Connected Vehicles & Data, Audi of America, said that Audi is determined to show governments that C-V2X is real. Deaths of pedestrians and cyclists have been on the rise. In 2018, we saw 17 pedestrians and 2 cyclists killed per day, the highest since 1990. School children are among the most vulnerable, as they are running to take the bus, or skipping across the street.

Anupam Malhotra.

C-V2X technology can make a heartfelt difference. Audi, Applied Information, and Temple Inc., are launching an initial deployment of C-V2X in the future focused city of Alpharetta, Georgia. This involves development of two connected apps aimed at improving safety in school zones, and around school buses when children are present.

The first app uses C-V2X, and is designed to warn drivers when they approaching school safety zones, and exceeding speed limits when children are present. The second app warns drivers as they are approaching school bus stops to pick up or drop children. Onboard C-V2X messages will be received by vehicles from school buses. This project will be completed in H1-2021.

The app will be developed at the Infrastructure Automotive Technology Laboratory (IATL) in Alpharetta. The city of Alpharetta has almost 125 connected traffic signals.

Brian Mulligan, Applied Material added that they are focused on the backroom to make connected vehicles a reality. Kerry Armstrong called this has a significant development.