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.

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.

TrendForce announces top 10 tech industry trends for 2021

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TrendForce has provided its forecast of 10 key trends in the tech industry for 2021.

As the DRAM industry officially enters the EUV era, NAND Flash stacking technology advances past 150L
The three major DRAM suppliers, Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron, will not only continue their transition towards the 1Znm and 1alpha nm process technologies, but also formally introduce the EUV era, with Samsung leading the charge, in 2021. DRAM suppliers will gradually replace their existing double patterning technologies in order to optimize their cost structure and manufacturing efficiency.

After NAND Flash suppliers managed to push memory stacking technology past 100 layers in 2020, they will be aiming for 150 layers and above in 2021 and improving single-die capacity from 256/512Gb to 512Gb/1Tb. Consumers will be able to adopt higher-density NAND Flash products through the suppliers’ efforts to optimize chip costs.

While PCIe Gen 3 is currently the dominant bus interface for SSDs, PCIe Gen 4 will start gaining increased market share in 2021 owing to its integration in PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and motherboards featuring Intel’s new microarchitecture. The new interface is indispensable for fulfilling the massive data transfer demand from high-end PCs, servers, and HPC data centers.

Mobile network operators will step up their 5G base station build-out while Japan/Korea look ahead to 6G
The 5G Implementation Guidelines: SA Option 2, released by the GSMA in June 2020, delves into great technical details regarding 5G deployment, both for mobile network operators and from a global perspective. Operators are expected to implement 5G standalone architectures (SA) on a large scale in 2021.

In addition to delivering connections with high speed and high bandwidth, 5G SA architectures will allow operators to customize their networks according to user applications and adapt to workloads that require ultra-low latency. However, even as 5G rollout is underway, Japan-based NTT DoCoMo and Korea-based SK Telecom are already focusing on 6G deployment, since 6G allows for various emerging applications in XR (including VR, AR, MR, and 8K and above resolutions), lifelike holographic communications, WFH, remote access, telemedicine, and distance education.

Internet of Things evolves into Intelligence of Things as AI-enabled devices move closer to autonomy
In 2021, deep AI integration will be the primary value added to IoT, whose definition will evolve from Internet of Things to Intelligence of Things. Innovations in tools such as deep learning and computer vision will bring about a total upgrade for IoT software and hardware applications. Taking into account industry dynamics, economic stimulus, and remote access demand, IoT is expected to see large-scale adoption across certain major verticals, namely, smart manufacturing and smart healthcare.

With regards to smart manufacturing, the introduction of contactless technology is expected to speed up the arrival of industry 4.0. As smart factories pursue resilience, flexibility, and efficiency, AI integration will equip edge devices, such as cobots and drones, with even more precision and inspection capabilities, thereby transforming automation into autonomy. On the smart healthcare front, AI adoption can transform existing medical datasets into enablers of process optimization and service area extension.

For instance, AI integration delivers faster thermal image recognition that can support the clinical decision-making process, telemedicine, and surgical assistance applications. These aforementioned applications are expected to serve as crucial functions fulfilled by AI-enabled medical IoT in diverse settings ranging from smart clinics to telemedicine centers.

Integration between AR glasses and smartphones will kick-start a wave of cross-platform applications
AR glasses will move towards a smartphone-connected design in 2021 in which the smartphone serves as the computing platform for the glasses. This design allows for significant reduction in cost and weight for AR glasses. In particular, as the 5G network environment becomes more mature in 2021, the integration of 5G smartphones and AR glasses will enable the latter to not only run AR apps more smoothly, but also fulfill advanced personal audio-visual entertainment functionalities through leveraging the added computing power of smartphones. As a result, smartphone brands and mobile network operators are expected to venture into the AR glasses market on a large scale in 2021.

A crucial part of autonomous driving, driver monitoring systems (DMS) will skyrocket in popularity
Automotive safety technology has evolved from an application for car exteriors to one for car interiors, while sensing technology is moving towards a future where it integrates driver status monitoring with external environmental readings. Similarly, automotive AI integration is evolving past its existing entertainment and user assistance functions, into an indispensable enabler of automotive safety.

In light of the string of traffic accidents in which the drivers ignored road conditions due to their overreliance on ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems), which have recently skyrocketed in adoption rate, the market is once again paying close attention to driver monitoring functions.

In the future, the main thrust of driver monitoring functions will be focused on the development of more active, reliable, and accurate camera systems. By detecting the driver’s drowsiness and attention through iris tracking and behavioral monitoring, these systems are able to identify in real time whether the driver is tired, distracted, or driving improperly.

As such, DMS (driver monitoring systems) have become an absolute necessity in the development of ADS (autonomous driving systems), since DMS must serve multiple functions simultaneously, including real-time detection/notification, driver capability assessment, and takeover of driving controls whenever necessary. Vehicles with DMS integration are expected to enter mass production in the near future.

Foldable displays will see adoption in more devices as a means of upping screen real estate
As foldable phones progressed from concept to product in 2019, certain smartphone brands successively released their own foldable phones to test the waters. Although these phones’ sell-through performances have so far been mediocre owing to their relatively high costs – and, by extension, retail prices – they are still able to generate much buzz in the mature and saturated smartphone market. In the next few years, as panel makers gradually expand their flexible AMOLED production capacities, smartphone brands will continue to focus on their development of foldable phones.

Furthermore, foldable functionality has been seeing increasing penetration in other devices as well, specifically notebook computers. With Intel and Microsoft leading the charge, various manufacturers have each released their own dual-display notebook offerings. In the same vein, foldable products with single flexible AMOLED displays are set to become the next hot topic.

Notebooks with foldable displays will likely enter the market in 2021. As an innovative flexible display application and as a product category that features flexible displays much larger than previous applications, the integration of foldable displays in notebooks is expected to expend manufacturers’ flexible AMOLED production capacity to some degree.

Mini LED and QD-OLED will become viable alternatives to white OLED
Competition between the display technologies is expected to heat up in the high-end TV market in 2021. In particular, Mini LED backlighting enables LCD TVs to have finer control over their backlight zones and therefore deeper display contrast compared with current mainstream TVs. Spearheaded by market leader Samsung, LCD TVs with Mini LED backlighting are competitive with their white OLED counterparts while offering similar specs and performances.

Furthermore, given their superior cost-effectiveness, Mini LED is expected to emerge as a strong alternative to white OLED as a display technology. On the other hand, Samsung Display (SDC) is betting on its new QD OLED technology as a point of technological differentiation from its competitors, as SDC is ending its LCD manufacturing operations. SDC will look to set the new gold standard in TV specs with its QD OLED technology, which is superior to white OLED in terms of color saturation. TrendForce expects the high-end TV market to exhibit a cutthroat new competitive landscape in 2H21.

Advanced packaging will go full steam ahead in HPC and AiP
The development of advanced packaging technology has not slowed down this year despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the various manufacturers release HPC chips and AiP (antenna in package) modules, semiconductor companies such as TSMC, Intel, ASE, and Amkor are eager to participate in the burgeoning advanced packaging industry as well. With regards to HPC chip packaging, due to these chips’ increased demand on I/O lead density, the demand on interposers, which are used in chip packaging, has increased correspondingly as well.

TSMC and Intel have each released their new chip packaging architectures, branded 3D fabric and Hybrid Bonding, respectively, while gradually evolving their third-generation packaging technologies (CoWoS for TSMC and EMIB for Intel), to fourth-generation CoWoS and Co-EMIB technologies.

In 2021, the two foundries will be looking to benefit from high-end 2.5D and 3D chip packaging demand. With regards to AiP module packaging, after Qualcomm released its first QTM products in 2018, MediaTek and Apple subsequently collaborated with related OSAT companies, including ASE and Amkor. Through these collaborations, MediaTek and Apple hoped to make headways in the R&D of mainstream flip chip packaging, which is a relatively low-cost technology.

AiP is expected to see gradual integration in 5G mmWave devices starting in 2021. Driven by 5G communications and network connectivity demand, AiP modules are expected to first reach the smartphone market and subsequently the automotive and tablet markets.

Chipmakers will pursue shares in the AIoT market through an accelerated expansionary strategy
With the rapid development of IoT, 5G, AI, and cloud/edge computing, chipmakers’ strategies have evolved from singular products, to product lineups, and finally to product solutions, thereby creating a comprehensive and granular chip ecosystem. Looking at the development of major chipmakers in recent years from a broad perspective, the continuous vertical integration of these companies have resulted in an oligopolistic industry, in which localized competition is more intense than ever.

Furthermore, as 5G commercialization generates diverse application demands for various use cases, chipmakers are now offering full service vertical solutions, ranging from chip design to software/hardware platform integration, in response to the vast commercial opportunities brought about by the rapid development of the AIoT industry. On the other hand, chipmakers who were unable to position themselves in time according to market needs will likely find themselves exposed to the risk of overreliance on a single market.

Active matrix Micro LED TVs will make their highly anticipated debut in the consumer electronics market
The release of large-sized micro LED displays by Samsung, LG, Sony, and Lumens in recent years marked the start of micro LED integration in large-sized display development. As micro LED application in large-sized displays gradually matures, Samsung is expected to be the first in the industry to release its active matrix micro LED TVs, therefore cementing year 2021 as the first year of micro LED integration in TVs.

Active matrix addresses pixels by making use of the display’s TFT glass backplane, and since the IC design of active matrix is relatively simple, this addressing scheme therefore requires a relative low amount of routing. In particular, active matrix driver ICs require PWM functionality and MOSFET switches in order to stabilize the electrical current driving micro LED displays, necessitating a new and extremely expensive R&D process for such ICs. Therefore, for micro LED manufacturers, their greatest challenges at the moment in pushing micro LED to the end devices market lie in technology and cost.

Please note: These are all the predictions from TrendForce, Taiwan for 2021.

Present and future of driver monitoring systems

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Monitoring drivers and passengers inside of vehicles is an increasingly critical capability. For example, driver monitoring is required in order for cars to obtain a top safety rating from NCAP. Technologies go well beyond driver monitoring to include new types of safety features, as well as non-safety uses, such as entertainment, personalization, human-machine interfaces and even monitoring occupant health.

Dr. Petronel Bigioi, CTO, Products, XPERI, presented on driver monitoring systems at the ongoing Embedded Vision Summit 2020. XPERI has been deployed across 100 billion devices worldwide, such as DTS, HD Radio, Invensas or TiVO.

Dr. Petronel Bigioi.

XPERI started developing driver monitoring systems (DMS) eight years ago. There is focus on driver safety, semi-autonomous driving, comfort and personalization. DMS became a crucial technology regarding driver state. The DMS workflow involves the DMS camera, DMS core, etc. DMS 2.x is fully neural-networks based.

Focus on DMS
XPERI released the DMS 1.2 that features core functions such as driver presence, head pose, head location, eye lid and eye gaze monitoring in a range of head angles and face occlusions. DMS 1.5 should be production ready in Q2-20. Features include enhanced core performance, such as occlusion reliability, gaze stability, new driver analysis engines, such as biometrics, expressions, objects, occlusions, etc. There is middle layer logic, such as attentiveness and drowsiness, as well.

The next-generation DMS 2.0 is research ready and has proven algorithms by OEMs. The production target is Q1-2021. Features include high-precision gaze, improved user behavior analysis, environmental analytics, etc. It can integrate with the other OMS features. It operates for mid-/high-end platforms around 60 GMAC or equivalent, such as R-Car, M3/H3, Nvidia or TDA 4X.

Going forward, full automation will drive the DMS. The DMS is transitioning to occupancy monitoring and personalized experience. The occupancy monitoring will be relevant in context of full automation. The automated driving system will monitor the driving environment by 2035. Full automation also takes care of continuous health and safety monitoring, personalized experience, automation, and social and work interface. Next-gen entertainment is also among the must-have features for DMS by 2030.

And, OMS too!
For occupancy monitoring systems, saving lives is a focus for XPERI. There should be continuous monitoring for HMI and health. They also look at better experience that identifies the occupants, and tailors comfort settings, such as seat position and entertainment content. The OMS workflow is quite similar to the DMS workflow.

XPERI’s OMS 1.x is targeted for Q2-2021. The OMS 2.x has a production target of Q2-2022. The OMS 3.x is scheduled for release in Q2-2023.

Future of cabin monitoring
The future of cabin monitoring is very exciting indeed. There is DMS for drowsiness or inattention, and HD-Radio. For hands-off driving, there is DMS for semi-auto driving and DTS Connected Radio. For full automation in the future, there will be in-cabin monitoring for safety and personalized experience.

All the vehicles of tomorrow will have in-cabin sensing, imaging, and personalized entertainment at their core. The car of the future will actually become an ultimate cinema on wheels.

In-cabin monitoring will have additional sensing and monitoring capabilities. There will be monitoring features, multiple experience features, imaging system, sensor fusion, safety, processing, sound system, etc. Total flexibility is required in the cabin monitoring and personalized experience as the use cases are diverse. They need to be powered by the ultimate flexible platform with built-in domain expertise (XPERI, with partners).

XPERI has a lot of enabling technologies, such as multi-spectral sensing, image enhancement, biometrics, depth sensing, time event, dual camera sensing, etc. It has also invested in computer vision infrastructure. XPERI is building its own test framework, as well.

Trends in automotive perception: Moving from insect-like to human-like intelligence

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Today, there are two paths towards autonomous vehicles. Mass-market automobiles continue to add more sensors and more compute power to enable increasingly sophisticated ADAS functionality. Separately, developers of robotic vehicles utilize high-end, industrial-grade sensors (LIDAR, cameras and radars), along with massive centralized computing.

Either way, the push towards autonomy demands more and more computational power as increasingly demanding algorithms process increasing amounts of sensor data.

Pierre Cambou.

At the ongoing Embedded Vision Summit 2020, there was a session on Market Trends in Automotive Perception: From Insect-Like to Human-Like Intelligence, presented by Pierre Cambou, Principal Analyst, Yole Développement.

Cambou looked at the analysis and forecast of the ADAS and autonomous vehicle perception market. When will cars with L2 to L5 level automation become mainstream? What sorts of processing power will they require? What alternative innovation scenarios might disrupt trends?

Autonomy, the goal!
The goal in automotive is to reach autonomy. The fly has the CPU of a toaster. Nonetheless, it can do quite a lot, said Bruno Maisonnier, CEO, Anotherbrain. We are currently far from achieving autonomy for ADAS. The end of the Moore’s Law economics is getting difficult. Moore’s Law is challenged from the technology and economics standpoints. Some of the cameras follow ‘More than Moore’s Law’. Automotive is the first ‘sensing’ market for image sensors, where cameras are used in combination with computing chips for ADAS, and in robotic vehicle apps for autonomous driving (AD).

There are ADAS vehicles and robotic vehicles. Both strategies lead to the same goal. In 2018, the automotive ADAS level 1-2-2+ was using 23M cameras for 94 cars. The apps served were car ownership and personal mobility. Now, there are 35M cameras used. Roughly, one-third of cars are now fitted with ADAS. In 2018, the industrial AD robotic cars used 30K cameras for 4K cars with industrial-grade technology. The applications were fleet ownership and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).

ADAS computing is using chips in the 2W to 20W range. Robotic vehicles are using chips in the 50W to 100W range. ADAS level 3 will probably require similar performance to current robo-taxis. The human brain is using 1,000 Petaflops/20W.

Due to Moore’s Law, players like Mobileye and Waymo were able to increase the processing power of their solutions by x2 every 24 months, at constant price. From observation, the flux of camera data increases x2 every 48 months. For these two apps, every technical choice is a trade-off. The flux of data fed to the AD system doubles every 48 months. There were 14 long-range cameras used for the fourth generation. Each point is an observation of the sensor suite analysis and computing power analysis.

The flux of processed data and processing power are correlated. Computing power requirements increases with the square of data. Current AD system design will be heavily limited by the ability to increase the processing power. Computing performance improvement will be in great demand. Sensing performance improvement will have slower pull. New sensing and computing approaches are needed.

There are three innovation scenarios for the future of automotive sensing and computing. ADAS world has been adding new cameras. You can have more of the same computing, and later, move to new computing. Same with sensors, as you need to move to new sensors. There can be addition of LIDAR, thermal, SWIR, etc. You may have to wait till 2032 or 2040. Robotics autonomy is using better data coming from the new sensors.

We are mainly waiting for Moore’s Law to act to improve the current ADAS app using the same sensor and same computing approach. The other innovation scenario currently being used is looking into new technologies for better sensing, such as LIDAR, thermal infrared, time gating, SWIR, etc., knowing the computing power available. This approach is used by the AD robotic camp, and can eventually bring L2++ to the automotives soon.

Disruption would be the third path to innovation. New technologies are emerging, in sensing and computing, that could disrupt the roadmap. New sensing approaches, along with a new computing paradigm can accelerate history. In future, neuromorphic, quantum technologies are highly needed.

Advancing embedded vision for an autonomous world

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Ning Bi, VP, Technology, Qualcomm, presented on advancing the embedded vision for an autonomous world at the ongoing Embedded Vision Summit 2020.

Over the past seven years, deep learning has become a mainstream area of research. It has enabled quite a few apps in the real world. At Qualcomm, they have moved into many fields. These include biometrics, 3D vision, human-centric vision, and ADAS and autonomous driving.

Focus on deep learning
Deep learning is the common focus for all the projects. In biometrics, Qualcomm has 3D sensor-based solutions and ultrasonic fingerprint authentication, both certified by FIDO. In 3D vision, there is SLAM in XR, car and robot navigation, and 3D human face construction. In human-centric vision, it has semantic segmentation, face detection and recognition, and driven monitoring systems.

For ADAS and autonomous driving, it offers multi-modal vision, such as camera and radar perception, sensor fusion and road visualization, intelligent behavior planning, etc.

Real-time video segmentation.

Eg., you can do person segmentation by video. Image segmentation is done by deep learning neural networks. Real-time video segmentation is possible on Snapdragon. The app is in the AI camera.

There was a demo using personal segmentation. A lot of information can be processed at the pixel level. You can easily change the hair color, skin color, or cloth color. Face depth reconstruction is another example.

AI-enabled 3D vision for 5G era
There will be AI-enabled 3D vision for the 5G era. There is the Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit platform and the Qualcomm Snapdragon Ride platform, respectively. Qualcomm is focusing on four key areas, namely, telematics, intelligent cockpit, ride, and car-to-cloud services.

We’ll focus on intelligent cockpit solutions related to biometrics – 3D face authentication, anti-spoofing, 3D face reconstruction, human activity detection and cabin occupancy monitoring, as well as the advancements in ADAS and automated driving. The Qualcomm Automotive Cockpit platform has DMS or driver monitoring system that takes care of driver authentication, passenger count, baby and toddler safety, driver distraction, driver drowsiness and interactive UI.


Qualcomm introduced the QDMS during CES 2020. It handles the driver facial expression classification. The Qualcomm Snapdragon Ride platform has multiple cameras and radar. It handles traffic light, traffic sign, pedestrian, bicycle, vehicles, and lane detection.

Qualcomm offers autonomous levels of driving and complexity trends. There are highway autopilot systems. There is radar output, as well. Qualcomm provides advanced visual computing by Snapdragon.

Advantages of the automotive solution include telematics in 4G/5G with integrated C-V2 and HP GNSS technologies. There is car-to-cloud services, as well. Integrated computer vision by AI is provided across automotive apps. Qualcomm provides scalable and thermally efficient chip design.

Next-gen transportation enabled by sensorization

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SEMI and McKinsey & Co. hosted a webinar on Smart mobility: Next-gen transportation enabled by sensorization.

Ms. Bettina Weiss, Chief of Staff and Global Smart Mobility Lead, SEMI, said that SEMI Smart Mobility is currently focused on automotive electronics. It is synchronizing automotive and semiconductor supply chain issues. It is also expanding engagement into the mobility space (ACES), going forward, including smart cities.

SEMI has a Global Automotive Advisory Council (GAAC), with five active chapters across China, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and USA. The GAAC addresses the shared challenges/gaps and accelerated the time to innovation. The issues addressed, but not limited to, include OEM requirements, (eg., chip design and reliability), standardization/BKMs (eg. SIC), technology developments (eg., ADAS), market drivers and disruptions. SEMI is well positioned to synchronize the ecosystem needs.

Four trends
Andreas Breiter, Partner, McKinsey & Co., said that there are four major mobility trends that are impacting the global automotive sensor market. The major disruptions are autonomy, connectivity, electrification, and shared mobility.

Autonomy looks at the rise of advanced safety features and autonomous driving platforms. Connectivity looks at 5G, Wi-Fi 6, etc., and enabling new use cases (V2X, V2V, OTA updates). Electrification looks at the rise of electrical powertrain, new battery technologies, and demand for power electronics. Shared mobility allows the introduction of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS). There are major disruptions with impact across the semiconductor segments.

Armen Mkrtchyan, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Co., added that the automotive software and E/E (electrical/electronics) market is expected to grow at CAGR of 7 percent per annum, until 2030. Sensors are likely to grow by 8 percent per annum. The total automotive sensor market will outgrow automotive sales primarily driven by strong growth in ADAS sensors.

New sensors for electric drives (eg., current sensors) counterbalance the decline of combustion sensors. There will be an increasing number of chassis sensors, due to needs for ADAS/AD systems and additional comfort features.

In the ADAS sensors, camera and radar are among the largest sensor class. LiDAR will likely experience significant growth till 2030. By 2030, the industrialization of LiDAR sensors will lead to significant growth. Sensor content per vehicle will vary drastically between different vehicle types.

There will be reduction of content per car, from 2025-2030, due to the commoditization of components and higher fleets to distribute costs. Traditional sensor market is also expected to experience modest growth. Pressure sensors will require more efficient ICEs (internal combustion engines). Powertrain electrification trend is a mixed signal to the pressure sensor.

Andreas Breiter continued that smart roads will include intelligent traffic systems and support new modes of transport, such as electrical and autonomous vehicles. Smart road solutions will result in changes to the roadway over time as disruptions come online and reach critical mass.

Eg., in five years, the vehicle support infrastructure system will be upgraded with autonomous vehicle support infrastructure. Eg., an intelligent transportation system (ITS) requires various sensors for detecting traffic flow. Dynamic pricing also requires sensors to detect vehicles and open parking spaces, for smart parking.

Implications for semicon
The Key buying factors by the automotive tier 1/OEMs are robustmess of the sensors and quality assurance provided. Tier 1 requires the sensor suppliers to assure sensor IC function, but not to the extent of an integrated system level.

The sensor makers can address the unmet needs of the automotive tier 1 and the OEMs by increasing the level of customization.