embedded news week: podcast, new GPU, quantum IP, smart building IoT - Embedded.com

embedded news week: podcast, new GPU, quantum IP, smart building IoT

A roundup of this week’s embedded news includes embedded edge with Nitin podcast featuring a brand new GPU, quantum computing developments and IoT for smart buildings, plus usual product news including automotive, tools and software.


Imagination Technologies PowerVR-GPU-CXT
Image: Imagination Technologies

In our latest embedded edge with Nitin podcast, we have highlighted a new GPU, developments in quantum computing, and IoT for smart buildings. In the show, Andrew Girdler of Imagination Technologies told us about the company’s new flagship GPU that brings desktop-quality ray tracing to mobile for the first time and is industry’s first Level 4 RTLS ray tracing architecture. He said, “It’s the most advanced ray tracing architecture out there today, giving you the ability to enable advanced ray trace gaming effects, in a low power budget in a mobile phone device.” Listen to the full interview on the podcast.

I also spoke to two companies looking to help democratize quantum computing with the work they are doing. First, Bob Coecke of Cambridge Quantum took us into the background to the company’s launch of the world’s first toolkit and library for quantum natural language processing, which allows sentences to be converted into a quantum circuit. Then I spoke to Pauls Wells of sureCore, who’s leading a seven-member consortium that has received a UK£6.5 million government innovation grant to jointly develop advanced cryogenic semiconductor IP; this is intended to dramatically accelerate the growth of the quantum computing industry by reducing the constrains associated with interconnects thus enabling efficient qubit/system scaling.

Finally, the podcast features an interview with Bruno Johnson of Cascoda, who talks about his company’s module recently certified for the OCF running over Thread network protocol – this is said to be a true internet protocol-based connectivity solution that is extremely low power that provides IP connectivity right down to the end node and with the Open Connectivity Foundation secure PKI X 509 grade security for end-to-end encryption. This gives smart building and building automation “banking grade security” for IoT devices.

We’ve been attending various events in person over recent weeks, and next week you can catch us at the CW International Conference. The agenda for this year’s event is somewhat topical, especially given that we also had the COP26 global UN climate chance conference this week. The CW conference will consider the value of the wireless network within digital and circular economies, exploring innovations and ideas that maximize wireless’ potential to improve the future, including the reduction of wireless’ environmental impact.

News & Products

SensiML Corporation, a developer of AI tools for building intelligent IoT endpoints, has teamed with onsemi to deliver a complete machine learning solution for autonomous sensor data processing and predictive modeling. The collaboration combines SensiML’s analytics toolkit development software with the RSL10 sensor development kit from onsemi to create a platform for edge sensing applications such as industrial process control and monitoring. The ability to support AI functions in a small memory footprint along with advanced sensing and Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity enables sophisticated smart sensing without the need for cloud analytics of highly dynamic raw sensor data.

Allegro A80803-A80804 LED driver
Image: Allegro Microsystems

Allegro MicroSystems has expanded its automotive lighting portfolio to include two new offerings for advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) applications. The A80803 is a switch-mode, constant-current controller for high-power LED automotive lighting applications that addresses many common pain points for headlight designers to help bring advanced functionality to mainstream vehicles. The A80804 is Allegro’s first four-channel linear driver for high-power LEDs. In addition to targeted applications such as DRL/position and stop/taillights, it gives lighting designers increased design flexibility for popular features such as sequential turn signals, animation effects, and theater-style transitions.

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Tata Elxsi and Green Hills Software are working together on a driver monitoring system (DMS) platform that combines advanced DMS software (V.O.E.O.S.Y.S – vehicle operator environment observation system) and AUTOSAR adaptive from Tata Elxsi integrated with the safe and secure INTEGRITY real-time operating system (RTOS) from Green Hills Software, optimized to run on the latest families of automotive-grade microprocessors. This flexible and standards-based DMS platform enables OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to reduce the time, cost, and complexity of developing and deploying their DMS-compliant ADAS systems while meeting mandatory global safety and security requirements.

Infineon Technologies has joined the FiRa Consortium as a contributor member to support the expansion of the UWB ecosystem. The company’s VP digital security & identity, Bjoern Scharfen, said “UWB has a great potential to enhance Infineon’s offering in security, connectivity and computing. With this, the technology fully supports our vision of linking the real and digital world.” With the acquisition of Cypress in 2020, Infineon said it acquired significant expertise in connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) as well as in microcontrollers.

Image: SmartSky Networks

Wireless Telecom Group said that SmartSky Networks has selected the CommAgility high-performance telecommunications systems software and tools for its next-generation air-to-ground (ATG) network. Deployed in SmartSky’s inflight connectivity, CommAgility is providing a full protocol stack and physical layer (PHY) for SmartSky’s aircraft base radio (ABR), which is the user equipment (UE) on board the aircraft. The ABR connects to a ground base station and provides broadband inflight connectivity for the operational needs of the aircraft, passengers, and crew. SmartSky’s patented beamforming and spectrum re-use technologies have been tested and proven, and the network is now rolling out across the USA for aviation operators and passengers.

MicroAI has announced MicroAI Launchpad, a quick start development and deployment tool that helps organizations simplify and accelerate the design, development, testing, and deployment of smart systems that run embedded MicroAI software on MCUs and microprocessors (MPUs) in edge and endpoint devices. Launchpad makes it simple to handle customers with SIMs around the world and manage and reconfigure device profiles. A single pane of glass gives access to customizable dashboards for account creation, authentication, mobile SIM or LoRaWAN connectivity activation, credit card billing for global SIM connectivity, and onboarding of MicroAI’s embedded software libraries. Its embedded software, AtomML, enables OEMs to deploy personalized, edge-native AI models, without needing to develop static edge-AI models first in a cloud or laptop and then port them to the embedded device.

IAR Systems said that its latest version of IAR Embedded Workbench for Arm adds support for the Arm Cortex-M55 processor. In addition, version 9.20 of the toolchain includes support for the latest MCUs from several semiconductor vendors. The toolchain delivers optimization capabilities to assist developers in getting the most out of the performance of the MCU and yet stay as energy efficient as possible. To ensure code quality, code analysis tools are completely integrated with IAR Embedded Workbench.

Teledyne T3DSO3004-oscilloscope
Image: Teledyne

Teledyne Test Tools has launched the T3DSO3000, a new series of premium economy oscilloscopes, which feature four channel models with analog bandwidth options from 200 MHz to 1 GHz. Each model offers a maximum sample rate of 5 GSa/s, and a maximum memory depth of 250 Mpts in half channel mode. All models incorporate two 5 GSa/s ADCs and two 250 Mpts memory modules. The oscilloscopes employ a new generation of high-speed display technology for excellent signal clarity, fidelity and performance. The series comes with a minimum vertical input range of 500 μV/div, an innovative digital trigger system with high sensitivity, low jitter, and a waveform capture rate of 500,000 waveforms/sec (sequence mode).

Kontron SBC-R39
Image: Kontron

Kontron has launched the 3.5-inch SBC-R39, a compact 3.5-inch single-board computer suitable for integration into (open source) embedded systems in entertainment, digital signage, facial recognition, smart retail, smart classroom, smart office and industrial applications. The 3.5-inch SBC-R39 is built on a Rockchip RK3399(K) processor with ARM big.LITTLE microarchitecture. This includes two processors embedded in a single, fully integrated silicon chip. The LITTLE cluster consists of a quad-core Cortex A53 processor, which is typically used to perform routine tasks at low power consumption. The large cluster is a dual-core Cortex-A72 processor, which handles compute-intensive high-performance tasks. This architecture enables the SBC-R39 to dynamically assign tasks to the respective processor according to the performance requirement.

People and Funding

Theodore L. Tewksbury-Velodyne Lidar
Image: Velodyne Lidar

Velodyne Lidar announced the appointment of Theodore “Ted” L. Tewksbury, Ph.D. as chief executive officer, who joins after serving as CEO of Eta Compute. Prior to Eta Compute, Tewksbury, a technology executive with over 30 years’ leadership experience across public and private companies, held several chief executive and board positions, including Entropic Communications and Integrated Device Technology. He is an accomplished engineer, with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from MIT. He has held a variety of engineering and management positions in his career, including introducing over 180 innovative new product families during his time at Maxim Integrated Products.


The CW International Conference (CWIC), one of the key annual events for the wireless industry in the U.K., is back both as a physical live event at IWM Duxford, Europe’s largest air museum, as well being available online. Taking place on 9th November 2021, this year’s theme considers the value of the wireless network within digital and circular economies, exploring innovations and ideas that maximise wireless’ potential to improve the future. Full agenda and details are here.

Nvidia GTC takes place online from 8-11 November 2021, which will include a live-streamed keynote by Jensen Huang, plus talks from AI research and industry leaders on deep learning, data science, high-performance computing, robotics, data center/networking and graphics. Speakers include Fei-Fei Li, professor of computer science, Stanford University, Lindsay Edwards, responsible for AI at in respiratory and immunology, AstraZeneca, and Kay Firth-Butterfield, head of AI and ML, World Economic Forum. Details here.

The 58th DAC (Design Automation Conference) is takes place both physically in San Francisco and virtually between 5-10 December 2021. Keynote speakers include Jeff Dean of Google Research and Google Health, Bill Dally of Nvidia, and Missy Cummings of Duke University. For the first, DAC attendees will also have access to SEMICON West and the RISC-V Summit. Details here.

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