embedded news week: U.K. chip startups, natural language quantum - Embedded.com

embedded news week: U.K. chip startups, natural language quantum

A roundup of this week’s embedded news includes a report on challenges for U.K. chip startups, a new open-source toolkit for quantum computing, and a new CEO interview podcast.

Here’s our weekly snapshot of some of the embedded news that has come through our inbox, covering news, products, funding and events news.

In the embedded world, semiconductor startups in the U.K. are not as fortunate as those in the U.S. or Israel where a larger pool of investors understand the amount of capital and time needed to scale up a chip company. I had the opportunity to sit in on a debate among senior executives and veterans of the U.K. chip ecosystem at a very appropriate venue, Bletchley Park in the U.K., which hosts the National Museum of Computing and the code-breaking machines used during the second world war. The event, hosted by chip industry incubator Silicon Catalyst and the National Microelectronics Institute resulted in a discussion that aimed to address the issues faced by British semiconductor startups. You can read my report on it here.

This week I also spoke to Bob Coecke, chief scientist at Cambridge Quantum, on how the company’s new open-source lambeq toolkit and library can turn sentences into quantum circuits. Coecke is passionate about bringing quantum computing to the masses using natural language processing.

Graham Curren - Sondrel

A number of technical articles published on the site include Cost-efficient camera connectivity with Car Camera Bus, Best practices for debugging Zephyr-based IoT applications, Evaluating the performance of a Yocto-based Linux system – part 2, Random interrupts in multicore scenarios.

And finally, you can listen to my latest podcast to hear my chat with Graham Curren, CEO of Sondrel, a chip design service company, about how chip design has changed over the last 20 years and what trends he sees in future designs.

News & Products

The ISA Global Security Alliance (ISAGCA) and the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) have released a co-sponsored industrial internet of things (IIoT) product certification study entitled, “IIoT Component Certification Based on the ISA/IEC 62443 Standard.” As the first in a two-part study, it evaluates the urgent need for industry vetted IIoT product certification programs, with the goal of determining the applicability of the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards and certifications to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) IIoT components and gateways. The second part of the study, due out later this year, answers the same questions for IIoT system offerings (solutions) and analyzes the use of IIoT solutions for process control.

ipoque, a Rohde & Schwarz company, has launched R&S GSRM, an OEM software module for the correlation of control and user plane within the core of mobile networks to resolve data traffic per subscriber. This subscriber-level traffic visibility empowers vendors of network packet brokers and IP probes to enhance their solutions with session-aware traffic aggregation, filtering and load balancing capabilities. Additionally, policy control, cybersecurity and IP traffic management solutions benefit highly from mobile subscriber awareness, easily integrated as OEM software. Tools such as enable communication service providers to optimize network performance and assure quality of experience for subscribers across 3G, 4G and 5G NSA networks.

Wireless test solution provider LitePoint is collaborating with Microchip Technology to deliver simplified design validation and turnkey manufacturing test solutions for IoT systems based on Microchip’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chipsets. For this, LitePoint has released a version of its IQfact+ test automation software tailored for Microchip’s new WFI32E01 series of Wi-Fi MCU modules. IQfact+ is a turnkey, chipset-specific test development software enabling rapid-volume manufacturing with minimal engineering effort.

MikroElektronika (Mikroe) has announced its multi-architectural software development kit, mikroSDK 2.0, now supports 147 MCUs from NXP Semiconductors. mikroSDK is a collection of open-source software libraries with unified API and software development tools that makes application code portable and reusable on many different platforms and architectures, with virtually no code changes. The addition of NXP’s Kinetis family takes the number of MCUs supported by mikroSDK 2.0 to over 1,500, ranging from small 8-bit to 32-bit devices. mikroSDK 2.0 is a complete, cross-platform software development kit for embedded applications providing everything necessary to start developing, and prototyping, including Click board applications and GUIs for embedded devices.

Embedded database firm McObject has released eXtremeDB/rt, which it said is the first and only commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) deterministic, hard real-time, database management system, and is available immediately for the embOS real-time operating system from SEGGER. A true deterministic real-time database system guarantees that transactions complete (commit or rollback) within a set deadline. Real-time operating systems (RTOS) guarantee that tasks complete within their CPU budget. Both capabilities are mandatory to maintain internal and external consistency of data. Without a deadline guarantee, database systems that claim to be “fast enough” cannot be used in hard real-time systems.

Insight SIP ISP2053-AX module RFpng
Insight SIP ISP2053-AX module

Insight SiP, a specialist in miniature RF modules with integrated antennas, has obtained financing from the French government and southern regional government as part of the “Regional Investment Program for the Future” enabling it to further develop its IoT security program. The company also launched the ISP2053-AX RF module, which incorporates the latest advanced Bluetooth in a tiny package measuring 8 x 8 x 1mm, the smallest package on the market. This high-end device features a dual-core ARM processor, BLE 5.2 Long Range connectivity, capability to support BLE Audio, and advanced security features with ARM Trustzone. It has extended temperature capability up to 105°C and support angle of arrival and low latency/streaming solutions.

Funding

Hailo has raised $136 million in a Series C funding round, bringing its total funding to $224 million.  In addition, Mooly Eden, former senior VP at Intel, will join Hailo’s board, and Eyal Waldman, co-founder and former CEO of Mellanox Technologies, will join its advisory board. The new funding will help expand its product offering, with a focus on software. Orr Danon, Hailo’s CEO, said it had amassed 100 models, with more in the works. It is also adding hardware and software reference designs based on customer feedback to support additional use cases. Second-generation silicon is also in the pipeline. The company said it doubled its customer base to over 100 clients over the last two fiscal quarters of 2021, as enterprises look at AI solutions for sensors and smart devices.

Events

Arm DevSummit is a three-day virtual conference taking place next week 19-21 October 2021, with keynotes from Simon Segars of Arm talking about performance and purpose, the new compute imperative; Ian Bratt of Arm who will discuss AI, biology and technology; and Brett Bibby of Unity talking about high-performance computing that’s earth friendly. Details here.

The Linley Fall Processor Conference 2021 willtake place on 20-21 October 2021 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Santa Clara, CA. As expected, there’ll be plenty of talk about edge AI, plus high-performance processing, IoT, sensors plus VC perspectives on emerging tech. Details 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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