embedded news: RISC-V developments, engineers in demand – Embedded

A roundup of recent embedded news and products.
Significant developments in the embedded systems world this week included Alphawave IP buying OpenFive to tap chiplet and RISC-V demand, while SiFive showed its determination to focus on RISC-V compute with a fundraising round $175 million.
Also, with Arm saying it will lay off around 15% of its global staff, Imagination Technologies took the opportunity to say, “hey come work for us”, as it put out an announcement soon afterwards saying it aims to increase its global headcount by more than 30% in 2022, from 800 to around 1050 people. Imagination said, “2021 was a strong year for Imagination, which grew across all core sectors and geographies, with significant uptake of existing solutions complemented by new product launches. Based on current momentum, the Company expects revenue and profit growth to continue into 2022 and beyond.” Imagination opened an office in Cambridge last year and said it is also offering hybrid working. It’s not just Imagination, we’ve heard several companies will be jumping up and down to recruit those who may be affected at Arm.
In other news, Cornami, a startup with a many-core accelerator compute fabric, received strategic investment from Applied Ventures, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, for its hardware accelerator for fully homomorphic encryption (FHE). And then, Innova Advanced Technologies, a newly formed company has come out of stealth with a software platform that aims to provide complete control and management of design flows and resources for design tasks. 
Companies featured in this week’s news and product round up below are:
Ambiq, Cincoze, Intrinsic ID, NIRA Dynamics AB, Renesas Electronics, Rohde & Schwarz, Secure Thingz, SEGGER, Sensata Technologies, SiTime, u-blox, Winbond Electronics
News and Products
Rohde & Schwarz has announced what it said is the widest band, most flexible broadband RF amplifier available on the market. Its R&S BBA300 family, with continuous ultrawide frequency range from 380 MHz to 6 GHz in a single amplifier, eliminates the need to switch instruments or bands during a test. This facilitates testing on automotive and ultrawide band wireless communication radios for example. It addresses the requirements of EMC test centres, RF component designers and product design & validation. The broadband amplifiers are a major advance for development and product validation tests in quality assurance, and in the development and production of RF components.
SiTime Corporation has introduced its Elite X Super-TCXO for edge networks such as data centers, 5G front haul, connected cars and industrial IoT. To enable new time-sensitive services such as ADAS, virtual reality, and smart manufacturing, edge devices need to deliver faster speeds with lower latency. Precision timing plays a crucial role in their success. Legacy timing devices such as quartz TCXOs and mini-OCXOs have weaknesses such as sensitivity to thermal shock and vibration, stability degradation at high temperatures, and shorter operating life. Silicon MEMS technology can be inherently more robust and reliable, overcoming these problems to enable next generation time-sensitive services.
Ambiq has expanded its Apollo4 SoC portfolio with enhanced graphics display capabilities and more security to protect power constrained IoT endpoint devices without compromising power efficiency. The new Apollo4 Plus is its 4th generation system processor solution enabling new features while reducing devices’ overall system power consumption. It provides enhanced graphics display and greater voice capabilities to serve as either an application processor or a coprocessor for battery-powered endpoint devices. The Apollo4 Plus is now in mass production, targeting smartwatches and smart bands, consumer medical devices, motion and tracking units, and smart homes.
Renesas Electronics has extended its license for emWin, SEGGER’s graphical user interface (GUI) library, for its entire family of RX microcontrollers, enabling RX customers to design, develop, and produce GUI-driven applications without extra cost on any RX microcontroller. Along with its UI creation software AppWizard, emWin provides the ability to construct modern GUIs, including multitouch capability, plus core features such as widgets, animations, language management and motion support can easily be applied, without needing knowledge of C, and building complete and ready-to-run emWin applications without writing a single line of code.
Cincoze has added new 15”, 21”, and 24” 16:9 wide-screen high-efficiency sunlight-readable display CRYSTAL display modules for industrial automation and other industrial and outdoor human machine interface (HMI) applications. Combined with its P2000 or P1000 embedded system modules, they can make a panel PC or with the M1000 series an industrial touch monitor. The modules enable HMI applications in two main categories for the IoT: for automation in industry, and public service HMI, such as kiosks.
u-blox said its SARA-R5 module is now certified on KDDI’s LTE-M networks, making it the first product based on the UBX-R5 low-power wide-area (LPWA) chipset to achieve operator certification in Japan. The SARA-R5 series is 5G-ready and aimed at LPWA IoT applications, such as industrial automation, sensor applications, connected health, metering, asset and vehicle tracking, as well as telematics. The module is Microsoft Azure certified and AWS IoT Core qualified. u-blox certificate lifecycle control facilitates zero touch provisioning to cloud platforms and simplifies the management of IoT certificate renewals.
Winbond Electronics Corporation has introduced its W25Q64NE, a 1.2V SpiFlash NOR Flash IC in a 64Mb density which offers the large code storage capacity and active mode power savings needed by the latest generation of smart wearable and mobile devices. By adding a 64Mb part, Winbond addresses the requirements of smart devices with a larger code footprint. Typically, 99% of total power consumption in mobile and wearable devices is in active mode, so manufacturers of devices with a very small battery – such as True Wireless earbuds or fitness wristbands – can extend run-time between battery charges using these 1.2V NOR Flash ICs.
Sensata Technologies is collaborating with NIRA Dynamics AB to deliver an accurate and robust tire tread depth monitoring (TDM) ‘virtual sensor’ system for automotive OEMs that optimizes tire health and improves vehicle safety, efficiency and uptime. The TDM solution combines Sensata Technologies’ automotive sensors with NIRA Dynamics’ embedded software and cloud services. The virtual TDM can be integrated into existing electronic control units (ECU) and is designed to work with many combinations of tire and vehicle designs.
Intrinsic ID has announced the newest release of its hardware IP product, QuiddiKey 4.x, targeting designs in advanced process nodes with additional security countermeasures, extended testability, and requires less non-volatile memory than previous versions. Chip designers can secure their silicon with internally generated, device-unique cryptographic keys; using the inherently random start-up values of SRAM as a PUF, QuiddiKey generates the entropy required for a strong hardware root of trust by assuring that a device’s keys and sensitive data are never stored, but instead are re-created from the PUF each time they are needed.
Secure Thingz has released version 2.0 version of its security solution, Embedded Trust, which leverages the secure hardware built into next-generation microcontrollers to provide the low-level trust anchors and secure services needed for trustworthy IoT solutions. The new version enables existing applications to implement advanced security capabilities simply and quickly. With production security capabilities integrated into the solution, it is now possible to support production control for any application code which enables existing applications to be managed securely, adding identity, production control, and intellectual property protection.
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