Monthly Archives: June 2015

100 Billion Reasons To Love Engineering Again

By Tyson Tuttle, CEO, Silicon Labs  The IoT is a hot topic these days. IHS Technology predicts 95.5 billion devices will be on the internet in 2025. That’s a staggering number. But it seems possible as the trend has hit an inflection point and many companies are getting behind it with applications and enabling technology. The closest comparison we have to the IoT is the handset revolution from the early part of this century. Today, there are arguably only a few large handset makers and a handful of semiconductor companies supplying them. That makes for a pretty cutthroat style industry. Innovation has become dependant on only a few device providers, and it is fundamentally tied to what those devices are optimized to do. David Rose of the MIT Media Lab calls these devices “cold black slabs we interact with 90% of our waking hours, resulting in a colder, more isolated, ... Read More »

Enabling Positioning Everywhere: InvenSense’s Inertial Positioning and Navigation

By: Chris Goodall, Managing Director, InvenSense Canada We’ve all been there. Heading somewhere new, relying on our GPS. We have our phones, so why bother looking up directions beforehand? “We’ll look on our phones to find terminal E when we make our connection.” “The restaurant is on Canyon Road, I’ll look at the map on my phone when we get in the car.” And before we know it, the beautiful, scenic drive to the restaurant with the great view, becomes the lost GPS highway. The quick connection in St. Louis becomes a panicked sprint to the flight monitors, feverishly looking for Terminal E. Well, what if there’s a way to eliminate these types of situations all together, a way to still find our way when GPS and Wi-Fi aren’t options? InvenSense Canada (formerly Trusted Positioning, having been acquired by InvenSense in 2014) seems to have a solution. In 2009, Naser ... Read More »

The Road to Smart Mobility- How Asia is Fast Becoming the Innovation Hub for Autonomous Driving

By Steve Owen and Lars Reger, NXP Semiconductors The car as we know it is evolving. It is transforming from a single mode of transportation to a personalized mobile information hub – fully connected to the outside world. These connected cars will be a core element in creating an autonomous driving experience, especially with the rise of new wireless technologies such as Vehicle to X (V2X) communications. V2X are intelligent systems integrated into vehicles, which are capable of collecting and analyzing data from other vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure. This vehicular intelligence is a critical component to enable autonomous driving and to make smart mobility concepts a reality. In 1982 a black Pontiac Trans Am amazed both children and adults with its ability to drive itself. The car was called KITT and the TV series was, of course the US classic, Knight Rider. What was fiction over 30 years ago is now becoming a reality thanks to the ... Read More »

Semiconductor Technology Helps Break Down the Barriers to Widespread Electric Vehicle Adoption

By: Sravan Vanaparthy, Product Marketing Manager, ON Semiconductor The anticipated penetration of the combustion engine powered passenger car market by vehicles with electrified powertrains – be they pure electric or hybrid – is not happening as quickly as perhaps many industry observers had anticipated just a few years ago. There are several reasons for this, not least that many automakers such as Ford and Volkswagen have been able to develop smaller capacity engines with direct gasoline injection and newer turbo technologies that develop the required power but with high efficiency, better economy and lower emissions. In addition, battery technology has still not made the giant step needed to enable the development of mass production electric vehicles that have a range between charges that sits comfortably with the car buying mass market segment and puts convenience on a par with combustion powered units. However, semiconductor companies are making large strides in developing ... Read More »

Innovative Automotive Safety Applications Driving Memory Growth in Cars

By: James Hawley, Automotive Product Line Manager, Micron Technology According to Harvard Health Watch 2013, the average American spends 101 minutes driving per day. This creates a huge opportunity for the automotive electronics industry to deliver solutions that enhance the driver and passenger experience during this time. So it comes as no surprise that every major automotive manufacturer is developing new innovations for the connected car. The innovations receiving the most attention focus on driver and passenger safety. New applications like integrated voice recognition and hand recognition controls in infotainment systems and dashboard displays, as well as collision avoidance applications, are making cars safer—with the goal of someday creating a fully autonomous vehicle. Active Response Systems Paving the Road to Autonomous Cars Enhancing automotive safety means moving from passive-only systems for accident response—like lane departure warnings—to active systems for accident prevention. Active systems can take control of the car and ... Read More »

The Road to Self-Driving Cars

By: Hans Adlkofer, Vice President, Automotive Systems, Infineon Technologies AG There are several steps from today’s vehicles, with advanced driver assistant systems (ADAS) to fully automated self-driving cars. The automotive industry has already reached the first levels with partial automation. But there is still a long way to go towards highly automated cars and finally fully automated driving cars, which is not expected before 2025. While functions like adaptive cruise control, autonomous braking or parking assistance are already deployed, the road to fully self-driving cars requires a lot of further learnings and innovations but also correct legal framework. The article describes from a semiconductor perspective the different levels that are necessary to make completely self-driving cars a reality and also discusses related system requirements and the security aspects of connected cars. According to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International), road vehicle automation can be classified into six different levels. ... Read More »

CO2 Regulations Drive Innovation in the Automotive Industry

By: Sofiane Serbouh, Technical Marketing – Vehicle Electrification Segment, Fairchild Semiconductor Health and environmental concerns around air pollution and Global Climate Change have pushed governments for decades to legislate the reduction of polluting emissions, particularly in the automotive industry. Many improvements have been achieved thanks to the introduction of cleaner fuel, catalytic converters, particle filters and more efficient engines. However, all these improvements have been offset by the growing number of cars sold every year and governments need to apply more stringent restrictions with cost penalties to vehicle manufacturers for not meeting the targeted reduction of polluting emissions such as CO2. Figure 1 shows how the CO2 emissions of passenger cars worldwide have been continuously dropping as well as the ever decreasing target emission goals of several major governments. A way for vehicle manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions from the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) and meet their targets is to ... Read More »