Highlights of ISQED Conference: March 14-15, 2017 Santa Clara, CA

ISQED Conference Backgrounder:

The 18th International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED 2017) is the premier interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary Electronic Design conference—bridges the gap among Electronic/Semiconductor ecosystem members providing electronic design tools, integrated circuit technologies, semiconductor technology,packaging, assembly & test to achieve total design quality.

The ISQED 2017 event is held with the technical sponsorship of IEEE CASS, IEEE EDS, and IEEE Reliability Society.

Highlights of Two Sessions:

1.   Terrific panel session on Cybersecurity Challenges for the Automotive Industry at the ISQED conference on Tuesday March 14th.

Abstract: In the past couple of years, we have witnessed one of the most dramatic transformations in automotive industry: vehicles are becoming intelligent and connected. They are not only a tool controlled by the so-called “drivers” to transport people and goods from one place to another. They are “talking” to each other as well as roadside infrastructure, making themselves autonomous or “driverless”. In this panel, we have invited experts to share their views on cybersecurity challenges such as safety, security, and privacy that the automotive industry are facing. Our panelists will also discuss how our life will be changed (again) by the next generation vehicles.

Chair & Moderator:
Professor Gang QuUniversity of Maryland

Panelists:
Anuja Sonalker – STEER Tech
                             Gaurav Bansal – Toyota InfoTechnology Center

                        Navraj Nandra – Senior Director of Interface IP Synopsys

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Author’s Notes:
As we all know, the “connected car” will have all sorts of communications (local area network) interfaces within the vehicle, e.g. CAN[1], LIN[2], FlexRay[3], Automotive Ethernet, Vehicle Area Network (low speed serial network standardized in ISO 11519-3); wireless networks like Blue Tooth, NFC, WiFi, Zigbee, and many others.  It will also have some type of cellular communications (likely LTE or LTE Advanced, or maybe even “5G”) for broadband communications from the vehicle to the Internet.
But what about Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) or Car to Car communications, which could improve automotive safety and reduce collisions via warnings messages or alerts?
Note 1.  A Controller Area Network (CAN bus) is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer.
Note 2.  A Local Interconnect Network (LIN) is a serial network protocol used for communication between components in vehicles.
Note 3.  FlexRay is an automotive network communications protocol developed by the FlexRay Consortium to govern on-board automotive computing. It is designed to be faster and more reliable than CAN and TTP (time triggered protocol), but is also more expensive.
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Guarav Bansal of Toyota InfoTech Center said V2V communications would be based on something the automotive industry has been working on for ~20 years – DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications).  It is a two-way short- to- medium-range wireless communications capability that permits very high data transmission critical in communications-based active safety applications.  Guarav said the US Federal Government might mandate use of DSRC allowing cars to ‘talk’ to each other to avoid crashes.  That was a huge surprise to me!  Here’s the official reference:  U.S. DOT advances deployment of Connected Vehicle Technology
Meanwhile, 3GPP completed an initial Cellular V2X standard in September 2016.  In February, 2017, 3GPP announced a first set of LTE-V2X Physical layer standards (in 3GPP Release 14) that use a radio technology based on a LTE sidelink,which specifically addresses communications at vehicular speeds.  This standard is NOT based on IMT 2020/5G, but IDC (at their 2017 Directions conference) and others think it should be!  
The argument is based on 5G providing ultra low latency, improved service reliability, higher user throughput and volumes for moving vehicles.
 
Here’s a recent 5GAA presentation by Dino Flore on 5G – V2X: The automotive use-case for 5G
So what will be the V2V standard for both wireless access and messaging between vehicles?  What if the US adopts DSRC and the rest of the world the 3GPP LTE sideband V2V standard?  And what about a 5G V2V standard which won’t be finalized till 2021 at the earliest?
Reference from MIT Technology Review:
Car-to-Car Communication
A simple wireless technology promises to make driving much safer.
Here’s a pic of the three excellent panelists answering questions posed by the moderator:
Image may contain: 4 people, indoor
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A pic of this author asking a question from the floor:
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2.  Session on Design for Smart Sensors and Internet of Things (IoT):  Low Power MEMS based Sensors

Author’s Notes:

In an enlightening and stimulating presentation on Low Power MEMS based Sensors, David Horsley, PhD described his research in this field along with commercially available piezo-electronics MEMS based sensors from ST Micro, Avago, and Vesper.  He noted that low cost, low power and small footprint size sensors are needed for many IoT applications.

Another very real application of  ultrasonic sensors (in a matrix configuration) is a fingerprint reader (and validator) for a smart phone.  That would eliminate the need for a password to unlock the phone.  Current ultra sonic sensors are too big for that application and also require a lot of external electronics.

David is the CTO of Chirp Microsystems which designs, develops, and manufactures a line of extremely low power, ultrasonic 3D-sensing solutions for consumer electronics, smart homes, industrial automation, and much more. Chirp’s technology was originally developed at the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC) at UC Berkeley and UC Davis. Horsley showed the audience various functional block diagrams of those sensors used in the fingerprint reader application.  The company says that their technology is an enabler for high volume, pervasive computing applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).

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