Electronics Industry News

30 June 2017

Radio station Chairman becomes SIR Rex (almost)

 Radio Exe Chairman Rex Rozario has been metaphorically knighted after being presented with an award for Services to Industry and Radio (SIR).

The Devon industrialist built a global engineering business, Graphic plc, first in Exmouth, then in Crediton. It now has manufacturing plants in the USA, Denmark, China as well as Devon. Mr Rozario earned an OBE for this work in 2001.

In 2013, he became Chairman of Radio Exe, the commercial station for Exeter, Mid and East Devon that last month began broadcasting on DAB digital radio across most of the county.

At the Pride of Devon 2017 awards hosted by the station, Mr Rozario was awarded the final honour of the knight to recognize his services to both industry and radio.

Managing director Paul Nero says: “Rex is as astute as a media entrepreneur as he has been in his long career in engineering. He’s just stepped down after three years as secretary general of the World Electronics Circuits Council, which hopefully will mean he will stop travelling the world as much and be able to spend more time with us.

We’re honoured that he’s our chairman.”

Mr Rozario says: “I was bowled over to receive a Pride of Devon award. I go along to meet friends and to have a dance, so it was a great surprise.”

Given the tireless efforts that Rex puts into the many and varied activities that he does, and has done for so many years, a proper Knighthood would be entirely apposite. For those who know him through the PCB industry, news that he is a broadcaster and a restaurateur as well may be a surprise. At the EIPC Summer Conference in Birmingham earlier this month Rex was also awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Institute. 

An honourable fellow indeed he is.


Picture shows Rex with Ben Clark, Radio Exe Presenter.


Semiconductor Industry News

Tech Startup Raises £3.5million Pre-Seed Funding And Opens An Innovation Centre

After reaching 10.000 participants with its Crowd Sale reaching $4 Million, Humaniq is launching a new Innovation Centre in Cambridge.

This expansion will enhance the capabilities of Humaniq to solve critical and chronic issues of the world by repurposing Artificial Intelligence and DeepTech for social good and enabling leading scientists and entrepreneurs to solve the most critical problems facing humanity. “This new innovation centre will provide an opportunity to be part of a lasting and growing ecosystem which has found success in many areas of innovation and which Humaniq will be able to contribute to and learn from as we grow” said Alex Fork, founder of Humaniq.

Cambridge is home to several innovation clusters, universities, leading academic research, and entrepreneurial institutes that provide the right environment and ecosystem for the AI and Blockchain Lab. Within this initiative there will be regular hackathons and conferences to attract the best talent and solutions with a focus on solving critical global challenges.

Samsung will open manufacturing plant in the USA

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said it will open its first U.S. appliances plant in more than three decades, a politically pleasing investment ahead of South Korean leader Moon Jae-in’s two-day summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The $380 million plant in Newberry County, South Carolina, will produce washing machines and other appliances from early next year and create nearly 1,000 jobs by 2020, the South Korean tech giant said.

The move, the latest in a long line of global companies reacting to pressure from Trump to create more U.S. jobs, has prompted expressions of goodwill between the two nations ahead of the visit.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday called the investment “great news”, while Trump himself tweeted in February after Samsung said it was considering such an investment: “Thank you, @Samsung! We would love to have you!”.

But Moon, who will be accompanied by more than 50 South Korean business leaders, is also expected to face pressure to address his country’s large trade surplus with the United States.

Samsung’s investment news was followed up by a statement from South Korea’s biggest business lobby that 52 companies plan to invest a total of $12.8 billion in the United States over the next five years.

Much of that has already been previously announced and it was not immediately clear how much was new.

Samsung is the biggest manufacturer of large appliances in the United States with market share of around 19 percent, according to researcher Traqline. But it hasn’t had a U.S. appliances plant since the early 1990s when it closed a TV factory.

The investment falls into line with Samsung’s strategy of boosting high-end home appliance product sales in the United States. Last year it acquired U.S.-based luxury appliances maker Dacor Inc.

It may also give Samsung more flexibility in production decisions as it grapples with a complaint by Whirlpool Corp. Its rival has asked a U.S. government trade panel for stronger protections against imported washing machines made by Samsung and LG Electronics.

Whirlpool argues the South Korean firms have skirted Commerce Department anti-dumping orders for years by shifting production to various countries. A decision on its petition is expected in September.


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Samsung’s new plant will allow it to increase its speed of delivery to customers for appliances “that reflect the regional preferences of our fastest-growing and most important consumer market,” Samsung Electronics Chief Executive B.K. Yoon said in a statement.

U.S. capital spending plans by other South Korean companies include an announcement by Hyundai Motor and its affiliates in January that they will boost investment by 50 percent to $3.1 billion over five years.

The automaker has also said it may build a new plant there.

LG Electronics Inc said in March it plans to build a $250 million home appliance factory in Tennessee employing 600 workers.

South Korea also plans to purchase $22.4 billion worth of U.S. liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and other U.S. goods, the Korean Chamber of Commerce & Industry said.




(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by David Lawder in Washington and Hyunjoo Jin in Seoul; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Edwina Gibbs)

$6,000 of Electronics in Car by 2022

By Paula Doe, SEMI

First published in EE Times; written with contributions by Gary Frank.

The future of smart, self-driving cars means massive change for their electronics suppliers, from advanced internal networks, to displays that meet critical safety requirements, to 5G communications with the road ahead, and even drivers’ licenses for AI drivers.

A high-end car will contain more than $6,000 worth of electronics in five years, driving a $160 billion automotive electronics market in 2022, as almost all the electronics in a car undergo massive change, predicts IHS Markit principal analyst for Automotive Electronics Luca De Ambroggi. He’s one of the speakers discussing these quickly changing market needs at SEMICON West (July 11-13 in San Francisco) in programs on the future of Smart Automotive (self-driving cars).

IHS Markit notes that more of the value of automotive electronics is moving to software and semiconductors, with semiconductors for the automotive market seeing more than seven percent CAGR through 2022, outpacing the 4.5 percent growth of automotive electronic systems in general, and the 2.4 percent growth in vehicle units over that period, as the sector moves to full solutions that include significant software value.

The auto makers are starting to rethink their electronics entirely to integrate more intelligence. They’re looking at replacing the standard flat architecture based on a controller area network (CAN) bus with a more advanced network to handle the increase in complexity and data sharing, says De Ambroggi. “All the electronics systems will need to meet stronger safety standards, starting with security, since a car that is not secure is not safe,” he notes. That includes even the display, which used to just control the radio and connect a phone, but now will communicate driving-related information, so will have to meet critical safety requirements too.

AI needs a common platform, and a drivers’ license

“Artificial intelligence will be the enabler of fully autonomous (L5) vehicles that take over the driving, but it will take some years more to meet the requirements for performance, safety and cost, and today´s silicon technology is not yet good enough,” suggests De Ambroggi, noting the need for more efficient new architectures and reduced power usage. However, the automotive market alone is likely not large enough to support the development expense required, so it may require more general purpose semiconductor components that can be customized for the automotive market.

This in-car AI system will need to go beyond recognizing objects, to using that information to predict behavior, as when it sees a pedestrian distracted by his smart phone and judges he may walk into the street.  Even chip-level speech recognition, which is relatively mature in automotive infotainment, will need to improve significantly for driver-assistant applications.  “One of the challenges for AI in safety critical applications is how will we know that the deep learning is good enough? How can we certify a virtual brain? We’ll need to create a standard drivers´ license for the machine, to certify that it is smart enough to drive,” he suggests.

On the sensor side, beyond RADAR and camera, LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) will become a “must have,” with demand for ~35 million units by 2025, but some 15 different technologies are competing for a piece of the business. Input from these sensors will need to be linked for accuracy and redundancy. IHS projects the bill of materials for sensor fusion for advanced driver-assistance systems will double in value by 2025, although the cost for basic surround-view sensor fusion for parking applications will fall to half, as it becomes a commodity.

More big potential change from 5G connectivity in the cars of the future

The tidal wave of data as autonomous vehicles produce up to 4 terabytes of data per day by 2020 likely will require 5G communication and cloud storage, notes Katherine Winter, VP of Intel’s Automated Driving Group, who will talk about these changes coming to the automotive industry in her SEMICON West keynote opening the automotive program.  She notes that Intel is powering the “brain” in hundreds of autonomous test vehicles today and is working to provide an autonomous driving end-to-end solution that encompasses the car, connectivity and the cloud.  The collected information will be pushed to the data center by 5G for learning and algorithm training, as well as high-definition map access that will help the car navigate in a safe and efficient way an provide real-time updates to the vehicle on the road. While Intel is driving many innovations in the field, Winter stresses the importance of partnerships, and the opportunities in greater ecosystem surrounding the autonomous vehicle. “No one company can do it alone,” she says, pointing to Intel’s work with BMW and Mobileye.

Besides all the sensors and on-board intelligence, the smart car of the future will also depend heavily on next generation 5G connectivity, concurs Nakul Duggal, VP Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., who will also discuss the connectivity technology requirements for autonomous driving. “5G technology is set to transform the automotive industry and redefine how we think about automobiles as well as how we use them. By 2035, we expect 5G technology will enable over $2.4 trillion in economic output across the broader automotive sector,” he says.

While advancements in radar, LIDAR and camera systems are encouraging, these sensors are limited by their line-of-sight. Direct Cellular V2X (C-V2X) and its evolution to 5G will complement the capabilities of these sensors by providing 360-degree non-line-of sight awareness, extending a vehicle’s ability to “see” further down the road – even at blind intersections or in bad weather conditions. By complementing other sensors, C-V2X provides a higher level of predictability by conveying location, speed, direction and even intent, which the other sensors can only estimate.

Ideally, the smart car will know very precisely where it is within a 3D High-Definition (HD) map that’s a rich model of the real world, updated in real time, by C-V2X communications. Building accurate 3D HD maps require decimeter-level position accuracy all the time and under all conditions.  And it will necessitate new types of high speed wireless connectivity, designed from scratch, to transfer 3D HD mapping data between cars, between cars and the network, and between cars and the smart city infrastructure, to enable awareness of hazardous conditions, from potholes in the road and construction zones to a traffic accident around the bend ahead. The natural evolution of 5G technology may mean that new cars will increasingly have modems that can handle CV2X, while the many distributed small cells required by 5G could be co-located with roadside units across the infrastructure, he notes.

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