JULY 13th, 2005
ARTiSAN Software Tools, Inc., a provider of embedded system designer
software, is now an Associate Member of the Automotive Open Systems Architecture (AUTOSAR) partnership. That association,
considered an important part of any company’s automobile electronic product development effort, includes automobile
manufacturers, suppliers, software houses, tool manufacturers and semiconductor companies. These members’ common goal
is to establish an open standard for an automotive Electric/Electronics (E/E) architecture to manage the diverse array of
existing and emerging functions that are embedded into the automobile.
Further detailing the objectives of AUTOSAR was Jeremy Goulding,
ARTiSAN's President and CEO commented, "The AUTOSAR initiative works toward networking systems and sub-systems, and creating
a common technology interface both to and within the vehicle. As the leading vendor bringing the OMG's UML based Systems Modeling
Language (SysML) to embedded systems, we've been urged by the automotive industry to join AUTOSAR. Our goal is to understand
from the inside of this partnership exactly what users need most, and to provide first class tool support for that to build
on our position as a leading systems and software modeling tool partner for automotive electronics development."
Among the organization’s primary members are the leading automobile
and automobile component companies. These include BMW, Bosch, Continental, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, PSA, Siemens VDO, Toyota
and Volkswagen. There are also a number of semiconductor companies listed as premium members. These include ARM, Freescale
Semiconductor, Renesas and STMicroelectronics. MathWorks, a provider of EDA and mathematical software is also listed.
JULY 12th, 2005
Celoxica Ltd., an electronic system level EDA company, with Calsonic
Kansei Corp., a module designer and researchers at Keio University have reported on the development of a drive-by-wire automotive
system based on FPGAs. The announcement indicated that FPGAs and not a processor or ASIC based solution, was the only practical
choice for the project in order to meet power, heat, space, design time and custom needs for different automobile applications.
According to Mr. Masatoshi Arai, manager, Advanced Engineering Development Group at Calsonic Kansei Corp. "Applying recognition
processing into automobiles requires low to medium volume, low power and rapid design to support the wide variety of chip
types needed to meet the characteristics of different cars. To meet these requirements FPGAs are a better choice than ASIC
and the DK Design Suite provided a distinct advantage by helping us to quickly design and implement the different design parameters
needed by the project."
The system built is based on license plate recognition and calculates
the safe distance needed to avoid collisions from cars in front and in back of the automobile. Colin Mason, VP Asia Pacific
and General Manager at Celoxica Japan K.K. credited the company’s design software with unleashing the power of FPGAs
for automotive applications, "Our C-based design and synthesis technology is unlocking the potential of lower power, flexible
FPGAs for next generation automotive electronics. C-based design is now the de facto enabling technology for rapidly accelerating
complex custom algorithms in high performance silicon." The system produced relied on algorithm parallelization, which enabled,
once connected to a car camera, a processing time of only 10 milliseconds.
JUNE 30th, 2005
SMSC (NASDAQ: SMSC), as a result of increased sales and its acquisition
of OASIS SiliconSystems Holding AG, reported a 30 percent revenue increase for its first quarter ended May 31, 2005 over the
same quarter last year. Revenues increased to $68.8 million from $53.1 million. The company attributed an 18 percent increase
due to acquisition of OASIS and 12 percent from SMSC’s product lines.
Steven J. Bilodeau, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer gave a
more detailed analysis of the financial results, "Revenues for the first quarter were robust, driven by the addition of revenues
from OASIS and strong sales of our mobile PC, EMC and USB connectivity products. We realized higher profitability than anticipated
due to product mix coupled with lower operating expenses than previously projected. As sales increased, we also benefited
from positive leverage in our operating expenses, which improved operating profit margins by nearly 4% of sales." He also
noted OASIS place in the company, “This was also the first quarter of sales contribution from our recent OASIS acquisition,
which is now our new Automotive Infotainment Systems group, and we are pleased with the progress of the integration of this
business into SMSC."
SMSC also gave guidance on a pro forma basis for the second quarter.
The company estimated that revenues would be in the range of $73 million to $77 million, an increase of about 50 percent year-over-year.
JUNE 27th, 2005
A round of funding valued at $24.5 million from the Government of
Canada and several other industry organizations is to be used for innovative automotive research projects. The funding,
to come through AUTO21, a network of research centers in Canada, is for 41 automobile research projects. The projects involve
almost every technology discipline from semiconductors, through fuel technology to nanotechnology and biomaterials. Older
drivers are also a focus of the projects. As the populations of the West ages, drivers to stay safely on the road could possibly
require everything from early warning collision systems to early warning driver medical alert systems. Such systems could
be mandated into law for medically challenged senior citizen.
Dr. Peter Frise, AUTO21 CEO. "This major investment is helping AUTO21
advance Canada's reputation as a leader in automotive research and development. The strong collaboration between government
and industry supporters and the Canadian research community is leading to new technologies and also a steady stream of highly
qualified student researchers who will lead the country's future automotive sector."
The 41 projects will involve over 230 researchers at 37 universities
throughout Canada. Specific projects mentioned include Safe Transportation for Seniors through Dr. M. Bedard, at Lakehead
University and Dr. J. Miller Polgar at the University of Western Ontario. Another entitled Enhanced Child Safety in Automobiles
will be through Dr. A. Howard, Hospital for Sick Children and Dr. A. Snowdon at the University of Windsor. Nanotechnology
projects, of which there are a number include new metal research for lighter and stronger automobiles and improved interior
design. Energy research extends across the spectrum of alternative fuels such as hydrogen and biodiesel as well as energy
generation through regenerative breaking. The Regenerative Braking Systems project is through Dr. S. Lambert, at the University
JUNE 9th, 2005
Yogitech Brings in One Million Euros
YOGITECH , has received funding of 1 million Euros from Toscana Venture of SICI (Sviluppo Imprese
Centro Italia). The company has plans to introduce a fault tolerant system on a chip platform for electronic designs used
in safety and repair diagnostic applications. The platform, due out in the second half of 2005, is based on the IEC 61508
standard, an international standard for electronic systems that require high reliability because they are used in critical
safety applications like automobiles.
MAY 19th, 2005
Driven by a market that sees SOI process technology as an answer
to high power consumption for high speed consumer electronic products, Soitec (Euronext Paris), on top of a recent $100 million
plus purchase agreement, has reported a 57% percent increase in its 2004 - 2005 annual sales. With its annual financial release,
the SOI wafer suppler also reported a 248 percent sales increase of its SOI based 300 mm wafers - indicative of the popularity
of SOI for the latest generation of chips.
Soitec, which specifically noted microprocessors and automotive
markets as two growth catalysts, reported that overall sales for its 2004 - 2005 fiscal year came in at 138.9 million Euros,
up 57 percent from last year's 88.1 Euros. 300 millimeter wafer sales reached 42.1 million Euros, or 32 percent of total sales
compared to just 14 percent of sales in the 2003 - 2004 fiscal year.
The company projects that growth rates are expected to be higher
than 40 percent. In support of that projected growth rate, Soitec points to a $100 million purchase multi-year agreement for
300 millimeter SOI wafers, which is expected to unfold between July 2005 and June 2006, and to its multi-year supply agreement
of 200 millimeter and 300 millimeter wafers to leading microprocessor provider, AMD.
Soitec's latest advanced technology also has done well. The company
noted 4.2 million Euros in Picogiga related revenues, up 16.4 percent. Picogiga International, a unit of Soitec, develops
high performance transistor technology based on new materials technology. These transistors, according to researchers at Triquint
Semiconductor, a United States based GaAs chip company, have an output power density of 7 W/mm at 10 GHz.
MAY 19th, 2005
Apogee Brings out First MEMS
Products - Named Sensilica
Apogee Technology, Inc. (AMEX:ATA), known for its digital audio amplifier chips, has introduced
its first family of Micro-Electromechanical Systems or MEMS chips. The Sensilica family, an all-silicon line of pressure sensors,
are planned for use in a number of markets, which include automotive and HVAC. Glenn Fricano, Director of Apogee's MEMS Division,
lists some reasons why Apogee may win in the pressure sensor market, "Sensilica's size, cost, performance and reliability
advantages will place Apogee in a leadership position in product innovation and value. The Company has under development,
and intends to offer, a broad range of Sensilica products providing our customers a single source for all their pressure sensor
Apogee indicates that the automotive market is a potentially large
growth market for its new pressure sensors. Apogee sites a 2005 ruling by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
that requires automobiles to come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system by 2008. Apogee notes that this alone would
create a market for 70 million tire pressure sensors a year. Apogee states that in 2004, 18 million light vehicles were sold
in the United States.
The first Sensilica product , one of six planned for 2005, has the
capacity to measure 0 to 75 pounds per square inch. According to Apogee, their MEMS pressure sensors takes advantage of a
design that reduces the sensor size by a factor of four compared to most other designs.
Samples of the first product are available now, with volume production
scheduled for the second half of 2005.