Collaboration proliferation. June's Top Five Technical Joint Ventures

24-06-2015 |   |  By Paul Whytock

Unlike national newspapers, corporate collaborations and technical joint ventures (JVs) don't have a summer silly season. In fact, where national media can sometimes struggle for hard news during the balmy sunshine months it seems that the electronics business is providing a flurry of noteworthy technical tie-ups.

Here's my Top Five JVs for this month

IP for the IoT moves ahead

It's almost impossible not to read about the latest technical breakthroughs in the continuing episodes of that great connectivity mega-drama the Internet of Things (IoT). So a JV that will accelerate time to market and simplify the design process for engineers is well timed.

Imagination Technologies and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) have got together to develop a series of advanced IP subsystems for the IoT.

These include small, highly-integrated connected solutions for simple sensors which combine an entry-level M-class MIPS CPU with an ultra-low power Ensigma Whisper RPU for low-power Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart and 6LowPan, as well as OmniShield multi-domain hardware enforced security, and on-chip RAM and flash.

At the higher end, highly integrated audio and vision sensors will be a component of future SoCs for a wide range of IoT applications such as smart surveillance, retail analytics and autonomous vehicles. As part of the collaboration, Imagination and TSMC are working together to create reference IP subsystems that link Imagination’s PowerVR multimedia IP, MIPS CPUs, Ensigma RPUs and OmniShield technology.

Gesture sensing solution

German chipmaker Infineon has teamed up to work with the omnipotent Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) to develop sensing solutions. Potential applications include wearable technology, the IoT (of course) and the automotive sector.

The sensors will provide Google ATAP and developers with a compact, low-power isolution suitable for use in mobile and fixed devices. It will be based on Infineon’s 60GHz transceiver technology and integrates RF transceiver, antenna and control electronics in a single package.

Testing times

Following the successful launch of the LTE 3CC Carrier Aggregation OTA measurement solution, Bluetest and Anritsu are now poised to take the next step together with the integration of the new Anritsu radio communication analyser MT8821C and Bluetest’s 5th generation OTA reverberation test system, RTS65.

The MT8821C enables up to four carriers with MIMO to be generated in a single box solution while retaining code and RF compatibility with MT8820C. This backwards compatibility enables the MT8821C and joint test solutions to support all the commonly used communication standards, say the companies.

Connectivity cyber-space-race hots up TSMC has made it a double IoT JV hit this month by collaborating with Synopsys to develop an integrated IoT platform on TSMC's 40nm ultra low power (ULP) process technology.

The IoT platform provides a range of DesignWare IP, including an integrated sensor and control IP subsystem with the ULP ARC EM5D processor core, power and area optimised logic libraries, memory compilers, NVM, MIPI and USB interfaces as well as an analogue to digital converter.

This platform provides engineers with a pre-validated solution that enables them to create the energy efficient, always-on processing that is needed for sensor fusion and voice recognition apps.

Bringing EUVL to mass production

Nanoelectronics research centre Imec, Toshiba and SanDisk have expanded their technology partnership with Toshiba and SanDisk joining Imec’s industrial affiliation program on advanced patterning.

This program tackles the important challenges in bringing xtreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) to high volume manufacturing. EUVL is an advanced technology for making microprocessors that is considered to be a hundred times more powerful than conventional methods. The program also develops other technologies for extending 193nm immersion lithography.


By Paul Whytock

Paul Whytock is European Editor for Electropages. He has reported extensively on the electronics industry in Europe, the United States and the Far East for over twenty years. Prior to entering journalism he worked as a design engineer with Ford Motor Company at locations in England, Germany, Holland and Belgium.

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