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Coming up on November 14th is the Cadence Automotive Summit. This will be held on the Cadence campus (2655 Seely Avenue, San Jose if you need a street adress for your map app). The day starts with registration and breakfast at 8.30am and wraps up with a networking reception at the end of the day until 6pm.
I have written quite a bit about automotive as it has grown in importance for the semiconductor ecosystem. Some good overview posts are:
The entire automotive market is being shaken up by electronics. Historically, the automotive manufacturers (OEMs in industry parlance) such as Mercedes or Toyota have been focused on engines, and assembling the vehicles. All the electronics was subcontracted to so-called tier-1s such as Bosch or Delphi. They, in turn, would buy any chips they needed from semiconductor companies such as NXP or Renasas. These chips were mostly microcontrollers with some analog, built in 10-year old processes with a lot of reliability data.
There is now a strong push toward autonomous driving, via features like intelligent cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane following, and more, collectively called ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems). This has changed everything. The performance requirements mean that advanced processes such as 16nm or 7nm are obligatory for all the sensor processing, and neural networks. A big change, though, is that means that electronics is no longer something that the car companies can simply buy in, it defines the entire driving experience. Some OEMs are designing their own chips, almost all are writing a lot of their own software. I expect to see more of this, in much the same way as the leaders in smartphones design their own application processors.
Two other trends that are disrupting the industry are the move to electric traction, and the possible move towards shared ownership of vehicles. Electric traction requires a lot of electronics, of course, but it is very disruptive since it obsoletes the knowledge of how to build state-of-the-art internal combustion engines (and potentially strands the factories to manufacture them). Shared ownership potentially dramatically alters the size of the industry, but perhaps, more importantly, might reduce or eliminate the importance of automotive brands—nobody cares that much what vehicle shows up when they summon an Uber or Lyft. It's not hard to imagine cars being branded like rental scooters and bicycles, by the company supplying them not the company that manufactured them.
Autonomous driving and ADAS requires a lot of processing of data from sensors for video, lidar, and radar. Advanced neural networks are required for recognizing everything from lane markings to pedestrians. Connecting everything requires higher performance networks than cars have historically used. The Automotive Summit looks at the semiconductor, tool, and IP requirements to make all of this feasible.
The day is an opportunity for professionals involved with automotive electronics—developers, technology users, and experts—to come together, and share their vision on autonomous driving, smart sensors, functional safety, and design for reliability.
Registration and breakfast start at 8.30am in the lobby of building 10 on the Cadence campus.
The summit itself kicks off at 9.30am with a view of Cadence's automotive solutions. First, Raja Tabet on Automotive Market Dynamics and Cadence Solution Overview, followed by Robert Schweiger going into more details with Automotive System Enablement.
Next is Arm's John Heinlein on Arm Enabling Autonomous Driving at Scale.
The rest of the day is all vision, lidar, and radar. We start with Manju Hegde of Uhnder on Sensors for Autonomous Driving and the Future of Radar.
That takes us up to lunch (yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch).
After lunch, more cameras, lidar, and radar. We start with Chuck Gershman of Owl Autonomous Imaging on Solid-State 4D Camera for Simultaneous Lidar and Thermal Imaging. Next, it is TriLumina's Luke Smithwick on Lidar and In-Cabin Illumination: Dispelling the Myths About the Requirement for High-Cost Lasers, and Geo Semiconductor's Lelia Sabeti on 1-Watt Smart Backup Camera.
Back to Cadence to look at our solutions for image and sensor processing, starting with Pulin Desai and Neil Robinson of the Tensilica processor IP group: Tensilica: A Scalable Solution for Lidar, Radar, Vision, and AI.
Finally, Cadence's Ian Dennison on Automotive Multi-Technology Sensor Design.
From 4.40pm onwards, there are final closing remarks, followed by a networking reception. I'm sure we'll be giving away a Tesla...or maybe an Amazon Echo anyway.
More details, including a link for registration, are on the Automotive Summit Page.
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