The August 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Photo: Porsche
Photo: Porsche

This Year’s
Winning Autos

There are a few truly remarkable automotive-tech breakthroughs that have not yet found their way into an automobile, actual or concept. One of the most stunning of these is the microwave ignition from MWI AG. If that company is successful, the spectacular, factory-built Porsche 911 GT3s that run in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup racing will adopt this Radarange of a system to stay on the track longer between pit stops while producing fewer emissions.

It’s the brainchild of renowned automotive engineer Armin Gallatz, CEO of MWI (Micro Wave Ignition), in Empfingen, Germany. Backers include Wendelin Wiedeking, the former CEO of Porsche.

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New EV Prototype Leaves Range Anxiety in the Dust

Mercedes-Benz's Vision EQXX completed a record-breaking 747-mile run in May

5 min read
a silver car driving down the road with a mountain of switchbacks behind it

The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

Mercedes-Benz

Not long ago, a 300-mile range seemed like a healthy target for electric cars. More recently, the 520-mile (837-kilometer) Lucid Air became the world’s longest-range EV. But that record may not stand for long.

The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX, and its showroom-bound tech, looks to banish range anxiety for good: In April, the sleek prototype sedan completed a 621-mile (1,000-kilometer) trek through the Alps from Mercedes’ Sindelfingen facility to the Côte d'Azur in Cassis, France with battery juice to spare. It built on that feat in late May, when the prototype covered a world-beating, bladder-busting 747 miles (1,202 kilometers) in a run from Germany to the Formula One circuit in Silverstone, U.K.

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Artificial Synapses 10,000x Faster Than Real Thing

New protonic programmable resistors may help speed learning in deep neural networks

3 min read
Conceptual illustration shows a brain shape made of circuits on a multilayered chip structure.
Ella Maru Studio and Murat Onen

New artificial versions of the neurons and synapses in the human brain may be as small as one-thousandth the size of neurons and at least 10,000 times as fast as biological synapses, a study now finds.

These new devices may help improve the speed at which the increasingly common and powerful artificial-intelligence systems known as deep neural networks learn, researchers say.

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GPIOs: Critical IP for Functional Safety Applications

Understand the safety mechanisms in an automotive-ready GPIO IP library suite to detect the faults in GPIO cells

1 min read
GPIOs: Critical IP for Functional Safety Applications

The prevalence and complexity of electronics and software in automotive applications are increasing with every new generation of cars. The critical functions within the system on a chip (SoC) involve hardware and software that perform automotive-related signal communication at high data rates to and from the components off-chip. Every SoC includes general purpose IOs (GPIOs) on its periphery.

For automotive SoCs, GPIO IP is typically developed as Safety Element out of Context and delivered with a set of Assumptions of Use. It is important that the GPIO blocks are treated as a safety related logic. In this role, GPIOs need safety analysis to mitigate any faults occurring in them before the result of fault occurrence causes a system-wide failure.

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