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EETE SEPT 2013

Apple’s iOS7: Too little, too late for automotive market, says expert By Christoph Hammerschmidt At its recent developer conference WWDC, Apple pitched its new operation system iOS7 for automotive deployment. Now Frost & Sullivan expert Krishna Jayaraman got granular on Apple’s system software. Though iOS7 offers significant improvements with regards to the interfaces and better voice control functions for the SIRI personal assistant, the announcement came much too late for the automotive market, Jayaraman said. “In comparison to other players such as Microsoft or Google, Apple’s commitment to the automotive industry remains very much out of focus”, the expert said in a statement. “Apple’s announcements regarding EyesFree and the integration of iOS7 are a predictive, reflexive reaction at best. “Though interesting, iOS for cars simply comes much too late to the market”. In 2012, Apple announced an “EyesFree” partnership with nine automotive OEMs. This even triggered rumours that this could be the next megatrend for the connected car and that Apple could potentially overthrow the hegemony of traditional tier ones and assume a much bigger role in the connected vehicle of the future. Hitherto only GM, Honda and Mercedes Benz have implemented Apple’s application. Other OEMs continue to focus on the prioritization among SIRI and their own native embedded voice processing systems where, among others, Nuance is an important technology provider. So far only GM successfully developed Spark and Sonic which include SIRI as a feature. BMW is believed to follow in one of their 2014 models. “Apple’s announcements do not contain much threat potential for the market of traditional infotainment systems in the car”, says Jayaraman. “While OEMs such as BMW reject this new solution it is ideal for several niche OEMs because they can benefit from such a pre-packaged solution”. In this context it is an advantage that iOS is already a proven and widespread platform in the smartphone market. However, while specific development and design processes as well as app shops focused to the automotive market are available, these offerings are restricted to application fields music, telephony and navigation. Beyond this, the availability of SIRI to control smartphones and native vehicle functions would be a huge benefit. “For OEMs who already have developed and rolled out their infotainment systems, in particular if they contain the integration of smartphones with all their applications and content. The biggest challenge is the alignment of iOS with current OEM developments. Apple needs to find a way to make iOS7 downwards compatible by collaborating with OEM’s aftermarkets departments and find a solution which is compatible with older cars.” Memory magnetization technique offers faster computing and lower power consumption By Paul Buckley Researchers in Israel have developed a simple magnetization technique which may lead to a new generation of faster, smaller, less expensive and lower power consumption memory technologies. Memory devices like disk drives, flash drives and RAM are an essential component of our computers, phones, electronic appliances and cars. Yet current memory devices have drawbacks: dynamic RAM memory has to be refreshed periodically, static RAM data is lost when the power is off, flash memory lacks speed, and all existing memory technologies are challenged when it comes to miniaturization. Prof. Yossi Paltiel and research student Oren Ben-Dor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Harvey M. Krueger Family Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, together with researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science, have developed a simple magnetization technique that, by eliminating the need for permanent magnets in memory devices, opens the door to many technological applications. The research deals with the flow properties of electron charge carriers in memory devices. According to quantum mechanics, in addition to their electrical charge, electrons also have a degree of internal freedom called spin, which gives them their magnetic properties. The new technique, called magnetless spin memory (MSM), drives a current through chiral material and selectively transfers electrons to magnetize nano magnetic layers or nano particles. With this technique, the researchers showed it is possible to create a magnetic-based memory device that does not require a permanent magnet, and which could allow for the miniaturization of memory bits down to a single nanoparticle. The potential benefits of magnetless spin memory are numerous. The technology has the potential to overcome the limitations of other magnetic-based memory technologies, and could make it possible to create inexpensive, high-density universal memory-on-chip devices that require much less power than existing technologies. Compatible with integrated circuit manufacturing techniques, it could allow for inexpensive, high density universal memoryon chip production. According to the Hebrew University’s Prof. Paltiel, “Now that proof-of-concept devices have been designed and tested, magnetless spin memory has the potential to become the basis of a whole new generation of faster, smaller and less expensive memory technologies. 16 Electronic Engineering Times Europe September 2013 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE SEPT 2013
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