Most Read articles – Prestwick Spaceport, automotive MCUs, TSMC Fabs

What are the topics covered this week? There’s progress at Prestwick Spaceport, Siemens extending its mechanical prediction capabilities, TT Electronics buying Ferranti P&C, automotive MCUs with functional safety AI and a chilling U.S. paper about disabling fabs in Taiwan…

5. Prestwick Spaceport plans for position in European space race
A planning application notice for Prestwick Spaceport has been filed, flagging the spaceport’s progress among the UK’s seven spaceports that are jockeying to achieve the first satellite launch from UK (or European) soil. The Proposal of Application Notice (POAN) is described as the first step in the planning process for Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport, which says it signals the intent to apply for planning permission in “early 2022”. The spaceport plans to support “horizontal” launches, in partnership with launch service provider Astraius.

4. Siemens extends mechanical prediction capabilities
Siemens Digital has extended its mechanical performance prediction capabilities with Simcenter 3D 2022.1. Time varying thermal fatigue helps you understand durability over real operational cycles and reduce modeling time by reading temperatures and stresses/strains from FE results. Simcenter 3D software, part of Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio of software and services, enables engineers to tackle the complexity of product development and innovation with advanced simulation.

3. TT Electronics buys Ferranti P&C
TT Electronics has acquired the Ferranti Power and Control business (Ferranti P&C) from Elbit Systems for £9 million. Ferranti P&C is a UK based manufacturer of power electronics and power systems for the aerospace and defence markets located in the greater Manchester area. The acquisition strengthens TT’s UK aerospace and defence footprint and further enhances the capabilities of their power conversion and power management portfolio.

2. Infineon MCUs for automotive include functional safety AI
First samples of Infineon’s 28nm Aurix TC4x family of automotive MCUs are available. “The family provides an upward migration path for the Aurix TC3x family,” according to the company. “It features the next-generation TriCore 1.8 and the new parallel processing unit, a SIMD vector DSP which addresses the demands of various AI topologies – this may include real-time control and radar post processing.” Facilities for secured over-the-air software updating are included, plus diagnosis and analysis during vehicle usage.

1. Disable TSMC Fabs If China Invades
The U.S. Army War College published a 2021 paper suggesting that, in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, TSMC’s fabs should be destroyed. “An automatic mechanism might be designed, which would be triggered once an invasion was confirmed,” says the paper. “China’s high-tech industries would be immobilised at precisely the same time the nation was embroiled in a massive war effort,” adds the paper, “even when the formal war ended, the economic costs would persist for years.”

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