Development of a smart city concept at Munich Airport

Munich Airport and the renowned Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have reached an agreement to work together in the development of the LabCampus Innovation Center at Munich Airport.

Plans to launch the LabCampus future project–an innovation lab on the airport campus that will promote cooperation between companies and across industry boundaries–were announced by Munich Airport in March of this year. Starting on November 1, the renowned Senseable City Lab, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will be on board to provide conceptual support for the establishment and development of the new innovation campus. Under an initial three-year cooperation agreement, the MIT Senseable City Lab, based in Cambridge, MA, will act as a research partner, supporting the team in Munich as it turns the campus into an innovative smart city. The goal is to build an ideal urban environment offering optimal conditions for people and companies to work together efficiently, creatively and–above all–under one roof. This will provide a setting to design and develop products and services for the world of the future and to test them onsite. To make this a reality, LabCampus GmbH will work with MIT to establish a future-ready infrastructure right from the start, focusing on state-of-the-art technologies in the areas of energy, mobility and urban planning as well as the connectivity between them for optimal sustainability and livability for the users.

“This cooperation is a major milestone for our innovation site,” says Dr. Marc Wagener, Managing Director of LabCampus GmbH. “We will be working with MIT researchers to study and evaluate the most important trends and digital technologies that can benefit us in the development and successful implementation of a smart city concept.” Prof. Carlo Ratti, Director of the MIT Senseable City Lab is also delighted: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to be involved in creating a smart city from the earliest stages. It gives us a chance to look ahead and weave everything, including future needs, into the infrastructure from the very beginning.”

MIT Senseable City Lab is the first global player outside of Europe to sign a cooperation agreement with LabCampus GmbH. Research institutions that have signed on as innovation partners include FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Hasso Plattner Institute as well as the Fraunhofer Institute, which is also exploring the possibility of renting space at LabCampus. LabCampus is engaged in detailed talks with other international groups, too. For more information:

Caption: Dr. Marc Wagener (left), Managing Director of LabCampus GmbH and Professor Carlo Ratti, Director of MIT Senseable City Lab, signing a cooperation agreement on November 1, 2018 (Copyright: Munich Airport)

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IP innovates with visually lossless image compression for GPUs

Providing a reduction in memory footprint, Imagination Technologies has announced PowerVR PVRIC4 technology which provides cost savings for memory and bandwidth-constrained devices such as DTVs, smartphones and tablets.

The company explains that its new generation of powerful image compression technology will enable SoC to reduce costs without a discernable loss of image quality. PVRIC4 enables random-access visually lossless image compression, ensuring bandwidth and memory footprint savings of at least 50 per cent, confirms Imagination, and enables systems to overcome performance bandwidth constraints.

PVRIC4 is provided as a standalone IP block for SoC manufacturers, already used by partners.

PVRIC4 features a dual-pipeline framebuffer compression engine. A new lossy pipeline, used only if the lossless pipeline does not achieve 50 per cent compression, ensures that even difficult to compress ‘noisy’ images are compressed with the highest fidelity. A decision logic block determines which output should be used to guarantee the compression ratio, and highly tuned algorithms ensure the image quality change is imperceptible. The hybrid solution offers SoC manufacturers high fidelity ensuring bandwidth and frame buffer allocation savings on graphics and video content, says the company, all performed in hardware and achieved without any performance overhead.

PVRIC4’s bandwidth savings translate into better battery life and cost savings for system manufacturers. RAM and bandwidth can be freed for other uses, such as enabling simultaneous fast 5G downloads while the GPU is in use, or a reduction in the number of DRAM devices used in the system.

PVRIC4 will be available as a feature in next-generation PowerVR GPUs and is available for licensing now as a standalone IP block.

Imagination Technologies provides a range of silicon IP (intellectual property) including key processing blocks needed to create the SoCs that power all mobile, consumer and embedded electronics.

Imagination Technologies was acquired in 2017 by Canyon Bridge, a California-headquartered, global private equity investment fund.

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GNSS firewall secures timing says Microsemi

At this week’s ION GNSS+ (Miami, Florida, USA, 24 to 28 September) Microsemi will exhibit the BlueSky GNSS firewall. It enables critical infrastructure providers to harden the security of their operations from GPS threats and deliver a more reliable and secure service, says the Microchip subsidiary.

Signals from global positioning systems (GPS) and other global navigation satellite system (GNSS) constellations can, if disrupted, harm infrastructure such as telecommunications, energy, transportation, emergency services and data centres, explains Microsemi.

The new BlueSky GNSS firewall is a security-hardened system which provides protection against GPS threats such as jamming, spoofing and complete outage. It also supports a range of precision timing technologies, including atomic clocks, to enable continuous operation when GPS may be completely denied for extended periods.

Microsemi has added a BlueSky option to its TimePictra software management suite, for centralised control and visibility of GPS reception across regional, national and global geographic areas.

This second-generation BlueSky GNSS firewall has expanded monitoring and reporting capabilities, and atomic clock technology to provide security-hardened resiliency, including the ability to operate in a GNSS-denied environment for more than 30 days, says Microsemi.

Using the same principles as a firewall used for network security, the BlueSky GNSS firewall, analyses the incoming GPS signal in real time to detect a range of threats before they are able to affect connected GPS receivers and related systems.

The BlueSky GNSS firewall incorporates an optional internal rubidium miniature atomic clock (MAC) enabling continuous output of the GPS signal to the downstream GPS receiver in case of complete loss of live sky GPS reception. Alternatively, Microsemi’s cesium clocks, such as the 5071A or TimeCesium 4400/4500, can be connected to the device, enabling UTC traceable time for more than 30 days.

To ensure the BlueSky GNSS Firewall is equipped to defend against an ever-evolving threat, Microsemi updates and continuously tracks GPS signal manipulation, spoofing threats, jamming attacks, multi-path signal interference, atmospheric activity and many other issues which can create GPS signal anomalies, disruptions and outages.  Updates are available through a BlueSky subscription service.

Microsemi’s BlueSky GNSS firewall is available for orders now with delivery beginning in November 2018.

Visit Microsecmi at ION GNSS+, booth 612

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IoT connectivity box provides remote access in industrial areas

Finnish company, Tosibox, offers the Lock 500, a connectivity and remote access device designed particularly for demanding industrial environments. The Lock 500 can also be used in the security and office networking sectors.

“The importance and amount of data is constantly growing in application areas such as machine builders collecting high data volumes, CCTV in security and infrastructure, and ICT applications and office remote work, says Tero Lepistö, Tosibox CEO. “Dual-SIM slots for operator redundancy allows for even more reliable connectivity,” he adds.

Tosibox Lock 500 meets the needs of industrial customers, with features such as industrial power connector, integrated DIN rail mounting bracket and industrial housing.

It has a robust, fanless enclosure made of aluminum with IP 20 rating. The back of the Lock 500 has an integrated DIN rail bracket for easy mounting. There is also an industrial screw-on DC power connector and the power source is provided with suitable connectors as an accessory.

For IT and security services, the Lock 500’s VPN throughput is suitable for remote video streaming of security cameras. Tosibox Lock 500 can also be used for connecting demanding IT network infrastructures and for building more affordable remote business solutions.

The Lock 500 boasts impressive cyber security features such as the secure storage of encryption and authentication keys in a hardware-based secure storage, which makes copying or faking the device identity impossible, claims Tosibox. The integrity and confidentiality of the software is always verified at boot-up. All software updates are cryptographically signed and verified before installing, ensuring only Tosibox product updates are allowed.

The device holds the CE certificate, with remaining approvals, FCC and UL to be added later.

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