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Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago

3 car tech trends to watch in 2020

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 7:01am

Traffic jams. Air pollution. Gas guzzlers. Range anxiety.

Modern-day driving challenges are fueling a shift in car-buyer demands. Gone are the days when drivers simply wanted a good-looking, reliable vehicle. Now they also expect advanced safety features, smoother rides and personalized in-cabin technology.

Innovations are deepening our connections with cars. Carmakers aren't just providing hardware and software - they're providing experiences.

Learn more about our automotive technologies

Here are three ways tech is delivering what car buyers want - and need - from the vehicle of the future:

All-electric future edges closer

As governments worldwide set standards for reduced emissions - and drivers demand more power-hungry functions from their vehicles - a step-change in automotive architecture is being created.

"A lot of exciting developments are happening with the move toward an energy-efficient, emission-friendly standard for vehicles," said Matt Watson, who leads our company's C2000™ microcontrollers business. "As cars become more electrified and efficient, the challenge is to increase power efficiency for better range, charging, speed and vehicle dynamics. How do we get more out of the power electronics? The 12-volt battery is maxed out for the level of electric load in the vehicle, and new power technologies are emerging."

The 48-volt system is considered a key for moving toward zero-emissions transportation, but it won't replace the 12-V system for the foreseeable future. The addition of a 48-V system can help carmakers quickly reduce emissions from the combustion engine while minimizing fuel consumption and improving performance.

As vehicles edge closer toward an all-electric future, adding power-dense silicon carbide and gallium nitride technologies will unlock the potential for reducing vehicle weight to improve efficiency and extend the range on a single charge.

"Every efficiency gain reduces emissions," said Karl-Heinz Steinmetz, who leads our automotive powertrain business. "The gains add up to a number that matters for the customer. Going from 99% efficiency to 99.5% efficiency can mean driving 50 kilometers more on a single charge."

Connectivity improves the driver experience

Connecting your smartphone to your car opens more possibilities for personalization.

"With Bluetooth connectivity in every smartphone on the planet, widespread adoption of using your phone as a key is possible and enhancements to the user experience are limitless," said Mattias Lange, who leads our connectivity business. "Before you even enter your vehicle, you can adjust your seat, set the temperature to your liking and even select your favorite tunes for the road, all from the palm of your hand."

In the future, wireless connectivity technologies may replace heavy cables within vehicles to manage battery systems, which would improve range, performance and maintenance - and enhance the overall driving experience.

"The more sophisticated these vehicles become, the more reliant they are on battery technology, and the more vital it is to have a robust communication network to distribute power where it's needed most," Mattias said. "As more intelligence is added to vehicles, cohesive distribution of electronics is very important. Down the road, who knows what role wireless connectivity may have beyond the battery management subsystem and even into more robust communications among the powertrain subsystems?"

Advanced safety features become standard

Imagine if your vehicle could alert you about a stalled car or other obstructions on the road ahead to help you avoid a collision. Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are the eyes and ears of the car, using multi-camera vision and radar systems for pedestrian detection, blind-spot detection, and intelligent in-cabin sensing.

More vehicles on the road will be equipped with capabilities to sense, process and act on real-time data to reduce accidents and save lives.

"ADAS technology today is what infotainment and in-cabin technology used to be," said Sameer Wasson, who leads our processors business. "Consumers are beginning to expect these safety features in newer vehicles, and they've become a real deciding factor for making a purchase. In many ways, the sensing technology outside of the vehicle can be used to improve the in-cabin experience."

As power level capabilities within vehicles continue to increase, they unlock possibilities for more electronic content to curate an exceptional experience for drivers.

"The driving experience is evolving in many ways, from merging your digital life with your car to up-leveling safety featues," Karl-Heinz said. "It's creating a more seamless experience."

Dan Rembold’s problem-solving skills put him on the road to cancer recovery

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 5:00am

Dan Rembold had 72 hours left to live. And he didn't know it yet.

It was January 2017. He'd been facing down a high fever for nearly two weeks and was also preparing to take leadership of three new teams at our company. He'd been diligently documenting his symptoms and his conversations with multiple doctors, hoping to get to the bottom of his mysterious illness.

"I eventually started to realize that this was more than the flu, but I had no idea what to expect," he said. After a battery of tests at an emergency room in Dallas, Dan got his answer. He had acute myeloid leukemia (AML) - an aggressive and deadly blood cancer - and his case was so advanced that his organs were starting to shut down. He would have died within a matter of days without treatment.

"Obviously, that's a tough diagnosis, but initially I was just relieved to know what it was," he said. "Engineers want to dissect the problem so we can come up with a solution. So my first reaction was to learn as much as possible so I could help my doctor get to the root of the problem."

(Please visit the site to view this video)

A tough challenge means a big opportunity

Dan loves a challenge.

That's what drew him to lead in the high-pressure environment of the business unit at our company that creates novel technologies tailored to the individual requirements of some of our customers.

It's also why he's not fazed by raising five kids and managing a farm with his marathon-runner wife, and former TIer, Julie Rembold. It's what gets him up before 5 a.m. to fit in a cycling workout every morning - with more on the weekends - and you can hear it in the enthusiasm with which he describes the endurance he'll need to take part in one of the world's toughest bicycle relays, the 3,000-mile Race Across America, in 2021.

He was used to facing down seemingly intractable problems in demanding circumstances. And he dissects those problems using the same method of thorough analysis, attention to detail, documentation and tracking that led doctors to an accurate diagnosis - and to a course of treatment that would save his life.

"In my job we deal with some of the hardest challenges the company faces, because we're directly accountable to our customer's needs," he said. "So the tougher a challenge is, the bigger the opportunity to get stronger by overcoming it. That mindset directly applied to battling cancer."

'There is nothing more beautiful than to be able to do this.'

5 life lessons Dan Rembold learned from his experience with cancer:
  1. Great experiences can come from the toughest challenges. Some amazing things came out of my situation.
  2. Be grateful for what you have. As bad as things seem, someone else has it tougher than you do. Count your blessings and appreciate the small things.
  3. When confronted with a desperate situation, set big goals and reward yourself when you get past the tough times. As a reward for making it through treatment, my wife and I planned some major trips and got VIP seats to see a concert pianist I listened to during my stay in the hospital.
  4. Take it easy on yourself and be patient. Continually remind yourself to be patient with slow progress and steps backwards. Focus on the future. Try to stay optimistic, and don't get discouraged by things outside your control.
  5. Accept help from others. Be selfish when you need to, don't worry about imposing on others and let other people help!

Five thousand miles away in Kerpen, Germany, a woman Dan had never met was waiting to save his life.

The only chance to prevent a recurrence of his cancer was a stem cell transplant.

"I told the doctor to give me toughest treatment with the best chance to eradicate the leukemia so that I could move on and live the rest of my life."

Even with siblings, there's only a 25% chance of a match, and neither Dan's brother nor sister met the criteria. Without a family donor, they turned to the international donor registry, where the odds of a DNA match with a stranger who has a similar ethnic background are about one in 5 million to 10 million.

Dan had five potential matches. Four of them backed out of donating.

But for Andrea Frank, a 49-year-old German whose father had died of leukemia when she was just 15, the chance to donate stem cells to Dan was a dream come true.

"Years ago I couldn't help my father, but now I had the chance to help someone else," she said. "Bonnie, Naomi, Freja, Lucas and Elyas can still experience a life with their father. Julie has her husband. Anne and Bill have their son. And Bonnie and Eric have their brother. There is nothing more beautiful than to be able to do this."

On the road to recovery

Remembering the 84 days he spent in the hospital makes Dan appreciate the opportunity to solve engineering problems at work every day. "After I got out, I couldn't sleep for two weeks because I was so excited to work on projects and think of ideas and things that Julie and I wanted to do," he said. "Now when I have challenges at work, I think: 'Bring it on!'"

Read more about Dan's story.

That explains how he joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's eight-man relay team for next year's Race Across America. Even split between eight people, 3,000 miles of nonstop cycling is a big step up for someone whose longest race so far has been 100 miles.

"One of TI's senior leaders once told me: 'If you're going to work hard anyway, you might as well try to win the Super Bowl,'" he said. "I've always felt that way about life in general."

Dan Rembold’s problem-solving skills put him on the road to cancer recovery

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 5:00am

Dan Rembold had 72 hours left to live. And he didn't know it yet.

It was January 2017. He'd been facing down a high fever for nearly two weeks and was also preparing to take leadership of three new teams at our company. He'd been diligently documenting his symptoms and his conversations with multiple doctors, hoping to get to the bottom of his mysterious illness.

"I eventually started to realize that this was more than the flu, but I had no idea what to expect," he said. After a battery of tests at an emergency room in Dallas, Dan got his answer. He had acute myeloid leukemia (AML) - an aggressive and deadly blood cancer - and his case was so advanced that his organs were starting to shut down. He would have died within a matter of days without treatment.

"Obviously, that's a tough diagnosis, but initially I was just relieved to know what it was," he said. "Engineers want to dissect the problem so we can come up with a solution. So my first reaction was to learn as much as possible so I could help my doctor get to the root of the problem."

(Please visit the site to view this video)

A tough challenge means a big opportunity

Dan loves a challenge.

That's what drew him to lead in the high-pressure environment of the business unit at our company that creates novel technologies tailored to the individual requirements of some of our customers.

It's also why he's not fazed by raising five kids and managing a farm with his marathon-runner wife, and former TIer, Julie Rembold. It's what gets him up before 5 a.m. to fit in a cycling workout every morning - with more on the weekends - and you can hear it in the enthusiasm with which he describes the endurance he'll need to take part in one of the world's toughest bicycle relays, the 3,000-mile Race Across America, in 2021.

He was used to facing down seemingly intractable problems in demanding circumstances. And he dissects those problems using the same method of thorough analysis, attention to detail, documentation and tracking that led doctors to an accurate diagnosis - and to a course of treatment that would save his life.

"In my job we deal with some of the hardest challenges the company faces, because we're directly accountable to our customer's needs," he said. "So the tougher a challenge is, the bigger the opportunity to get stronger by overcoming it. That mindset directly applied to battling cancer."

'There is nothing more beautiful than to be able to do this.'

5 life lessons Dan Rembold learned from his experience with cancer:
  1. Great experiences can come from the toughest challenges. Some amazing things came out of my situation.
  2. Be grateful for what you have. As bad as things seem, someone else has it tougher than you do. Count your blessings and appreciate the small things.
  3. When confronted with a desperate situation, set big goals and reward yourself when you get past the tough times. As a reward for making it through treatment, my wife and I planned some major trips and got VIP seats to see a concert pianist I listened to during my stay in the hospital.
  4. Take it easy on yourself and be patient. Continually remind yourself to be patient with slow progress and steps backwards. Focus on the future. Try to stay optimistic, and don't get discouraged by things outside your control.
  5. Accept help from others. Be selfish when you need to, don't worry about imposing on others and let other people help!

Five thousand miles away in Kerpen, Germany, a woman Dan had never met was waiting to save his life.

The only chance to prevent a recurrence of his cancer was a stem cell transplant.

"I told the doctor to give me toughest treatment with the best chance to eradicate the leukemia so that I could move on and live the rest of my life."

Even with siblings, there's only a 25% chance of a match, and neither Dan's brother nor sister met the criteria. Without a family donor, they turned to the international donor registry, where the odds of a DNA match with a stranger who has a similar ethnic background are about one in 5 million to 10 million.

Dan had five potential matches. Four of them backed out of donating.

But for Andrea Frank, a 49-year-old German whose father had died of leukemia when she was just 15, the chance to donate stem cells to Dan was a dream come true.

"Years ago I couldn't help my father, but now I had the chance to help someone else," she said. "Bonnie, Naomi, Freja, Lucas and Elyas can still experience a life with their father. Julie has her husband. Anne and Bill have their son. And Bonnie and Eric have their brother. There is nothing more beautiful than to be able to do this."

On the road to recovery

Remembering the 84 days he spent in the hospital makes Dan appreciate the opportunity to solve engineering problems at work every day. "After I got out, I couldn't sleep for two weeks because I was so excited to work on projects and think of ideas and things that Julie and I wanted to do," he said. "Now when I have challenges at work, I think: 'Bring it on!'"

Read more about Dan's story.

That explains how he joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's eight-man relay team for next year's Race Across America. Even split between eight people, 3,000 miles of nonstop cycling is a big step up for someone whose longest race so far has been 100 miles.

"One of TI's senior leaders once told me: 'If you're going to work hard anyway, you might as well try to win the Super Bowl,'" he said. "I've always felt that way about life in general."

Rich and Mary Templeton give $51 million to transform engineering at Union College and recruit more women to tech careers

Mon, 02/24/2020 - 1:27pm

Rich and Mary Templeton have given $51 million to their alma mater, Union College, to transform its engineering and liberal arts programs and help recruit more women into technology careers, a challenge our company has long been devoted to solving.

The donation from our president, chairman and CEO and his wife - the largest gift in Union's 225-year history - will be used to create the Templeton Institute for Engineering and Computer Science. It will also be used to hire additional engineering faculty and broaden the curriculum. The announcement of the gift was made on Feb. 21 during a ceremony at the school.

"The greatest thing we can do to impact community is to build great educational institutions that are equipping students for the future," Rich said. "Mary and I were fortunate to be educated by Union, a wonderful college that did a great job of preparing us for successful careers."


Rich and Mary Templeton met at Union College.

In making the gift, Rich and Mary are honoring a legacy of giving instilled in them by Texas Instruments' founders and leaders.

"Mary and I have had the privilege of learning about giving and community impact from people like the late Margaret McDermott, wife of TI founder Eugene McDermott, who selflessly gave of her time, treasure and talents over six decades to make a difference," Rich said. "We are grateful to follow the example set for us by generations of leaders who were determined to make TI a company that we can all be proud to be a part of and proud to call our neighbor."

Rich and Mary were 17 when they met at Union in Schenectady, N.Y. They took freshman calculus together and became good friends while he helped her with homework. He joined our company after earning a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. Mary, a philanthropist and community volunteer, graduated with a bachelor's degree in computer science.

"We want to be very thoughtful and deliberate about philanthropy and what types of investments could make the biggest differences that would be impactful - not just today, but in the future," Mary said. "For that reason, we feel very strongly about education. If you educate, it's the old adage: If you teach a person to fish, they'll eat for life."

"The founders of TI were our inspiration to
become active philanthropists." – Mary Templeton


Rich and Mary Templeton speak to female engineering students in a roundtable discussion at Union College.

'This allows us to be innovative in our teaching'

Union is among a handful of liberal arts colleges in the U.S. that offer an engineering curriculum. Rebecca Cortez, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering and director of Union's engineering program, hopes that adding more dedicated engineering faculty members will encourage cross-collaboration among staff to expose a wider range of students to math and science.

"The support from the Templetons will strengthen our current engineering program," she said. "This allows us to be innovative in our teaching. Engineering faculty can teach courses with some of our humanities and social science colleagues, bringing new perspectives to students."

Union leadership will also explore broadening its course offerings to include areas that may attract more female students to engineering. Sarah Taha, a recent Union graduate who earned a scholarship to study biomedical engineering, said she was the only woman in some of her engineering classes. She hopes the gift will also be used to create scholarships that bring more women into the program. "Union really focuses on equality," Sarah said. "I think having a specific scholarship for women would be a win. Mine helped me become the woman I am today."

Inspired by a legacy of giving

Mary and Rich carry forward a long-held TI tradition of giving back.

They give generously to educational institutions and other organizations in the community, and also co-led the 2018-2019 United Way of Metropolitan Dallas' campaign, which raised more than $61.6 million.

"Mary and Rich Templeton are tremendous examples of what we want for all our students at Union College," said David Harris, president of Union. "I am grateful that they appreciate they were more prepared for careers and life because they majored in engineering and computer science at a school that emphasizes the liberal arts, and even more so that they are committed to ensuring future generations have similar opportunities."

Mary hopes their commitment to giving back will inspire others to do the same.

"The founders of TI were our inspiration to become active philanthropists," Mary said. "I hope that years from now someone says we inspired them to give of their time, talent and treasure. That would be a wonderful legacy."

Fueling the next generation of advanced driver assistance systems

Tue, 02/11/2020 - 2:00am


Automated parking. Automatic emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control. Driver assistance features once reserved for luxury vehicles are expanding to more mainstream vehicles to bring next-level autonomy and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to your daily driver.

As new models grow smarter – learning, connecting, communicating, monitoring, making decisions, entertaining and, of course, helping you drive – vehicle complexity and the computing power required to process the enormous amounts of data that make these advanced features possible has skyrocketed.

“The road to better ADAS, and eventually autonomy, has turned cars into innovation hubs and put them at the forefront of technological advances,” said Curt Moore, who leads our TI Jacinto processors business.

Learn more about the Jacinto 7 processor platform.

To fuel the next generation of autonomy, our company announced the new low-power, high-performance Jacinto™ 7 processor platform that will allow automobile designers and manufacturers to create better ADAS technology and automotive gateway systems that act as communication hubs. The first two devices in the Jacinto 7 processor platform aim to improve awareness of the car’s surroundings and accelerate the data sharing in the software-defined car – all enabled by a single software platform that developers can use to scale their software investment across multiple vehicle designs.

“We harnessed more than two decades of automotive and functional safety expertise to develop processors with enhanced deep learning capabilities and advanced networking to solve design challenges in ADAS and automotive gateway applications,” Curt said. “These innovations will provide a flexible platform to support the needs of a manufacturer’s vehicle lineup, from high-end luxury cars to the rest of their fleet.”

Accelerating the data highway

Three trends are influencing the evolution of modern vehicles:

  • Improving ADAS technology and migrating to higher levels of automated driving
  • Enhancing the connection to the cloud to enable over-the-air updates, emergency calling and more
  • Vehicle electrification to reduce emissions, enable higher efficiency and power advanced electronics

Each of these trends requires enormous amounts of data that need to be processed and communicated in real time, securely and safely. Improving ADAS and vehicle automation requires a combination of cameras, radar and possibly LIDAR technology within systems to quickly adapt to the world around them. Communicating data inside and outside the vehicle requires a substantial increase in data processing. Managing and connecting the influx of data inside and outside the car is also critical to enable vehicle electrification.

And features that are growing in popularity – such as car-sharing, fleet management and tracking, car dealers monitoring vehicle health remotely to schedule preventive maintenance, and data collection for improving ADAS – all require a connection to the internet and the cloud. Over-the-air updates will enable users to do everything from updating critical software fixes to refreshing entertainment content on the go.

“The influx of information coming into the car underscores the need for processors or systems-on-chip to quickly and efficiently manage multilevel processing in real time, all while operating within the system’s power budget,” Curt said.

For more information, learn how we’re making ADAS technology more accessible in vehicles

How intelligent, automated robots on wheels are changing last-mile delivery

Tue, 01/28/2020 - 7:00am

Early last year, students at George Mason University were joined by 25 somewhat unusual, new residents. Measuring just under 2 feet tall, Starship Technologies' fleet of boxy wheeled robots were on campus to deliver anything from coffee to sushi.

English major Kendal Denny immediately placed an order through Starship's app, which is paired with the university's meal plan.

“They were this new technology that no one on campus had ever experienced before," she said.

George Mason's executive director of campus retail operations, Mark Kraner, had been struggling with competition from other food delivery services – but managing the university's own human delivery force didn't seem viable.

“It's difficult to make sure you have the right number of people in the right places at the right times,” he said.

Rolling around at 4 mph, typically delivering orders within 15-30 minutes, Starship’s robots have quickly adapted to the campus, and the students have adapted to them, too.


Read our white paper: How sensor data is powering AI in robotics.

“I used it a lot during exam periods when you don't have time to go to the dining hall and stand in the line," said recent graduate Sofya Vetrova. “It's much easier to just order from your phone. You get notified when the delivery is downstairs, so it’s very convenient and less time-consuming."

Tens of thousands of food orders have been delivered so far across campuses nationwide, including at The University of Texas at Dallas. At George Mason, Mark is looking into expanding the service to deliver mail, groceries and bookstore orders.

"Cars are really difficult on campus because parking spaces are rare," he said. “But the robots don't need them, and they can weave easily around students, so they're just like anyone else walking along a sidewalk."

The challenge of the last mile

For George Mason students, the robots simply represent convenient food delivery, but automated delivery could mean much more on a global scale.

According to the Logistics Research Centre of Heriot‐Watt University, the last mile -- the final stage of delivery from a transportation hub to the customer's home -- contributes an average of 181 grams of CO2 into the air per delivery.1  And, with the majority of deliveries taking place in highly populated urban areas, congestion is a major concern. A combination of increasing urbanization alongside the growth of e-commerce is only increasing the problem, as urban freight looks set to increase by 40% by 2050.2

“The last mile of delivery is responsible for many of the problems we see with trucks polluting the air and blocking traffic lanes," said Matt Chevrier, a robotics expert with our company. "If we could replace these with smaller robots, which contribute significantly less pollution to the streets and can insert themselves into ordinary traffic, it could have a significant impact on urban air quality and on urban quality of life in general."


Robots in the wild

Unlocking the potential of automated delivery is not without its challenges. The first wave of robotics unfolded in factories and laboratories, taking the form of fixed robotic arms that precisely repeat pre-programmed routines, safely inside fenced-off zones.

As robots are being released into the real world, and expected to successfully navigate both the diverse obstacles presented by the urban environment and the unpredictable behaviors of their human co-inhabitants, then they need to independently perceive, understand and learn from their surroundings.

Fundamentally, that requires a few things: precise, accurate sensors, fast connection systems analogous to the human nervous system, rapid data processing -- often enabled by artificial intelligence – and quick reactions. Starship seems to be achieving all of these feats.

Multiple sensing technologies are used by robots depending on their size and speed. Some use LIDAR, ultrasonic, cameras, radar or a combination of these technologies. LIDAR is often used for autonomous vehicles with high speeds requiring long breaking distances. Starship doesn’t use LIDAR and relies on other sensor fusion for navigation and obstacle detection.

Our company’s TI mmWave sensors operate at a wavelength smaller than typical radio waves, but greater than lasers. This allows the sensor to see in challenging environmental conditions – such as darkness, extreme bright light, dust, rain, snow and extreme temperatures.

TI mmWave sensors also enable accurate detection of transparent objects, such as glass. “TI mmWave brings a lot of advantages new opportunities by ensuring that if something needs to be detected, it can reliably be detected," Matt said.

Intelligent Robots

Detection is only half the story, however. Wheeled robots also need to identify what's in front of them and then judge how best to respond. In dynamic environments, it isn't feasible to await a decision while the raw data is sent to the cloud for processing, which means the machine learning algorithms need to run on the robot itself.

Our company's Sitara™ processors are specifically optimized for the low-power operation of machine learning in the robot itself, enabling mmWave sensor data to be utilized for accurate categorization in real time. For the longer term, this data can also be uploaded to stationary computer systems, where time-constraints and power demands aren't an issue, and used to further train identification algorithms, while also building up a detailed map of the robot's typical routes.

“We've all had situations where the GPS fails on us, or doesn't give us an accurate enough location," Matt said. “Supplementing this with the robot's own map can make navigation much more reliable."

Back at George Mason, the robots have been quickly accepted as part of the student community. “People like to take pictures with them and just watch them, because they are cute," Kendal Denny said. “They're kind of our new mascot."

  1. Logistics Reearch Centre, Heriot-Watt University.
  2. Supply Chain Dive.