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INSIDE Magazine #6 is Out!

In this latest edition of the magazine:


  • A hardware leash to keep AI under control by Paolo Azzoni

  • The race to connect the brain to the digital world by Paolo Azzoni

  • Sorbonne/CNRS and INSIDE sitting on the same page by Andrea Pinna, Professeur des Universités at Sorbonne Université and Chris Horgan

  • Advancing Europe’s semiconductor ecosystem by Paolo Azzoni and John Grindrod 

  • AI in semiconductor manufacturing by Gian Antonio Susto, Associate Professor @ University of Padova

  • Flexibility and full reuse by Karl-Johan Gramner, CEO at Sinetiq and Chris Horgan

  • Has the long-awaited panacea of quantum computing arrived? Or maybe not? by Paolo Azzoni

  • Innovation as a mindset, talent as the future by Mikel Lorente

  • RIAs Challenge Unveils Winners by Paolo Azzoni



Dear reader,


With the Chips JU well and truly up and running, this magazine issue makes a brief retrospective of the launch event in Brussels whose message under the banner of ‘Chips For Europe’ was loud and clear to the representatives ranging from industry to public authorities: chips are vital to European key applications and strategic autonomy. EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, emphasised the need to consolidate and strengthen European competitiveness, remarking the necessity to attract private investments to Europe, increase international cooperation and massively invest in R&D&I. But the intervention of the CEO of prominent European industries revealed a mutual understanding of the ambitions and opportunities of the Chips Act, which can be realised only through inclusive cooperation along the ECS value chain and concretely bringing semiconductor technologies into real systems and applications.


For instance, few sectors are as committed as mobility in terms of innovation, collaboration between key players in the entire value chain and R&I ecosystem, and talent attraction. Innovation is understood as a change of attitude, a willingness to integrate knowledge in an accelerated way. Collaboration is considered an enabler for strategic initiatives like the software-defined vehicle (SDV). The talent is the ability to create, attract and develop the capabilities of people, of today’s and tomorrow’s professionals. The European Automotive Intelligence Centre (AIC), an INSIDE valuable member, comprises 32 organisations from nine countries and champions the need to respond ambitiously and responsibly to these challenges, especially with regard to ongoing technology and market transformations.


During the Chips Launch Event the ECS-SRIA 2024 was also unveiled. It will provide the basis for the calls of the Chips JU and support the European Chips Act with its long-term research directions. This year the ECS-SRIA increased attention on quantum technologies, seen as the next frontier in computing technology, which are attracting a lot of attention and investment from governments, industries and venture capitalists worldwide. However, despite substantial progress and investments over the past decade, ‘practical’ quantum computers capable of solving real-world problems remain elusive due to the inherent challenges in building reliable hardware. The question this article poses is whether the long-awaited panacea of quantum computing is around the corner or not.


On the AI theme, which seems to break all the hypes record week after week, we consider the potential risks associated with AI uncontrolled development and deployment. Many are now considering the integration of constraints into vital AI HW components to tackle these risks limiting the power of AI algorithms. Leveraging the symbiosis between HW and SW to contain the potential threats in AI-based systems is a new approach that includes the idea of embedding regulations that govern and control the training and deployment of advanced algorithms directly into the chips on which they run. It could offer a robust solution to prevent AI misuse by rogue nations, irresponsible companies, criminal organisations, hackers, individuals, and even autonomous systems.


AI is really top-of-mind, from developers to consumers, from technology to ethics, and along the entire ECS value chain. Consider, for example, the semiconductor industry which has also enthusiastically embraced AI to enhance productivity and address complex manufacturing challenges. The adoption of AI-based solutions in this domain poses unique challenges due to the industry’s intricate nature and specialised requirements, and here we explore critical considerations for the AI successful adoption and also present a practical case study on anomaly detection to illustrate its real-world implementation.

We also look at the possibility to extend our brain with AI, a domain characterised by a race to develop brain implants, a solution more invasive than what we presented in the magazine Issue 4. Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain-implant company, implanted its brain-computer interface (BCI) device in the first volunteer, with promising results. While the milestone may not signify the merging of humans with AI, it marks a significant advancement for BCI, a vibrant market with several competitors offering very heterogeneous solutions.


As always we introduce to our community new members, starting from Sorbonne University and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), represented by Professor Andrea Pinna, a new member of the INSIDE Scientific Council. Andrea describes the activities, objectives and the areas of interest of his research team, along with the parallels with INSIDE and the underlying motivations for Sorbonne University and CNRS to become a member.


An interview with Sinetiq CEO Karl-Johan Gramner reveals “the link between the theoretical and the real.” The CEO compares their role to a physical architect who draws up the plan for a house and makes sure that everything is in order at the construction site but leaves the actual fabrication of the walls to another party. This approach has given them deep practical experience with third-party products in component-based systems and a knack for collaborative innovation.


And finally, in the context of the EUCEI initiative, INSIDE presents the 2024 RIAs Challenge, recently launched to highlight Research and Innovation Actions (RIAs) which has achieved relevant results and exploitation opportunities within the “Edge to Cloud Continuum”. In conjunction with the ECS Brokerage Event 2024, this initiative allows the selected projects to build a bridge with the industry, encourage the exploitation of their significant results and propose follow-ups.


Once again, I hope that the diverse and fascinating series of articles in this magazine will inspire you and perhaps prompt you to pitch your own story and/or views to us. Our INSIDE community is dynamic and growing quickly, and we encourage and value active participation.


Paolo Azzoni





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