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Indian origin scientist develop hack-proof chip

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New York: An Indian origin researcher has made a breakthrough in developing a new type of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip which is virtually impossible to hack. This chip would prove to be beneficial in preventing your credit card number or key card information from being stolen.

Chiraag Juvekar, the graduate student in electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said the chip is designed to prevent so called side-channel attacks.

Side-channel attacks analyze patterns of memory access or fluctuations in power usage when a device is performing a cryptographic operation, in order to extract its cryptographic key.

“The idea in a side-channel attack is that a given execution of the cryptographic algorithm only leaks a slight amount of information,” Juvekar said.

“So you need to execute the cryptographic algorithm with the same secret many, many times to get enough leakage to extract a complete secret,” he explained.

One way to thwart side-channel attacks is to regularly change secret keys.

In that case, the RFID chip would run a random-number generator that would spit out a new secret key after each transaction.

A central server would run the same generator, and every time an RFID scanner queried the tag, it would relay the results to the server, to see if the current key was valid.

Such a system would still, however, be vulnerable to a “power glitch” attack in which the RFID chip’s power would be repeatedly cut right before it changed its secret key.

An attacker could then run the same side-channel attack thousands of times, with the same key.

Two design innovations allow the MIT researchers’ chip to thwart power-glitch attacks.

One is an on-chip power supply whose connection to the chip circuitry would be virtually impossible to cut and the other is a set of “nonvolatile” memory cells that can store whatever data the chip is working on when it begins to lose power.

For both of these features, Juvekar and Anantha Chandrakasan, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and others used a special type of material known as ferroelectric crystals.

Texas Instruments and other chip manufacturers have been using ferroelectric materials to produce nonvolatile memory or computer memory that retains data when it’s powered off.

Along with Texas Instruments that has built several prototypes of the new chip, the researchers presented their research at the “International Solid-State Circuits Conference” in San Francisco recently. (IANS) (picture courtesy: iran-daily.com)

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Here’s Why Automative Technology May Have Adverse Impact on Climate, Public Health

climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities

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Technology
While automative technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines. Pixabay

New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts, a new study suggests.

The gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine is one of the most prominent technologies car manufacturers adopted to achieve the fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission goals established in 2012 by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

While this technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“Even though emissions from gasoline vehicles constitute a small fraction of the black carbon in the atmosphere, the vehicle emissions are concentrated in regions with high population densities, which magnifies their effect,” said study researcher Rawad Saleh, Assistant Professor at University of Georgia in the US.

The market share of GDI-equipped vehicles increased from 2.3 per cent in model year 2008 to 51 per cent in model year 2018. The EPA projects 93 per cent of vehicles in the US will be equipped with GDI engines by 2025. According to the study, researchers predicts the increase in black carbon emissions from GDI-powered vehicles will fuel climate warming in urban areas of the US that significantly exceeds the cooling associated with a reduction in CO2.

In addition, they believe the shift will nearly double the premature mortality rate associated with vehicle emissions, from 855 deaths annually to 1,599. The researchers estimate the annual social cost of these premature deaths at $5.95 billion. The increase of black carbon is an unintended consequence of the shift to GDI-equipped vehicles that some scientists suspected was based on experimental data, according to the researcher.

Technology
New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts. Pixabay

“This study is the first to place these experimental findings in a complex modeling framework to investigate the trade-off between CO2 reduction and an increase in black carbon,” Slah said. While previous research has reported the shift to GDI engines will result in net benefits for the global climate, the researchers said that these benefits are rather small and can only be realized on timescales of decades.

Meanwhile, the negative impact of black carbon can be felt instantaneously, they added.

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“Our research shows the climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities. In these regions, the climate burden induced by the increase in black carbon dominates over the climate benefits of the reduction in CO2,” said Saleh. (IANS)

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Chinese Behemoth BBK Group Dominates Xiaomi in Smartphone Market

This year, the group has infused another brand called iQOO in the competitive Indian market that will be the first

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Xiaomi
In comparison, Xiaomi grew 5 per cent year-over-year in 2019 driven by expansion in the offline and strong performance of its Redmi Note series. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese behemoth BBK Group, the parent company of OPPO, Vivo, Realme and OnePlus brands, dominated the India smartphone market with 37 per cent share for the full year 2019, compared to 28 per cent of Xiaomi, reveals latest data from Counterpoint Research.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, the BBK Group captured a mammoth 43 per cent share in the India smartphone market while Xiaomi had 27 per cent share.

While Vivo’s market share grew to 16 per cent in the calendar year 2019 from 10 per cent in 2018, realme’s share grew to 10 per cent in 2019 from 3 per cent in 2018, OPPO’s share grew to 9 per cent in 2019 from 8 per cent in 2018. With 29 per cent growth in market share, OnePlus also became one of the fastest growing smartphone brands in India in 2019.

While Realme grew a massive 255 per cent in 2019, Vivo registered 76 per cent growth and OPPO 28 per cent, In comparison, Xiaomi grew 5 per cent year-over-year in 2019 driven by expansion in the offline and strong performance of its Redmi Note series.

“India now has emerged as the biggest market for Xiaomi, surpassing its home market China in 2019. However, the growth rate has declined to single-digit as Xiaomi is now serving a much larger installed base in India,” according to the data.

Vivo’s stunning growth in 2019 was driven by good performance of its budget-segment series. “Also, by successfully pivoting to online and aggressively positioning the S series in the offline segment with new features, it managed to make a dent in Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 segment,” said Counterpoint.

Overall, in the fourth quarter of 2019, the BBK group captured a mammoth 43 per cent share in the India smartphone market. Interesting here to note is that the BBK Group does not seem to be resting on its laurels.

This year, the group has infused another brand called iQOO in the competitive Indian market that will be the first, 5G-ready premium device in the country and would take on Xiaomi’s new sub-brand POCO.

Xiaomi
In the fourth quarter of 2019, the BBK Group captured a mammoth 43 per cent share in the India smartphone market while Xiaomi had 27 per cent share. Wikimedia Commons

The iQOO brand — which already has six devices in its portfolio in China with the most recent one being the iQOO Neo 855 Racing — would work as a separate legal entity in the country. With this brand, the BBK Group will now have five brands — OnePlus, Vivo, OPPO, Realme and now iQOO — to take on its rivals in India in 2020.

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“We aim to sell 10 lakh iQOO devices next month in India. It will be 100 per cent ‘make in India’ premium device focused on strong performance, design innovation and 5G-ready,” Gagan Arora, Director-Marketing, iQOO India, recently told IANS. (IANS)

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Smartphone Giant Vivo To Introduce iQOO Premium Phone in India Next Month

Vivo grew 76 per cent (year-on-year) in 2019 and 134 per cent in Q4, driven by good performance of its budget segment series

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Vivo
Vivo captured 21 per cent market share to reach the second spot as Samsung slipped to third place with 19 per cent market share. IANS

Chinese handset maker Vivo is set to introduce a premium smartphone under the iQOO sub-brand in India next month.

The brand, which has focused on the Chinese market, is planning to expand presence to more markets. The global expansion would begin next month, when it would launch its first flagship phone in India, Android Central reported on Friday.

Meanwhile, the smartphone player created history by grabbing the second spot in the Indian smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Vivo captured 21 per cent market share to reach the second spot as Samsung slipped to third place with 19 per cent market share. Xiaomi topped with 27 per cent market share, according to Counterpoint Research.

Vivo
Chinese handset maker Vivo is set to introduce a premium smartphone under the iQOO sub-brand in India next month. Wikimedia Commons

OPPO and Realme were other players in the top 5, with 12 per cent and 8 per cent market share, respectively.

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Vivo grew 76 per cent (year-on-year) in 2019 and 134 per cent in Q4, driven by good performance of its budget segment series. (IANS)