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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Wind River buys embedded security specialist Star Lab

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Highlighting the vital importance of security in embedded systems, Wind River has acquired a US company that specialises in software for Linux cybersecurity and anti-tamper, virtualization, and cyber resiliency.

Star Lab has developed a system protection and anti-tamper toolset for Linux, a secure open source-based hypervisor, and a secure boot solution: 

  • Security Suite: The suite offers robust Linux cybersecurity and anti-tamper capabilities for operationally-deployed Linux systems and distributions.
  • Embedded Hypervisor: Designed specifically for use in open, hostile computing environments, the Xen-based hypervisor offers a secure open source virtualization solution for embedded mission systems.
  • Secure Boot: A measured-boot solution ensures that firmware and boot code is legitimate and has not been maliciously modified or manipulated.
Historically, embedded devices have functioned in isolation, deployed to environments minimally connected to the outside world. However, with the emergence of ubiquitous connectivity paradigms such as IoT and remotely monitored/autonomously controlled industrial and transportation systems, today's cyber threat landscape is rapidly evolving. Central to this evolution is the ease with which a focused and resourced adversary can acquire and reverse engineer deployed embedded systems. In addition to modification or subversion of a single specific device, hands-on physical access also aids an attacker in discovery of remotely-triggerable software vulnerabilities.

"The Star Lab offering is a perfect complement and extension to the Wind River portfolio, and addresses a growing trend where Linux cybersecurity and anti-tamper capabilities are becoming a requirement across industries such as aerospace, automotive, defense, and industrial," said Jim Douglas, president and CEO of Wind River. "Our customers want to create security-based differentiation in their product lines using a multi-layer security approach; by combining the security- and Linux-related strengths of both companies, we believe we will be able to deliver immediate increased value and a competitive advantage."

The Star Lab software is developed with a secure-by-design engineering philosophy, leveraging design patterns that reduce attack surface, isolate critical functionality and contain or mitigate even successful attacks. Its products, which are conformant with NIST 800-53 technical controls for US federal information systems and consistently pass independent verification/validation testing.#

"With advances in technology far outpacing corresponding advances in security, the Star Lab security philosophy is to assume compromise and design a system that prioritizes protectability, resiliency, and recoverability," said Irby Thompson, CEO of Star Lab. "Like Wind River, the Star Lab portfolio was launched with the sole focus of building products that are uncompromising in their ability to protect mission-critical systems. Becoming part of the Wind River family will not only strengthen our value and offerings to our current aerospace and defence clients, but also allow us to scale to new opportunities faster, as well as expand our reach into new vertical markets."

www.windriver.com

Monday, January 13, 2020

Bluetooth module deal aims to boost battery life

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Atmosic Technologies has teamed up with IoT module developer Tonly Electronics on a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module to extend battery lie.

The TBMO2 module will use Atmosic’s M2 system-on-chip (SoC), which implements 'Lowest Power Radio' and On-Demand Wake Up technologies, to enable significantly longer battery life for IoT applications. 

“We built our M2 solutions from the ground up to revolutionize the IoT market with ‘forever battery life.’ We are excited to enable device makers to more quickly and easily develop smart devices from smart home products to wearables to consumer electronics with our cutting-edge low power and wake up technologies,” said David Su, CEO of Atmosic. “Our collaboration with Tonly for the TBMO2 module is another step forward to dramatically reducing IoT devices’ dependence on batteries.”

“The TBMO2 module is a true game changer for the IoT market, providing a compact, highly integrated module for the development of next generation IoT devices with extended battery life,” said Tonly’s SVP, David Huang. “This new solution continues our commitment to providing companies with total wireless solutions to bring consumers the latest features like voice computing and AI.”

The module is aimed at wearables, smart home products (including lighting, plugs and switches), consumer electronics, smartphones and tablets, medical devices, logistics and tracking sensors, building and environment monitoring applications, human-machine interface devices, RFID tags and security badges and more. 

Tonly Electronics Holdings in Hong Kong develops audio and video products as well as wireless smart interconnectivity products.

ARM's digital twin deal ... Sony builds an electric car ... Dialog looks to switched capacitor designs

Power news this week from eeNews Europe By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

. ARM deal boosts digital twin design of cars

. Maxim, Monolithic Power battle over DC-DC converter patents

. ABB rolls out second phase of high power fast charger network across Europe

. TT Electronics buy boosts US defence power supply business

POWER TECH TO WATCH
. Sony shows concept electric vehicle platform


. Energy storage system uses solid state battery


. Dialog Semi looks to switched capacitor for DC-DC converters

POWER PRODUCTS
. 40W DC-DC converter targets industrial use


. SMT DC-DC converter series with 1W single and dual outputs


. PMIC shrinks power supplies for displays

TECHNICAL PAPERS

. Easily Analyze EMI problems with oscilloscopes


Flex teams to boost supply chain for IoT sensor nodes

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Contract manufacturer Flex has teamed with QuickLogic and Infineon Technologies on a design kit and a System-in-Package (SiP) for high volume production of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. 

The 12 x 12mm SiP is part of the FLEXino Sensor Fusion Development Kit for rapid prototyping of sensor fusion IoT products requiring audio, pressure and motion sensing, Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities. The aim is to move the designs quickly into volume production.

The development kit contains an ESP32 controller board with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity and a sensor fusion daughter board, created in collaboration with QuickLogic and Infineon. The daughter board integrates QuickLogic’s EOS S3 SoC platform with Infineon’s DPS310 digital barometric pressure sensor and IM69D130 digital MEMS microphone in addition to a 6-axis IMU and a 64Mb SPI flash.

This daughter board has been miniaturised to create the SiP using Flex proprietary packaging processes and this frees the selected host processor from the sensor fusion workloads. The Flex proprietary SiP form factor can be customised for different sensor fusion applications and easily integrates into new or existing products.

The kit is compatible with the Adafruit Feather ecosystem and the hardware configuration addresses several use cases, as the sensor fusion algorithm is software configurable.

“The FLEXino Sensor Fusion Development Kit and SiP are designed to help bring a variety of next-generation and existing IoT devices to market faster,” said Dave Gonsiorowski, vice president of  Innovation Services & Solutions at Flex. “A significant challenge with IoT design today is the availability of flexible integrated development kits that easily transition to high-volume manufacturing. We are proud to have collaborated with QuickLogic and Infineon and provide a solution that enables customers across several industries to design products at unprecedented speeds.”

“Flex and QuickLogic worked closely together to integrate our EOS S3 SoC ultra-low power voice and sensor processing platform with their FLEXino Sensor Fusion Development Kit and SiP,” said Brian Faith, chief executive officer of QuickLogic. “The development kit includes a sensor fusion daughter board featuring the EOS S3 SoC, and the SiP version miniaturizes the same functionality into a single package that can be used for volume production. By working with Flex and Infineon, we are able to deliver sensor fusion customers a complete and seamless development path.”

“The collaboration is another step by Infineon to make the products we use every day smarter using our advanced sensor and sensor fusion software technologies,” said Philipp Von Schierstaedt, vice president and general manager, Radio Frequency and Sensors at Infineon Technologies. “The development kit combined with Infineon’s digital sensors and microphones delivers seamless, effortless interactions between people and the next generation of IoT devices across multiple industries.”

The FLEXino Sensor Fusion Development Kit is available now, and the System-in-Package is scheduled to be available the first quarter of 2020. 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

MicroEJ teams with NXP for wearables

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

MicroEJ has teamed up with NXP to put its virtualisation technology on small processors for wearable devices. 

The deal means the MicroEJ Virtual Execution Environment (VEE) can be used on the latest i.MX RT devices that are aimed at appliances and wearables.

Constrained by a small, potentially round screen size, and a high pressure on electronic costs, wearable manufacturers have to constantly juggle between the quality of the graphical user interfaces and the processor size. MicroEJ’s virtualisation software makes design easier and faster: programmers quickly develop their product on virtual devices with fast iteration cycles, reuse user interface components, and cutting-edge languages technologies to design sharp graphics and fonts in vector format, smooth scrollbars and animations, with easy to manage activity applications for best-in-class user experience.

MicroEJ VEE extends across NXP’s MCU and microprocessor extensive portfolio -  from the LPC and Kinetis MCUs to the i.MX RT crossover MCUs and i.MX applications processors, optimised for for each specific design. The memory footprint of under 50KB provides energy saving by using hardware accelerators, multi-cores, its smart RAM optimization, its  low deep sleep consumption, and its optimal BSP integration.

The combined solution includes an application store in order to store, reuse, share and deliver software components (virtual devices, hardware device references and applications), compatible across NXP’s portfolio. It allows customers to create secure app-oriented connected ecosystem, speed-up their time-to-market and scale-up product functionality in order to stay in touch with customer expectations.

“MicroEJ technology is currently used on millions of IoT devices across the world, and the demand is expanding amongst manufacturers,” said Dr. Fred Rivard, CEO of MicroEJ. “By using the combined solutions from both NXP and MicroEJ, a customer can now achieve highly desirable IoT products, produced in less time, at a very attractive price.”

“MicroEJ’s virtualisation technology with NXP’s i.MX RT crossover MCU brings a highly integrated solution for wearable and appliance applications,” said Joe Yu, Vice President and General Manager of the Low-Power MPU & MCU Product Line at NXP Semiconductors .“This collaboration helps free customers from the complexity of design, allowing them to spend more time in other areas and accelerate their time to market.”


Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Murata uses Google TPU for smallest AI edge module

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Murata Electronics has launched the world’s smallest artificial intelligence (AI) module using a chip from Google.

The Coral Accelerator Module uses Google’s Edge TPU ASIC for processing at the edge. Miniaturization is key as all board space must be optimized to achieve highly robust functionality in space constrained operations. The result of this collaboration is a solution that speeds up the algorithmic calculations required to execute AI.

“The Coral Accelerator Module is a brilliant offering, and Murata delivers an important building block for the AI Edge ecosystem. This module is a game-changer in enabling the next generation of intelligent devices. The trust Google placed in our technology, process, and material leadership speaks volumes about the robustness of Murata’s Multi-Chip Module process,” stated Sean Kim of Murata’s Connectivity product marketing group.

“Coral enables new applications of on-device AI across many industries, from manufacturing to healthcare to agriculture. Working with Murata to make the Coral Accelerator Module – with Google Edge TPU – available in a robust, solderable, and easy-to-integrate package means that more customers can include Coral intelligence inside their products in more environments,” said Vikram Tank, Product Manager for Coral.

The goal of Coral is to enable AI applications running at the device level to quickly move from prototype to production. Coral provides the complete toolkit of hardware components, software tools, and pre-compiled models for building devices with local AI. The AI module is an integral part of the fully integrated Coral platform, which can be implemented in a myriad of applications across numerous industries.

Murata worked closely with Coral to ensure that the AI module helped enable the flexibility, scalability, and compatibility for integration into applications deploying the Coral technology. Toward this end, Murata leveraged its global resources and decades of R&D in the areas of high-density design and component integration.

The Coral Accelerator Module will be available for sale in early 2020 through the Coral website at www.coral.ai.

Monday, January 06, 2020

VARTA's European battery deal ... Sub-zero LEGO .... Rivian's $3bn electric truck funding ... Wireless powered cricket ball at CES

Power news this week from eeNews Power by Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

. €180m VARTA deal drives European silicon battery development


. Top power articles in 2019


. Wingtech completes takeover of Nexperia


. Top 8 battery gigafactory plans in 2019


. Rivian tops $3bn for electric truck development

POWER TECH TO WATCH
. Free space wireless charging a smart cricket ball


. Wireless battery management system for electric vehicles


. LEGO blocks cooled to milliKelvins for quantum computing


. Top silicon carbide articles in 2019


. World's largest UHV demonstrator adds bifacial solar panels


POWER PRODUCTS


. 300W AC-DC reference design uses 650V GaN transistors


. Fast charging lithium aqueous battery


. Dev kit for wireless charging smart glasses


. Tiny battery-free pacemaker is wirelessly charged

VxWorks support for automotive network processors adds edge-to-cloud analytics

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Wind River has added support for the VxWorks real time operating system and virtualization on the latest NXP S32G vehicle network processors in automotive embedded designs.

The new processors combine hardware security; ASIL D safety; high-performance processing; and network acceleration for service-oriented gateways, domain controllers, and safety coprocessors.

Making both VxWorks and Helix Virtualization Platform board support packages (BSPs) available for the S32G enables service-oriented gateways for over-the-air (OTA) deployment of new capabilities and edge-to-cloud analytics, as well as ASIL D functional safety to support autonomous driving applications. This is a key part of the shift to simplified domain and zonal-based vehicle architectures with reference system designs.

"Next-gen vehicle systems will be inundated with data and must be able to handle dynamic workloads while also keeping security and safety a top priority," said Michel Genard, vice president of Product at Wind River. "Through our ongoing work with NXP, we can help our mutual customers overcome technology and business challenges in order to reach their automated driving objectives."

"Connected and autonomous cars must be ready to securely and intelligently capture and process increasingly massive amounts of data in real time," said Ray Cornyn, vice president and general manager of Vehicle Network Processors at NXP Semiconductors. "By working closely with partners such as Wind River, NXP can deliver customers with the security, safety, and high-performance needs required by service-oriented gateways and domain controllers."

The move is important as VxWorks is certified to ISO 26262 ASIL D by TÜV SÜD and used in over 550 safety certification programs by more than 350 customers across multiple industries.

Wind River Helix Virtualization Platform (Helix Platform) is an edge compute software platform for future-proofing critical infrastructure systems. It comprises of VxWorks along with virtualization technology, integrated with Wind River Linux and Wind River Simics for system simulation. The Helix Platform also meets the certification requirements of the ISO 26262, DO-178C, and IEC 61508 safety standards.

www.windriver.com/markets/automotive/.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Top stories in December on the Embedded blog

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk
Kontron expands COMe Type 6 boards with AMD Ryzen processors
Posted by Nick Flaherty
615

Advantech launches palm-sized PC with Atom 3900 for IoT
Posted by Nick Flaherty
178
Atmosic chooses CEVA for battery-free Bluetooth 5 IoT chip
Posted by Nick Flaherty
118
Infineon teams with Klika Tech on smart buildings
Posted by Nick Flaherty
103
AMD gets back into the embedded market with focus on mini PCs
Posted by Nick Flaherty
102
CodeGuru gives automated code reviews and application performance recommendations
Posted by Nick Flaherty
87
Renesas consolidates its energy harvesting controller family
Posted by Nick Flaherty
87
PICMG finalises pin out for high performance COM modules
Posted by Nick Flaherty
70

50GOPS at 50mW for IoT AI edge processor
Posted by Nick Flaherty
68

Packet-based power ... Teslas's Berlin plans ... Battery minerals from deep sea nodules ... Power supply for immersed computing
Posted by Nick Flaherty
62

Mini-ITX board has 14nm Coffee Lake six core processor
Posted by Nick Flaherty
57

Smart hub combines wired and wireless protocols
Posted by Nick Flaherty
53

Smallest 100nF capacitors for 5G phones ... startup creates network of power packs ... Nexeon silicon anode patents
Posted by Nick Flaherty
53
ThreadX sale sets up Microsoft vs Amazon IoT showdown
Posted by Nick Flaherty
43

Quad core Smart Audio board adds Google Assistant
Posted by Nick Flaherty
39

Hybrid wafers with GaN on Si ... Spin computing slashes power ... In-panel batteries to boost storage
Posted by Nick Flaherty
31

Wireless charging tags and pacemakers ... GaN transistors for space and avionics
Posted by Nick Flaherty
30

Kontron Box PC industrial controllers use Intel Core and Xeon E processors
Posted by Nick Flaherty
29

Adlink teams for machine vision AI at the edge
Posted by Nick Flaherty
22

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Smart hub combines wired and wireless protocols

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Bridgetek has launched a smart hub that combines wired and wireless protocols for building automation.

The technology is used in the recent PanL Smart Living and PanL Room Manager systems. The PanL Hub enables installers to incorporate various different communication technologies into their system deployments, so that greater functionality can be derived while still ensuring maximum user convenience and keeping down costs.

In terms of wireless connectivity options, Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), ZigBee and RF433 protocols are all included, plus more specialist OEM-specific protocols like Hue, DALI and DMX512. Consequently, the PanL Hub is able to interact with the broadest possible variety of wireless smart devices (both sensors and actuators) within environments like homes, offices, hotels, retail outlets, etc. There are no limitations imposed by the communication technology of the device, thereby allowing control of everything (heating, lighting, air conditioning, room/building access and so on) directly through intuitive PanL-based user interfaces.

The wireline connectivity allows the PanL Hub to hook up to the building’s existing Ethernet (10/100 Base-T) infrastructure through standard CAT 5/6 cabling, with PoE capabilities meaning that power can be drawn via this route, as well as using it for data transfer. 

There are 2 different configurations available - with the PanL Hub 44 featuring 4 serial ports for display unit connection and the PanL Hub 80 expanding that to a total of 8 serial ports for this purpose. The PanL Hub 44 can connect directly to 8 PanL70/PanL70Plus display units through these serial ports (with another 4 serial ports dedicated to interfacing with sensors), while the PanL Hub 80 can connect to 16 of these. There is scope for multiple hubs to be hooked up to the network and cascaded - so that any size of office facility or residential complex can potentially be addressed.

The foundation of the PanL Hub is a 64bit quad-core ARM Cortex A53 microcontroller with 1GB of low-power DDR2 RAM memory resource and 4GB of embedded flash available. It runs the Linux operating system to simplify the integration into different building automation scenarios and to adapt it if needed.
www.brtchip.com