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If you missed the live Sensor Fusion and Contextual Awareness Hangout, you can watch the playback on the ARMFlix channel on Youtube here:


You can find bios of all the participants on the intro blog here.


I asked Will Tu of ARM, who facilitated proceedings, for his 'Top 3' highlights:


1) Innovation in sensors is happening on multiple vectors

  • At the same time that people in multiple industries are experimenting with new use cases, device makers are bringing new types of sensor to market.
  • Sensors are being retro-fitted into agriculture, industry and other settings to pull little data into closed loop, big data decision making - leading to more effective and efficient businesses.
  • The cross section of multiple types of sensor data is where the value is - John Logan of Atmel referenced fitness trackers, which with the addition of heart rate data to movement and activity tracking are now much more insightful health devices.

2) But some of the challenges are the same...

  • Most sensor applications fall into the 'always on' category - this requires low power devices, particularly for battery powered wearables or remotely deployed sensing platforms.
  • At the same time, there is a greater demand for processing power to interpret multiple streams of raw data and provide useful information to applications.
  • Power versus Performance - but at a different scale that varies between every application!

3) Ecosystem is key

  • The companies innovating with sensors are diverse. Some, like mobile developers, have strong software expertise. Others, like small embedded device builders, may not.
  • Partners like Hillcrest Labs Labs and Bosch Sensortec help match solutions to the level of expertise and experience a product development team has.
  • Turn key solutions, be they hardware or software, will enable players without pre-existing expertise to innovate and bring new ideas to market.


The second point really jumped out at me as playing to what many would call the core strengths of ARM and our partners - including that balancing of power versus performance in ever more varied and demanding applications.


Enjoy the show!

Admittedly, some of us are just not cut out to be bartenders. The idea of having to mix various ingredients, let alone measure the right amounts, can be overwhelming. But what if there was a simple tool that could help ease this pain and have you whip up the perfect cocktail every time? Thanks to Magnified Self, that may soon be a reality. Meet MixStik.


From the creators of the B4RM4N smart cocktail shaker, this lightsaber-like device works by guiding you through the mixology process with variously-colored LEDs that light up to the level which you need to pour. Essentially a less bulky, more user-friendly iteration of its predecessor, MixStik goes inside a glass and connects with its accompanying smartphone app via Bluetooth. From there, you can choose your desired drink, calibrate it from a selection of different glass sizes, and then proceed to follow the instructions on your phone and the wand.

Beginning at the bottom and working your way up, the MixStik’s LEDs will illuminate instructing you to add the right amount of each ingredient, respectively. For instance, it will glow yellow for an ounce of tequila, green for a lime juice, blue for ice and red for some grenadine, until you’ve completed your delicious concoction, whether that’s a Tom Collins, a Mojito or a ****** Mary. MixStik will even suggest which cocktails you can make based on the bottles of alcohol you have handy.


Aside from its 24 embedded RBG LEDs, the gadget features with an ARM Cortex-M0+ core, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and a USB port for recharging its Li-ion battery. Impressively, one smartphone can drive up to five sticks — certainly great news for the sociable sort who likes to throw parties. MixStik even also has small rubber spikes at its bottom tip to provide you with a a better grip and act as a muddler to squish mint and other soft ingredients. It can, of course, be used to stir the mix as well.

Streamlining a drink’s recipe is only one of MixStik’s capabilities, though. The developers have created an open API, which will enable users to tinker around with the wand’s light functions and motions sensors. Equipped with a three-axis accelerometer, this opens up endless possibilities from interactive lightsabers to drinking games to fashion accessories. Not to mention, simply enter text and use the in-app camera settings to capture some beautiful light painting.


Sound like your cup of (Long Island Iced) tea? Head over to Kickstarter, where the Magnified Self team is seeking $39,000. From the look of things, MixStik has already experienced much greater success than B4RM4N and is well on its way to surpassing its pledge goal. Delivery is expected to begin March 2016.

This blog post originally appeared on Atmel Bits & Pieces.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—If the supply chain was the linchpin of electronics design in recent decades, today the ecosystem has taken root. And amid the dizzying pace of  design innovation and market demands, sometimes you have to pause for a bit, survey the landscape and get current.

Drone demo TechCon 2014.jpg

There’s no better place to do that than ARM TechCon 2015, which runs Nov. 10-12 here at the convention center.

Bigger and more comprehensive than ever, ARM TechCon boasts more than 100 technical sessions, five industry expert keynotes, the popular ARM Training Day, the Software Developers Workshop, ARM mbed Zone and more, packed into those days.

If you haven’t registered, here’s the place to start.

Here are some highlights of what you can expect:

  • Headlining our keynotes this year will be Google Developer Advocate Colt McAnlis, who has evangelized about the need for compression techniques to address the exploding data demands of our time. UBM Editor Janine Love pulled him aside recently and offers this engaging portrait of a man intrigued by the possibilities of networked Pop-Tarts.
  • ARM TechCon Training Day is back this year, with in-depth training sessions from the likes of Hardent, Doulous, Feabhas, my ARM colleague Chris Shore . Here’s a preview of the day and Shore’s thoughts as well (Looking ahead to TechCon 2015)
  • Software Developers Workshop is an opportunity to gets hands-on experience, insight and answers to your questions from industry experts in this one-day affair. Here’s a preview.
  • A fun and rewarding competition this year for exhibitors if the ARM Innovation Challenge, detailed here. The deadline for submissions has been postponed because of high demand to Oct. 8!

Stay on top of the latest ARM TechCon 2015 news at our blog and if you haven’t already register to attend to stay on top of our fast-moving, ever-changing industry.

For a quick rundown of what's in store at ARM TechCon 2015, check out our Chip Estimate interview:

For a whole host of reasons, this felt like the best Maker Faire I've attended. It might have been the weather, the expanded grounds, personal interactions, the great mix of makers showing their wares, but the show had a great atmosphere and there was an energy to the event.


Entering the faire, we were greeted by a 28 feet tall robot with a man operating controls within him! Pretty cool backdrop with the rockets at the hall of science...




ARM was present, sponsoring drinks during setup, with giveaways, coffee IoT demo and the huge ARM balloon that has become part of our maker presence. The coffee demo is of course a great way to let people know about mbedOS, but it also makes great coffee - and was again very popular.

The evening was a great non-stop whirlwind of conversation. It was particularly nice to catch up with the Synthetos team - seeing the great progress they are making with their motion platforms. In fact we met many friends from prior events and made lots of new ones...


So to the faire itself. What did I see and learn?


Well, 3D printers are bigger than ever - the 3D NY village was bigger than last year with more companies and makers present, and the printers themselves seem to grow bigger - especially big delta printers. The biggest by far was SeeMeCNC's PartDaddy - a 16feet tall 3D printer with 4foot diameter build plate.

Many use Pi, Arduino and Beagle for control and UI.

Exotic printer filaments were everywhere and I treated my own printers to an ABS mix with carbon fiber, and another with stainless steel!

One maker stand featured a 3D printed rocket motor / nozzle, used with liquid fuel!

Earlier at Makercon, we were wowed by the wonderful work of Danit Peleg - a fashion designer from Tel Aviv who showed 3D printed clothes moving in genuinely new and interesting ways. She suggested that if you forget your favorite dress whilst traveling, you can simply print a new one in your hotel room!

Beyond the printers, there was a huge presence by manufacturers of CNC, pick 'n' place and laser cutters. Glowforge launched their desktop laser cutter for less than $2k at Makercon, and within three days had hit $3m in funding. As I write, it's approaching $5m. There is clearly demand for these technologies. Tech shop staff call laser cutters the gateway drug to a world of making - and judging by the Glowforge example, they are not wrong...

For me, Maker Faire is synonymous with Arduino and Raspberry Pi. At this event, I could hardly move for Pi2. Windows 10 demos, a satellite-tracking ground station (built on Pi and arduino - that is now on my own project list!)

Again at Makercon we were treated to a stunning live demo of Wolfram technology - both cloud based and on a Pi2.

Raspberry Pi foundation had a booth and were actually showing the Astro Pi that will go into space later this year - in all its delightfully crafted, NASA approved, aluminum etched case glory...




Oh, and then there was the Pi supercomputer installation:



Built by Virginia Tech, SeeMore is a Raspberry Pi supercomputer made to look like a Cray (Homage to Seymour Cray).


NASA had some great exhibits, and were showing the next evolution in satellite technology - Cubesats:




Whilst this might not at first appear very 'maker', it is possible to build a 1U cubesat for around $10k, and universities are taking up the challenge. These are not rad-hardened, but use commercial electronics - you guessed it, there are some using Raspberry Pi - and there is huge potential to implement arrays using swarms of these low cost devices.


Drones are always a huge attraction, with battles and races pulling huge crowds, and with a large area given over to enthusiastic makers showing their creations - such as this Drones for Humanity example, which is frankly huge!


Other notable trends? Robotics in many forms, with makers building things that roll, crawl, scamper and both LEGO windstorms and Meccano (I think I was more Meccano than Lego growing up!) were present showing their creations, and allowing a new generation to discover the joys!


These Lego windstorm platforms are moving beyond simple micro controllers to using embedded Linux!!

For professional drone and robotics builders, Qualcomm were showing their Dragonboard 410c board. I personally think this is going to be a huge enabler for robotics, and potentially have the performance and capability to make that delivery drone service a reality...

The credit card sized board is $75, providing incredible performance (quad A53) at a very accessible price point. I think we'll see makers demoing creations on this next year...

What I really like about Maker Faires is there's always something unexpected. Creations and innovations come from all walks of life, backgrounds, age groups and technology.

I am always inspired by the makers. It's a unique place to see fresh ideas, and as usual I came away with my bucket list of things I will look deeper at - like Wolfram for AI, like getting that Ham radio license so I can track satellites, and definitely making something with that carbon fiber filament!



Inforce_6501-P2-ShieldProfile.pngThe Inforce 6501™ Micro System-on-module (SOM) is now available with three new exciting upgraded features. The Inforce 6501 Micro SOM is the tiniest module based on the ARMv7 ISA compliant Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 805 processor (APQ8084) and is a great fit for size/space, weight and power (SWaP) constrained embedded devices that require high-performance CPU, DSP, graphics, and image processing capabilities. The Inforce 6501 Micro SOM has been used to build multiple commercial embedded systems such as industrial hands-free computing/head-mounted displays, collaborative and interactive video conferencing, advanced drones, and sophisticated medical imaging devices.

  1. The Inforce 6501 Micro SOM now comes standard with an upgraded 16GB eMMC (Flash memory) instead of the previous 4GB. The price of the product remains the same as before.There’s a whole lot of headroom now to run larger applications with over 12GB of user space. <CLICK-HERE-TO-READ-MORE>

© 2015 Inforce Computing, Inc. All rights reserved.



In a recent visit to SIlicon Valley, Simon Davidmann, President and CEO of Imperas, visited the studio to chat with Warren Savage of IP Extreme.

Simon shared his passion for improving productivity in design and verification, solving problems that engineers care about, and more.

To view the video interview follow this link.


ARM will once again be at the Maker Faire in New York this week, and following the success of last year's event, we will again be sponsoring drinks (cocktail reception doesn't sound maker enough!) during maker setup on Friday evening. The event last year was great fun with the evening taking on a life of its own with lots of technology discussions, impromptu demos, and maker to maker discussions, as demos were shown and probed at our stand. Beer helped for sure, as did our partner giveaways, including Atmel boards and iFixit tool kits. One of those tool kits helped get one demo fixed in real time for the weekend!

As the chaos of setup subsided, and Maker Faire fell quiet before the weekend bustle, many of us headed (demos in hand) to a really busy Kickstarter Meetup in Queens, which again was packed with excited makers demoing, and scheming all manner of projects from media servers to what to wear on Mars. (This is a fashion city after all...)

The Faire this year is set to be even busier, and I'm thrilled to be part of a Makercon panel TECH: Cheaper, Faster, Better with Massimo Banzi of Arduino and Dave Rauchwerk of Next Thing Co. - creators of the phenomenally successful $9 CHIP project on Kickstarter.

Full disclosure - I was one of the 40,000 people who supported the project, raising over $2m to bring this incredible tech. to life... It will be interesting to see what people make with it next year (Hint - show us!)


If you are at the New York event, come and say hi. Bring your demos, questions, ideas and enthusiasm and we'll swap you for a beer! Make will be providing the traditional Paella...



Some highlights from our maker journey

ARM's involvement in Maker Faires is all about providing a showcase for the diversity of makers, their applications, and the tech they use. It's sometimes disruptive, often fun, inspiring and surprising!


From a personal perspective, I went to my first Maker Faire in 2013 - the one in San Mateo. I was going through my drones phase, and seeing drones and meeting their makers was honestly, my principal motivation. I wasn't disappointed, but I had no idea of just how much bigger and diverse the maker community was. I'm glad I found it. I'm glad I  found Techshop there too, and I'm glad I found a myriad other ways I could learn, try things and develop skills through the people in this movement. Turns out, Maker faires are full of genuine, enthusiastic, real people, making and sharing. When they're not at these events, you can find them sharing builds and techniques on YouTube and through magazines like Make. I can't be the only one who watches Ben Krasnow's Applied Science channel on YouTube!? He's a Google[x]er and a Maker!


That first experience was a typical Maker Faire experience, with sensory overload - the cupcake cars, full-size roaming R2D2s, the car covered in singing fish, drones, 3D printers (lots of 3D printers), robots (above and below water), lego cities, and so much more. It was also very clear how important Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone were to makers.  Arduino and micro controllers have become synonymous with the maker movement


Probably the biggest highlight so far for our little Maker band was winning an editor's award for our very first stand at San Mateo 2014.

Pinnacle of a huge team effort - this article in EE Times gives a good overview!



Our return to San Mateo in 2015 featured a 6 foot helium-filled balloon that required four grown men (ish) to deflate...

Rather than me describe how great the event was, here's a really nice overview of the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug9NlBGfGlU


Raspberry Pi 2 and the Astro Pi project was big news: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm_imPsbVmw

iFixit were again tearing down gadgets, which always makes for a lively interaction with the crowd. Enjoy!




We will be back to the bay area next year, and want to make it the best showcase yet, so come show us your creations, and you may well be in the limelight!


We look forward to seeing you this week in New York!

VIA Embedded has made quite a few computer-on-module for embedded use cases. They were mostly COM Express and ETX devices, but now we've just released our first ARM computer-on-module, and the first Qseven form factor device, the QSM-8Q60.


Qseven is a very interesting form factor for modules, measuring only 70x70mm, and it defines a large number of interfaces on its 230pin connector. Just like other computer-on-modules, it allows drop-in upgrades, potentially resulting in increased longevity for devices built with these modules and carrier boards.


Our QSM-8Q60 was built around the popular Freescale i.MX 6 DualLite SoC running at 1.0GHz, adding 2GB DDR3 RAM and 4GB onboard eMMC storage.

Left: the module, right: its optional carrier board with the available I/O.


For more details, check out the QSM-8Q60 product page! There's also a a writeup of the new module on LinuxGizmos.

Achieving the lowest digital and analog system power on a single IoT chip requires re-architecting and optimization.

By John Blyler, Editorial Director, IoT Embedded Systems

As leading provider of chip design tools, Synopsys has just announced a portfolio of IP specifically optimized to address security, wireless connectivity energy-efficiency and sensor processing requirements for a wide range of IoT applications.


To better understand the technical and market challenges addressed by the announcement, please watch my video interview with Ron Lowman, Strategic Marketing Manager at Synopsys.

Luke Collins at the Tech Design Forum provides a broader view on this announcement.

For a more technical explanation as to why re-architecting and optimization were needed for this IoT platform, please read the following interview with Ron Lowman and James Wu, Strategic Marketing Director at Synopsys. – JB


Blyler: You’ve listed the key iot design requirements as connectivity, security, energy efficiency and sensor processing. To meet each of those requirements, Synopsys has made major investments – recently in the connectivity and security area – to expand the company’s portfolio. Equally important has been the integration, re-architecting and optimizing the various IP for IoT designs. How exactly have you re-architected and optimized the IP?

Lowman: We’ve ported all of the soc IP functionality just mentioned to ultra-low power process nodes, i.e., 55nm and 40nm. Portions of the existing IP had to be re-architected for low power modes, low terminal voltage, low leakage and low cost. Additional power efficiency was obtained by reducing the processor cycle count and frequency. Here are the specifics:

  • USB 1.1 & 2.0 – Re-architected for smaller area, lower power; ported to established nodes (55nm now and 40nm in the future)
  • Data Converters – low power modes; ported to established nodes.
  • Memory Compilers – 0.9V operation, high-density cells.
  • Logic Libraries – Since voltage is a huge contributor to power use, the IP now supports low voltages down to 60% of VddNom. Further, the IP has a thick oxide library to enable lower leakage. It’s important for designers to minimize the amount of power leakage as most applications are “off” for a majority of the time.
  • Non-Volatile Memory – Reprogrammable EEPROM within the SoC helps save costs on external EEPROM. Also, there are no mask adders or processing steps for the NVM.
  • ARC EM- Configurable, extensible, ultra-low power processing cores have reduced cycle count and frequency which improves the efficiency of the work being preformed. This, in turn, reduces the overall power consumption.

Blyler: Does this platform have similar improvements on the analog side?

Lowman: The analog side of our Iot IP platform consists of data converters and USB PHY, all of which has been ported to 55nm and soon 40nm. We applied learning’s from our USB 28nm FemtoPHY offering and back-ported those learning’s to both 40nm and 55nm, i.e., optimizing die size, lowering overall power, etc.

Blyler: How have you handled the connectivity piece – RF and wireless (Bluetooth)?

Lowman: We acquired our Bluetooth (BT) IP a little over two months ago from Silicon Vision. It already supported 55nm down to 1v, which is a key feature for low power.

Wu: A benefit in the low power re-optimizing of IP is that semiconductor-manufacturing suppliers like TSMC and others are coming up with new innovation in existing geometries. One example is TSMC’s Ultra Low Power (ULP) platform at 55nm for which they co-supply voltage from 1.2 to .9v. But those voltages introduce new challenges. Existing USB 1.1 and 2.0 standards are well understood and have been used in industry for more than 15 years. But when your supply voltage drops from 1.2 to .9 v, the device performance is reduced by 70%. We found out that we couldn’t close timing by staying with the existing USB architectures. Instead, we had to create new mechanism to meet the requirements. This is but one example of what we have to deal with and why re-optimization was needed.

Blyler: What did you do to close timing in this example?

Wu: We worked with our ARC processor leaders to understand what was acceptable. Sometimes, the solutions was as simple as inserting a voltage regulator in the device. Then, in the USB data transfer mode, you boost the entire chip back into 1.2v. That is one way. Or you have to inject in different Vt device or faster device type to achieve timing closure. It’s been a really learning process to overcome these challenges to bring out the IoT platform.Lowman: In addition to low overall power consumption, there is another reason to move to 1.1v or 0.9v. If you have a product that can operate down below 1v, then you can really extend the battery life of a single cell AA battery. Most current solutions at 90nm will require two AA batteries because ICs at the node are already near the batteries end of life of 1.8v. A single cell battery will start at 1.8 volts for the battery but over it’s life will drop to about .9 or 1v before it just stops operating and you need to recharge or just throw it away. Developing solution at the more aggressive processes like 55nm and 40nm can lower costs maintaining the same battery life.

Blyler: Thank you.

Related Stories:

The winners of the ARM® Smart Product Design Competition each produced real world problem-solving products in just three months, all without prior experience with ARM tools.

The top five finishers were announced today, with Clemente di Caprio of Rome, Italy, taking first prize for his sleep Apnea Observer app, which monitors sleeping noises and detects sleeping irregularities.

“I found it very interesting that none of them had previous experience with our tools, and they just dove in and learned how to work with a professional tool, all on their own time,” said Reinhard Keil, director of microcontroller tools for ARM. “They stuck with it and produced impressive results.”

The competition was launched in February 2015 to raise awareness of how easily products can be designed with ARM CMSIS software components and middleware.

CMSIS is an approach to lower the entry barrier for MCU developers and provides them with everything to quickly start and see results in their projects,” Keil noted.

The winners—from as far afield as Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Tubingen, Germany, and Dayton, Ohio—were narrowed down from an entry list of 750. They will receive prize money ranging from $5,000 to $500.

I asked the winners for their observations on the challenge and what they learned in the process.


MCUDesignContest_Sleep_1.jpg1st place ($5,000 prize): Snore Detector and Apnoea Observer

Clemente di Caprio, Rome, Italy

Di Caprio, a former embedded engineer who now works as a network administrator, is inspired by healthcare-related solutions. In addition to his idea for a snore detector, di Caprio is considering a design to help prevent falls among the elderly, and a “loud sounds” translator.

His winning application runs on the NXP LPC4330, a dual-core microcontroller combining ARM Cortex®-M4 and Cortex-M0 processors. The Cortex-M0 handles the data acquisition and storage, whereas the M4 does the actual audio analysis, making use of the integrated digital signal processing functionality. The project makes use of the Keil® MDK-Professional file system component and uses CMSIS-Drivers to interface with the memory card, serial and audio interface.

“This is the first time I’ve ever won a contest,” said di Caprio. “I learned so many things, such as digital signal processing, manipulating data through Octave software and Keil debug functionality.”

His chief advice is to take care when selecting the right microcontroller, pay close attention to errata within supporting documents and focus only on what is necessary for the project.


2nd place ($3,000): WhereSat Ham satellite finder

Stephan Lubbers, Dayton, USAMCUDesignContest_Weather_PortableStation.jpg

Lubbers, who writes firmware for automotive products, volunteered a few years ago to write some code that went into orbit in an Amateur Radio satellite (AMSAT-NA Fox-1). 

“My project for this contest could provide me with the means to locate ‘my satellite,’ hear its transmissions, and provide me with positive feedback that my software is working,” he said.

His WhereSat is a portable tool for locating Ham radio satellites, which are not placed in a geosynchronous orbit and therefore need to be tracked.

The application runs on a Cortex-M4-powered STM32F429 board from STMicroelectronics that uses the MDK-Professional middleware and CMSIS-Drivers for file system, USB communication and graphical user interface.

Lubbers managed the tight deadline by listing a number of features he wanted in his design and narrowed the list to a critical subset.

He also called out the support libraries as key to his project turnaround.

“The support libraries were amazing,” Lubbers said. “In the past, I’ve had to write file handling, USB, display, and so on. With this set of tools, I checked a few boxes and had all of the support services I needed.”


MCUDesignContest_Water_2.jpg3rd place ($1,000): Water consumption monitoring system with web interface

Waldemir Cambiucci, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Cambiucci’s project was driven by a massive problem facing not only Brazil but many parts of the world: drought.

“We’ve suffered through the lowest amount of rainfall recorded for many regions in Brazil,” said Cambiucci. “While the authorities were working to solve the problem and encourage conservation, we still had a lack of tools and solutions to inform how we are consuming water in a real-time way.”

Cambiucci’s “WaterDeck” solution connects water flow sensors, water level sensors for tanks and pump actuators in a model environment, all controlled through a web interface.

It runs on a Freescale® Kinetis K64F MCU with an ARM Cortex-M4 core. It uses CMSIS-Drivers to connect to the sensors and actuators as well as the Ethernet interface, and the MDK-Pro Networking components for implementing the web interface.

“This was a great opportunity to imagine how an Internet of Things (IoT) solution could help,” he told me. “In the same way, the ARM contest was a tremendous opportunity to focus on this challenge.”

Cambiucci, chief technical architect with the Microsoft Technology Center in Sao Paulo, said simulation was key to design productivity.

“Even before my Freescale microcontroller arrived, I was already designing the simulation, choosing tanks, sensors, cables, sizing, and so on,” he said.

He also offered designers some sage advice, given the noisy conversations around designing IoT solutions: Focus. Focus. Focus.

“It is easy to be lost or start using much more than we really need,” he said. “So before any coding, try to define clearly, what your real scenario is.”


4th place ($500 prize): Framework for IoT workshops


Fernando Lichtschein, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Lichtschein is a technology consultant and hobbyist who is fascinated by the possibilities of IoT applications. But he needed a way to experiment—to join the physical world embedded systems users deal with the “more abstract” environment of the software developer.

His project is an educational platform for IoT applications, providing a high-level tool to learn all about connecting an embedded system including sensors to the ThingSpeak cloud services provider. It all sits on top of the RTX RTOS, enabling easy addition of further functionality.

The Infineon  XMC4500 platform was used in this project, and it uses CMSIS-Drivers to connect the Ethernet interface and sensors via USART.

“I am only a hobbyist, but I think that the trend to use higher-level functions and real-time operating systems is very important as the devices get more powerful and with more integrated devices,” he said.


5th place ($500): CamBot with optical image recognitionBernhard Team2.jpg

Bernhard Schloß, Tübingen, Germany

The “CamBot” is an autonomous 3-wheeled robot that uses an analog camera to automatically follow a route marked by a black line. (Team pictured left, L-R, Kai Zimmermann, Schloss and Raoul D’Uva). It uses a clever combination of a CMOS camera, stepper motors and the on-board display to make efficient use of the available pins on the STM32 Discovery board.

The image processing is all done on the Cortex-M4-based STM32F429  MCU. CMSIS-Drivers for I2C and SPI are used to connect the display and sensors, and the MDK-Pro GUI component to show the recorded image and computed path.MCUDesignContest_CamBot_1.jpg

Schloss, a software developer, said he originally planned to use the digital DCMI interface to read the camera data, because the STM32F429 has a dedicated DCMI peripheral module. But it turned out, that this peripheral module shares a lot of pins with the LCD module and therefore could not be used simultaneously with the LCD.

“Instead of removing the LCD, I chose the perhaps unusual approach of using an analog black-and-white camera and decoding the BAS video signal,” Schloss said. “Fortunately, the ADC peripheral module of the STM32 family is fast enough to provide a sufficient resolution.”

What’s he going to do with his winnings? Use it to enter a robotics contest! What else?


In addition to the five winners, there were five honorable mentions:

– Smart Point of Sales system with NFC capabilities

– Relax Player, web controlled WiFi-audio player in a wooden enclosure

– Laser pointer jitter measurement, detects hand movement with acceleration sensors

– Multiple communication bus analyzer

– Smart plant watering system with web interface.


Fourteen entries were selected as finalists, with the prize-winners chosen by a panel of judges including Keil, Jens Nickel (Elektor) and Christopher Seidl (ARM). More information on the contest can be found here.


Related stories:

ARM Microcontroller Design Contest 2015

Version 3.6.8 of the wolfSSL embedded SSL/TLS library has been released and is now available for download.  Release 3.6.8 of wolfSSL fixes two high severity vulnerabilities.  It also includes bug fixes and new features including:

  • Two High level security fixes, all users SHOULD update.
    • If using wolfSSL for DTLS on the server side of a publicly accessible machine you MUST update.
    • If using wolfSSL for TLS on the server side with private RSA keys allowing ephemeral key exchange without low memory optimizations you MUST update and regenerate the private RSA keys.


               Please see our recent vulnerability blog post for more details.

  • No filesystem build fixes for various configurations
  • Certificate generation now supports several extensions including KeyUsage, SKID, AKID, and Certificate Policies
  • CRLs can be loaded from buffers as well as files now
  • SHA-512 Certificate Signing generation
  • Fixes for sniffer reassembly processing


For more information about using and compiling wolfSSL, please visit the wolfSSL Documentation page or wolfSSL Manual.  If you have questions about the wolfSSL embedded SSL/TLS library, or about using it in your project, please Contact Us.


Download wolfSSL 3.6.8:  https://www.wolfssl.com/

Inforce Computing will co-exhibit with Qualcomm, Inc. (Qualcomm Developer Network) at the upcoming Disrupt SF 2015“TechCrunch Disrupt” event, to be held in San Francisco, CA, September 21-23, 2015 (Monday-Wednesday).

TechCrunch Disrupt is known for debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies, and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. Disrupt gathers the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, and Hardware Alley.

Come visit Inforce in the Qualcomm booth and checkout our own disruptive products that have democratized access to high-performance ARM® based embedded compute platforms (with comprehensive Android and Linux OS/device driver support) at very affordable prices. We will be showcasing Qualcomm Snapdragon processor based Micro SOMs (such as the Inforce 6501) and SBCs (such as the Inforce 6410Plus and the Inforce 6540). Take a peek at a couple of exciting upcoming new products targeted towards high-end IoT, hands-free computing/AR, medical imaging, video and graphics processing type of devices that require high-performance compute at the edge of the network. Here’re more details:

What: TechCrunch Disrupt, 2015; San Francisco, Calif.

When: September 21-23 (Mon-Wed), 2015

Where: PIER 70 (Pier 70 is located in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco)
8 22nd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Exhibit Booth: The Qualcomm exhibit booth is located adjacent to the Hardware Alley–Inforce will be in one of the demo pods.

©2015 Inforce Computing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intrinsyc Technologies Corporation will be exhibiting 'the most innovative embedded systems developers from all over the world, and at the same time the biggest European conference devoted to embedded systems development.'

Come visit our booth in Hall 2!



Stay tuned for more information on what Intrinsyc will be showcasing.

More times than not, developers are faced with two bad options: either deliver a substandard product quickly, or reinvent the wheel and miss the market altogether. Luckily, one Santa Barbara-based startup has come up with a solution, not just a band-aid but a true fix to the all too common conundrum. Introducing ZymKey, a tiny, low-cost piece of hardware for authenticating and encrypting data between Internet of Things devices.


The key integrates silicon and software into a simple, ready-to-go package that will automatically work with Raspberry Pi and other Linux gadgets. What’s nice is that the ZymKey integrates seamlessly with Zymbit’s existing IoT platform, which includes Zymbit.Connect software, theZymbit.City community and the Zymbit.Orange secure IoT motherboard that was on display back at Maker Faire Bay Area. Together, Zymbit enables IoT professional developers and Makers innovate faster with the confidence of data security and integrity.

“The Internet of Things will reach its full potential when real people like you and I begin to connect our devices and share data streams,” explained Zymbit CEO Phil Strong. “Then we can work together to solve real problems that impact our everyday lives. Funding our Kickstarter campaign is not just about building the ZymKey, it’s about enabling an entire community of people to collaborate around secure data streams and ideas.”


Ideally, Zymbit will make it easy to not only collect but to share data in a trusted manner. The platform embraces open technologies and gives people the freedom to innovate quickly without having to compromise security or performance. Aside from that, the so-called Zymbit.City will serve as a forum for those with common interests to collaborate on ideas powered by such verified and authenticated information.

ZymKey works by attaching to IoT Linux platforms, such as the Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone. When combined with Zymbit’s Linux APIs, it offers true authentication and cryptographic services of remote devices, as well as a real-time clock and accelerometer. For its Kickstarter launch, ZymKey is available in two versions: a header-mounted crypto key for the Raspberry Pi and a USB stick that plugs into the port of a Linux device.


For the RPi model, the low-profile hardware attaches directly to the Pi’s expansion header while still allowing Pi-Plates to be added on top. Lightweight firmware drivers run on the RPi core interface with software services through Zymbit.Connect. Meanwhile, the USB version adds more functionality and is usable on any Linux unit with a USB host.

“Great security has to be designed end to end. From silicon to software, from point of manufacture through end-of-life. ZymKey brings all this together and makes it easy to manage your applications and devices out in the real world, without compromising security,” the team explains. “ZymKey integrates speciality silicon with firmware drivers on the host device and the corresponding software services in the cloud. The result is a robust and secure communication workflow that meets some of the highest standards in the industry.”


Both ZymKeys are embedded with an ATECC508A CryptoAuthentication IC for bolstered security, while the USB version also features an Atmel | SAM D21 Cortex-M0+ core. Once connected to the Zymbit platform, you will have the unprecedented ability to transparently manage all of your remote devices from a single console — upgrade over the air, configure admin rights, and so much more. Additionally, you will be able to publish, subscribe and visualize secure data. Each ZymKey comes pre-packed with dashboard widget that make it simple to customize and share with others.


So whether you’re connecting one Linux gizmo in your garage to a public forum or have tens of thousands of Raspberry Pis deployed throughout the world, ZymKey seems to be an excellent option for everyone. Interested? Head over to its Kickstarter page, where the Zymbit team is seeking $15,000. Delivery is slated for December 2015.


This blog originally appeared on Atmel Bits & Pieces.

I have had two articles published on embedded.com recently that address power management in embedded software and how memory is utilized with a real time operating system …

Power management in embedded software

Power consumption by embedded devices is a critical issue. There is always a need to extend battery life and/or reduce the environmental impact of a system. Historically, this was purely a hardware issue, but those days are past. In modern embedded systems software takes an increasing responsibility for power management. This article reviews how power management is achieved while a device is operating and looks at the techniques employed to minimize power consumption when a device is inactive.

To read the rest of this entry, visit the Colin Walls blog.


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