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Internet of Things

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Admit it, you’re the best darn drummer that your morning carpool has ever seen. The only problem is that, as you thump your thigh to the beat of your favorite song, the world can’t enjoy the awesomeness that resonates from your leg. Well, thanks to the latest Indiegogo campaignfrom Bay Area-based startup Tappur, now they can.


DrumPants 2.0 is exactly what you think it is: a wearable musical kit that magically turns your clothing into a full band with over 100 built-in sounds. If this seems familiar, that’s because you may have come across the team back in 2013 when they successfully introduced their first prototype on Kickstarter. Initially conceived by Tappur co-founder Tyler Freeman as a prank to play on his drummer friends, the concept eventually transcended well beyond a simple stunt and into a master’s project, an educational tool used to teach teenagers about programming and music production, and finally what it has become today: an industrial, production-ready wearable music kit.

DrumPants is comprised of two wearable sensor strips and a control box, that when attached to any item of clothing, enable a wearer to play a beat by simply tapping their body. The pair of sensors can easily be removed as well, making it the ultimate portable instrument. Its control box — which is based on an Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M3 MCU — is equipped with an ultra-low latency Bluetooth 4.0 chip, an embedded sound engine for a 1/8″ headphone jack, 128 instrument sample banks and a micro-USB for connecting to a laptop or PC. Meanwhile, its sensors can be placed anywhere on the body, whether that’s a snare drum on an upper thigh or a cymbal on a knee. Want a kick drum or a looping pedal, too? Wearers can bring that functionality right inside their shoe through a set of footpads.


After the successful completion of its crowdfunding campaign, the latest iteration of DrumPants features dramatically improved software and firmware upgrades, along with support of Apple’s Bluetooth over MIDI protocol. What’s more, the team says it will be unveiling their hardware designs to the open-source community, as well as Arduino libraries and sketches for making high-performance wireless instruments.

“We will also release the firmwares needed to run the hardware: an Arduino Due library+sketch for converting sensor data into individual hits and MIDI messages, the UI (LED control and knob/buttons), and EEPROM memory/storage management. It will also include a patch to the Arduino project source code for a class-compliant USB MIDI implementation on the Arduino Due ARM processor (SAM3X8E),” the team writes.


Every musician — whether recreationally jamming out in the car or professionally putting together some tunes in the studio — can use DrumPants’ wearable controllers to play 150-plus sounds, and record, loop and edit their melodies with more than 300 music apps in the Apple store, not to mention any MIDI/OSC apps. This lets users rock out with all four limbs and create music in ways not possible with an MPC or tabletop MIDI controller. There’s also a built-in metronome for those looking to hone that rock steady tempo while on the go — whether that’s on the bus, on a coffee break, or at home waiting for a YouTube video to buffer.

Users can either play the DrumPants with headphones, or an external speaker for those confident enough to share with others. Though DrumPants were originally designed with the music industry in mind, the sensors actually provide a number of additional uses. As billions upon billions of connected objects emerge, this system will prove to be a prime example of a creative, alternative way to control those smart devices. In fact, the kit can be programmed to perform additional actions with a tap, whether that’s silencing a phone, browsing a website, switching slides during a PowerPoint presentation, interacting with virtual reality games, or assisting those with disabilities to command in-home appliances. No buttons or new gestures required.


“It’s 2015. Wireless instruments are the future of performance and electronic musicianship. A completely portable one will help you make music easily. Now, you can invent a beat or melody, and tap it out on your body—just like you already do,” its creators add. “We hope it will provide an educational base for many Bluetooth musical instruments to come: as a solid codebase to make your own DIY instruments, and as a reference for other musical instrument manufacturers to implement MIDI over Bluetooth LE.”

Geared towards the Maker crowd, DrumPants is Arduino-compatible and allows tinkerers to devise their own sensors and upload their sketches for maximum hackability. This opens up a plethora of possibilities, ranging from using it as the brain for a piezo drum trigger or plugging in any kind of resistive sensor to send MIDI CC data with bend sensors, photoresistive light detectors and ribbon sliders.

Want a set of DrumPants of your own? Head over to its Indiegogo page, where Tappur is currently seeking $35,000. Shipment is expected to begin in September 2015.

This blog originally appeared on Atmel Bits & Pieces.

Philippe Bressy has been doing a great job summarizing Maker Faire with his daily blog posts ARM at Maker Faire Bay Area 2015 – Day 1 and more recently ARM at Maker Faire Bay Area 2015 – Day 2.  My family and I also attended on Saturday and had a great time with all the activities.  It's always great to catch up with some partners as well.  A few other highlights for me:


The Light-up ARM shirt

Sandra Larrabee selected a much sought-out shirt.  It was great fun to be asked about and complemented on the shirt.  What you can't see in the picture is that it lights up.   Shirt.jpg


Still More Giveaways to Win at ARM

Philippe mentioned the cool giveaways at the booth too.  It was fun to see friends of our son stop by and Logos.jpg

play with the demos in the booth.  Love encouraging the next generation of engineers.  Thanks again to the partner donations.  Sandra also made some cool magnets to highlight the partners who donated to the partner backpack.  Stop by to enter a chance to win today!










Build Your Own Remote Controlled Nerf Gun

As you may recall from last year (My First Maker Faire: Engineers and Kids at Play), our son loved the nerf gun.  Well I stopped by this year and an awesome addition is that Freescale has shared how you can build your own.;-)  Nerf Gun Demo - Using FRDM K64F | Freescale Community Nerf Hack.jpg


IoT Isn't Just For Microscontrollers

As Philippe mentioned, the Qualcomm booth was busy showing off the Dragonboard 410c based on a quad QC2.JPGARM cortex-a53 processor.  In the booth there were 3 different video games that they build using the board on linux, android and #windows 10.  The Linaro team was showing off their demo.  Stop by and see ARMv8 for IoT in action.














Vegas Lights

Now you may not have thought much about what powers the signs in Las Vegas.  Atmel has been and has created some new solutions for Atmel.pngthese applications.  Using a SAM D21 (based on Cortex-M0+) Atmel is processing the pixels needed to display the sign.  As Bob from Atmel said, check out what Arduino Zero's big brother can do.


Still lots to see and do at Maker Faire today.  One tip - definitely take public transportation!

There’s a lot to be excited about the upcoming Freescale's Technology Forum (FTF) in Austin from June 22nd – 25th. First, it’s the 10 year anniversary and FTFlogo3.pngit’s the first time to be hosted in Austin, Freescale’s home.  Given the context of the announced pending merger with NXP this event is sure to be filled with a lot of cutting-edge technology developments.  Secondly, have you seen the line-up of keynotes?  Woz is speaking!  Want more reasons to go?  How about a Smart Home (and #iot) in action, Startups and (IMHO and biased) some cool ARM demos?  This year’s FTF has something for every designer.

Woz That You Say?

That’s right, Freescale said “Woz”…as in Steve Wozniak. Freescale is very excited to bring you the best in innovation at FTF, including a morning Steve-wozniak-1.pngwith Woz. He’ll be the Wednesday keynote speaker. The designer of the Apple I and Apple II (remember how revolutionary those were?!), Woz is an inventor, electronics engineer and computer programmer who co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne. Join Woz for a conversation about technical innovation, the evolution of connected devices and his vision of what’s next.


I was blessed to see Woz speak in an intimate setting a few years ago.  I got to know him even better this year when my son chose him as the famous person that he wanted to do a report on.  I expected Woz to be inspiring, especially in technology. What was a wonderful surprise is how entertaining he is.  He is a prankster at heart and loves to tell stories.  I predict that you’ll be very glad you went to hear him speak.


Smart Home

Freescale believes in showing technology in action.  One of the best examples not to miss is the Internet of Tomorrow Tour.  This truck has tonsiott.png of end products that you can interact with and see some of the uses in action.  There’s a lot of buzz about IoT.  Freescale helps to demystify it by showing real end products.


Furthering the trend, Freescale will have a Smart Home in the technology lab with a kitchen, living room and bedroom to show different smart home-based products in use.  See what being connected can mean to you.



Innovator Space

Something else that caught my eye this year was the Innovator Space.  Seeing the growth in Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects, many of the new innovations in IoT will likely come from new companies.  Freescale wants to make this more accessible and has provided a new area at FTF to support.  Be sure to check it out for exciting new ideas and products.



ARM is a gold sponsor and will be exhibiting in the technology lab with mbed and tools demos to help developers learn how to complete their projects.  Learn more from ARM experts on how to get your designs up and running faster.

  • Session: Development Solutions for Advanced Freescale ARM Based Platforms

    • ARM’s DS-5 provides a common toolchain supporting the i.MX range of Application processors, and the QorIQ Layerscape communications processors that delivers the best in class compilation, full multi-core debug support, and advanced profiling functionality.
  • Session: Hands-On Workshop: ARM® mbed™-enabled Development Board Solutions for Kinetis MCUs

    • Learn about - and practice using - some of the many ARM mbed-enabled development board solutions for Kinetis microcontrollers.
  • Session by Green Hills Software and ARM: The New ARMv8-A Architecture – 64-bit at Your Doorstep

    • The new ARMv8-A architecture will explode into a diverse set of markets demanding power-conscious high performance including automotive cockpit, networking and data center. Freescale’s own QorIQ, i.MX and S32V families are no exception.
  • Demo: ARM IBM IoT Starter kit based on Kinetis K64F

    • This kit shows how a Freescale K64F board and sensor board can be used to help engineers develop their next connected devices IBMEthkit.pngquickly.
  • Nespresso demo

    • This is the new and improved Nespresso demo uses the FRDM-K64F and a Seeed Studio Color Sensor (AMS TCS3414CS).  Want to know an internet-connected way to track which types of coffee people are using?  This is a demo for coffee lovers.
  • Demo: DS-5 Ultimate Edition with support for i.MX6SX and QorIQ Processors

  • Demo: MDK-ARM with support for Kinetis range of MCUs

    • The MDK-ARM is a complete software development environment for ARM-based microcontroller applications.


Stop by to these sessions and/or at our booth and ARM would be glad to answer your questions.


I hope that this glimpse into FTF gives you a roadmap to some of my anticipated highlights.  There are many more compelling sessions as detailed in the agenda.  Early Bird registration is open until May 31st.


Did I miss one of your favorites?  Let me know in the comments below.

I am here at MakerCon 2015 in San Francisco, a great example of the energy and innovation around the Internet of Things. My main message to the audience is that ARM mbed will empower people to make great products using a common software ecosystem, easily providing interoperable building blocks for the IoT. Over 50% of solutions in this space will be coming from new startups, and I am looking forward to it!   


We chose MakerCon to announce our new ARM mbed Enabled program. This new accreditation program will be open to our 100,000+ developer and partner community, and will be free of charge. The program includes categories for products ranging from microcontrollers, components, development platforms, and end products to cloud services.


You can find out more about the mbed Enabled program and products that already qualify today here:




New applications will open in June 2015. Subscribe here to get updates.

It's time for R & R ... Rock and Roll or Rest and Relaxation.


I recommend that you pay a visit to this guy:

Pursuit of Hat


-Try not to laugh.

(If you have problems with the arrow keys not working as expected - this sometimes happens, then try reloading).

I am very excited to be at the inaugural NFV World Congress at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose May 5-8 where over 1000 stakeholders are gathering to convey, debate, discuss and learn about the vision for the next generation cloud and networking infrastructure. ARM recently rolled out is vision for the optimal way this infrastructure get built out, what we call the Intelligent Flexible Cloud of IFC. I wanted to direct you to blog by Sam Fuller of Freescale putting some weight behind the concept and the impact he believes it will have. Check out Sam's blog here:

Embedded Beat for Design Engineers | New intelligent flexible cloud: Paving the way for next generation Internet


And for the complete picture of what IFC is all about, check out the IFC White Paper at:


The Intelligent Flexible Cloud White Paper


Finally, if you are yet not planning to be present here at NFV World Congress I would encourage you to change your plans and be here for an exciting week as there is a tremendous amount of revolutionary work and momentum happening in this space right now.


I will be giving my view of The Impact of ARM in Next-Generation Cloud and Communication Network Infrastructure on Thursday May 7 at 2:40pm at the event. Looking forward to seeing you here.

The dawn of cable-TV systems started over 30 years ago, marked by the need for an electronic tuning device to receive TV channels available on frequencies not able to be tuned in by standard television sets.  These “cable converter boxes,” as they were called back then, were large rectangular boxes which sat on top of, you guessed it, the TV Set.   I still recall the old 3 foot high Zenith TV set, nicely recessed in a wooden enclosure with black box sitting on top on which we would receive cable TV in the early 1980s.   These gradually evolved into analogue descrambling devices for Pay-TV systems which eventually became digital then grew, smaller and smaller and resulted in what we have today which are very small form factor “pucks” or HDMI “sticks” to decode TV.   As content moves to OTT this functionality has migrated into the Television itself with Smart TVs having Netflix, Roku, Apps and even being able to view Operator premium content through standards like Vidipath (formally known as DLNA CVP2), majority of which have been written for and have extensive support on the ARM® Architecture today.

The majority of these STBs and TVs however have historically revolved around the need for reasonably complex software/client middleware to run on the device to allow the user to navigate the content to which they want to see.   For linear content we are all familiar with the Electronic Program Guide (EPG). This piece of software has seen many evolutions from native clients, JAVA, Android, and HTML variants just to name a few running inside the STB.   This client software is still required but one major shift is happening in industry and that is this software is on the verge now of migrating completely out of the client and into the cloud.   Through the advent of high-bandwith, low latency networks made possible by the roll out fiber and the latest DOCSIS standards, wireline operators are able to leverage these capabilities to offer cloud virtualization of key applications in the home, one of ripe, low-hanging fruit applications is virtualization of the Set-Top Box.

The driving principle behind virtualization of STB is that the majority of the compute (application execution & graphics rendering) moves into the cloud and client requires minimal compute with solid video decoding capability.   All application execution is then converted to a standard video stream (e.g. H.264 or HEVC at the relevant resolution 1080p or UHD) and sent to the client where it is decoded.  Any “remote clicks” are received by the client and sent back to the server where they are processed within the application – the application itself is only delivered to a client as a running video stream.   There are several benefits to this kind of architecture:

  • Greatly simplifies the STB, the components required for app streaming has the potential to drastically reduce CPE complexity and cost
  • The EPG can be changed at will, even having different versions for different customers.
  • Unlimited number of additional apps can be made available to customers. These apps can be anything from simple weather widgets to the most powerful interactive 3D games.
  • The server app environment is componentize and secure, allows for 3rd parties to also stream apps.
  • Ability to run apps from multiple different operating systems on the same client hardware


ARM has partnered with Netzyn who is leading Software provider for Virtual STB to demonstrate this on 2 different ARM based server hardware platforms:

1.  Applied Micro X-Gene

Based on ARMv8 Architecture, the AppliedMicro X-Gene® processor was designed with scale-out cloud applications in mind, balancing CPU performance; robust memory capacity and bandwidth; and high-speed I/O.  The X-Gene processor’s core design and power efficiency in a high density scale-out server platform is ideally suited for a variety of NFV applications and fits very well into NFV definition of Standard Server.

2. Samsung Exynos based Microserver

Based on ARMv7 Architecture, this product is based on a high volume mobile phone SoC used in popular phones like Samsung Galaxy Note 3 utilizing an octacore big.LITTLE configuration with 4x Cortex-A15  & 4x Cortex-A7.   However what makes this solution unique is that it also contains a GPU, in particular the ARM Mali-T628 MP6 along with hardware video accelerators.   These type of SoCs are especially well suited to vSTB applications because applications such as 2D/3D games can take full advantage of the GPU.   The advantages of having this capability in the SoC enable better performance and density on applications such as 2D/3D Gaming which are made possible by vSTB.

The client leverages the Cubox-i2eX, based on a Freescale i.MX6, Dual-core Cortex-A9 controlled using an Roku IR remote control and gaming enabled through an X-Box 360 USB controller.  The applications shown using this vSTB architecture include XBMC, Angry Birds, CNBC, YouTube, Frogger, and TL Racing. 

Here is a diagram of the demo setup:


Both demonstrations can be seen firsthand at the ARM booth (#48) at NFV World Congress in San Jose, May 6-8, 2015.

Predictions of a trillion sensors by 2025. Will sensors supporting the Internet of Things stop at being just discrete devices? The Internet of *Embedded* Things will utilise on-chip sensors (for example temperature, process and voltage supply monitors). The opportunity to internet-link embedded sensors for mulitple reasons is on the horizon.


SemiWiki.com - How is Trillion Sensors by 2025 Panning Out?

This is what happens when Zebra's Zatar team and ARM's mbed team get together, they build a connected wine rack! The IoT wine rack is now being featured in the mbed demo room at ARM's headquarters in Cambridge, England.


Find out more here: Zatar and ARM: collaborating on the future of IoT




You’ve all been there: Upon arriving back home from the store, you find that there’s not enough milk to get through breakfast in the morning. Or, while strolling through an aisle, you can’t seem to recall if there’s enough jarred sauce for pasta tomorrow night. Wouldn’t it be great to know the answer simply by checking your smartphone? That’s idea behind SmartQsine, a smart inventory system developed by the team at NES Italia.


The system is comprised of several small pads, which are placed beneath the items that a user would like to monitor, and an accompanying smartphone app that lets them know when they are about to run out of something. Measuring just 8cm x 8cm x 1.8cm, the intelligent pads are compact enough to easily fit inside any drawer, on any shelf or atop any counter.

How it works is relatively simple: To get started, a user simply places an item on the pad and sets its current volume level. From there on, the pad will communicate with its paired mobile device, continuously monitoring and exchanging information around its remaining quantity.


Through its app, a user can seamlessly access their fridge or pantry data to see if they are in need of an item. Beyond that, they set an alarm that will notify them when something reaches a certain level, send a message to a person of choice when something is nearing its end, as well as allow for real-time edits to the shopping list.

The system appears to have been built around the Nordic nRF51822 mbed dev kit (ATSAM3U2C), and is equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. The pads are powered by standard coin-cell batteries with a life of around six months.


Users can choose between two different lines of pads: gold and silver. Gold enables the pad to communicate with its accompanying mobile app and to monitor not only what the user places on it, but also to obtain the data coming from other connected pads. Whereas, silver lacks communication capabilities and can only be read in the app after being linked to a gold pad.

Moving ahead, the team is entirely open to integrating SmartQsine into existing and future home automation systems on the market. Developers will soon be able to devise and integrate apps of their own as well.

Interested in the system for your home? Head over to its official Indiegogo page, where the team is currently seeking $80,000. Shipment is expected to kick off in August 2015.

This blog originally appeared on Atmel Bits & Pieces.

Cypress and Arrow Electronics are pleased to announce the ten excellent design submissions received for the PSoC Pioneer Challenge: Maker Faire Edition.

You now have a chance to vote for your favorite #PSoCMaker to narrow down to the five finalists of this IoT-based design competition, featuring the Cypress PSoC BLE Pioneer Kit.

The winner and a runner-up will be selected by a panel of judges and announced via makezine.come on April 24th.

The winner of this IoT-based design competition will be showcased at this year's Bay Area Maker Faire, in San Mateo, CA.


VOTE NOW for your favorite #PSoCMaker. Hurry, voting closes April 15th!




Clunky, noisy and inelegant, the ceiling fan hadn’t changed for more than a century. Big Ass Fans created Haiku with SenseME to reinvent the ceiling fan by automating comfort and home energy savings.


The technology inside — a series of precise environmental sensors and microcontrollers — may be complex, but the result is simple: Haiku with SenseME automatically changes speed as the room heats up and cools down, and it learns your preferences to suit your unique needs. Motion sensors turn the fan on and off as you come and go, and a number of other special features make this a one-of-a-kind ceiling fan.


Energy use and conservation were key drivers behind the development of Haiku with SenseME. There are 300 million ceiling fans spinning in American homes, yet few people use them strategically to reduce the load on their HVAC systems. Big Ass Fans estimates users can save up to 30 percent on summer cooling and 25 percent on winter heating by using Haiku with SenseME.


Pairing Haiku with SenseME and the Nest Learning Thermostat makes it even easier to save energy without sacrificing comfort. This integration of a connected fan and thermostat stands out because of its potential impact on home heating and cooling costs—and, of course, the underlying reduction in energy use.


Big Ass Fans deliberately takes a long-term approach to product development, focusing on purposeful and innovative integrations and connections. In 2014, Big Ass Fans worked with industry leaders including Nest Labs, Samsung, Freescale and Silicon Labs to launch the nonprofit Thread Group, a revolutionary way to connect hundreds of smart home devices.


Carey Smith, founder and Chief Big Ass of Big Ass Fans, explained the company’s interest in smart home technology. “All of our work over the past 15 years has focused on efficiency, and homes are our country’s biggest opportunity to dramatically lower energy usage.”

For Big Ass Fans, Haiku with SenseME is driving the company’s commitment to efficiency. The expansion of the Haiku product line will continue to push the potential of the smart home to maximize the habits of modern human life.


Inside Haiku with SenseME technology - YouTube


More about the Big Ass Fan Haiku with SenseME fan in the ARM Innovation Hub

If you've ever wanted to make a computer program, but always thought it's too complicated to set up the tools and environments that you would need, this might be for you.

Do you like games ? -Most people do; especially programmers.

So if you are not going to set up a toolchain, and you don't need special hardware - what do you need ?

The answer is simple. Click the following link, and start learning: Light Bot.

Once completed, try again, this time you should try and make your programs as short as possible.

And finally, try again, making your program as quick as possible.

When you've exhausted the tutorial, you can proceed the same way on Light Bot 2 (to play a level, click the small white square).

How does this relate to ARM ?

On Light Bot's home page, you can download other versions for your particular device.

ARM and Silicon Labs today announced a new set of APIs for the mbed™ platform. Most importantly, these new low power APIs will give developers an easier road to reducing the power consumption of their applications, and will be first introduced on Silicon Labs' EFM32™ platforms.


Ahead of the availability of Silicon Labs' mbed-enabled kits and software, which are currently scheduled for an April launch, we wanted to show you how these new APIs will improve power consumption in a realistic scenario. By combining automatic sleep mode selection and background I/O operations, we have managed a reduction in current consumption by an order of magnitude.

Screenshot 2015-03-12 10.55.44.png

Without Low Power APIsWith Low Power APIs
Average current consumption of demo1.03 mA0.100 mA


The demo application drives a memory LCD through a unidirectional SPI interface and runs on an EFM32 Zero Gecko MCU. The memory LCD displays the mbed logo and a clock face which is updated once every second. The LCD display furthermore requires a 64Hz external square wave signal input, which also needs to be generated by the application.


This demo was developed first using the previous version of the mbed APIs, using all standard peripherals (timer, SPI, DigitalOut) available through mbed, and programming techniques often used in mbed’s community-driven drivers. At an average current consumption of 1.03 mA this application would only be able to operate for 194 hours (8 days) on a standard 200mAh coin cell battery. The power profile of this application is displayed in the figure below.

Screenshot 2015-03-12 10.39.01.png

The application was then upgraded using the new low power APIs, which also introduce an asynchronous programming model to mbed. This means that instead of waiting for a long-running I/O operation to complete, a programmer can now register a callback to be notified of the operation’s completion. The processing time which has been freed up can then be used to either sleep and reduce power consumption, or do other processing in parallel.

Additionally, the new sleeping API dynamically determines the best sleep strategy based on the application’s state. Keeping true to mbed’s methods of enabling extremely rapid prototyping, this will give a more accurate idea of the power profile the application could exhibit with some more tweaking, while retaining a very simple interface everyone can use.


These optimizations ended up contributing to a decrease in current consumption by a factor ten for the exact same application. As can be seen in the figure below, the sleeping API has selected the best sleep mode in between the one second cycles, and the processor is only waking up sporadically to generate the required 64Hz output.

Screenshot 2015-03-12 11.00.52.png

We've now increased the battery life of this application tenfold!


If you're in the Austin area for South by Southwest Create this weekend (Friday, March 13th through Sunday, March 15th), feel free to drop by the Silicon Labs booth to get a live demo of the low power APIs. Otherwise, look forward to more information on the new API set as we get closer to the launch!

About thirty years ago, Acorn partnered with the BBC with the purpose of putting at least one computer into every school in the UK. The goal was to get children interested in writing code and it has been probably the single biggest contributor to the growth and success of the computer and electronics industries in the UK. Many of the engineers in ARM, over a certain age (ahem), will have been exposed to computing for the first time through that program.


Today a similar initiative was launched by the BBC in London to get a new generation into coding with their “Make it Digital” campaign. There are a number of elements to the initiative but the one that ARM is most excited about is the Microbit project that will build on the success of the original “BBC Micro” idea and take it even further. In early September, every child in year 7 at a school in the UK will be given a small ARM based development board that they can program using a choice of software editor. The teachers will be trained and there will be a full suite of training materials and tutorials for every child, at any level of ability, to program their first Internet of Things (IoT) device.


The board has BLE on board so that it can be connected to a phone or tablet and will support Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) so that it can be reprogrammed using a mobile device and will not be limited to being connected to a PC by USB cable. There is a 5x5 LED array on the board that can be programmed to scroll text or display simple images along side other soon to be announced capabilities so that kids can have fun experimenting. Both Freescale and Nordic Semiconductor are working with us on making this initial 1 million devices a reality.


ARM is particularly proud of this device as it is being built on top of ARM’s mbed platform to ensure flexibility for future generations of the device without breaking compatibility. We would like to see this become a yearly event in the UK so that every child that moves up to secondary school gets a Microbit of their own. Clearly, this programme should also be pushed out beyond the UK and we are investigating how best to do that. A crucial element to enable further proliferation is that all the pieces of the Microbit project will be open sourced and freely available for others to use and replicate.


More information can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/makeitdigital and the BBC announcement is here:BBC - Make It Digital - About Make It Digital


I would like to recognise a few people in ARM that have been instrumental in getting us to this point: Stephen Pattison for ensuring that we were involved from a very early stage: Kris Flautner and Simon Ford from the IoTBU for providing the resources and support to ensure mbed was the platform to build on: Jonathan Austin and Chris Styles for all their contributions to the hardware and software designs. Just this morning, Jenny Duvalier stood on stage with the Director General of the BBC, Tony Hall, and voiced ARM’s commitment to the Make It Digital initiative and the impact it will have on the talent pool of the future.


We think it is crucial that we inspire a new generation of engineers to get interested in computing and technology. The continued success of UK plc as a leader in ICT depends on how successful we are in encouraging boys and girls to embrace technology and choose to build a career for themselves in our industry. This will make a massive contribution to that endeavour and everyone at ARM should be proud to be part of it

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