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Internet of Things

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Ideal for auto enthusiasts looking to personalize their ride, Conrod is a small device that plugs into the CAN bus of a VW brand car and lets users customize its features. More than just a data logger or diagnostic tool, the dev board provides developers with the ability to create their own apps and run them right in the vehicle. In other words, the days of having to write programs on a smartphone and then connect them via a dongle are over!

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Conrod interfaces with any VW car — including Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bentley — through its CAN bus, enabling a user to decode and manipulate messages to change the way that the vehicle operates. The fully-programmable unit can function as a standalone device, or can be paired with a 3G SIM to take advantage of its on-board cellular modem for Internet connectivity. For situations where 3G may not be an option, Conrod can sync to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth 4.0 as well.

The standard Conrod installation is designed to remain out of sight, with all of the configurations performed on a mobile device. To really let the platform shine, however, Conrod includes an add-on 3.2″ full color touchscreen for output vehicle information, which eliminates the need for a smartphone. This display comes in a self-contained case with GoPro mounting points, allowing a user to secure it in their car with any GoPro compatible mount.

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Conrod ships with several pre-installed apps for both Android and iOS gadgets, including a GPS data logger that keeps tabs on a vehicle’s location, a fuel economy tracker that monitors and records gas consumption, smart speed alerts that trigger emails and push notifications, as well as IFTTT-like logic blocks that can be defined to fit the needs and preferences of its user. For example, drivers can set it to roll up all the windows whenever the doors lock or sound the horn in the event of a sudden stop. Aside from displaying things such as oil and transmission temperatures, users can devise their own apps to view weather forecasts, tweets and just about anything else that comes to mind, all pulled down via Conrod’s cellular data connection.

In terms of hardware, the board boasts an Atmel | SMART SAM3X8E Cortex-M3 MCU, 8MB of memory, GPS, a SIM socket, Bluetooth 4.0 radio, an accelerometer and gyroscope, three temperature sensors, five CAN network transceivers, OBD-II diagnostic circuitry, and an external serial expansion jack. What’s more, Conrod is completely Arduino compatible.

While a number of startups have recently launched innovative products that can turn any older set of wheels into a smart car, Conrod taps into the CAN instead of the OBD-II port.

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“Unlike OBD2, which is an open standard that anyone can read about, the CAN protocols used by specific vehicle manufacturers is not public information, and each manufacturer uses a different CAN language. We’ve spent thousands of hours decoding the CAN protocols in recent VW Group vehicles to enable Conrod to communicate with the CAN networks as if it was installed by the factory itself,” its creators add.

So, are you ready to pimp your ride? Then hurry over to its Kickstarter page, where the Conrod team is currently seeking $77,786. Delivery is expected to begin in December 2015.

This blog originally appeared on Atmel Bits & Pieces.

Recently launched on Kickstarter, the Wino is an Arduino-compatible board with built-in Wi-Fi that is designed to help bring IoT ideas to life in a cost-effective manner. $11 to be exact.

 

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Boasting a much smaller form factor and lower price tag than other Arduinos on the market today, the Wino is built around the Atmel | SMART SAM D21 — the same chip at the heart of the Zero. This gives users more speed, space and several new features, all while consuming minimal power. The unit runs at an operating voltage of 3.3V, includes 15 digital I/O and seven analog I/O pins (six 12-bit ADC, one 10-bit DAC), 16KB of RAM and 128KB of Flash memory. Meanwhile, its on-board Wi-Fi module comes with a simple web-based setup that makes the device accessible from just about anywhere.

The layout combines an uber small size (26.6mm x 18.6mm) with a 27-pin stackable header, enabling Makers to easily upgrade the Wino with functions like relay and power measurement, battery supply, temperature monitoring, DC and servo motor control, motion sensing, as well as USB which allows a user to program their board by opening a web browser and selecting a Wi-Fi network. Once connected, a Maker can communicate with the module from any TCP/IP device, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC.

Upgrade

Those Makers just starting out will appreciate that Wino comes with pre-installed, open source software, thereby eliminating any prerequisite programming skills. What’s more, the board supports the highly-popular Arduino IDE, giving users the ability to upload existing Arduino codes or employ one of the countless libraries available.

“Since over a year the design of the board was constantly improved and optimized. The goal was to create a hardware which combines als necessary features which makes it a perfect basis for connected devices. And this a a very small size,” its team writes.”The main task was provide the board at a minimum price which makes it easy to use the board even in low cost applications (like wireless switches). We are very confident that we found a good solution that combines functionality, small size, performance and costs.”

Board

Interested in devising a home automation, multimedia or fitness IoT project? You may want to head over to Wino’s official Kickstarter page, where German startup IAN is currently seeking $28,019. Delivery is slated for November 2015.

This blog originally appeared on Atmel Bits & Pieces.

You might have noticed last week ARM announced a new IoT Subsystem for Cortex-M Processors at Computex in Taiwan. Not being too involved in the whole IoT space at ARM, I was intrigued at where this fit in along the IoT story for ARM and its partners. I have to admit I am one of these people who are constantly dazzled by the IoT revolution; and the scope of possibility is so vast I sometimes find myself wondering how does it all work? How does the whole ARM IoT solution enable partners?

 

Why does anyone care about IoT in the first place?


This was probably the main question I had when I first joined ARM over a year ago. When you think about it however, it isn’t only obvious, it is also close to unbelievable how many applications there are for IoT solutions. According to Gartner;

'The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.'


Simple, right? However when you break it down it becomes so vast you wondering where it will actually stop? We are now in a world where all objects will become smart and connected. When you think about some of the opportunities and areas these solutions can be deployed:

  • Automotive and smart city applications.
  • The amount of people who have 1-3 wearables for fitness, health, productivity or security purposes.
  • The number of appliances in a modern smart home.
  • Production sites with people looking for faster and better ways to produce items with smart machines and control units.
  • Then to name a few; the number of cities, trash bins, street lights, traffic lights, newspaper stands and vending machines that IoT endpoints could be used. there are millions per city.

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The opportunity in this revolution for partners is endless, and ARM is at the forefront of development when it comes to IoT.


The IoT Subsystem for Cortex-M Processors


ARM’s IoT subsystem for Cortex-M processors allows design teams to create IoT endpoints faster and with lower risk. The subsystem with mbed OS is a complete reference system that reduces the complexity and risk of an SoC design for IoT endpoints. The IoT subsystem for Cortex-M processors features a range of peripherals and interfaces. It is specifically designed for use with Cortex-M processors and optimized for mbed OS and Cordio Bluetooth Smart radio but it is also possible to integrate other radios and wireless networking standards such as Wi-Fi and 802.15.4. The system has been designed to optimize power consumption and bring a high level of security: two key features for IoT solutions. This subsystem has been developed in collaboration with TSMC, one of the world's leading semiconductor foundries, for production on its 55ULP process technology. The combination of Artisan physical IP and TSMC's 55ULP process means the subsystem can run at sub-one volt operation, extending battery life and making it easier to run a device using energy harvesting.

IoT Subsystem Diagram1.pngIoT Subsystem for Cortex-M example system diagram

 

What are the advantages of using the IoT Subsystem for Cortex-M processors?


There are three big advantages (along with many smaller ones) to using the IoT subsystem for Cortex-M processors:


Low Power consumption

Endpoints today need low intensity processing and ultra low power. Flash consumes power when reading, but having a cache reduces the number of flash fetches. The IoT Subsystem for Cortex-M processors includes an integrated cache which allows up to 99% flash power consumption reduction.

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This reduction does not take into account Radio/Sensors and has been tested in isolation.

Optimized for ARM Cortex-M Processors

The IoT subsystem for Cortex-M processors solution supports the successful ARM Cortex-M processors. The Cortex-M3 is an example processor that the IoT subsystem for Cortex-M processors is optimized for. This industry-leading 32-bit processor offers the performance and efficiency for the most demanding IoT applications.

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Cortex-M processor family

 

Mbed OS and mbed Device Server

The IoT subsystem for Cortex-M has been optimized to run with mbed OS, which includes the connectivity, security and device management functionality required for IoT markets.

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mbed Ecosystem

 

Of course the IoT Subsystem for Cortex-M Processors is only one individually licensable subsystem IP block, but together with the Cortex-M processor and ARM Cordio radio IP, forms the basis for an IoT endpoint chip design, allowing partners to integrate sensors and other peripherals to create complete SoCs.

 

To conclude, the subsystem makes a big difference to the whole IoT story from ARM. It enables partners to create even lower power Cortex–M based IoT applications for endpoints that will (whether we like it or not) take over the world. For a more detailed view, please go to the IoT Subsystems for Cortex-M processors webpage

 

Personally I am looking forward to the connected lifestyle. Waking up to your coffee brewing, your music turning off when you fall asleep and your desk lamp coming on when you sit on the chair when it is dark in the room are just some of the cool things I have seen at events this year. How do you think IoT will effect everyday life in the next few years?

If Captain James T Kirk was pioneering the future of embedded he would be setting out on a five year mission is to expand strange new markets; to seek out new applications and new ecosystems; to boldly go where no engineer has gone before.

 

ARM will again be organizing an IoT Pre-Conference symposium at Sensor Expo.  The symposium will explore the building blocks to create predictive UI, making machines behave and act
like humans.  We can see this trend in robotics, drones, and autonomous driving vehicles. But many embedded devices makers are lagging as they are hampered by a
lack of volume scalability, price points established by prior generation of devices, or lack of expertise to create more complex sensor arrays to enable predictive UI.  In order for these
embedded device makers to become future IoT makers they need turn-key technologies that will enable them to collect the relevant data to add more value through services, product capability that leverages internet connectivity.

 

We’ve got a great line up of speakers:

 

 

TitleSpeaker

Welcome and Introduction

Willard Tu, Director Embedded Marketing – ARM

Market view for IoTGuillaume Girardin, Market & Technology Analyst – Yole           
Microphones hearing the future of IoTKevin Shaw, Director Business Development – Audience Inc
Future of Connectivity, From Tiny Sensors to Cloud  Kaivan Karimi, VP & GM Wireless Solutions – Atmel Corp.
Sensor Stacks – mbedOS and ThreadBill Curtis, Sr. Director of Strategy – ARM
Panel discussion: Do sensors need to be smart?          

Bill Curtis, Sr. Director of Strategy – ARM

Kaivan Karimi, VP & GM Wireless Solutions – Atmel Corp.

Kevin Shaw, Director Business Development – Audience Inc

IoT - Opportunities and Challenges in Embedded VisionJeff Bier,  Founder - Embedded Vision Alliance
Sensors to help us smell. Tristan Rousselle, CEO – Aryballe Technologies
Sensor Fusion for IoT devicesSteve Scheirey, VP of Software Development – Hillcrest Labs
Use case: Drone Attack Shan Philipps, COO –Yunecc
Final Thoughts & Drone Drawing

Willard Tu, Director Embedded Marketing – ARM

Shan Philipps, COO –Yunecc

 

 

Come to Sensor Expo and join the pre-con, a great opportunity to learn, and a chance to win a Typhoon Q500 Drone from Yuneec for those who attend this symposium.

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.

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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.

Before

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.

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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.

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“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 and FTF

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 development board.  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:

http://mbed.org/ecosystem/mbed-enabled/

http://mbed.org/ecosystem/mbed-enabled-products/

 

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.


Here is a video of the demo taken at the event:

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

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

http://makezine.com/psoc-maker-challenge/

 

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