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Internet of Things

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Slide1.pngSystem IP from ARM is the foundation for building better systems. It helps designers to build systems that offer high performance, but are also power efficient and reliable. System IP is configurable so you can use it for many different applications; from IoT, to mobile, to server SoCs.


At ARM TechCon this year, we’ll be demonstrating how our validated and optimized interconnects, security IP, subsystems and system controllers allow you to build better systems, faster!


Learn more about system IP by attending our various talks and sponsored sessions, delivered by ARM system IP experts. Check out the full list of talks below:


Tuesday, October 25



Mike Eftimakis (ARM) and Mayank Sharma (ARM) will demonstrate how the new ARM v8-M architecture enables the development of efficient secure embedded/IoT systems. They will show how ARM’s innovative solutions can reduce effort and cost for designers, while improving security. The talk is aimed at system architects, SoC designers, product designers, software developers and managers.


Wednesday, October 26



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Simon Rance (ARM) will show a solution whereby an intelligent IP configuration flow can be developed and employed to make IP integration and system assembly more scalable and easier to manage. He will demonstrate how to leverage intelligent IP configuration to make the downstream IP integration process simplified and highly automated. The presentation is suitable for all audiences.



This presentation will be from Rob Coombs (ARM) and Phil Attfield (Sequitur Labs). They will look at how security is now an essential part of connected devices. They will discuss the range of tools and techniques available to protect devices. They will explore communication security, isolation, storage and management of critical assets, and device lifecycle management.



On Wednesday afternoon, Mike Eftimakis (ARM) will be joining Ian Dennison (Cadence) to talk about the need to be first-to-market in the IoT space. They will show how ARM and Cadence have teamed-up to provide design tools, IP, methodology, servers and storage in a new Cadence® Hosted Design Solution for IoT and ARM® Cortex®-M0 SoC design. Join this talk to see how you can get a time-to-silicon advantage using ARM and Cadence solutions.


Thursday, October 27




In this talk, ARM’s Jeff Defilippi will talk about the new CoreLink CMN-600 and DMC-620, which create ARM's 3rd generation coherent backplane IP. He’ll also discuss CCIX, the new open standard for multi-chip coherency. He will explore how the new IP provide a high performance coherent memory system for compute and acceleration, simplfying software development and system deployment across the performance continuum.



In this joint presentation between ARM and Cadence, Ashwin Matta (ARM), Gopi Krishnamurthy (Cadence Design Systems) and Andrew Swaine (ARM) will all provide a broad understanding of ARM's SMMU and GIC controllers, addressing virtualization and interrupt management requirements. They will describe integration and performance optimization with Cadence's PCIe RC controller and how it delivers best-in-class IO solutions for ARM-based system. This presentation will be suitable for people who have a basic understanding of PCIe or similar IO protocols to communicate between chips.



On Thursday, Mario Cooper (ARM) will help the audience gain an understanding of the Infrastructure Reference Data work at ARM. He will show how it can help reduce SoC design risk and development costs, plus how it’s helping our partners to get their infrastructure SoCs to market faster. The talk is suitable for all audiences.



In this final talk, Jeff Defilippi will join Yaron Serfaty (Cadence Design Systems) and Stewart Penman (Cadence). The presentation will introduce traffic profiles; a mechanism that uses a simple set of high-level parameters to define a traffic profile. A combination of these profiles can realistically model the traffic driven by different IP blocks over ARM AMBA interfaces.


The system IP team really hope you’ll join us at some of these sessions at ARM TechCon, we look forward to meeting you! If you have any questions, leave us a comment below and we will come back to you ASAP.


ARM® TechCon 2016 is nearly upon us, and there’s so much high-quality technical content in the conference program and exhibition floor that the only difficulty you’ll have is choosing what to attend at the Santa Clara convention centre! Registration is still open, and if you need any more convincing then check out this useful guide on how to convince your boss to send you!


The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most exciting market, with analysts predicting exponential growth, with billions of new devices connected each year.


For those interested in understanding the latest trends in smart embedded and how the newest technology from ARM drives low-power, secure, and trusted solutions, then please come and join our free educational session presented by technology experts from ARM and from across the semiconductor industry. This session is open to everyone; you are welcome to join even if you hold an Expo Pass!


Technical presentations - summary

All presentations will be held on Wednesday October 26th in Ballroom D



10:30am – 11:20am

Developing software on the latest ARMv8-M processors for security solutions for IoT

11:30am – 12:20pm

Panel: IoT and security - can next generation microcontrollers provide a security foundation for connected intelligent devices?

2:30pm – 3:20pm

Tools and techniques for developing and debugging IoT security software on ARMv8-M based processors

3:30pm – 4:20pm

Panel: making it easier to create secure IoT systems - a semiconductor industry perspective

4:30pm – 5:20pm

Securing the Internet of Things - a guide for non-security experts


Technical presentations - details

Wednesday 10:30am – 11:20am - Ballroom D

Developing software on the latest ARMv8-M processors for security solutions for IoT [by ARM and Doulos]

Announced at ARM TechCon 2015, the ARMv8-M architecture offers a hardware foundation for more secure and trusted embedded intelligence and IoT devices. By optimizing ARM TrustZone® for Cortex®-M processors, ARM is making it more efficient to include security in even the smallest of MCUs.  This session is targeted at software developers to provide a deeper understanding of the features of the architecture, to demonstrate how ARMv8-M based processors make it easier to create security solutions, and to detail how to write software to make best use of the new capabilities offered.


Wednesday 11:30am – 12:20pm - Ballroom D

Panel: IoT and security - can next generation microcontrollers provide a security foundation for connected intelligent devices? [chaired by Nandan Nayampally with experts from across the semiconductor industry]

Security has to be built into the heart of connected intelligent and IoT systems. Even simple connected sensors must be designed with the appropriate level of security in mind if intelligent systems are to be trusted. This panel, comprising of representatives from across the industry, will discuss the challenges and solutions of creating systems that offer security protection and will explore how security solutions can be included within MCU-based products.


Wednesday 2:30pm – 3:20pm - Ballroom D

Tools and techniques for developing and debugging IoT security software on ARMv8-M based processors [by ARM and SEGGER Microcontroller]

Since the launch of the new ARMv8-M architecture at ARM TechCon last year, the ARM ecosystem has been developing tools, software and solutions to help software developers get the most out of the new architecture for the next generation of Cortex-M processors. This session will outline how software developers can develop and debug software for ARMv8-M processors and the methodologies that are now enabled for more secure software development and debugging.


Wednesday 3:30pm – 4:20pm - Ballroom D

Panel: making it easier to create secure IoT systems - a semiconductor industry perspective [chaired by Nandan Nayampally with experts from across the semiconductor industry]

Trust and security are fundamental to IoT.  As the number and diversity of connected devices grows, the number of devices requiring security is set to explode.  Let's face it: security is never simple - so how can the semiconductor industry work to make it easier and more efficient to build in the appropriate level of security into connected intelligent devices?  With a focus on microcontrollers, this panel will debate and look at the steps being taken to simplify security in MCUs, whilst retaining the benefits of efficiency, ease of programming and diversity of solutions.


Wednesday 4:30pm – 5:20pm - Ballroom D

Securing the Internet of Things - a guide for non-security experts [by ARM and Sequitur Labs]

With security now an essential part of connected devices, this session looks at the range of tools and techniques used to help protect these devices and offers guidance on deciding the appropriate level of security required for a device.  Starting with the fundamentals and moving to example solutions, topics covered will include communication security, isolation, storage and management of critical assets, and device lifecycle management.



We will have many demos at the ARM booth, highlighting innovative solutions for the most interesting IoT applications!

  • A demonstration of how security for IoT nodes actually works and the possible applications
  • Two ARM Cordio® IP based Bluetooth low energy boards communicating at the new Bluetooth® 5 increased 2Mbps rate
  • Other demos showcasing Bluetooth low energy and IEEE 802.15.4 based standards
  • An innovative parking meter solution realised in conjunction with IBM
  • A demonstration of Simless Inc. digital embedded SIM (eSIM) secured by ARM TrustZone for IoT and consumers




With only three weeks to go until mbed Connect, we are excited to announce that we will be hosting four guest speakers. You can view the entire program here!


Develop IoT and wearable products quickly using Hexiwear and mbed

Gregory Camuzt - Business Development Manager for Startup Solutions, NXP

The need for connected devices with long battery life, small form factor and impenetrable security has remained a constant during the expansion of the wearables market. This presentation will highlight the existing product development challenges for IoT and wearables markets and explore options for fast IoT development. The Hexiwear platform, an optimized, expandable and complete IoT development platform based on ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers, is one of the fastest ways to create devices using ARM MCUs.


Assuring IoT device performance, quality and security throughout the device lifetime

Stephen Douglas - Solutions & Technical Strategy, Spirent Communications

To guarantee the long term performance, quality and security of IoT devices, the industry needs a standardized way to remotely monitor and test IoT devices throughout their lifetime. Embedding test logic on the device and test services in the cloud while utilizing ARM mbed to provide device diagnostics allows for a new paradigm in remote testing. Cloud-based assurance analytics on the reported data provides the identification and prediction of when devices are not performing correctly, allowing for quicker reaction time.


Location on Internet of Things

Frederic Sevais - Senior Director of Products, Comtech

The rapid growth of IoT sensors poses a substantial logistics problem in keeping track of these devices. Delivering a robust indoor/outdoor location solution requires that the next generation of locations services be lightweight with respect to memory, bandwidth and power efficient, and distributable to support both cloud and local area network topologies common in IoT infrastructures. This presentation is an overview of Comtech’s distributed hybrid-location technology being developed for ARM Linux and mbed OS devices targeted for the specific needs of IoT.


Maximising business agility with ARM mbed for connected devices

Daniel Quaint - VP Pr

oduct Development & Strategic Marketing, Multitech

Quant will discuss how the ARM mbed ecosystem brings all the pieces together to deliver intelligent connected solutions. Learn how to leverage ARM mbed on connected devices across multiple connectivity technologies in order to enable a smart, value-laden, in


dustrial IoT solution. Technologies such as mbed, in conjunction with leading IoT solutions, introduce a newfound ability to better manage business applications and deliver intelligence to the edge of the network, significantly revolutionizing information flow across countless vertical markets.


Got your place booked for mbed Connect yet? Spaces are limited so make sure you sign up now to secure your place.


Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) underpins the security and trust infrastructure of the Internet, and it's indisputable that PKI and cryptography are going to play a central role in IoT. However, securing the IoT brings new challenges that force us to rethink traditional assumptions about key management and the impending security threats. The article IoT security: when X.509 certificate authentication may not work provides more information on the challenges of using PKI with IoT.

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The day prior to the kickoff of ARM TechCon, ARM mbed is hosting it's first ever developer summit, mbed Connect, on the 24th of October at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a rapidly growing technology sector, in which mbed is striving to offer the software, tools and ecosystem to facilitate the development of efficient, secure and scalable IoT solutions. With over 60+ partners and a 170K+ developer community, we are bringing our ecosystem together at mbed Connect to share our key learnings, to discuss how to find business value in this disruptive market and allow developer to get hands-on training from expert IoT engineers.


We will be diving into the details of mbed OS 5, addressing everything from security concerns in IoT to choosing the right connectivity option for your IoT solution. Below is an overview of the full day agenda. We're offering a morning filled with industry keynotes, followed by afternoon sessions allowing you the option to choose your own journey, with 3 developer technical tracks.


Have you registered for mbed Connect yet? Tickets are very limited, so be sure to sign up before registration closes!






Hope to see you there!

Quality Assurance in Manufacturing


Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars developing, marketing and distributing drugs to the public. It is a complex, intricate process.


Yet for decades, their factories have been manufacturing drugs in rather dated ways, “mixing ingredients in large vats and in separate steps, often at separate plants and with no way to check for quality until each step was finished.”



Any moves to modernise have been blocked by cost, complexity and regulation. Ageing factory equipment gaining wear-and-tear are used time and time again, resulting in a severe knock-on effect for pharmas around the world.


The supply chain is a fractured one, and could instantly fall apart in the event of a drug recall. Unplanned downtime can cost factories as much as $2 million for a single incident.


In early 2016, SPARKL Cisco worked with British pharmaceutical giant GSK to develop a proof-of-concept (PoC) using the SPARKL Sequencing Engine technology, in an effort to solve these challenges.


There is immeasurable value in collecting and analysing factory sensor data, creating efficiency, reducing downtime and enabling local intelligence amongst the factory’s most important assets - its machines.


SPARKL created a digital profile system for physical devices in a specific pill production train, e.g. motors and screw feeds, creating smarter assets. This enabled the devices to spot anomalies within its pill production train in operation, therefore:


  • Eliminating tasks from the scheduled maintenance procedures, focusing only on work necessary to maintain compliance and performance

  • Predicting failures in advance, reducing negative impact on production

  • Extending the operational lifetime of production equipment and components, whilst maximising performance opportunity

  • Understanding why a machine or component has failed

  • Taking advantage of a component upgrade potential to maximise operational performance over longer periods


How it Works

The PoC is based on SPARKL’s finite-state machine (FSM) technology, which features a breakout detection algorithm.


“A finite-state machine is a [computing] model used to represent and control execution flow. It’s perfect for implementing artificial intelligence… producing great results without complex code.”


SPARKL is much more expressive and precise than the well-known FSM abstraction, but it can directly import such a technology.


Using the FSM, SPARKL keeps track of every object on the manufacturing line and in turn, is able to detect anomalous trends in log data, called breakouts. Possible breakouts may be confirmed as such by an admin, so that the algorithm learns without requiring pre-training.


SPARKL operates on the “plug-and-play” principle - i.e. almost no configuration or manual intervention required. So, the FSM was installed onto Intel Arduino and Edison boards. Small yet powerful, these boards were deemed suitable for this PoC as they easily connect to wireless networks, and additionally work over Linux and Ubuntu, for which SPARKL has been primarily developed.


In this PoC, SPARKL was configured to pick up sensors attached to a non-vibrating part of a factory machine. Readings were taken from a wealth of different sensors across the factory floor - vibration, speed and temperature. If one of the sensors exceeded their normal operating range, then it may have been indicative of a problem that warranted investigation.


Depending on the status of the readings, the finite-state machine would be in a ‘red’, ‘orange’ or ‘green’ state.


This could be useful in a number of scenarios. For example, registering the disproportionate temperature in the manufacturing of a particular vaccine, which could render the batch unusable.



1. Two sets of mixes (SPARKL config handling interactions between machines) are written (in Python) in the SPARKL Developer Console — one which pulls data into SPARKL, and one which acts on, and processes this data.


2. SPARKL orchestrates a workflow to execute on those services for every event that comes in. The mix sends sensor data as alerts to messaging app Cisco Spark and actions to Internet of Things platform EVRYTHNG.


3. If a sensor is in a ‘red’ or ‘orange’ state, and therefore anomalous, an admin is notified over Cisco Spark and EVRYTHNG with an alert. SPARKL stores this data over a local cache service, so it can be locally analysed.


Example: Here (^^), the accelerometer has dropped significantly, putting the FSM in a ‘red’ state. An admin is alerted in Cisco Spark and EVRYTHNG (displayed as a ‘red’ action).




4. The event logs from this mix are forwarded through MongoDB — and the data is studied and visualised using SlamData Analytics.


5. The admin would additionally provide feedback on whether the state designation, determined automatically, and with no pre-training required, was accurate or not. The breakout detection algorithm, as a result, trains itself to recognise specific types of pill trains.



By the simple act of introducing sensors into the manufacturing process, key performance attributes can be corroborated, together with the easy deployment of SPARKL with FSM + breakout detection, immediate benefit can be obtained out-of-the-box. SPARKL can easily detect anomalies in sensor data readings, and alert admins to take action.



Find your IoT use case with the SPARKL Sequencing Engine at

Want to see this demo in action? Drop us a line at to talk tech.

The following very interesting paper from DEFCON shows how vulnerable MQTT brokers can be if the designers are not carefully considering the various attack vectors that can be exploited in an IoT solution powered by MQTT.


The paper shows how one can find and access MQTT brokers on the Internet and perform actions such as open prison doors, change radiation levels, and so on. Your personal information may already be available via a public MQTT broker.


Since MQTT brokers listen on a port number, a simple port scanner can find the broker. The device search engine Shodan now includes searches for MQTT brokers. The paper goes into how to use Shodan to find public brokers and then uses commands that reveal every device connected to the broker.




Unfortunately, MQTT has many attack vectors the IoT system designers must consider when using MQTT.


In addition, many MQTT brokers include special debug commands that make it possible to find all connected devices, thus greatly extending the number of possible attack vectors.

In contrast, the SMQ IoT protocol (a pub/sub protocol similar to MQTT) has a very limited set of attack vectors compared to MQTT. You can completely hide the SMQ broker from automated tools such as Shodan and other port scanners. This is possible since an SMQ connection initially starts as HTTP(S) and a port scanner cannot see the difference between an SMQ broker and a standard web server. In addition, the URL to the broker can be private.


Since SMQ runs within an application server, no public debug API is necessary. SMQ provides an extended privilege API, but this API is only accessible to application code that runs on the application server and interacts directly with the SMQ broker.


SMQ provides hash based authentication, a feature required when not communicating over SSL. MQTT sends credentials in clear text. However, both protocols will be more secure when communication is protected by TLS. Note that TLS alone will not protect against many of the vulnerabilities mentioned in the paper. For this reason, system designers must have a good understanding of IoT security or the designers must seek help from experienced IoT security specialists by, for example, using the support line provided with commercial security products.


Read the DEFCON MQTT paper

ARM mbed is now hosting a new event specifically for developers, ARM mbed Connect - USA. Tu0-weu-d4-883943924fb0af8cd9ebaf549e25c979^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr.pnghis event will give attendees a leading edge in building innovative and scalable Internet of Things (IoT) solutions!


Be sure to register to secure your spot, as spaces are limited. ARM mbed Connect – USA will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, just ahead of ARM TechCon on Monday, 24 October 2016. 


Join us for a day full of demonstrations, hands-on workshops and the chance to hear the latest news and developments from the mbed team.  By bring


ing together developers from our growing 170,000 developer community, along with the experts from our 60 partners ecosystem at mbed Connect, we’re offering a unique opportunity to work together and shape the future of IoT. 

Not local?  Don’t worry, mbed Connect is also coming to China! Look out for registrations opening soon for mbed Connect – China. The event will be on Monday, 5 December at the Grand Hyatt in Shenzhen.


Stay up to date with the latest on mbed by signing up for an mbed developer account visit


MQTT Library Demo

Posted by dmitryslepov Aug 1, 2016

This is the demo project for Tibbo's MQTT library. The project demonstrates how easy it is to create sophisticated network-enabled applications in Tibbo BASIC and Tibbo C. The code is extremely simple and easy to understand. Take this app and modify it for your MQTT needs.


About The Application

TPS3-based MQTT publisherTPS3-based MQTT subscriber

To illustrate the use of the MQTT library, we have created two simple Tibbo BASIC applications called "mqtt_publisher" and "mqtt_subscriber".

In our MQTT demo, the publisher device is monitoring three buttons (Tibbits #38). This is done through the keypad (kp.) object.

The three buttons on the publisher device correspond to the red, yellow, and green LEDs (Tibbits #39) on the subscriber device.

As buttons are pushed and released, the publisher device calls mqtt_publish() with topics "LED/Red", "LED/Green", and "LED/Red". Each topic's data is either 0 for "button released" or 1 for "button pressed". The related code is in the on_kp() event handler.

The subscriber device subscribes to all three topics with a single call to mqtt_sub() and the line "LED/#". This is done once, inside callback_mqtt_connect_ok().

With every notification message received from the server, the subscriber device gets callback_mqtt_notif() invoked. The LEDs are turned on and off inside this functions's body.

Testing the MQTT demo

The demo was designed to run on our TPS3 boards, but you can easily modify it for other devices.

The easiest way to get the test hardware is to order "MQTTPublisher" and "MQTTSubscriber" TPS configurations.

You can also order all the parts separately:

  • On the publisher side:
    • TPP3 board in the TPB3 enclosure.
    • Your will need Tibbits #00-3 in sockets S1, S3, S5; and
    • Tibbits #38 in sockets S2, S4, S6;
    • You will also need some form of power, i.e. Tibbit #10 and #18, plus a suitable 12V power adaptor.
  • On the subscriber side:
    • TPP3 board in the TPB3 enclosure.
    • Your will need Tibbits #00-3 in sockets S1, S3, S5;
    • Tibbit #39-2 (red) in S2;
    • Tibbit #39-3 (yellow) in S4;
    • Tibbit #39-1 (green) in S6;
    • You will also need some form of power, i.e. Tibbit #10 and #18, plus a suitable 12V power adaptor.

Test steps

  • Install a suitable MQTT server. We suggest HiveMQ (
    • Download the software here: (you will be asked to register).
    • Unzip the downloaded file.
    • Go to the "windows-service" folder and execute "installService.bat".
    • Go to the "bin" folder and launch "run.bat".
    • You do not need to configure any user names or passwords.
  • Open mqtt_publisher and mqtt_subscriber projects in two separate instances of TIDE, then correct the following in the projects' global.tbh files:
    • OWN_IP - assign a suitable unoccupied IP to the publisher and to the subscriber (you know that they will use two different IPs, right?);
    • MQTT_SERVER_HOST - set this to the address of the PC on which your run HiveMQ.
  • Select your subscriber and publisher devices as debug targets, and run corresponding demo apps on them.
  • Press buttons on the publisher to see the LEDs light up on the subscriber.
  • If you are running in debug mode you will see a lot of useful debug info printed in the output panes of both TIDE instances.
  • You can switch into the release mode to see how fast this works without the debug printing.



Securing Medical & Wellness Data

Your health data is one of most important pieces of a data that is personal and confidential to you.   Through the advent of sensor innovations we are finding many more devices gathering this data such as your fitness bands, smartwatch, even phone counting your steps automatically without you having to do anything. This is only the beginning we are starting to see innovations in medical and wellness monitoring from all sorts of devices such as toothbrushes which can detect cancer, to patches you wear that monitor UV exposure or hydration.  Innovations in microfluidic technologies are enabling analysis of your blood, sweat, and urine at price points where it can reach consumers hands in both developed and developing countries. 


This data, if used correctly, will keep us more informed of what’s happening inside and outside our bodies and give us alert with the right information at the right time to make informed decisions.  Taking it one step further, mobile and cloud platforms can enable a holistic system of health to inform close trusted family/friend circle about changes in health to help individuals make the right lifestyle choices.   It will also help caregivers know the right time to intervene, potentially staving off a more severe condition.


Unfortunately, as with any technological innovation, it can also have potential malicious uses resulting in substantial financial and social consequences:

  • Insurance providers could use the data to increase premiums or cancel policies
  • Informed employers may choose healthier candidates (to keep costs down)
  • Dating applications could add medical filters


But how is the data being handled from when it gets created at the source? Is it being guarded all the way from the sensor to the phone, to the cloud? What happens to your data in the cloud? Is it shared with 3rd parties? Have you read to read the Terms and Conditions for each of your digital devices to understand the answers to these questions? In this blog, we will aim to address some of the basic vulnerabilities of data as it travels from sensor->phone->cloud and explore a method to safeguard it as well as talk about some the initiatives taking place to help safeguard our health data.


Threats and Hacks

There are two threat vectors that we will address in this video:

  1. Screen Scrape Attacks
  2. BLE attacks

Screen scrape attacks leverage the ability to “record” the frame buffer of the screen of a device to steal the data as an app renders to the screen.  This technique has been used to steal everything from passwords to high value video content.    The video below demonstrates this threat:




Today the majority of medical and wellness devices utilize Bluetooth LE to communicate between the sensor and use the phone as the “gateway” to go to the cloud.   A large number of these devices tend to rely solely on Bluetooth link layer encryption, this presents a vulnerability in that data can be stolen at the “application layer” while it’s in motion on the phone or gateway itself.   The video below demonstrates this threat.


Protecting medical and wellness data using ARM TrustZone™ based TEE

Trusted execution environments (TEEs), for example from Trustonic or Sequitur Labs, provide a secure environment alongside a Rich OS like Android, to run trusted code.  It can be found in hundreds of thousands of mobile phones already in the market today with that number increasing and services like payment, premium content, and enterprise BYOD increase.  The idea here is simple, we encrypt data from the sensor at the application layer and so even after BLE link layer encryption has taken out the payload, it’s still encrypted and stays encrypted until it lands in the TEE, where it is decrypted rendered, validated then sent onwards to the healthcare provider cloud, keeping the data secure even when it’s in motion on the phone.




Data Ownership - Privacy by Default

We have so far discussed some of the technical vulnerabilities associated with your medical data as it transitions from sensor to phone to cloud, but how about the policies which governs how your data is handled and who is held responsible if your data is breached.


There are many entities who are looking at this very complex problem, which combines both liability as well as accountability for loss or misuse of data. The two references provided below start to shed some insight into the industry and governmental thinking behind how to make patient privacy front and center and to ensure protection and adherence to use of personal medical and fitness data gathered.   This is a rapidly evolving area and I'm excited to watch it unfold!



1.  Every Step You Fake: A Comparative Analysis of Fitness Tracker Privacy and Security

2.  European Union mHealth code of conduct

Bin Feng Microduino and products[1].png

Meet Microduino, the Chinese company that is bringing a DIY approach to rapid prototyping for developers and engineers. Founded in 2012 after originally designing its Arduino-compatible boards to monitor server room temperature, Microduino is Ikea-meets-LEGO: Magnetized modules that can be mixed and matched for various applications.


Each module has a function- e.g. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS. Snap together the necessary modules to create working prototypes. No messy wiring, dangerous soldering or complex coding. Microduino’s value lies in removing the barrier to entry to enable makers to take their ideas further through the prototype stage and beyond. It’s DIY made (even more) simple.


Potential products range from gesture-controlled music boxes to LED lights, drones, robots, GPS trackers and 3D printers. Microduino's 2013 Kickstarter campaign leveraged the necessary initial traction with its intuitive, open-source approach to refine and apply its designs across a variety of key sectors, including technology, education and environment.


Versatility, scalability

Beyond user-friendly appeal, the modules are versatile, and they scale across a range of systems. The platform can be compatible with a variety of microprocessors and controllers (Arduino UNO, ARM Cortex, Atmel AVR/ATMega MCU etc.). A variety of Microduino systems features ARM processors:

  • Microduino-Core STM32 features an ARM development board with STM32F103CBT6 chip built in.
  • MicroWrt HPin44 series is based on ARM Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A9.
  • MicroPi HPin88 series uses dual-core, quad-core and eight-core SoC.
  • Microduino has developed HiSilicon SoC Hi3517 based on ARM Cortex-A7 and Xilinx Zynq series FPGA board with an ARM core integrated.
  • The company is working with NXP for LPC824 series and MKS22 series that will be used in the NXP Freescale Cup, an intelligent-car race in China.


Microduino’s initiatives have not gone unnoticed by the media. TIME called out Microduino in the article “These 5 Kits can Teach Kids about Computers and Coding.” And the company was featured in “The 5 Best Things from World Maker Faire 2015,” by EE Journal.



Not only is this approach to technology fantastic for makers, it’s superb for education. This Lego-esque design makes this accessible to individuals of different ages, skillsets and backgrounds.

“Never underestimate a student’s creativity; they just need something to inspire it” Bin Feng, Co-founder and CEO of Microduino

Microduino also has embedded its technology in education to encourage innovation within the younger generation--similar to ARM’s collaboration with BBC on the micro:bit initiative. It is working with Maker Space to design and mass-produce a low cost package for younger school children. Microduino has established its two-credit course in superkit education at Tsinghua University. It has also participated in Beijing International Design Week where students were able to design and build a variety of different products themselves using Microduino kits.

“We are eager to see its contributions to STEM/STEAM education in the coming years,” said Dominic Pajak (dominicpajak), ARM marketing director. “Regardless of socioeconomic background, every young mind will be stimulated and inspired to test and believe in his or her own imagination, potentially training up the next generation of engineers and innovators.”


Nesting Instinct

Microduino reached new heights in another application arena. The company’s 2015 environmental initiative was a joint effort with International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP) to help solve the problem of declining vulture populations in South Asia. Vultures are key to a healthy ecosystem: They dispose of waste and help prevent the  spread of disease. Conservationists aimed to monitor and collect nest data (temperature, rotation, humidity) during incubation, to help boost vulture populations in captivity. ICBP’s initial attempts used a bulky system, which mother vultures steered clear of. So ICBP approached Microduino with a challenge: Create an artificial egg to mimic a real vulture egg. The solution is the IoT-enabled system Eggduino, a sensor package containing a system of stackable Arduino-compatible microcontrollers and modules. Disguised as a vulture egg, the sensor package was able to fly under the radar in the nest. Data captured by the egg is relayed from the node to the cloud for analysis, all while giving Mother Nature a helping hand.


Now looking to capitalize on its successful venture into IoT, Microduino is positioning its technology for further expansion into the IoT arena in the education and toy markets.


Ultimately, Microduino’s vision is to use modular IoT to solve the needs of all types of IoT systems. This is significant because enabling rapid DIY prototyping broadens technology’s reach by applying it to find solutions to diverse global initiatives. Whether it is a conservation mission to save the vultures or a biomedical scientist’s quest to create 3D printed human organs, the usefulness of this technology applies across a variety of  arenas. Microduino not only places the building blocks for invention in its user’s hands, but it also empowers makers with a vision to create their own solutions to their needs.



“It’s amazing how easily Microduino can turn your ideas into reality” Bin Feng

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Learn the entire process of setting up the chain of trust for your IoT solution. The video, which is available on YouTube, provides a practical example that you can follow and setup on your own computer for learning purposes. The comprehensive video tutorial guides you through the process of setting up secure and trusted communication. After completing the hands-on tutorials, you will be an expert in using SSL for secure communication and how to create and manage SSL certificates.


The video shows how to create an Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) certificate for the server, how to install the certificate in the server, and how to make the clients connecting to the server trust this certificate. The server in this video is installed on a private/personal computer on a private network for test purposes.


Check out the IoT article at

The article is tailored for learning purposes and DIY projects and includes lots of useful information on using security in memory constrained edge nodes.


How to run your own secure IoT cloud server for $8/year



An illustration of the size difference between an ECC Certificate, an RSA Certificate, and a chained RSA Certificate

Mobile communications has been the base for the explosion in smartphones. Enormous consumer demand for mobile wireless broadband services has driven the last decade of telecom standards resulting in the LTE-Advanced 4G multi-mode devices that we take for granted today.


Beyond serving the needs of smartphones, mobile operators are increasingly thinking about what role they can play in delivering the Internet Of Things or so called IoT. The IoT market is still considered to be in its infancy, but according to industry analyst firm Gartner by 2020 we can expect over 26 billion ‘things’ or devices to be connected to the internet, the majority of those likely to be served via wireless connections.


LTE Cat-M - a cellular standard for IoT

IoT devices will connect to the Internet through wired and wireless communication technologies. The wireless technologies could be both cellular and non-cellular. In the case of the local area unlicensed band standards, for example Bluetooth and WiFi, a router is needed to reach the Internet. The LTE Cat-M (Cat-M1) standard is a cellular standard and has a number of benefits compared to the non-cellular technologies. One obvious benefit is the existing infrastructure for LTE, where operators around the world have been rolling out this technology since 2009. According to GSA, there are now 480 LTE networks launched in 157 countries and Ericsson predicts that more than 70% of the world population will have LTE access by 2020.


There are several key additions to the Cat-M (Cat-M1) specification in 3GPP release 13 providing lower cost and power consumption.


The first LTE specification in release 8 specified 4 categories, with Cat-4 as the highest category supporting up to 150Mbits/s in the downlink. The modem complexity is derived from this category and normalized to it. Cat-0 was specified in release 12 as an intermediate step towards a competitive LTE specification for IoT applications. The complexity of LTE Cat-0 vs LTE Cat-4 is estimated to be reduced by 40% mainly due to lower data rates but also from the change in duplex mode, where half duplex mode eliminates the need of a duplexer and so saves cost. LTE Cat-M (Cat-M1) is an optimized IoT version of Cat-0 where the major change is the system bandwidth reduction from 20MHz to 1.4Mhz. Another important change is the transmit power reduction to 20dBm. This reduction eliminates the need for an external power amplifier and enables a single chip solution, again reducing cost. NB-IoT (Cat-M2) is the next step with a lower bandwidth of 200kHz will further reduce the cost and power consumption.


Mistbase and ARM have written a paper where we have investigated how the new 3GPP Rel-13 standard is enabling IoT, both from a HW/SW architecture point of view as well as from a performance point of view. In this paper we focus on LTE Cat-M (Cat-M1) and look ahead on NB-IoT (Cat-M2) which is Mistbase core business.


Link: White paper: LTE Cat-M - A Cellular Standard for IoT


Mistbase homepage


Presentation from the NDC London Conference earlier this year:

IoT: Gold Rush or Wild West - Niall Cooling on Vimeo



"IoT sits, not unfairly, at the peak of this years Gartner's "Hype for Emerging Technology". This talk tries to cut through the marketing bullshit and attempt to build a taxonomy for what should, and more importantly, what shouldn't be considered a 'Thing' on the Internet. Is examines both the competing infrastructure technologies and the upcoming pseudo-standards. Hopefully by the end you'll be less confused, or at least understand why you're confused!"

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