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Computing on Low-power Architectures (COLA) Workshop

February 25th and 26th – Ferrara, Italy.



Europe has traditionally been at the forefront of alternative energy and awareness of the importance for energy efficiency.  The growing importance of High-Performance Computing (HPC) drives extensive energy demands across Europe and the globe.  Deep learning, high-energy physics, and astronomy are just a few of numerous examples of compute intensive applications that have a growing need for more efficient compute platforms.

The returns on investment in HPC infrastructure are significant yet negatively offset by the costs of powering the large commodity compute clusters used today for HPC.  ARM is committed to enable innovative, energy-efficient alternative solutions and a robust software ecosystem for HPC end-users.


Our friends at E4 Computer Engineering have taken it upon themselves to think outside the norm with targeted support of alternative compute architectures, having recently showcased Applied Micro, Cavium, and NVIDIA based server platforms @ SC15.  E4 is hosting a gathering of partners and end-users to share their extensive expertise and experiences with alternative compute technologies and platforms for HPC applications.  Their upcoming COLA workshop in Ferrara, Italy will help to drive collaboration around power-efficiency, performance, and ecosystem as partners share their ideas and hands-on experiences.  Technical experts from ARM will be on-hand as well to present and answer questions regarding the continued momentum and growth of the ARM HPC ecosystem.


COLA Workshop Topics

  • use and design of low-power architectures and platforms
  • accelerator computing
  • software ecosystem: applications, open-source, compilers, and run-time tools
  • energy-aware programming and scheduling


This event is sponsored by ARM and Nvidia.  It is being organized and chaired by E4, MontBlanc, and INFN. We invite all interested parties to participate and attend in this cutting edge workshop.


Cola Workshop participation is free of charge.


Click here for more information, workshop agenda, and event registration.

The beginning of a year brings with it the potential of many new things; resolutions, good habits and of course the new gadgets that promise to change our lives at CES. Amidst the glitz of promises of longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives, the first major trade show of 2016 serves a useful purpose in allowing observers to take stock of where the industry is headed over the next 12 months. From covering the event, here are some of the key takeaways I have for the year ahead.



ARM ecosystem is stronger than ever


Where innovation begins.png

On a macro-level, it was not surprising to see that more than 900 companies at the show said they had Internet of Things products. The Internet of Things is a giant ecosystem with millions of potential products, including some 200 that Samsung have included as part of their Smart Things. This year some of their attention-grabbing gadgets included a smart belt which tells if you’re eating too much based on tension (thank goodness they launched this after the holiday season), a smart suit that uses NFC and even a smart golf shirt that can tell the UV rays of the sunshine. Going forward the IoT still needs standards that ensure that cross-vendor solutions work together, but there is a lot of work going on in the ecosystem to make sure that happens. To help accelerate the Internet of Things gaining traction, ARM launched the IoT subsystem for Cortex®-M at Computex last year and has partnered with Beijing-based accelerator Thundersoft to provide an incubator for IoT startups in China.




SoCs are being designed for niche markets


IoT Diversity.png



An interesting announcement came out on the Thursday as MediaTek unveiled three systems-on-chip. The SoCs are designed for wearable devices, smart home applications and Ultra-HD (4K) Blu-ray players.

The MT2523 is powered by a Cortex-M4 processor, while the MT7697 and MT8581 utilise a Cortex-A53 processor. They have all been finely tweaked to suit the power and performance requirements and could herald a new period where SoCs are highly geared towards the requirements of their target application. It shows that as niche markets are emerging, companies are producing SoCs that are optimized for particular use cases. ARM's CoreSight™ debug and trace technology was used for performance optimization in the SoC bring-up phase to ensure each chip hits its performance targets.


Another ARM partner, Broadcom, announced a new chip that promises to boost next-gen router performance. The BCM4908 is a 64-bit quad-core processor that can deliver high speed Internet speeds into the home, while also saving some CPU bandwidth to power Internet of Things applications within the future smart home. It does this through combining a quad-core ARM CPU with three Broadcom radios, each with an integrated CPU for host offload processing.



New players in premium mobile


Huawei Mate 8.jpg


One of the highlights of CES was the appearance of the Huawei Mate 8. This is a flagship smartphone by the Chinese OEM that includes the Kirin 950 SoC under the covers, an octa-core chip that combines four Cortex-A72 processors with four Cortex-A53 processors, with the CoreLink™ CCI-400 cache coherent interconnect providing inter-cluster coherency in the big.LITTLE™ formation. As well as a Mali™-T880 GPU to deliver the highest-quality immersive gaming, the SoC was developed using CoreSight debug and trace for rapid system optimization. On-chip virtualization is supported by the CoreLink MMU-500 system memory management unit and the CoreLink GIC-400 generic interrupt controller. The 16 megapixel camera and 4,000mAh battery demonstrate that it is targeting the premium end of the market, with shipments expected to arrive in the UK in the coming months. Finally, as security from attack and content protection become increasingly relevant in system design, the Kirin 950 made use of the TZC-380 TrustZone™ address space controller to support the ARM TrustZone system-wide approach to security by protecting selected memory regions and peripherals such as screens and keypads.




Wearables gaining momentum


High Wearable Hero Product Image.png


The wearable market continues to gain momentum around certain use cases, most notably fitness and ‘the quantified self’. Wearables continued to be a point of excitement, as a number of manufacturers showcased their latest editions, including Samsung, Huawei, Casio and Fitbit. Worldwide shipments of wearables reached 21 million units in Q3 of 2015, almost three times the amount of the previous year. Over 95% of the wearables market is based on ARM, and in 2016 there are large growth expectations as 111 million wearable devices have been predicted to be sold, according to research analysts at IDC. In more news of collaborations, Under Armour teamed up with HTC to release a suite of wearable devices to promote health and fitness. The wristband, heart rate monitor and weighing scales are all synchronised with Under Armour’s fitness apps to track progress and dynamically design challenges for users to stay motivated and help meet their goals.



Using the show as a barometer, it is intriguing to see the general trend of where companies are focusing their attention and resources for the year ahead. It’s clear to see that the ARM partnership has spread itself across the entire spectrum of consumer electronics for the year to come. If you’re hungry for more news of what to expect this year, ARM tweeted 16 predictions for 2016 which you can find here. Let me know your opinions on tech trends in 2016 by leaving a comment below.

Application_profile.pngARMv8-A adoption continues to grow as the demand for 64-bit computing gathers momentum.  As reported in the Q3-2015 financial results, ARM has now signed a cumulative total of 81 ARMv8-A processor and architecture licenses, an increase of 24 licenses in the last year. Alongside this licensing ramp is a steady stream of ARMv8-A based processor and other ARM products in or entering production. There are many more under development that will appear over the coming years.


ARMv8-A brings benefits beyond 64-bit and the introduction of AArch64.  For example, it enables improvements to the memory model matched to the requirements of data-race free programming support in the latest releases of languages such as C11/C++11. This applies to both AArch64 and AArch32 execution.


The ARMv8-A architecture continues to evolve. Last year, ARM introduced a set of small scale enhancements that are collectively known as ARMv8.1-A. ARM is now ready to announce a second set of enhancements under the architecture name ARMv8.2-A. Developed with the partnership, these will start appearing in tools and models immediately, with product introductions to follow. ARMv8.2-A is incremental to ARMv8.1-A, and both variants support backwards compatibility with current and emerging ARMv8.0-A products.


For any changes associated with ARMv8.x-A, it is important to recognize that introduction of these features into new cores will take several years, and other design choices can have a much greater impact on system performance. Some features are market specific, reflecting the growing importance of the ARM architecture into areas such as infrastructure markets. ARM expects the v8.x-A variants to co-exist in the market, and many new products will continue to be developed using v8.0-A for some years to come. Many changes are transparent to the user level, with operating systems such as Linux using runtime library selection or kernel patches to adapt where necessary. All changes have been developed in a backwards compatible manner, so all existing software continues to be supported.


ARMv8.2 overview


The enhancements introduced with ARMv8.2 fall into four categories:

  • Half-precision floating point data processing

  • Memory model enhancements.

  • Introduction of RAS support.

  • Introduction of statistical profiling.


Half-precision floating point data processing


IEEE754-2008 formatted half-precision floating point data processing is added to ARMv8.2-A. Its inclusion is optional and complements the existing half-precision storage format included in all floating point support today. There is increasing interest in the half-precision format for data processing associated with graphics/ pixel manipulation due to its large dynamic range. Machine learning research is another area where it is receiving some attention.


Half-precision data processing instructions are added for both AArch64 and AArch32 execution states as well as across scalar and Advanced SIMD floating point support. The instructions provide the same set of data processing operations as exists for single-precision data processing today.


Memory Model enhancements


Enhancements to the memory model can be summarized as follows. The enhancements apply to AArch64 and AArch32 unless otherwise stated.


For AArch64 execution and a 64KB granule size, ARMv8.2-A supports an optional increase in the address space from 48- to 52-bits. This applies to physical and virtual forms of address; VA, IPA and PA. A level one block becomes 4TB in size, and can only be used in isolation i.e. no contiguous 4TB block support .


Prior to ARMv8.2, and for a given implementation, all cache operations were defined in relation to the point of unification or the point of coherency in the memory hierarchy. To support advances in non-volatile memory and its effect on memory hierarchy design, a new form of cache clean to the point of persistency is introduced.


                DC CVAP, Xt      // clean virtual address to the point of persistency, AArch64 only


A state bit for Privilege-Access-Never was introduced in ARMv8.1-A. Two address translation ‘P’ operations are added that factor in the PSTATE.PAN bit. These complement the existing operations as follows:

  • AT S1E1R, Xt        // Stage 1 address translation, memory is readable at EL1, PAN bit ignored

  • AT S1E1W, Xt        // Stage 1 address translation, memory is writeable at EL1, PAN bit ignored

  • AT S1E1RP, Xt      // Stage 1 address translation, memory is readable at EL1, PAN bit applied

  • AT S1E1WP, Xt    // Stage 1 address translation, memory is writeable at EL1, PAN bit applied

// Factoring PSTATE. PAN allows a privileged device driver to identify attempted violations

// AT S1E1{R,W}P return a permission fault when PAN ==1 && a user accessible address


A UserAccessOverride state bit, PSTATE.UAO, is added in ARMv8.2-A that forces the user-access instructions LDTR*/STTR* to be treated as LDR/STR instructions. This allows a kernel to take advantage of the instructions in shared libraries that can execute with or without a user-access restriction.

Optional configuration control bits in the TCR_ELx registers that make page table entry bits PTE[62:59] IMPLEMENTATION DEFINED.


The eXecute Never functionality, XN-bit, associated with a stage 2 translation is extended to a 2-bit field, supporting all combinations of EL1 and EL0 execution:

  • EL1 or EL0 execution is permitted
  • EL1 execution is permitted, EL0 execution is not permitted
  • EL0 execution is permitted, EL1 execution is not permitted
  • Neither EL1 or EL0 execution is permitted.


A Common not private, CnP, bit is added to the translation base system registers that permits sharing of TLB entries in a multithreading implementation.  Support is in AArch64 and for the long descriptor page table format only in AArch32.


Reliability, Availability, Serviceability (RAS) Extension


Provision of RAS support is an essential feature in many enterprise computing situations.  Kernel support requires a minimum level of RAS capability in all ARMv8.2-A implementations. Minimal support enables:

  • Standard adoption of an Error Synchronization Barrier (ESB) instruction within the Linux Kernel
    • Basic ID mechanism for level of support implemented.
    • Default implementation of the system status registers.


Statistical Profiling Extension


The Statistical profiling extension is optional in ARMv8.2 and only supported in the AArch64 execution state. A sample criterion is set on an instruction or micro-op basis, and then sampled at a regular interval. Each sample then gathers context associated with that sample into a profiling record, with only one record ever being compiled at any given time. Analysing large working sets of samples can provide considerable insight into software execution and its associated performance when sampling continuously on systems running large workloads over extended periods of time.




The ARM architecture continues to evolve and ARMv8.2-A is the second set of changes being introduced to the ARMv8-A architecture profile. Grouping enhancements in this manner helps the ecosystem manage tools and software support alongside the large numbers of ARMv8-A based processors and products in development or production today. These changes add to the gradual migration in cores and related products over several years. Partners can currently obtain more details under a confidentiality agreement through their sales and support channels.


For a summary of the ARMv8-A architecture, see the section on ARMv8 architectural concepts in Chapter A1 of the ARMv8-A Architecture Reference Manual. This document, ARM DDI 0487, can be downloaded from by following the links from the top level => ARM architecture => reference manuals section.


ARMv8.1-A publication is now scheduled for 1Q, 2016 with ARMv8.2-A due for publication in 2H, 2016. Partners can currently obtain more details under a confidentiality agreement through their sales and support channels.


David Brash is Architecture Program Director in the Architecture and Technology Group, one of several groups within ARM’s engineering community.

We are in the final stages of the HEXUS Epic Giveaway, and the prizes get more and more interesting:


Qpad gaming bundles

Need a little help in perfecting those in-game headshots? Then check out the Day 22 prize, which offers Qpad gaming bundles composed of an MK-50 mechanical keyboard, an 8K Laser mouse, a QH-85 Black gaming headset and an FX Series mousepad!


Home Security Camera

Day 23 of the Epic Giveaway offers a better way of managing home security: The Piper Smart Home Security Camera comes with no monthly fees, a simple setup process and a user-friendly app that will alert you whenever there's motion and allow you to view 180-degree live video.


ZX Spectrum Vegas

The 24th day of the giveaway is retro in the biggest way. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega is the only retro console endorsed by Sir Clive Sinclair and uses a Freescale iMX series ARM SoC to bring the best of the 1982 ZX Spectrum to a whole new generation of users. Pre-loaded with 1,000 games, simply hook-up to your TV and enjoy the classics.


Vuzix iWear Video Headphones

Home theater display or cutting-edge headset? The Vuzix iWear promises exactly the latter with immersive experiences. It is capable of displaying 2D and 3D video, as well as interactive virtual reality titles. it's the prize on Day 25 of the Epic Giveaway. It's an awesome showcase of headset technology. With HDMI input you can easily hook up your smartphone, tablet or games console.


Here is a  link to the EPIC Giveaway contest page and to earlier ARM Connected Community coverage. Check back here to see additional giveaway opportunities in the final days.

We're in the last half of the month-long Hexus Epic Giveaway and the prizes just keep on coming:


Razer gaming peripherals

Black Widow. Death Stalker. Two things you generally want to steer clear of unless you’re talking about gaming peripherals from Razer.

Those two products are among a half-dozen keyboard, mouse and other peripherals made available as part of the HEXUS EPIC Giveaway.

Here’s a peek at the devices:


14 dev boards and eval kits

Day 14 of the giveaway is tailor-made for engineers. Perfect for DIY prototyping-type endeavors, the offerings include:


The only thing missing is a partridge in a pear tree.


TomTom GPS Watch

If it's the holidays, that means that pretty soon you're going to be working off all the pounds you gained enjoying sumptuous holiday meals. Perfect timing then for an athletic watch. The Day 15 prize is a TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch, powered by an Atmel SMART ARM® Cortex® M7-based MCU. Spark tracks your activity every minute of every day and can be used to keep tabs on all your sports, be it running, cycling, the gym or swimming.


Five Samsung SSDs

Storage never goes out of style. That’s why the five Samsung SSDs on Day 20 of the giveaway are so timely.

Up for grabs are four 120GB 850 Evo drives - two in a 2.5in form factor and two as M.2. In addition, one 250GB T1 Portable is on the block.


HomeMonitor HD security cameras

While most people take some time off around the holidays, many work up until the last minute, even though home and hearth are festooned with holiday decorations.

HD security cameras provide the usual peace of mind or alert you to issues when you’re out of the home. But around the holidays, sometimes it’s nice to check in remotely and see what’s awaiting you at day’s end.

Five Y-cam HomeMonitor systems are the Day 17 giveaway prizes from HEXUS and ARM. Check it out.


Sphero 2.0

You’d be hard-pressed to identify a cuter and trendier device throughout high-tech trade show floors in 2015 than the Sphero BB-8.

Now, on Day 18 of the giveaway, comes the Sphero 2.0.

You know you’re going to buying these for the kids this holiday season, so why not make your life even more special by entering for a chance to get one yourself?

Go here to get started.


Here is a  link to the EPIC Giveaway contest page and to earlier ARM Connected Community coverage. Check back here to see additional giveaway opportunities in the coming days.

In the first week of the HEXUS EPIC Giveaway, it was devices such as a gaming router, Amazon Fire HD tablet and a network-attached storage device. Week two continues the good cheer with devices for the home, small office and more.


Here’s what’s being given away:


NVIDIA Shield Android TV Box04_nvidia_android_tv_x2.jpg

It was only in mid-July 2013 that the first dongle, the Google Chromecast, powered by an ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, came on the market giving viewers the ability to turn their televisions into streaming systems. The technology gave a shot in the arm to content services from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and others providers.

Since then, others, including Amazon, have entered the market. Today, the NVIDIA Shield Android TV Box was rolled out as the eighth in the line of month-long HEXUS Epic Giveaways.

NVIDIA Shield is an Ultra HD streaming media player that delivers great resolution, vivid 10-bit color and rich Dolby 7.1 surround sound for a true home theater experience.


06_htc_a9_mobile_phone.jpgHTC One A9 smartphone

Called “quite simply one of the best smartphones on the market,” the HTC One A9 is the latest in the month-long HEXUS Epic Giveaway in partnership with ARM.

The HTC One A9 features a 5-inch edge-to-edge screen, fast Qualcomm Snapdragon octo-core processor, 16GB of memory and an Android 6.0 operating system.


Omate smart watches08_omate_racer_and_omate_truesmart.jpg

Nothing goes out the window faster during the holidays than exercise. And it’s the great irony of the season, too--when the tables creak with feasts--that we seem incapable of getting out and running the way we do the rest of the year.  (Well, sure it’s usually cold too…I get that).

That’s why it’s timely that the prize on Day 10 of the HEXUS Epic Giveaway is an Omate Racer or an Omate TrueSmart watch.


09_wd_my_cloud_x2.jpegWD 2TB My Cloud

Public cloud? Private cloud? How about your very own cloud? That’s the concept behind the WD My Cloud 2TB network-attached storage (NAS) device that is the prize on the 11th day of the HEXUS Epic Giveaway. The WD My Cloud allows users to keep all content in one safe place at home or in the office without monthly fees. The device can be accessed from anywhere. Users connect the My Cloud to their router and visit (or wdmycloud.local for Mac) to configure.


Here is a  link to the EPIC Giveaway contest page and to earlier ARM Connected Community coverage. Check back here to see additional giveaway opportunities in the coming days.

Hey everyone, you really don't want to miss this blog!

Click on this link to check out what Red Hat's Jon Masters has to say about the future of ARM-based servers in 2016.

Standardization: ARM server success in 2016 | Jon Masters | LinkedIn

And on the seventh day, the HEXUS Epic Giveaway offered up a gaming pack, composed of a Strafe RGB mechanical keyboard, a Scimitar RGB mouse and a Void 7.1 gaming headset.03_corsair_gaming_bundle_x2.jpg


The bundle comes from Corsair, a 20-year Silicon Valley company that evolved its business from high-performance to what it calls “enthusiast-grade” PC components and peripherals.


The bundle giveaway caps a lively first week of the monthlong giveaway. So far, the giveaway systems have been:


Here is a link to the Epic Giveaway contest page. Check back here to see additional giveaway opportunities in the coming days.

Hardcore gamers keep their gaming routers running constantly and this can affect stability and cut into the lifetime of the device. The ASRock G10, however, self-heals, which is one of several interesting features of the sixth in a series of HEXUS Epic Giveaway systems this month. 02_asrock_g10_gaming_router.jpg

With the ASRock G10, which can also be used as an IoT router for the home, self-healing is a configurable mechanism for the  router to automatically reboot upon scheduled hours. This keeps the performance and stability at its peak and also extends the lifespan of the router.

Here are some specifications:

  • Wireless Standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Frequency Band: 2.4GHz & 5GHz Simultaneous
  • Wireless Speed: 2.4GHz: 800Mbps; 5GHz: 1733Mbps
  • Memory: 256MB Flash and 512MB DRAM
  • Wireless Security: WPA, WPA2,Mixed, WPS
  • Dimensions:266.5 x 184 x 82 mm
  • Weight: 620g


Check out Parm Mann’s review of the ASRock G10. Here is a link to the Epic Giveaway contest page. Check back here to see additional giveaway opportunities in the coming days.


Here's a short video describing the system:

It’s Day 5 of HEXUS Epic Giveaway program and today I just want this. I want it, I want it, I want it. Childish? For sure, but, let’s be honest: we’re all gadget hounds and some just get you revved up.

Amazon Fire HD 10


The Amazon Fire HD 10, powered by MediaTek, is one of those, and it’s the Day 5 giveaway. Much of it, I think, is just the relentless engineering that Amazon believes in, stretching all the way back to the earliest Kindle. Another part of it is Dolby Labs Atmos audio, which promises to deliver incredible new 3D sound experiences.


In any case, here are the specs of the Amazon Fire HD 10:


  • 10.1" touchscreen, 1280x800 resolution at 149 ppi, HD video playback, with in-plane switching technology and advanced polarising filter, laminated HD display
  • Size: 10.3" x 6.3" x 0.3" (262 x 159 x 7.7mm)
  • Weight: 15.2 oz. (432g).
  • Processor: MediaTek Quad-Core: 2 @ 1.5 GHz + 2 @ 1.2GHz , with 1 GB of RAM.
  • Storage: 16 GB (11.6GB available to user) or 32GB (26GB available to user) of internal storage. Add microSD card for up to 128GB of additional storage for even more movies, TV shows, music, photos, personal videos, and apps.
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Single-antenna, dual-band Wi-Fi. Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n or 802.11ac standard with support for WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
  • Ports: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector).
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope.
  • Camera Specs: 720p front-facing HD camera. 5MP rear-facing HD camera.                                                                                   


Here is a link to the Epic Giveaway contest page. Check back here to see additional giveaway opportunities in the coming days.

Here's a video on the Fire HD 10:


As the pace of electronics integration continues relentlessly, network attached storage devices become not only more compact and powerful but more accessible to wider markets.10_synology_ds1515.jpg


The DS1515 is an expandable 5-bay NAS server that delivers outstanding data transmission speed, features built-in four Gigabit LAN ports, high availability and SSD read/write cache support among many other features.

The system is HEXUS’ Day 4 Epic Giveaway device. HEXUS’ Pharm Mann reviews the device here.

Here are some select specs from the box:

  • CPU 32-bit Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-314, Quad Core 1.4 GHz
  • System Memory: 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage: 5 Drive Bay(s)
  • Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit: 15
  • Compatible Drive Type: 3.5” SATA III / SATA II HDD; 2.5” SATA III / SATA II HDD; 2.5” SATA III / SATA II SSD
  • Maximum Internal Raw Capacity: 40 TB (8 TB HDD x 5)
  • Maximum Raw Capacity with Expansion Units: 120 TB (8 TB HDD x 15)
  • Size: 157 mm x 248 mm x 233 mm
  • Weight: 4.15 kg


Here is a link to the Epic Giveaway contest page. Check back here to see additional giveaway opportunities in the coming days.


We at Cog Systems would like to announce that we have updated the OKL4 Microvisor to support the 64-Bit ARMv8-a architecture. This means the most advanced general purpose trusted computing separation-kernel / hypervisor technology is now available on AArch64 processors (and it now scales from small ARM926 and Cortex-A5 processors and TZ environments through to the latest 64-bit multi-core ARM processors), providing high assurance and its consistent API and execution environments for software components and VMs across the ARM range.


OKL4 Microvisor

The OKL4 Microvisor is the result of more than a decade of research in Microkernels and Hypervisors, and Cog Systems is privileged to staff many of the original developers of this advanced technology. The kernel is small and fast, and was designed from the start with a unique security design and implemented to be robust. It supports both para-virtualization and ARM's virtualization extesions. The OKL4 Microvisor is highly flexible, supporting applications ranging from small secure embedded systems and connected devices (ie. IoT, networking, medical, and consumer electronics), through to high complexity secure multi-Android phones, car infotainment and driver information, and secure cloud virtualization.



  • Multi-core Linux VMs
  • Light-weight C environment for "bare-metal" apps
  • Support for Real-time VMs (RTOS) in conjunction with non-realtime VMs like Linux
  • Advanced Virtual Services stack for device virtualization and inter-component custom stateful protocol design
  • Able to support other OSes such as BSD, QNX, Windows, and custom stacks such as Unikernels


Link: The Cog Blog: ARMv8 64-bit Hypervisor — the OKL4 Microvisor

Learn more:

Creating differentiation in a jam-packed-crowded smartphone market is difficult. Creating that differentiation at lower price points is even tougher.

Enter Wileyfox, the London-based upstart smartphone company, inventor of the Storm and the Swift phones. The devices both run the Android Lollipop 5.1.1-based Cyanogen operating system 12.1.


The Swift sells for £99 while the Storm sells for £199, but the key here is customization - from apps to accessories and security.



HEXUS’ Epic Giveaway Day 3 prize is a Storm.


Here are the specs:

  • Dimensions 155.6 x 77.3 x 9.2mm
  • Weight 155g
  • Dual SIM
  • Display: Type FHD, IPS, Full Lamination; 5.5in; resolution 1,920x1,080 pixels (~400ppi)
  • OS Cyanogen 12.1
  • Chipset Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 615 8939
  • CPU 64-bit Octa-core 1.5GHz
  • GPU Adreno™ 405
  • Memory-card slot: Expandable up to 128GB; Internal 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM
  • Camera: Primary 20MP AF Sony EXMOR IMX220 BSI, LED Flash
  • Video: 1080p@90fps slow-motion capture, high-speed capture
  • Communications: WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi; Bluetooth v4, A2DP, BLE, A-GPS, GLONASS; MicroUSB
  • Battery: Non-removable 2,500mAh battery
  • Sensors 3D G-Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-Compass


Here is a link to the Epic Giveaway contest page. Check back here to see additional giveaway opportunities in the coming days.

Well, the Arduino/Genuino family has just gained another member. Everyone, meet the MKR1000. MKR1000, meet the ever-growing Maker community.


This MKR1000 is a powerful board that combines the functionality of the Zero (Atmel | SMART SAM D21) and the connectivity of the Wi-Fi Shield. It is based on the ATSAMW25 — an Atmel SmartConnect wireless SoC specifically geared towards IoT — and offers the ideal solution for Makers seeking Wi-Fi connectivity with minimal previous experience in networking.

The combination of 32-bit computational power like the Zero, the usual rich set of I/O interfaces, low-power Wi-Fi with a CryptoAuthentication chip for secure communication, and the ease of use of the Arduino IDE make this board the perfect choice for emerging IoT battery-powered projects in a compact form factor. It should be noted, however, that unlike most Arduino and Genuinos, the MKR1000 runs at 3.3V.

Other key specs include:

  • MCU: Atmel | SMART SAMD21 Cortex-M0+
  • Power Supply: 5V
  • Flash: 256KB
  • SRAM: 32KB
  • Clock Speed: 32KHz, 32.768KHz, 8MHz and 48Mhz
  • Supported Battery: Li-Po single-cell, 3.7V, 700mAh minimum
  • Digital I/O Pins: 8
  • PWM Pins: 4 (D2-D5)
  • UART: 1
  • SPI: 1
  • I2C: 1
  • Analog Input Pins: 7 (ADC 8/10/12-bit)
  • Analog Output Pins: 1 (DAC 10-bit)
  • External Interrupts: 8
  • DC Current Per I/O Pin: 7mA

The newly-revealed board will be available for purchase beginning in February 2016; however, you can be one of the first 1,000 people to lay their hands on the MKR1000 by participating in the World’s Largest Arduino Maker Challenge, a collaboration between Hackster.IO, Microsoft, Adafruit and Atmel.

This blog originally appeared on Atmel Bits & Pieces.



Features, speed, user experience and prices continue to fall in the gaming tablet world, and nothing is more emblematic of that trend than the NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1. This $199 device is the second offering in HEXUS’ month-long Epic Giveaway.


Here’s what the Shield Tablet K1 comes packed with:


  • NVIDIA Tegra® K1 192 core Kepler GPU
  • 2.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 CPU with 2 GB RAM
  • 8-inch 1920x1200 multi-touch full-HD display
  • 4K Ultra-HD ready
  • Front-facing stereo speakers with built-in microphone
  • 16 GB storage
  • 802.11n 2x2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS/GLONASS
  • Mini-HDMI output, Micro-USB 2.0, MicroSD slot 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with microphone support
  • 3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis compass


HEXUS’ Editor Tarinder Sandhu called it perhaps the first true gaming tablet in his review.  Here's link to the Epic giveaway contest page.



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