RISC-V Keynote at Embedded Linux Conference 2018 (Video)

The Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit 2018 have just started, and the Linux Foundation has already uploaded a few keynote videos to YouTube, including the one by Yunsup Lee, Co-Founder and CTO, SiFive, entitled “Designing the Next Billion Chips: How RISC-V is Revolutionizing Hardware”. Yunsup explains the current problem with chip development, and go through the open source RISC-V solutions offered by Sifive. Currently design a chip has a high upfront (NRE = non-recurring engineering) costs, is time-consuming (1.5 to 2 years at least) and silicon vendors normally target high volume production, but now many applications like IoT or machine learning require custom chips that may not be (yet) manufactured in such high volume. The solution is to adapt some idea from open source software to open source hardware in order to lower the costs, enable fast prototyping, and involve the community of designers and software developers. He took Instagram as an example, as it sold for $1 billion …

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Embedded Linux Conference & IoT Summit 2018 Schedule

The Embedded Linux Conference 2018 and the OpenIoT Summit 2018 will jointly take place next month, on March 12 – 14, 2018 in Portland, Oregon, USA. The former is a “vendor-neutral technical conference for companies and developers using Linux in embedded products”, while the latter is a “technical conference for the developers and architects working on industrial IoT”. The Linux Foundation has already published the schedule, and it’s always useful to learn what will be discussed about even for people who won’t attend. With that in mind, here’s my own virtual schedule with some of the talks I find interesting / relevant to this blog. Monday, March 12 10:50 – 11:40 – Progress in the Embedded GPU Ecosystem by Robert Foss, Collabora Ltd. Ten years ago no one would have expected the embedded GPU ecosystem in Linux to be what it is now. Today, a large number of GPUs have Open Source support and for those that aren’t supported yet, …

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TECHBASE Moduino X Series Industrial IoT Modules / Endpoints are Based on ESP32 WiSoC

We’ve previously covered TECHBASE ModBerry industrial IoT gateways leveraging Raspberry Pi 3, FriendlyELEC NanoPi M1 Plus, or AAEON’s UP Linux boards. The company has now launched Moduino X series modules powered by Espressif ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth SoC to be used as end points together with their ModBerry gateways. Two models have been developed so far, namely Moduino X1 and X2, with the following specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROVER with ESP32 dual-core Tensilica LX6 processor @ 240 MHz, 4MB pSRAM (512KB as option), 4MB SPI flash; External Storage – X2 only: micro SD card slot Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n WiFi up to 16 Mbps + Bluetooth 4.2 LE with u.FL antenna connector X2 only: 10/100M Ethernet Options: LoRa (Semtech SX1272); Sigfox (TI CC1125); LTE Cat M1/NB1; Zigbee Serial – 2x RS-232/485 Display – Optional 0.96″ OLED display with 128×64 resolution Expansion I/Os 4x Digital I/O (0 ~ 3V) 2x Analog Input: A2 Only: 2x analog output (optional) A2 only: support for …

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Linaro Connect SF 2017 Welcome Keynote – New Members, Achievements, the Future of Open Source, and More…

Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017 is now taking place until September 29, and it all started yesterday with the Welcome Keynote by George Grey, Linaro CEO discussing the various achievements since the last Linaro Connect in Budapest, and providing an insight to the future work to be done by the organization. The video is available on YouTube (embedded below), and since I watched it, I’ll provide a summary of what was discussed: Welcoming New Members – Kylin (China developed FreeBSD operating systems) joined LEG (Enterprise Group), NXP added LHG (Home Group) membership, and Xilinx joined LITE (IoT and Embedded). Achievements OPTEE open portable trusted environment execution more commonly integrated into products. Details at optee.org. LEG 17.08 ERP release based on Linux 4.12, Debian 8.9 with UEFI, ACPI, DPDK, Bigtop, Hadoop, etc… LITE group has been involved in Zephyr 1.9 release, notably contributing to LwM2M stack More projects to be found on download page. Open source future with many fields involved …

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Embedded Linux Conference & Open Source Summit Europe 2017 Schedule

The Embedded Linux Conference & IoT summit 2017 took place in the US earlier this year in February, but there will soon be a similar event with the Embedded Linux Conference *& Open Source Summit Europe 2017 to take up in Europe on October 23 – 25 in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Linux Foundation has just published the schedule. It’s always useful to find out what is being discussed during such events, even if you are not going to attend, so I went through the different sessions, and compose my own virtual schedule with some of the ones I find the most interesting. Monday, October 23 11:15 – 11:55 – An Introduction to SPI-NOR Subsystem – Vignesh Raghavendra, Texas Instruments India Modern day embedded systems have dedicated SPI controllers to support NOR flashes. They have many hardware level features to increase the ease and efficiency of accessing SPI NOR flashes and also support different SPI bus widths and speeds. …

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Top Programming Languages & Operating Systems for the Internet of Things

The Eclipse foundation has recently done its IoT Developer Survey answered by 713 developers, where they asked  IoT programming languages, cloud platforms, IoT operating systems, messaging protocols (MQTT, HTTP), IoT hardware architectures and more.  The results have now been published. So let’s have a look at some of the slides, especially with regards to programming languages and operating systems bearing in mind that IoT is a general terms that may apply to sensors, gateways and the cloud, so the survey correctly separated languages for different segments of the IoT ecosystem. C and C++ are still the preferred languages for constrained devices, and developers are normally using more than one language as the total is well over 100%. IoT gateways are more powerful and resourceful (memory/storage) hardware, so it’s no surprise higher level languages like Java and Python join C and C++, with Java being the most used language with 40.8% of respondents. When it comes to the cloud with virtually …

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MCUBoot is an Open Source Secure Bootloader for IoT / MCUs

Bootloaders takes care of the initial boot sequence on the hardware before the operating system takes over. For example, U-boot is often used in embedded systems as the bootloader before starting the main operating systems such as Linux or FreeBSD. MCUBoot is also a bootloader, but it targets the IoT, here referring to MCU based systems with limited memory and storage capacity, and is born out of work on Apache Mynewt OS, when developers decided to develop the bootloader separately from the operating system. MCUBoot is designed to run on small & low cost systems running on MCU with ~512 KB flash, ~256 KB RAM, and currently supports Zephyr OS and Mynewt, with support for other RTOS also considered. Due to constraint the bootloader uses minimal features with a flash driver, a single thread, and crypto services. The project also aims at solving security and field firmware updates. To address the latter, the flash is partitioned in four sections, one for …

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New 96Boards IoT Edition Boards Showcased at Linaro Connect 2017: BlueSky IE and WRTNode IE

Linaro Connect Budapest 2017 is taking place this week in Hungary, and during George Grey – Linaro CEO – keynote, he provided a status updates for the Linaro group, addressed some of Linaro’s criticisms from members and the community, and unveiled two upcoming boards compliant with 96Boards IoT edition both running Zephyr OS, and adding to BLE Carbon board announced last year. The first board is BlueSky IE board with the following key specifications: SoC – RDA Micro RDA5981A ARM Cortex-M4 Wireless MCU with 64KB ROM, and 32KB cache System Memory – 485KB SRAM. It’s unclear if that’s only the on-chip SRAM, and there’s also some external PSRAM added. Storage – 8Mb NOR flash 802.11 b / g / n HT20 / 40 mode Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with support for  HT20 / 40 modes Crypto security hardware The second board is WRTnode IE: SoC – Mediatek MT7697 ARM Cortex-M4 wireless MCU @ up to 192MHz with 64KB ROM, …

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