MINIX based Intel Management Engine Firmware & UEFI are Closed Source & Insecure, NERF to the Rescue!

Tweet You may have heard a few things about Intel Management Engine in recent months, especially as security issues have been found, the firmware is not easily upgradeable, and the EFF deemed it a security hazard asking Intel for ways to disable it. In recent days, I’ve seen several media reports about the Management Engine being based on an Intel Quark x86-based 32-bit CPU running MINIX open-source operating system. Keep in mind, there’s nothing nefarious about MINIX, it’s just that Intel keeps its own developments on top closed. One of sources for the information is a blog post explaining how to disable Intel ME 11, but ZDNET also points to one of the talks at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2017 entitled “Replace Your Exploit-Ridden Firmware with Linux” by Ronald Minnich, Google which explains the problem, and proposes a solution to (almost) disable Intel’s ME, and replace UEFI by a small open source Linux kernel and ramdisk. To better understand …

Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit Works with Alexa Voice Service, Raspberry Pi 3 Board

Tweet We’ve known Intel has been working on Quark S1000 “Sue Creek” processor for voice recognition for several months. S1000 SoC is based on two Tensilica LX6 with HiFi3 DSP, some speech recognition accelerators, and up to 8x microphones interfaces which allows it to perform speech recognition locally. The solution can also be hooked to an application processor via SPI, I2S and USB (optional) when cloud based voice recognition is needed. Intel has recently introduced their Speech Enabling Developer Kit working with Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) featuring a “dual DSP with inference engine” – which must be Quark S1000 – and an 8-mic array. The kit also includes a 40-pin cable to connect to the Raspberry Pi 3 board. Intel only provided basic specifications for the kit: Intel’s dual DSP with inference engine Intel 8-mic circular array High-performance algorithms for acoustic echo cancellation, noise reduction, beamforming and custom wake word engine tuned to “Alexa” 6x Washers 3x 6mm screws …

Intel Curie Module, Arduino 101 Board Are Being Discontinued (Too)

Tweet Intel seems to have completely given up on its efforts to bring products specific to the Internet of Things. After discontinuing Intel Edison, Galileo and Joule boards & modules last month, forcing companies to look for alternatives, the company has now issued product discontinuance / end-of-life notices for Intel Curie Module and Arduino 101 board, itself based on the Curie module. The two product change notification notice can be found below for: Select Intel Curie Module Products – PDF Select Intel Arduino 101 Products – PDF The use of the word “Select” would normally mean some versions of the module and board won’t be affected, but I fail to see which ones here, as AFAIK there’s only one Arduino 101 board, and two variants of Curie modules, all three to be discontinued. Arduino 101 will be phased out faster with the following milestones: July 17, 2017 – Product Discontinuance Program Support Begins September 17, 2017 – Last Product Discontinuance …

Intel Quark S1000 “Sue Creek” Processor to Support On-Chip Speech Recognition

Tweet Intel may have announced plans to discontinue several of their IoT boards, but based on some documents I received, the company has not given up on the Quark family, although they may have given up on the Intel architecture for low power microprocessor, as Intel Quark S1000 – codenamed “Sue Creek” – will feature two Tensilica LX6 cores (yes, just like ESP32), and is designed to handle speech recognition at the edge (e.g. locally), so some of your voice commands should still work when Internet is down. Intel Quark S1000 key features and specifications: Digital Signal Processors Dual Tensilica LX6 cores @ 400 MHz with HiFi3 DSP Single precision scalar floating-point instructions 16KB 4-way I$; 48KB 4-way D$ Up to 2400 DMIPS, 3.2 GMACS (16×16), 800 MFLOPS of Compute Speech Accelerators A GMM (Gaussian Mixture Model) and neural network accelerator Low power keyboard and limited vocabulary recognition Up to 9.6 GMACS (16×16) of compute Internal Memory 4MB shared embedded …

Intel Issues End-of-Life Notices for Galileo / Galileo 2, Edison and Joule Boards & Modules

Tweet While I’m not sure many of my readers are using them, Intel introduced several IoT development kits and modules over the years, with products like Intel Galileo, followed by Galileo 2, Edison module development board all based on Quark processors, and more recently Intel Joule modules powered by Intel Atom T550x / T570x processors. The three boards / modules and corresponding modules will soon be no more, as Intel issues three end-of-life (EOL) notices for: Intel Galileo Board, and Intel Galileo Gen2 Board Products – PDF Select Intel Edison Compute Module, Intel Edison Breakout Board, Intel Edison Kit for Arduino, and Intel Edison Breakout Board Kit Products – PDF Intel Joule 570x Compute Module, Intel Joule 550x Compute Module, Intel Joule 570x Developer Kit and, Intel Joule 550x Developer Kit Products – PDF All three follow the same “forecasted key milestones”: June 16, 2017 – Product Discontinuance Program Support Begins July 16, 2017 – Product Discontinuance Demand To Local …

Visualizing Electronics Manufacturing Price Variation with Volume and Lead Time

Tweet Google Android Things developers announced a production hardware sample based on Intel Edison module: Android Things is focused on helping developers build production ready devices that they can bring to market. This means building custom hardware in addition to the app software running on the Android Things system-on-module (SoM). As a part of this effort we have released Edison Candle, the first in a series of production samples designed to showcase hardware and software designed to work together. The code is hosted on GitHub and the hardware design files are on CircuitHub. That’s what the Edison Candle looks like. It’s just demo hardware to show how to build a product with a system-on-module (Intel Edison) for Android Things with everything released in Github. You can also purchase the board on CircuitHub, but then I saw the price was around $356 for such a simple board (without Edison). That’s quite a lot for a single board, clicking on “quote breakdown” …

$100 Xiaomi “90 Minutes Ultra Smart Running Shoes” are Equipped with Intel Curie Module

Tweet If you’ve ever used a fitness tracker on a wristband, you must know that although it gives an indication of your level of activity, it’s usually not really accurate to count steps. Xiaomi’s “90 Minutes ultra smart running shoes” fixes the issue as the fitness tracker powered by Intel Curie module is placed right inside the shoes. Most of the information is in Chinese, and I could only find limited specifications for the shoes: Size – 39 to 45 Intel Curie Module based on Quark SE SoC with 6-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity Battery – Good for 60 days on a charge Material Shoe sole – Rubber Shoe vamp – Fabric + Synthetic leather Shoe insole – Antibacterial removable air cushions The small device based on Intel Curie module resides inside the sole, stores fitness data such steps, distance covered, speed, (estimated) calories burnt, etc… It’s unclear whether it will be charged wirelessly, or some charging …

Android Things OS for the Internet of Things Supports Raspberry Pi 3, Intel Edison, and NXP Pico Boards

Tweet Google introduced Project Brillo a little over a year ago, an operating system based on Android, but with a smaller footprint optimized for Internet of Things applications. Brillo has now just become Android Things OS, with Google releasing a developer preview of Android Things working on Raspberry Pi 3, Intel Edison, and NXP Pico boards. The company has also updated the Weave platform to simplify connection of all types of devices to the cloud, and interaction with services like the Google Assistant. The Weave Device SDK currently supports schemas for light bulbs, smart plugs, switches, and thermostats, with more type of device supported in the future, as well as a mobile app API for both Android and iOS. Using an Android based OS instead of a pure Linux OS should make it easier for Android app developers to create smart devices thanks to the use of familiar Android APIs and Google Services. The workflow is pretty similar to creating …