Google KataOS – A secure OS for embedded systems written in Rust (mostly)

KataOS Rust application sel4

Google Research has been working on its own Rust-based operating system called KataOS and designed to secure embedded systems that run Machine Learning (ML) applications. There has been a lot of talk about the Rust programming language in recent times, since it offers about the same level of performance as C programming but helps programmers write more secure code with built-in prevention against buffer overflows for instance. It has gained a lot of traction over the years, and Linux 6.1 will be the first kernel release to include Rust code. Google Research noticed that system security is often treated as a feature that can be added to existing systems either by software or an extra security chip. But in a world, where more and more of our private data is exposed to the world through the Internet, it is not good enough, so the company developed KataOS open-source, secure operating […]

Lyra V2 open-source audio codec gets faster, higher quality and compatible with more platforms

Lyra V2 is an update to the open-source Lyra audio codec introduced last year by Google, with a new architecture that offers scalable bitrate capabilities, better performance, higher quality audio, and works on more platforms. Under the hood, Lyra V2 is based on an end-to-end neural audio codec called SoundStream with a “residual vector quantizer” (RVQ) sitting before and after the transmission channel, and that can change the audio bitrate at any time by selecting the number of quantizers to use. Three bitrates are supported: 3.2 kps, 6 kbps, and 9.2 kbps. Lyra V2 leverages artificial intelligence, and a TensorFlow Lite model enables it to run on Android phones, Linux, as well as Mac and Windows although support for the latter two is experimental. iOS and other embedded platforms are not supported at this time, but this may change in the future. It gets more interesting once we start to […]

Chromecast with Google TV (HD) features Amlogic S805X2 CPU with AV1 video support

Google has launched the new Chromecast with Google TV (HD) powered by an Amlogic S805X2 quad-core Cortex-A35 CPU that offers a cheaper alternative to the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) that is limited to 1080p60 resolution, instead of the 4Kp60 video output supported by the Amlogic S905X3 model. While the processor is slower, the system comes with less memory (1.5GB vs 2GB), and only supports 1080p60, it supports the more efficient AV1 video decoding and as well as A/B partitions for seamless updates since the firmware does not need to be downloaded to the internal storage before the Chromecast with Google TV (HD) specifications: SoC – Amlogic S805X2 quad-core Cortex-A35 processor with Mali-G31 MP2 GPU, 1080p60 H.265, H.264, VP9, AV1 video decoder System Memory  – 1.5GB RAM Storage – 8GB eMMC flash with support for “virtual A/B updates with compression“ Video output – HDMI up to 1080p60 with HDR support […]

Android 13 Beta for TV available for Google ADT-3 devkit

Google released the first Android 13 Developer preview in February, and we know quite a lot about Android 13 including virtualization support, as well as security and privacy updates. But the company has now released Android 13 Beta for TV (aka Android 13 for Android TV) for Google ADT-3 developer kit and the Android Emulator for TV in Android Studio. The beta release allows app developers to test their apps and provide feedback on the latest release before it is released to customer devices. Google does not provide any changelog specific to Android 13 for Android TV, but you’ll find the OS image for ADT-3 and installation instructions on the release page. Mishaal Rahman tried it on his ADT-3 box expecting some new features, but he noted that expanded PiP support, low power standby ( which could disable wakelocks and cut off network access to apps in order to preserve […]

UCIe (Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express) open standard for Chiplets with heterogeneous chips

We first heard about Chiplet, chips that gather IP or chips from different vendors into a single chip, in 2020 with the now-defunct zGlue’s Open Chiplet Initiative, but the term recently came back to the forefront last month with Intel’s investment into the “Open Chiplet Platform” that aims to offer a modular approach to chip design through chiplets with each block/chiplet customized for a particular function. It turns out there’s now an official standard called the Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) whose specification defines the interconnect between chiplets within a package, and not only backed by Intel, but also AMD, Arm, ASE, Google Cloud, Meta, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, and TSMC. UCIe defines the Physical Layer (Die-to-Die I/O) and protocols to be used for the chiplet interfaces, currently PCIe and CXL (Compute Express Link), but more protocols will be added to the specification in the future. The goal is to provide […]

Android 13 virtualization lets Pixel 6 run Windows 11, Linux distributions

The first Android 13 developer preview may have felt a bit underwhelming, but there’s a hidden gem with full virtualization possible on hardware such as the Google Pixel 6 smartphone. What that means is that it is now possible to run virtually any operating system including Windows 11, Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or Arch Linux Arm on the Google Tensor-powered phone, and do so at near-native speed. Android & web developer “kdrag0n” tested several Linux distributions compiled for Aarch64 on the Pixel 6 with Ubuntu 21.10, Arch Linux Arm, Void Linux, and Alpine Linux using “the KVM hypervisor on Pixel 6 + Android 13 DP1”. He/she further explains: As far as I can tell, we can pretty much get full EL2 on production devices now. Protected KVM is optional and can be enabled on a per-VM basis, but for non-protected VMs, it looks like full KVM functionality is available. […]

Coral Dev Board Micro combines NXP i.MX RT1176 MCU with Edge TPU in Pi Zero form factor

Coral Dev Board Micro is the latest iteration of Google’s Edge AI devkit with an NXP i.MX RT1176 Cortex-M7/M4 crossover processor/microcontroller coupled with the company’s 4 TOPS Edge TPU, a camera, and a microphone in a board that’s about the size of a Raspberry Pi Zero SBC. The new board follows the original NXP i.MX 8M-based Coral Dev board that was introduced in 2019, and Coral Dev Board mini based on MediaTek MT8167S processor launched in 2020, and keeps with the trend of providing more compact solutions with lower-end host processors for edge AI. Coral Dev Board Micro specifications: MCU – NXP i.MX RT1176 processor with an Arm Cortex-M7 core @ up to 1 GHz, Cortex-M4 core up to 400 MHz, 2MB internal SRAM, 2D graphics accelerators; System Memory – 512 Mbit (64 MB) RAM Storage – 1 Gbit (128 MB) flash memory ML accelerator – Coral Edge TPU coprocessor […]

Coral Dev board news – NXP critical firmware update, manufacturing demo, and WebCoral in Chrome

Google Coral is a family of development boards, modules, M.2/mPCIe cards, and USB sticks with support with local AI, aka on-device or offline AI, based on Google Edge TPU. The company has just published some updates with one important firmware update, a manufacturing demo for worker safety & visual inspection, and the ability to use the Coral USB accelerator in Chrome. Coral firmware update prevents board’s excessive wear and tear If you own the original Coral development board or system-on-module based on NXP i.MX 8M processor, you may want to update your Mendel Linux installation with:

The update includes a patch from NXP with a critical fix to part of the SoC power configuration. Without this patch, the SoC might overstress and the lifetime of your board could be reduced. Note this only affects NXP-based boards, so other Coral products such as Coral Dev Mini powered by Mediatek MT8167S […]