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Samsung IoT Security News – ARTIK Secure IoT Modules, SmartThings Cloud, and Secure Element

October 19th, 2017 No comments

Samsung has made several announcements with IoT, especially IoT security. First, Samsung ARTIK 053, ARTIK 530 and ARTIK 710 modules are getting an “s” version, which stands for “robust security”, as well as a new ARTIK 055s module, and all ARTIK modules can now work with SmartThings Cloud uniting the company’s existing services – ARTIK Cloud and Samsung Connect Cloud – into a single IoT platform.

Separately, the company announced their Secure Element solution which combines eFlash memory and new security software.

Samsung ARTIK “s” modules & ARTIK 055s

The company explains in their blog that ARTIK 053s, 530s, 710s, and the all new 055s will feature “advanced protection, integrated cloud services, and hosted security services with “enhanced ARTIK end-to-end security by providing greater protection for IoT data as well as prevention against hacking”.

The press release is a little more specific:

ARTIK secure IoT modules provide a strong root of trust from device-to-cloud with a factory-injected unique ID and keys stored in tamper-resistant hardware. Samsung’s public key infrastructure (PKI) enables mutual authentication to the cloud to identify each device on the network and support whitelisting. Customers can use the new Secure Boot feature and code signing portal to validate software authenticity on start-up. In addition, the secure IoT modules provide a hardware-protected Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) with a secure operating system and security library to process, store, and manage sensitive resources, including keys and tokens on devices. Information is protected using FIPS 140-2 data encryption and secure data storage.

The product briefs somewhat help us better understand what has changed with the “s” version.

Click to Enlarge

So it appears the modules were previously secured with a “Secure Element”, and now the company has added KMS and secure boot support to the “s” version, as well as TEE to the more powerful ARTIK 530s and 710s modules. The company claims there will no increase in price for the (more) secure modules.

Samsung ARTIK 055s Smart IoT module (pictured above) is similar to ARTIK 053(s), but is quite smaller, and works at 3.3VDC, instead of the 5-12VDC. ARTIK 055s specifications with highlights in bold showing differences with ARTIK 053:

  • MCU – 32-bit ARM Cortex R4 @ 320MHz with 1280 KB RAM for general use, 128 KB RAM for global IPC data
  • Storage – 8 MB flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi @ 2.4 GHz
  • Expansion – 29 dedicated GPIO ports, 2x SPI, 4x UART (2-pin), 4x ADC, 1x JTAG, 2x I2C
  • Security – AES/DES/TDES, SHA-1/SHA-2, PKA (Public Key Accelerator), PRNG/DTRNG (Random Number Generators), Secure key storage, Physical Unclonable Function (PUF)
  • Power Supply – 3.3 VDC input voltage
  • Dimensions – 26 x 15 x 3 mm
  • Temperature Range – -20 to 85°C
  • Certifications – FCC (U.S), IC (Canada), CE (EU), KC (Korea), SRRC (China)

The documentation does not list any hardware differences with regards to security, but Tizen RT OS adds secure firmware and JTAG protection for 055s and 053s.

Samsung Tizen RT OS – Click to Enlarge

In other news, Samsung ARTIK 530(s), ARTIK 710(s), and future Linux based ARTIK modules will now default to Ubuntu 16.04, instead of Fedora used so far.

Samsung Secure Element

We’ve just seen older ARTIK modules included a “Secure Element”, but Samsung has just added to confusion by introducing an “integrated Secure Element (SE) solution for Internet of Things (IoT) applications that offers a turn-key service for both hardware and software needs”.

The SE includes an embedded flash (eFlash) and will stop and reset itself whenever it detects abnormal activity. The solution also comes with security software that supports personal verification, security key storage, encoding and decoding, and secure data transfer between devices servers and clouds.

The SE and developer board are showcased at the Samsung Developer Conference, but that’s all the information I have so far, as I could not find any info about Secure Element or W1650 chip on Samsung website.

Linux on Galaxy to Bring Linux Desktop to Samsung Note8, Galaxy S8 and S8+ with DeX Station

October 19th, 2017 9 comments

Earlier this year, Linux desktop mobile convergence took a serious hit when Canoncial decided to drop support for Unity and Mobile Convergence in their Ubuntu distributions, focusing instead on the enterprise and IoT market, and replacing Unity by GNOME starting with the just released Ubuntu 17.10.

Things started to look better with Purism Librem 5 Linux smartphone, which has now raised $1.8 million dollars, and partnered with well-known members of the Linux ecosystems like KDE, GNOME, and NextCloud. However, the phone will be based on a rather low end NXP i.MX 8M quad Cortex A53 SoC, is scheduled for January 2019 only, and being a crowdfunding campaign, failure is always a possibility.

But today, the outlook for Linux phones brightened even more, as Samsung unveiled plans for “Linux on Galaxy” at the Samsung Developer Conference 2017.

Samsung Dex with Android

The solution will leverage the company’s DeX (Desktop Experience) that relies on DeX Station – a dock for Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note8 smartphone – that connected to a big display, as well as a special Android desktop mode that supports multi-window, comes with a start menu, etc…

Linux on Galaxy app will enable developers and users to leverage Samsung DeX hardware (station + smartphone) to run their preferred Linux desktop distribution(s) using the same kernel that powers Android OS. For example, developers will be able to code using their mobile on-the-go, and with Samsung DeX, continue their work on a larger display.

Samsung Linux on Galaxy is still a work in progress, and the project is still private. But if you are interested, you can register your interest in order to get notified when it goes public.

UFS 3.0 Embedded Flash to Support Full-Duplex 2.4GB/s Transfer Speeds

September 10th, 2017 3 comments

All my devices still rely on eMMC flash for storage, but premium smartphones, for example, make use of UFS 2.0/UFS 2.1 flash storage with performance similar to SSD, with Samsung UFS 2.0 storage achieving up to 850MB/s read speed, 260 MB/s write speed, and 50K/30K R/W IOPS. UFS 3.0 promises to roughly double the performance of UFS 2.0/2.1 with transfer rates of up to 2.4 GB/s, and separately, the UFS Card v2.0 standard should deliver UFS 2.1 performance on removable storage.

Image Source: Next Generation of Mobile Storage : UFS and UFS Card – Click to Enlarge

Several Chinese and Taiwanese websites, including CTimes and Benchlife, have reported that companies have started getting UFS 3.0 & UFS Card v2.0 licenses from JEDEC, and Phison is working on a controller to support both new standards, and scheduled to launch in 2018.

Premium smartphone SoC are only expect to support UFS 3.0 in 2019 and beyond, and hopefully by that time eMMC will have been replaced by UFS 2.0/2.1 in entry level and mid range devices. The outlook for UFS cards is less clear, as I’ve yet to see a product equipped with a UFS slot.

Click to Enlarge

Based on a recent presentation at the Flash Memory Summit, (typical) embedded storage capacity will also increase to 32GB for IoT / multimedia applications, 256GB for smart home products and drones, 512GB for mobile devices, and over 1TB for automotive applications.

Via Liliputing

Samsung Announces Mass-Production of its Exynos i T200 WiFi Processor for the Internet of Things

June 22nd, 2017 4 comments

Exynos i T200 is an ARM Cortex R4 + Cortex M0 WiSoC for the Internet of Things, potentially used in the Samsung ARTIK-053 IoT module, and the first Exynos IoT processor from Samsung. The company has just announced that mass production had started, so let’s have a closer look at the processor’s features.

Samsung Exynos i T200 specifications:

  • MCU Cores
    • ARM Cortex-R4 @ 320MHz
    • ARM Cortex-M0+ @ 320MHz (Very high frequency for an M0+ core, is that a mistake?)
  • On-chip Memory – 1.4MB SRAM
  • RF & WiFi Connectivity
    • 802.11b/g/n WiFi; single band (2.4GHz)
    • Integrated T/R switch, power amplifier, low noise amplifier
  • Interfaces – SDIO,  I2C, SPI, UART, PWM, I2S
  • Security – WEP 64/128, WPA, WPA2, AES, TKIP, WAPI, PUF (Physically Unclonable Function)
  • Process – 28-nanometer (nm) High-K Metal Gate (HKMG)

The Cortex R4 core is used for system control, and the Cortex M0+ core for I/O and LED control. Cortex M0+ core is normally used to save power, and runs tasks that do not require high performance, so the maximum operating frequency is likely much lower than the 320 MHz listed in the specs.

Samsung further states that the processor is Wi-Fi CERTIFIED from the Wi-Fi Alliance, and Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT. Exynos i T200 also natively supports IoTivity IoT protocol enabling interoperability between IoT devices. You may find a few more details on Exynos i T200 product page.

Categories: Samsung Exynos Tags: cortex m0, exynos, IoT, samsung

Samsung S-Patch3 Wearable Health Tracker Based on Samsung Bio-Processor Hits the FCC

June 9th, 2017 No comments

At the end of 2015, Samsung unveiled their S3FBP5A Bio-Processor comprised of an ARM Cortex-M4 MCU, a DSP, and sensors for PPG, ECG (electrocardiography), Skin temperature, BIA, and GSR to have a single package to design tracker able to monitor your health condition. The company demonstrated an early prototype called S-Patch at CES 2016 (See embedded video at the end of this post), and now S-Patch3 wearable health monitoring system has just hit the FCC.

The system has two round shapes case connected via a cable, with one for the battery compartment, and the other containing the Bio Processors, and meant to be placed on your chest. The device can then synchronize the data with your smartphone in real-time over Bluetooth. People with heart conditions may benefit from the system, as if they wish to do so, they could share the data with their doctor. Few documents are publicly available on the FCC website, and while we don’t know the expect launch date of the device itself, the user’s manual and photos will be released on December 3rd, 2017 on the FCC website, which should roughly correspond to the launch date, or at least the official announcement date from Samsung.

Via Sammobile

Amazon AWS Greengrass Brings Local Compute, Messaging, Data Caching & Sync to ARM & x86 Devices

June 8th, 2017 No comments

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides cloud computing services to manage & store data from IoT Nodes over the Internet, but in some cases latency may be an issue, and Internet connectivity may not be reliable in all locations. AWS Greengrass provides a solution to those issues by running some of the IoT tasks within the local network in ARM or x86 edge gateways running Linux.

Click to Enlarge

You can still manage your devices from AWS cloud, but a Linux gateway running Greengrass Core runtime will be able to run AWS Lambda functions to perform tasks locally, keep device data in sync, and communicate with devices running AWS IoT Device SDK.

Greengrass benefits include:

  • Response to Local Events in Near Real-time
  • Offline operation – Connected devices can operate with intermittent connectivity to the cloud, and synchronizes with AWS IoT once it is restored
  • Secure Communication  – AWS Greengrass authenticates and encrypts device data at all points of connection.
  • Simplified Device Programming with AWS Lambda – Greengrass execute Lambda functions locally, reducing the complexity of developing embedded software.
  • Reduce the Cost of Running IoT Applications – You can program filter device data locally, and only transmit the data you need to the cloud. This reduces the amount of raw data transmitted to the cloud and lowers cost

Greengrass Core’s minimum requirements are a 1GHz Processor with at least 128 MB, so it will run on most x86 products, as well as some ARM boards and devices, with Amazon recommending the following to get started quickly:

Greengrass Core works with Linux distributions with Linux 4.4.11+ or greater including Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Debian Jessie, etc.. Canonical will also provide snap to easily install it on Ubuntu operating systems. Dependencies include SQLite 3 or greater, Python 2.7 or greater, Glibc 2.14, boto3 (latest), botocore (latest), OpenSSL 1.0.2 or greater, libseccomp and bash. You’ll find more detailed requirements in the FAQ.

Amazon’s announcement today was about AWG GreeenGrass availability to all customers, but it has already been used successfully in the industry by customers such as Enel, the largest utility in Europe, Konecranes now having 15,000 connected cranes, Pentair plc for their aquaculture customers, and Rio Tinto mining group to improve management and safety of their truck fleet.

Greengrass is free to try for one year with up to 3 devices, and costs $0.16 per month or $1.49 per year per device for up to 10,000 devices. If you are going to manage more than 10,000 devices you’d have to contact Amazon for pricing options. You can find more info and get started on Amazon Greengrass page.

 

Samsung ARTIK 053 WiFi IoT Module Runs Tizen RT on an ARM Cortex R4 MCU

May 17th, 2017 2 comments

Samsung has just introduced the latest member of its Artik family at IoT World 2017. ARTIK 053 is a WiFi module powered by an ARM Cortex R4 wireless micro-controller @ 320 MHz with hardware based security, GPIO, SPI, and I2C ports, and running Tizen RT real-time operating system.

Artik 053 module specifications:

  • MCU – 32-bit ARM Cortex R4 @ 320MHz with 1280 KB RAM for general use, 128 KB RAM for global IPC data (likely Samsung Exynos i T200, or a variant without an ARM Cortex M0+ core)
  • Storage – 8 MB flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi @ 2.4 GHz
  • Expansion – 29 dedicated GPIO ports, 2x SPI, 4x UART (2-pin), 4x ADC, 1x JTAG, 2x I2C
  • Security – AES/DES/TDES, SHA-1/SHA-2, PKA (Public Key Accelerator), PRNG/DTRNG (Random Number Generators), Secure key storage, Physical Unclonable Function (PUF)
  • Power Supply – 5 to 12VDC input voltage
  • Dimensions – 40 x 15 x 3 mm
  • Certifications – FCC (U.S), IC (Canada), CE (EU), KC (Korea), SRRC (China)

The module runs Tizen RT operating system with WiFi and network middleware, support for LWM2M (Lightweight Machine to Machine) for device management, IoTivity, and JerryScript/IoT.js.

Tizen RT Block Diagram

You can develop on ARTIK 053 using ARTIK IDE, as well as open source tools like Eclipse Classic Desktop (CDT), gcc, and OpenOCD. A “Developer Reference Mobile App” working with Samsung ARTIK Cloud is also provided, and Samsung collaborated with VMWare to support Little IoT Agent (Liota) open source software development kit (SDK) developed by VMware on ARTIK 053.

ARTIK 053 starter kit – pictured below – will help you evaluation the module, and get started as soon as possible.

Artik 053 Module on Development Board

The ARTIK starter board includes Arduino-form factor interface headers, expanded GPIO headers with exposed SPI and UARTs, on-board reset and Arduino reset buttons, 2x test buttons and 2x LEDs, a micro USB connector for power and programming, a JTAG header (1.27mm pitch), and a power barrel.

ARTIK 053 sells for as low as $6.65 for 300 unit orders on Digikey, while the starter kit goes for $35 on either Mouser or Digikey. You’ll more more details, including software and hardware documentation, on Artik.io website.

Samsung & Amazon Introduce HDR10+ Standard with Dynamic Metadata & Tone Mapping

April 20th, 2017 7 comments

Most recent 4K Ultra HD televisions support high dynamic range (HDR) through standards such as HDR10, Dolby Vision, or Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG). Samsung and Amazon have jointly introduced an update to HDR10 with HDR10+ that adds dynamic tone mapping & metadata.

The companies describe the issues for HDR10′ static metadata as follows:

The current HDR10 standard utilizes static metadata that does not change during playback despite scene specific brightness levels. As a result, image quality may not be optimal in some scenes. For example, when a movie’s overall color scheme is very bright but has a few scenes filmed in relatively dim lighting, those scenes will appear significantly darker than what was originally envisioned by the director.

HDR10+ will be able to adjust metadata for each scene, and even for each frame, hence solving the issue of darker scenes. If you already own a Samsung TV with HDR10,  it’s not already outdated, as all 2017 UHD TVs already support HDR10+, and 2016 UHD TVs will support HDR10+ through a firmware update.

Amazon Video will be the first streaming service to deliver HDR10+ content, and Samsung also collaborated with other companies to integrate HDR10+ into products such as Colorfront’s Transkoder for post-production master, and MulticoreWare x265 video encoder.

HDR10 – and HDR10+ – is also said to be an open standard, but it could not find the specifications online, and only managed to find that HDR10 Media Profile main  must support EOTF: SMPTE ST 2084, 4:2:0 color Sub-sampling, 10-bit color depth, ITU-R BT.2020 color primaries, and SMPTE ST2086, MaxFALL and MaxCLL metadata defined in CTA 861.3-A standard (free preview) which you can purchase for $67. There must be some sort of CTA Standard for HDR dynamic metadata extensions for HDR10+, but I could not find anything [Update: Maybe SMPTE ST 2094-20-2016?]

Samsung showcased a static vs dynamic tone mapping demo at NAB 2016 last year, but it’s quite hard to see any differences in the video.

Categories: Hardware Tags: amazon, hdr, HDR10, samsung, standard