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Tech Radar: Open source may be the key to securing IoT

By | News

As a society, we like things that are smart. Your TV, phone, thermostat, even your water bottle now tracks your habits and interacts with you via applications.

We demand that our connected devices do more for us, collecting data to help us make more informed decisions, offer us more options, and just be downright better. Unfortunately, far too often in the quest to gain more features from our various devices, security concerns are lost along the way.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices face risks that the industries producing them are generally unprepared to deal with. Time after time, we see new breaches that target vulnerabilities in IoT products which should make us increasingly cautious about buying them, with good reason.

However, given the market trends, IoT looks like it is the wave of the future, so we need to define the challenges and find ways to make it more secure.

Read more at Tech Radar.

New Year, New Milestones: What to Expect from the Zephyr Project in 2019

By | Blog

In this new blog post, Amy Occhialino, the Zephyr Project Governing Board Chair, shares a preview of what’s to come in 2019.

As we look forward into 2019, the Zephyr Governing board is excited about two major project milestones.  First, we will release our first Long Term Support (LTS) version in the first quarter.  This release will include new and enhanced features and will continue to solidify Zephyr’s presence as a viable long-term open source solution in the embedded real-time operating system market.

Secondly, the Zephyr project will be pursuing the Functional Safety (FuSa) certification of its core operating system.  This certification process will continue to grow Zephyr’s industrial solution applications and we will communicate FuSa milestones and features as they are developed and achieved over the course of 2019.

Here’s to a fantastic New Year!  We really appreciate all of the hard work and dedication from the Zephyr community that makes the project such a vibrant and growth-focused open source project.  Please continue to look to our new communication channels like Slack for further information on both our LTS release and FuSa activities.

To sign up for the Zephyr Project Slack Channel, click here:


Zephyr OS on display at CES

By | Blog

Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to get ready for the annual CES show in Las Vegas, Nevada! This year, Zephyr Project members NXP and Nordic Semiconductor will be on-site at the conference to show off their latest IoT innovations throughout the conference’s duration from January 8 to January 11. We invite attendees to stop by their booths (Nordic – booth 4459 at The Sands, Halls A-D and NXP – booth CP-18 in the Central Plaza) to experience interactive demos, meet with knowledgeable developers and learn more about their technology.

Nordic will be on-site to showcase several exciting demos including their Zephyr OS backed IoT devices based on their nRF91 Series. The devices have a Cortex-M33 with Trustzone, and can be utilized through the secure implementation of MCUBOOT.

The demo will be connected to Nordic’s cloud platform through cellular network and will display the position of the demo and log messages.

Additionally, Nordic will demo unique nRF9160 System-in-Package, bringing cellular IoT to any application, will make its show debut following global availability at the world’s leading consumer electronics show. In addition, the award-winning nRF52840 Bluetooth LE/Bluetooth 5 SoC will demonstrate concurrent protocol support. Other demonstrations include asset tracking, LTE-M gateways, and Thread sensors. To learn more, click here:

Zephyr member NXP will also be on-site to showcase how their IoT solutions impact a variety of industries including automotive, wearables, manufacturing/IIoT, retail, and AI.

An excerpt from the NXP blog shares some exciting demos being featured in their booth (CP-18 in the Central Plaza) as follows:

  • Smart Tour: Check out NXP’s “AI ML Life on the Edge” showcase.  Visitors can experience a guided tour and personalized demonstration of NXP edge computing solutions with technical consultants to explore the benefits of face and voice recognition, anomaly detection, lifecycle intelligence & security, and scalable edge technologies.
  • Smart Automotive: Experience a concept car that can separate its pod from the chassis to enable ultimate flexibility and uses, whether shared, owned or rented. Get a tour of breakthrough safe solutions across all vehicle domains – connectivity, driver replacement, in-vehicle experience, body and comfort, powertrain and vehicle dynamics connected through gateways and vehicle networks.
  • Smart Industry: See how edge computing solutions are reducing costly data transfer to the cloud for global supply chain systems. Learn how 5G access and real-time iMX processing is increasing throughput while making the factory floor smarter and safer.
  • Smart Home: Discover how purpose-built edge solutions connect modern homes to cloud-based services more efficiently than ever. From voice-controlled smart appliances to innovative hearables technology, NXP is increasing comfort, affordability, and convenience for smart home device makers and giving the industry something to talk about.
  • Smart Retail: NXP will unveil the “Smart Market,” a new, highly interactive and personalized shopping experience made possible through NXP’s broad portfolio and collaboration efforts with some of the biggest brand names including Kraft Heinz and Gevalia Coffee,The Coca-Cola Company, and Mammut and smart infrastructure partners like Stora Enso, Opticon, Decathlon, Kathrein Solutions,Ingenico and TPG Rewards. Together with its partners, NXP demonstrates how Smart Retail can go mainstream, and Smart Market visitors will have the opportunity to experience, first-hand, how high-tech retail is completely transforming the shopping experience of tomorrow with intelligent refrigerators, personalized signage, interactive branding and true self-checkout experiences.
  • Smart Audio:  Visit NXP’s smart audio demonstrations which include the latest in immersive sound, multi-assistant voice speakers, and 3D audio.

ELC/OpenIoT NXP Demo

By | Blog

In October, thousands of people met in Edinburgh, Scotland for the Embedded Linux Conference Europe and OpenIoT 2018. During the conference, attendees saw 12 Zephyr technical presentations, participated in a full-day hackathon and stopped by the Zephyr Project booth to see demos and speak with member representatives and community members. The event proved to be a fantastic opportunity to learn about the diverse and innovative ways ZephyrOS is being used by members. In an effort to share some of the highlights of this event with the larger community, we’ll be posting demos, videos and resources throughout the winter. Thank you to NXP and Stanislav Poboril for starting this series with a closer look at their demo.

Software Defined Peripherals- Zephyr Used to Offload Real-Time Tasks from Linux

This demonstration demonstrates the offloading of the real-time task from Linux using Zephyr and RPMsg. For the purpose of this example, the UDOO Neo board with an NXP i.MX 6SoloX heterogeneous multicore SoC was chosen. Linux is running on the ARM Cortex-A9 core. The Linux deployment consists of a kernel module which creates one or more virtual devices /dev/ttySoftX to read and write data to the M4 core. The ARM Cortex-M4 core runs Zephyr for the execution of a real-time task, in this case  emulation of the UART protocol using GPIO pins. RPMsg is used for communication between the two systems.

Internally, RPMsg uses a Messaging Unit block and shared memory on the platform. On the Arm Cortex-M4 core, Zephyr waits for the configuration message from Linux on an RPMsg endpoint. Then it configures the emulation of UART using GPIO pins. It starts two cooperative threads – to transmit and to receive data. The transmit thread reads data received from Linux, decodes it into the form of UART pin changes which are enqueued to a buffer. The buffer is consumed from a timer callback, which toggles respective GPIO output pin(s). The timer callback also reads the input GPIO pin(s) states and places them into the receive buffer. This is read by the receive thread, which decodes it into bytes and sends it to the Arm Cortex-A9 using RPMsg.

The source code and description for the demo can be found here: