Tag Archives: ZigBee

The smart router is ready for IoT play


The evolution of router has reached the IoT’s doorsteps, and it raises some interesting prospects for industrial and smart home markets.


The router used to be largely a dumb device. Not anymore in the Internet of Things arena where node intelligence is imperative to make a play of the sheer amount of data acquired from sensors, machines and other ‘things.’ The IoT router marks a new era of network intelligence — but what makes a router smart?

owtbrd.png

For starters, it employs embedded hardware platforms with DIY capabilities while balancing the performance and power consumption requirements. Next, an IoT router provides the operational status on an LCD screen while manipulating the data from different interfaces. In human machine interface (HMI) applications, for example, a smart router offers LCD and touch screen interfaces on expansion I/Os.

Take the case of the DAB-OWRT-53 smart router, which is developed by the Belgian design house DAB-Embedded. The sub-100 euro device — based on Atmel’s SAMA5D36 processor and OpenWRT router hardware platform — is mainly targeted at smart home and industrial IoT applications.

The smart router of DAB-Embedded

The IoT router supports popular wireless interfaces such as Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Z-Wave, as well as a diverse number of wired interfaces including Ethernet, USB, CAN 2.0A/B, KNX and RS-232. And all the data from these interfaces can be stored in either microSD card or NAND flash.

Anatomy of Smart Router

The Atmel | SMART SAMA5D36 is at the heart of the smart router design. First and foremost, it optimizes power consumption in the battery-operated router that features 3.7V lithium polymer battery support with charging capability over a microUSB connector. The router boasts eight hours of battery lifetime while being in full ON mode with Wi-Fi communications.

Second, the ARM Cortex-A5 processor shows a robust performance in the communications domain. For instance, the SAMA5D36 implements routing functionality to transfer data from one Ethernet port to another in a way that router designers don’t require an external hardware hub or switch. Moreover, Atmel’s MPU offers greater flexibility to run a lot of embedded software packages such as OpenZWave and LinuxMCE.

Third, the SAMA5D36-based IoT router offers users the ability to manipulate firewall settings, Disable PING, Telnet, SSH and UPnP features. Furthermore, the hardware security block in SAMA5D3 processor allows the use of CryptoDev Linux drivers to speed up the OpenSSL implementation. The Wi-Fi module — powered by Atmel’s WILC3000 single-chip solution — also supports the IEEE 802.11 WEP, WPA and WPA2 security mechanisms.

The smart router of DAB-Embedded employs Active-Semi’s ACT8945AQJ305-T power management IC, but the real surprise is Altera’s MAX 10 FPGA with an integrated analog-to-digital converter (ADC). That brings the additional flexibility for the main CPU: Atmel’s SAMA5D36.

The FPGA is connected to the 16-bit external bus interface (EBI) so that IoT developers can put any IP core in FPGA for communication with external sensors. All data is converted inside the FPGA to a specific format by using NIOS II’s soft CPU in FPGA. Next, the SAMA5D36 processor reads this data by employing DMA channel over the high-speed mezzanine card (HSMC) bus.

An FPGA has enough cells to start even two soft cores for data preprocessing. Case in point: A weather station with 8-channel external ADC managing light sensors, temperature sensors, pressure sensors and more. It’s connected to the FPGA together with PPS signal from GPS for correct time synchronization of each measurement.

Router.png

OpenWRT Framework

The SAMA5D36 embedded processor enables DAB’s smart router design to customize free OpenWRT Linux firmware according to the specific IoT application needs. The OpenWRT framework facilitates an easy way to set up router-like devices equipped with communications interfaces such as dual-port Ethernet and Wi-Fi connection.

What’s more, by using the OpenWRT framework, an IoT developer can add now his or her own application (C/C++) to exchange data with a KNX or Z-Wave transceiver. OpenWRT even supports the Lua embedded interpreter.

Next, while DAB-Embedded has built its smart router using the embedded Linux with OpenWRT framework, Belgium’s design house also offers a board support package (BSP) based on the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 software. That’s for IoT developers who have invested in Windows applications and want to use them on the new hardware: the DAB-OWRT-53 smart router.

Later, the embedded design firm plans to release smart router hardware based on the Windows 10 IoT software and Atmel’s SAMA5D family of embedded processors. The Belgian developer of IoT products has vowed to release the second version of its router board based on Atmel’s SAMA5D4 embedded processor and WILC3000 chipset that comes integrated with power amplifier, LNA, switch and power management. Atmel’s WILC3000 single-chip solution boasts IEEE 802.11 b/g/n RF/baseband/MAC link controller and Bluetooth 4.0 connection.


Majeed Ahmad is the author of books Smartphone: Mobile Revolution at the Crossroads of Communications, Computing and Consumer Electronics and The Next Web of 50 Billion Devices: Mobile Internet’s Past, Present and Future.

Develop secure IoT apps with the Atmel Certified-ID platform


The Atmel Certified-ID security platform prevents unauthorized reconfiguration of an edge node to access protected resources on the network.


Atmel has announced a comprehensive security platform that enables businesses of all sizes to assign certified and trusted identities to devices joining the secure Internet of Things. The Atmel Certified-ID security platform prevents unauthorized reconfiguration of an edge node to access protected resources on the network. This new platform is available on the Atmel SmartConnect Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart and ZigBee solutions that connect directly to Atmel Cloud Partners, providing a secure turnkey solution for IoT edge node-to-cloud connection.

Sec

The Atmel Certified-ID platform delivers a distributed key provisioning solution, leveraging internal key generation capabilities of the ATECC508A CryptoAuthentication device, without invoking large scale infrastructure and logistics costs. This platform even allows developers to create certified and trusted identities to any device before joining an IoT network.

With billions of devices anticipated by 2020 in the rapidly growing IoT market, security is a critical element to ensuring devices can safely and conveniently access protected assets through the Internet. Today, secure identities are commonly created through a centralized approach where IoT device keys and certificates are generated offline and managed in secure databases in Hardware Security Modules (HSM) to protect the keys. These keys are then programmed into the IoT devices by connecting the HSM to automation equipment during device manufacturing. This approach is indispensable in large deployments consisting of millions of devices. It can also entail significant upfront costs in infrastructure and logistics which must be amortized over a large number of devices for cost effectiveness.

By utilizing the unique internal key generation capabilities of ATECC508A device, the recently-unveiled platform enables decentralized secure key generation, making way for distributed IoT device provisioning regardless of scale. This method eliminates the upfront costs of the provisioning infrastructure which can pose a significant barrier in deploying devices in smaller scales. On top of that, developers will be able to create secure IoT devices compatible with partner cloud services and to securely join ecosystems.

Atmel is currently working with several cloud service companies, including Proximetry and Exosite, on the Certified-ID platform. These collaborations will give developers a wide range of ecosystem partners to choose from for a secure connection between the edge nodes and the IoT. Other partners will be announced as they are integrated in the Certified-ID platform.

“As a leader in the security space with a track record of over two decades, enabling secure networks of all sizes is our mission,” said Nuri Dagdeviren, Atmel Vice President and General Manager of Secure Products Group. “Streamlining secure processes and simplifying deployment of real world secure networks will be key to unlocking the potential and enabling rapid growth of IoT. We will continue delivering industry-leading solutions in security, a critical element in enabling billions of ‘things’ to be connected to the cloud.”

banner_AT88CKECCROOT-SIGNER

Atmel now offers security provisioning tool kits to enable independent provisioning for pilot programs or production runs when used in conjunction with the ATECC508A ICs. These devices are pre-provisioned with internally generated unique keys, associated certificates, and certification-ready authentication once it is connected to an IoT ecosystem.

Developers will need two kits to securely provision their gadgets: the AT88CKECCROOT tool kit, a ‘master template’ that creates and manages certificate root of trust in any ecosystem, and the AT88CKECCSIGNER tool kit, a production kit that enables partners to provision IoT devices.

The AT88CKECCSIGNER kit lets designers and manufacturers generate tamper-resistant keys and security certifications requiring hardware security in their IoT applications. These keys provide the level of trust demanded by network operators and allows system design houses to provision prototypes in-house—saving designers overall investment costs.

The tool kits also include an easy-to-use graphical user interface that allow everyone to seamlessly provision their IoT devices with secure keys and certificates without special expertise. With distributed provisioning, developers are not required to use expensive HSM for key management and certificate acquisition fees.

In addition to secure IoT provisioning, the new Certified-ID platform provides high-quality random number generation to guarantee a diverse set of public and private keys. It delivers solutions to a variety of IoT security needs including node anti-cloning protection, data confidentiality, secure boot, and secure firmware upgrades over-the-air. The tamper resistance built into the ATECC508A device continues to provide the desired protection even when the device is under physical attack.

Ready for the Internet of Trusted Things? Both the Atmel AT88CKECCROOT and AT88CKECCSIGNER are available today.

DIPDuino is Arduino-compatible board in a DIP32 package


DIPDuino is an Arduino-compatible board that combines a number of useful interfaces in one DIP32 package.


While the idea of having an entire MCU platform in a DIP format isn’t all that new,  Alex Gornostayev just wasn’t satisfied with some of those on the market today, like the Teensy and Arduino Nano. And so, the Maker decided to create his own Arduino-compatible board that crams many useful interfaces all into one easy-to-use DIP32 package.

4721261440615841361

The aptly named DIPDuino goes a step further than most of today’s breakout boards. Based an ATmega1284RFR2 along with a 2.4GHz ZigBee transceiver, the unit is equipped with a 128×32-pixel OLED display, a microSD card reader, a serial FTDI port, 1MB of SRAM, a full JTAG debugger port, USB and pin power supply, LEDs, and a stabilized 3V and 3.6V power output.

dips

Looking ahead, Gornostayev is planning on using the board for a number of DIY projects, ranging from an OLED watch to a weather station and a home automation system. Aside from that, one of his friends even wants to build a DIPDuino-based RepRap controller. The possibilities are endless! However, first he would like to improve its software so that the firmware can be programmed and updated from an SD card.

“I want to be able to be able to program DIPDuino from SD card. Just save BIN file on SD card and boot the device. The bootloader must be able to flash the firmware and it does not look too complicated. (I call this project ‘DIPBoot’).”

pinouts_small400

“I want to implement a simple BASIC translator for DIPDuino to be able to write programs in BASIC using simple text editor, save it on SD card and execute it form file on DIPDuino (which will be DIPBasic in this case),” Gornostayev adds. “This is really cool, because I will be to write programs on any devices, including smartphones or even DIPDuino itself, and execute them without any compilers and connections.”

Intrigued? Read more about the project on its Hackaday.io page here.

BitCloud ZigBee PRO SDK achieves Golden Unit status


Compatible with the Atmel | SMART SAM R21 and ATmega256RFR2, the BitCloud ZigBee PRO Software Development Kit has achieved Golden Unit status.


Atmel has announced that the BitCloud ZigBee PRO Software Development Kit (SDK) has achieved the prestigious Golden Unit status for the ZigBee PRO R21 standard. As an approved Golden Unit, the Atmel BitCloud solution will be used by ZigBee testhouses to verify standard compliancy for all future ZigBee 3.0 products. This guarantees superior interoperability for customers designing the latest connected lighting, security and comfort control products for smart home applications.

banner-ZigBit-Modules-496x190

With improved security, interoperability and ease-of-use, the Atmel BitCloud SDK provides a comprehensive set of tools to quickly design and develop wireless products compliant to ZigBee LightLink and ZigBee Home Automation Profiles, as well as the upcoming ZigBee 3.0 standard. The BitCloud SDK includes full-featured reference applications, ZigBee PRO stack libraries and API, user documentation, and implements reliable, scalable and secure wireless solution that supports large mesh networks of hundreds of devices, and is optimized for ultra-low power consumption with up to 15 years battery life.

BitCloud ZigBee PRO SDK fully supports Atmel | SMART SAM R21 devices, a single-chip solution integrating Atmel’s Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M0+-based MCU and high-performance IEEE 802.15.4 RF transceiver available as a standalone component or production-ready certified modules. The Atmel BitCloud is also compatible with the AVR ATmega256RFR2 wireless MCU, an ideal hardware platform delivering the industry’s lowest power consumption at 12.5mA in active receive mode, combined with receiver sensitivity at 101dBm.

WC_256RFR2

“Intelligence, wireless connectivity and security are key elements to enable the anticipated growth of the Internet of Things market,” says Pierre Roux, Atmel director of wireless solutions. “Achieving the prestigious Golden Unit Status for our BitCloud SDK ensures designers that our wireless solutions are world class and will cater next-generation solutions for this smart, connected world. We are excited to achieve this certification again.”

Branto is a remote presence and security devic


This smart orb lets your home feel, speak, entertain and protect you. 


Have you always wished that you could be in two places at once? As impossible as it was, thanks to the ever-evolving Internet of Things, it may soon become a reality. That’s because a Ukranian startup has developed a streamlined, versatile wireless device that will let your home feel, speak, entertain, and most importantly, protect your loved ones.

1

For instance, say you and your significant other are away on vacation, thousands of miles from home. Your mother is there with your three young grandchildren, but you can’t stop worrying about the kids. You also know that no one will be around during the day. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a smart robot that could keep an eye on things and communicate with you regardless of your location, putting all anxieties to rest?

Branto is just that: a remote presence orb equipped with an HD camera that can rotate 360-degrees to provide users with a full panoramic view of every room in their house, warning them of problems like water or gas leaks, and giving ultimate control of their appliances over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee and infrared. This should come as a sigh of relief to those who leave the house always wondering as to whether or not they shut off the oven or unplugged their hair accessories.

rky3ywjuqnz0ycy8vnng

Beyond that, Branto includes bi-directional microphones that allow users to hear everything that is going on inside their residence, and enables them talk to inhabitants through high-quality speakers, whether that’s urging a pet to hop off the counter, a child to listen to their babysitter or a wife sending a quick reminder to their husband. In other words, the spherical gadget can act as the eyes, ears, voice and hands of tomorrow’s smart home using its accompanying mobile app (Android and iOS).

As if that weren’t enough, the intelligent platform lets users host video calls with colleagues by connecting to a TV, stream music and radio through its built-in speakers, adjust the thermostat, as well as turn the lights on and off from anywhere. What’s more, Branto can serve as an all-in-one security system with a night-vision camera, plus motion and sound detectors, that notifies owners of any suspicious activity around their house via its app.

Born out of their own frustrations with modern-day smart home hubs that only worked with a limited number of devices, the team made it a priority to integrate a number of popular appliances including Philips Hue, Belkin WeMo, Nest and FirstAlert, among several others. In the forthcoming months, Branto hopes to seamlessly work with any existing unit that supports ZigBee, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

o4itt6cfqge0udbdgqkf

What’s nice is that various Brantos can be linked together for widespread coverage. And with its embedded GSM module and 3000mAh LiPo battery, the orb will work even if the Wi-Fi or power in a home should go out — especially helpful for security purposes. It has internal memory of 16GB (which can be upgraded to either 32GB or 64GB), along with the option of storing content in the cloud. Everything is safeguarded by two-factor authentication, and data is encrypted when stored or transferred.

Sound like a full remote presence gadget you’d love to have? Head over to its Indiegogo campaign, where the team is well on its way towards reaching their $50,000 goal. Delivery is slated for December 2015.

Musio is an AI robot designed to learn, adapt and grow with you


Meet the Musio, an Arduino-compatible, artificially intelligent robot that evolves with you and makes your home smarter.


If it’s up to one California-based startup, the next member of your family won’t be a baby brother or sister, nor will it be a furry four-legged animal. Instead, the AKAStudy crew believes it may very well be an artificially intelligent robot that can engage and evolve with its users. In what would appear to be a mix between Joaquin Phoenix’s digital companion Samantha from Her and the iPhone’s knowledge navigator Siri, Musio is an AI personal assistant that is capable of holding natural conversations, sharing emotions, growing wiser with age and communicating with connected objects in its environment.

dw8sl1bqfyiwjybebame

Musio is comprised of three different brains — simple, smart and genius — that vary in terms of complexity, memory, battery and speed. For instance, simple merely features a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, 16GB of memory, a 1800mAh battery, all while lacking any wireless functionality. Genius, on the other hand, boasts a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, 64GB of memory, a 3000 mAh battery, an on-board AVR chip, as well as Wi-Fi, Buetooth Low Energy and ZigBee compatibility to control smart home gadgets.

fa9t7bk3odxmryefzved

The system itself is based on Android 5.0 Lollipop OS and built around the versatile ATmega328 MCU. Meaning, the Arduino-friendy device can be programmed to the liking of its owner through its accompanying Arduino and Android controller libraries. What’s more, Musio also comes with a developer kit add-on that includes an accelerometer, a trio of Arduino Mini boards, ZigBee modules and Arduino ZigBee shields.

eylhbsgrq5daom7w8alr

Unlike other virtual personal assistants before its time, Musio can actually converse with its user — whether that’s offering up an appointment reminder, gossiping about a colleague at work, lending a helping hand during a homework assignment or asking a question to satisfy its curiosity. AKA’s mission was to devise a robot that not only thinks on its own, but ultimately creates an interactive learning environment for people. Moving ahead, the team hopes to further improve its built-in textual and vision intelligence, and integrate motion, in order to make it a truly holistic AI machine.

“AKA is using Musio to create an ecosystem which consists of Musio Friends, which also have built-in AI and sensor-technologies. Your artificially intelligent friend Musio wants to develop with you. This ecosystem will become possible not only with our developers’ efforts but yours as well.”

atlyc3gd4ukwusbkqsxl

Ready for a robotic sibling or sidekick to help you out with your daily tasks? Then head over to its official Indiegogo page, where the AKAStudy is currently seeking $50,000. As if it were actually a baby brother or sister, it looks like you’ll have to wait a year before it arrives. Shipment is expected to begin in June 2016.

Zymbit wants to accelerate IoT development


Get your real-world Internet of Things ideas to market in days, not months. 


As the next frontier of the Internet approaches, the IoT represents a compelling opportunity across a staggering array of applications. That’s why the team behind Zymbit has developed an end-to-end platform of hardware and software devices that will enable Makers, engineers and developers alike to transform their ideas into real-world products in blistering speed.

Zymbit

In an effort to deliver secure, open and interactive gadgets for our constantly-connected era, Zymbit is hoping that latest set of solutions will help accelerate adoption and interface with our physical world in a more secure, authenticated manner. The company — who we had the chance to meet at CES 2015 and will be on display in our Maker Faire booth — recently unveiled its Zymbit 1 (Z1), which is being billed as the first fully-integrated piece of IoT hardware that provide users with local and remote live data interaction, along with a low-power MCU, battery-backed operation.

“Z1’s motherboards incorporate some of the latest secure silicon from Atmel, providing accelerated processing of standard open security algorithms. A separate supervisor MPU takes care of security, while you take care of your application,” explained Zymbit CTO Alex Kaay.

v2_pcb_spacemodel_x37k_torender_x00.26_Web

Based on the Atmel | SMART SAM D21, the Z1 motherboard is electronically robust with enhanced security provided via an ATECC108 crypto engine and an ATWINC1500 Wi-Fi controller — meaning, no additional parts are necessary. Ideal for those developing next-gen IoT projects, the modular board is super customizable and compatible with Atmel Xplained Pro wingboards, Arduino shields, Raspberry Pi B+, as well as ZigBee, cellular and POE options. The Zymbit team has even implemented discretely controlled blocks to simplify coding and to secure remote device management, while advanced power management supports battery, solar and POE operations.

The Z1 integrates all of the key components required to support a generation of global IoT applications. This includes easily transitioning between Arduino, Atmel and Raspberry Pi designs, integrated open software tools for seamless innovation, as well as a choice of wireless communication. For instance, Makers can design and implement their programs using the Zymbit’s Arduino Zero app processor and take advantage of a vast number of Arduino shields. Or, developers can connect their Raspberry Pi to utilize the various Zymbit services via SPI bus, allowing their B+ module to interact with a wide-range of “things.”

Y1-Block-Detail-Perspective

The unique Zymbit architecture delivers three key pillars of security: authenticated data source with 72-bit ID serial number, protected data transmission with SHA 256 and private data transmission via a Wi-Fi embedded AES engine. This is accomplished through a dedicated hardware crypto engine that ensures only trusted data is exchanged between devices.

At the heart of Z1’s operation lies a network/Linux CPU, the Atmel | SMART SAMA5D4 MPU, tasked with its secure communication. Meanwhile, its security processes run within a supervisory, ultra low-power Atmel | SMART SAM L21 MCU, separately from its SAM D21 Cortex-M0+ I/O application MCU. This hardware is all housed inside a dynamically-constructed case, which features standard expansions and mounts perfect for any consumer, commercial or industrial applicable IoT product.

PubSub-Graphic-2

Adding to its already impressive list of capabilities, Zymbit comes with a remote manager that makes it easy to connect and manage gizmos both securely and with transparency. This service enables users to SSH to their devices, whether they are on your desk or across the country. Publishing through Zymbit’s Pub/Sub Engine lets developers collect and share data one-to-one or one-to-many, with or without subscriber authentication. As you can imagine, this opens up an assortment of project possibilities, which range from changing Philips Hue color lighting with data streams to monitoring key parameters of a refrigeration system.

“We are providing some standard dashboard widgets that allow you to quickly view your device performance metrics and data-channels. Initially we are supporting time series charting, together with plugin metrics for Raspberry Pi, and Arduino Yún,” the team writes.

Interested in learning more? You can stay up-to-date with the Zymbit team’s progress here, watch our latest interview with one of the company’s co-founders below, and swing by our booth at Maker Faire Bay Area!