Keeping Your IoT Secrets Secret

Ways to Protect Your Keys

by Bryon Moyer

[Editor’s note: this is the sixth in a series on Internet-of-Things security. You can find the introductory piece here and the prior piece here.]

We’ve looked at how Internet of Things (IoT) machines can greet each other and exchange secret passwords to prove that they’re legit. We’ve looked at how to scramble data so that it becomes nothing more than so much gibberish unless you’re entitled to read it. And we’ve looked at the, well, key piece of data that enables all of this: the key.

We’ve seen different ways to generate a key; we’ve seen different ways to use keys. But there’s one thing we haven’t looked at: how to protect the key. After all, if someone can find the key, then suddenly all the secrets aren’t so secret anymore.

 

Show Me The MEMS Money

2015 MEMS Executive Congress Technology Showcase

by Amelia Dalton

It’s that time of year again. When the accelerometers run cold, the gyroscopes start changing colors and float gently to the ground, and the magnetometers tuck themselves in for the long winter ahead. Yes, it's time for our annual MEMS Executive Congress run down. With a little help from Fish Fry field reporter Larra Morris, we have the scoop on the coolest technologies featured at this year’s MEMS Executive Congress MEMS and Sensor Technology Showcase. From smart baby monitors to the newest in anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) sensor technology to the new (and super cool) Bosch eBike, this week’s Fish Fry has a little bit of MEMS action for everyone. Also this week, we check out the details of On Semiconductor’s new MatrixCam Video Development Kit.

 

Micron’s New NOR Flash Circles Back

From XIP to Serial to XIP All Over Again

by Bryon Moyer

It feels just a little bit like a long arc that may actually be looping back onto its origin. Back to the future. Or perhaps ahead to the past.

Our topic for today is NOR flash memory, the introverted and slightly older twin to the better-known NAND flash that powers all those thumb drives that are spilling out of my drawer. Named for their internal architectures, both memories provide non-volatile storage by means of floating gate charge trapping, but NAND works better for random storage; NOR is more efficient for sequential access.

At least, that’s how the story started.

 

On the Edge of Tomorrow

IP and the World of IoT Edge Devices

by Amelia Dalton

How do you dream in IoT? Does the Power Bogey Man burn up your diodes? Does process integration lurk in the shadows? Never fear, my engineering compatriots - help is on the way. In this week’s Fish Fry, we delve into the deep dark secrets of IoT IP. My guest Ron Lowman and I discuss how subsystem re-architecture can keep that Power Bogey Man at bay, what design requirements should be tackled first, and how IP may just be the key to sweet IoT dreams after all.

 

A Tool for Designing Audio Subsystems

Audio Weaver Claims Big Development Savings

by Bryon Moyer

One way of looking at the Internet of Things (IoT) is to think of it as endowing machines with human characteristics – in particular with respect to our ability to sense the world. To some extent, past efforts have served to sense things that we’re not so good at sensing precisely ourselves. Like temperature or pressure or orientation.

That helps humans, who can then combine their own senses with machine senses for better decisions. But if we further enable our machines to do what we can do, then we can have the machines do without us. (I know… not so good for jobs…). So cameras and microphones will replace our eyes and ears, playing an increasingly important role as our ability to process their data improves.

 

Heterogeneous Processing, SoCs and FPGAs

A Path to Flexible System Implementation

by Dick Selwood

Firstly – if you are an existing FPGA user, you may not find much that is new in this piece, but really, it is not aimed at you. What would be useful is if you share it with your system architect colleagues and your software colleagues, for whom much of this may well be new and useful.

You are beginning a new project - let's say a motor control system. You can assemble components on a board – possibly a processor, a DSP, an FPGA for peripherals, and a networking ASIC. The result is a relatively large board, with the inherent reliability issues and a high BoM cost

 

The Touchscreen Revolution

A Fish Fry Greatest Hit

by Amelia Dalton

What do the blue-rayed limpet and silver nanowires have to do with advances in touchscreen technology? Absolutely everything! This week's Fish Fry looks into how silver-coated nanowires are changing the touchscreens and OLEDs of today, and could change the film-based solar cells and flexible displays of tomorrow. My guest is Sri Peruvemba from Cambrios, and we discuss the technology behind silver nanowires, how they can be implemented into a variety of designs, and what The Society for Information Display is all about. Also this week, we check out a groundbreaking new study by a team of researchers from MIT and Harvard that looks to harness unique reflective power found in the blue stripes of the blue-rayed limpet to unlock a new kind of transparent display technology.

 

Let There Be Vision

Cadence Tensilica Vision P5 Lets the Light In

by Kevin Morris

The Internet of People has cameras - literally billions of them. They are in smartphones, laptops, tablets, WiFi devices - it sometimes seems they’re watching our every move. This incredible volume of information is then (somewhat) intelligently analyzed, edited, and moderated by the vast visual computing power of the enormous array of human brains behind these cameras. The amount of computation required to filter, process, and interpret this image data is staggering. The end result is, of course, an almost infinite wasteland of cat videos on Facebook and YouTube. But video processing has higher purposes as well.

 

Of Trapdoors and Elliptic Curves and Braids

Encryption Math Comes to an IoT Device Near You

by Bryon Moyer

There’s a good chance that every one of us knows what encryption means. Some of us probably used it as kids, if not as adults. Either for writing a note declaring that “Mrs. Chunderson is a doody-head,” to be passed to a co-conspiring classmate disguised as “Nst. Divoefstpo jt b eppez-ifbe,” or perhaps orally as, “Issuzmay Undersonchay isay uhay oodyday-edhay.”

The trick lies in using a code that’s hard to break – unlike those examples. History has been made more than once thanks to the art of breaking codes or the devising of codes so obscure that they were never broken (as in the case of the Navajo code-talkers).

 

Direct Line to the Cloud

RTI Eliminates the HTTP Middleman

by Bryon Moyer

We’ve spent quite a bit of energy talking about various communication patterns for use in the Internet of Things (IoT). There’s the ever-popular publish/subscribe (P/S) for sending data around, and then there’s request/reply (R/R) for controlling devices.

And we’ve blithely referred to data being sucked into the Cloud for more processing before commands are sent back down to devices. But we haven’t looked in any detail at how data gets from the local infrastructure (perhaps a gateway) into the Cloud. It turns out that this is where two very different worlds meet, as described by RTI with their recent release of Connext DDS 5.2.

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