embedded award 2023: Software nominees
In the software category, we received the second most submissions for the embedded award this year. The jury has selected the most exciting software solutions. Get to know this year's nominees …
A modular IoT solution, state-of-the-art security for embedded systems and a watermarking protection tool
Bittium Cellular IoT Solution
Bittium Cellular IoT Solution™ is a proven software solution that offers IoT devices direct connectivity to cloud with global coverage using LTE-M1 and NB-IoT standards. The software solution is modular and runs inside an operator approved certified modem module.
This approach minimizes needs from the host hardware and offloads cloud processing and communication stack software from the host system. The re-usable software modules of the solution include Host Communication, Modem Manager, and Cloud Client.
This modular structure of the software enables straightforward integration and tailoring for the customer product/system under development. This enables faster time to market and lower development cost.
As an R&D service partner that has extensive experience from a multitude of demanding and customized connected solutions, our main goal is to offer turnkey development service for IoT devices that benefits the customer. This is done by utilizing the Bittium Cellular IoT Solution. Modem module suppliers are not offering a similar type of software solution, they are more focused on supplying modem protocol stack software with some parts of the full solution.
Bittium’s Cellular IoT Solution supports multiple cellular modules from different vendors. This offers the customer additional flexibility and 2nd source options, meaning that the customer is not locked in with only one vendor. The Cloud Client software module can be adapted to the customer’s chosen cloud platform.
Usually, competitors cannot offer the same level of adaptiveness, their solutions are often matched with a specific cloud provider. We offer the solution with one-time payment without any additional monthly fees, which lowers the overall cost for the customer.
In addition to the Cellular IoT Solution, we can provide the customer with end-to-end development service for the whole product, including software and hardware, approval testing, certification, country approvals and transfer into mass production.
Many embedded devices tend to focus on the addition of new features, time-to-market and lowest cost with concerns about any type of security given the lowest priority and quite often completely overlooked on the assumption that the likelihood of any issues either technical or from a credibility standpoint will be minimal. Thankfully new EU regulations will force companies to reassess this situation and be a lot more accountable for security when new products are released with the need to maintain for a minimum of 5 years in the field.
Virtually every embedded device that runs software will benefit from the advanced security protections offered by Emproof Nyx – including protection against reverse engineering and exploitation attacks. This is especially the case in applications that handle sensitive data, are interconnected, or run critical and functional safety applications where a security breach can provide an attacker with access to an entire infrastructure.
Emproof Nyx brings state-of-the-art security to embedded systems and FPGA applications, where overhead constraints traditionally limit advanced security. Emproof Nyx prevents reverse engineering to secure valuable intellectual property and protects against exploitation attacks via an easily implementable solution that is hardware and software agnostic.
Customers can implement Emproof Nyx’s solution during any phase of the product development process and product lifecycle – including retroactively upon deployment.
It’s well known that large computer and networking systems, servers, and data centres use a variety of industry-standard techniques to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. However, embedded systems can be particularly vulnerable to these attacks because they often have limited resources and fixed functionality.
The security software, EMproof Nyx, which is 3 orders of magnitude smaller than existing solutions implements multiple design features that make it the ideal solution for Embedded devices based on ARM, Intel and RISC-V ISA’s.
No access to source code is needed as the transformational software acts like a post compilation step and just requires access to binary code or libraries which also means that it works with any build processes and all existing toolchains. The performance impact is minimal as the developer can choose to protect the entire software or just the critical modules which allows the performance to be customised depending on the resources available.
Emproof Nyx has been developed and written such that it will be certified for the Automotive Functional Safety Standard ISO26262 and the Avionics Software Tool Qualification DO330 No other security software solution designed for embedded devices can offer protection against both IP Theft and Exploit Mitigation in the same package enabling companies who have limited or no security expertise to offer levels of security never previously achievable.
eIQ Model Watermarking Protection Tool
Exhibitor: NXP Semiconductors
“Data is the new gold,” and nowhere is that more true than in machine learning, where a model’s quality depends upon the quality of the data it is trained with, and the domain expertise critical in creating highly efficient models.
An ML model can be a considerable investment and a valuable asset for any company. But ML models typically lack copyright protection. Developers invest huge amounts of time and resources creating optimal models and it’s important to protect that investment from unauthorized copying or cloning.
NXP eIQ Model Watermarking protection tool allows developers to copyright their ML models, and to detect unauthorized use to protect their unique IP. It is offered within the eIQ Toolkit and designed to work with any vision-based machine learning model creation. When it comes to IP Rights for ML models it is not clear if copyright could be claimed on a training dataset if the classification is based on factual elements like “cat/dog” as they do not impart any creativity.
Watermarking embeds information in the content, and the embedded information may not be apparent upon normal observation. The tool provides a workflow for developers to extend the original training data with ‘trigger images’ generated by combining images from a given class with a secret drawing provided by the developer. Also, the necessary records associated with the inserted watermark are captured and further instructions on creating the necessary date and time records are provided.
NXP eIQ® Model Watermarking software is the industry’s first effective tool to help developers protect their machine learning investments. The need to protect a model from cloning is critical for applications in medical and industrial end uses where datasets are more unique and proprietary.
IP rights are legal rights that protect non-tangible business assets against various types of misuse. Copyright is the most well-known type of IPR and forbids the copying and dissemination of a protected work; traditionally the protected work is of a creative nature such as music, books, photographs etc. But it also applies to business works such as software, manuals, whitepapers and blogs.
The only real requirement for copyright protection is that some form of creativity is present in the work. No other machine learning toolkit contains this type of sophisticated watermarking technology combined with the comprehensive workflow to guide developers through the process of records creation for the purpose of proving ownership of the ML model. Model owners can detect copying and cloning from an end product, without requiring reverse engineering a copyist’s product or access to its source code.
Further, the NXP eIQ Model Watermarking tool is optimized to incur no performance or accuracy penalty on the protected model. The NXP eIQ Model Watermarking tool is developed in consultation with IP legal experts and is available for download from NXP.com as part of the eIQ ML SW environment.