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$9 Single-Board Computer Security Considerations

March 7, 2016 No Comments

Featured blog by Xander Schofield, Independent Technology Writer

What can you anticipate in a development board with a price tag of $9? Referred to as the CHIP (Computer Hardware in Products), this is a product of Next Thing Co., which is located in Oakland, California and was founded by the friends Thomas Deckert, Gustavo Huber, Dave Rauchwerk. This open source product features 512MB of RAM, a 1-GHz R8 ARM processor, and 4GB of onboard storage. Additionally, the CHIP features an in-built Wi-Fi as well as a Bluetooth connectivity, which is configured to work on any screen. When the introduction of this single-board computer system, there are a lot of security considerations to come along with it.

With the $9 single-board computer set to make its debut soon, the users should expect to enjoy a range of high-profile features. Notably, the users can connect to an inbuilt composite output or with HDMI or VGA adaptor. If you are using a GUI Linux interface (Debian-based), then you will be able to utilize the pre-installed applications, play games, add peripherals, and compute in a way you are comfortable with.

A free basic programming language, Scratch, allows the users to create games, interactive stories, and animations. Additionally, CHIP has the capability of running thousands of free applications from the open source community. Many tutorials are available on topics that include powering on the device, setting up Bluetooth, and flashing the board. Furthermore, with the capability of running many applications, it’s important for users and IT professionals to set up alerts for their networks to secure data. From spear phishing to SQL injections, it’s more vital than ever to have effective security measures with your single-board computer device.

CHIP joins another Kickstarter offer from Next Thing- OTTO, a customizable “hackable GIF” camera powered by Raspberry Pi, which was introduced in May 2014 and has its starting price at $199. Additionally, it is also able to synchronize with the user’s smartphone utilizing a companion iPhone app. The camera has inbuilt modes, which include time-lapse, GIF capture, and photo booth filters, and are provided with in-depth settings that can be adjusted from the app. Also available in the community library are the user-generated modes and the changes are automatically synced to OTTO.

The system that was used to create the Chip is based on the A13 processor utilized by the Allwinner, a semiconductor company based in Shenzhen. As late as 2013, Allwinner became the second leading tablet manufacturer in the world, and the A13 was the leading processor in the Allwinner lineup.

Based on the A13 processor, the company was able to successfully create a small but powerful and cheap device, making them foster a relationship with one of the world’s premier tablet makers. Information on the Kickstarter page indicates how the device is doing some remarkable things: Creating spreadsheets, surfing the web via the Chromium browser, presentations with LibreOffice, Word documents, and playing video games through Bluetooth controllers.

Besides, the most remarkable feature of this device is the Pocket Chip, a little tool with a crudely-looking screen as well as a hard-keyboard that is plugged into the Chip and enhances portable computing. Though it may not be an iPhone hit, it is a remarkably cheap mobile factor.

By making a $9 donation towards the Kickstarter campaign, you will be able to get the Chip by the time of its launch. But if you make more contributions to the campaign, you will have the chance to receive more add-ons, which include a pocket Chip for $49. The Kickstarter campaign was launched with a $50,000 funding target, which the team expects to utilize in ordering the components. Currently, the company is focused on fulfilling the Kickstarter campaign; however the system is mooted to be available for the direct purchase at a later date. According to the venture’s site, the date will be in July 2016.

 

 

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