What’s new? Bluetooth 5, TPM and high demand for SSDs

A lot has happened in the last few weeks. This month we have some news about the new Bluetooth standard, the Trusted Platform Module and we explain the rising prices for SSDs. In addition: Product change in the spo-comm range and everything about Windows 10 IoT Enterprise.

Even faster, even better: Bluetooth 5

A few weeks ago, developers of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) presented Bluetooth 5. The fifth version of the radio standard promises a faster data transmission, further distanced and thereby also saves energy in some cases. These changes mainly affect Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for small, current-saving systems. With these, the data rate can even double. Manufacturers of radio chips have already announced that the new standard will be available soon.

More security for Mini-PCs: Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

The Trusted Platform Module is a chip that is integrated into many systems and provides more security. The TPM can be used to encrypt a hard drive, identify a computer and detect changes, such as malware. More information about TPM and the spo-comm Systems possessing the chip, will soon be available on our blog.

Rising SSD prices due to high demand: Improvement is finally in sight

Due to the increased demand for NAND memories (=a type flash memory used for SSDs), the prices for SSDs have risen a lot in the recent months. This is because on the one hand SSDs are increasingly popular because of their multiple advantages. This also results in an increased demand for the more favorable so called TLC memory. On the other hand, NAND modules are also required for smartphones. While a price increase of up to 16% was expected for the first quarter, the situation should slowly ease in the second quarter.

It’s time for a change: WINDBOX II Plus goes EOL

Unfortunately everything has its end: Our very popular spo-book WINDBOX II Plus is End of Life (EOL) and is now completely replaced by the spo-book WINDBOX II Quad. Thanks to the same dimensions and also the same connections – only one USB was upgraded from 2.0 to the current 3.0 standard – the product change should not cause any problems. The WINDBOX II Quad also features a newer quad-core processor and Windows 10. Drivers for the old system are from now on available here.

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise: Find all information on our blog now!

It is hard to believe that our Windows 10 IoT weeks are already over. Over the past five weeks we’ve introduced you to a new topic every Tuesday: from general introductions, to the benefits of the OS, customizing and security features, to Microsoft’s new licensing policy. And if you do not have enough time to read, just take a look at our overview page. We have summarized the most important information short and sweet, just for you.

More on this topic

22 Jun 2017 Array ( [id] => 270 [title] => Security: What is TPM? [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => Whoever works with sensitive data every day, tries to secure them as good as possible. One way to encrypt data is the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). In the first article of our new series about security, we will explain what this is all about. [description] =>

The Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a chip that is integrated into many systems and offers more security. It is used primarily in PCs, notebooks, mobile phones, but also in entertainment electronics. A device with TPM, adapted operating system and suitable software is called trusted computing platform (abbr.: TC platform).

What are the advantages of TPM?

The advantages of TPM are security and encryption as well as the identification of devices. For example, each chip contains a unique cryptographic key by which the computer can be identified – only if the owner allows reading it out.
In addition, cryptographic keys can be stored in the TPM in order to save encrypted data outside of the TPM. The keys are generated, used and securely stored within the TPM, so they are protected against software attacks. Other benefits include better licensing and data protection. The owner of the system can sign data to prove his origin. In addition, changes to the system can be detected using the TPM that have been made for example by malicious programs or by users.

What keys are used in the TPM?

The Endorsement Key (EK) is an RSA key pair (the abbreviation RSA stands for the three mathematicians Rivest, Shamier and Adleman, who developed this cryptographic method) and is specifically assigned to each TPM. The key length is 2048 bits. The RSA key pair consists of a private key that never leaves the TPM and decrypts or signs data, as well as a public key used to encrypt and check signatures. The key can be created outside of the TPM and can also be deleted and re-created.

The Storage Root Key (SRK) is created when an admin or user takes over the systems, that means, that the owner of the computer changes. The SRK is also an RSA key with a length of 2048 bits. As the name implies, the SRK is the root of the TPM key tree as it encrypts other keys used.

The Attestation Identity Keys (AIKs) are RSA keys with a length of 2048 bits. They are created using the Endorsement Keys and protect the privacy of the user. The AIKs can somehow be seen as a pseudonym for the EK, so that is can remain anonymous.

How can TPM be used?

The TPM chip, which is integrated into the hardware, is of course crucial for the use of TPM. This is partly inherently on the motherboard; alternatively the module can often be optionally installed, if a TPM header is present. However, the right software is required in order to use TPM. To protect the software from easy manipulation, a secure operating system such as Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is recommended.

Which spo-comm Mini-PCs offer TPM?

In the spo-comm systems spo-book WINDBOX III Advanced, spo-book NOVA CUBE Q87 and spo-book BOX N2930, a TPM chip is actually integrated (TPM 1.2). The successor of the spo-book WINDBOX III Advanced will be released in the third quarter of 2017 and will include the new TPM 2.0, which was published in 2014. In addition, TPM can be optionally installed in the systems spo-book TURO Q87, spo-book EXPANDED Q170 and spo-book NINETEEN Q170.

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know-how

Security: What is TPM?

Whoever works with sensitive data every day, tries to secure them as good as possible. One way to encrypt data is the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). In the first article of our new series about security, we will explain what this is all about.
20 Mar 2017 Array ( [id] => 250 [title] => Windows 10 IoT Enterprise: Benefits [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => Since we have devoted the last article to the term "Internet of Things" and the different variants of Windows 10 IoT, we are now entering the topic in general and will discuss the advantages of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSB. [description] =>

What exactly is Windows 10 IoT Enterprise?

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is an operating system for industrial applications and embedded PCs. It is suitable for all devices running desktop apps and Win32 applications. Windows 10 IoT has all the features of Windows 10 Professional and additional some so-called embedded lockdown features. These are used to secure the device and protect it against unwanted attacks. In addition, they offer various branding possibilities and can, for example, make the Windows operating system completely invisible behind a running application. We will explain the individual lockdown features more precisely in other articles.

What are the benefits of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise?

In addition to the lockdown features, Windows 10 IoT offers other advantages that are interesting for industrial solutions. For a start, this operating system is supported for at least 10 years and will be available for 5 more years (a total of 15 years), which is particularly relevant for applications that are to run for many years.

Another advantage is hidden in the abbreviation LTSB. This stands for Long Term Servicing Branch and states that only every 2-3 years new versions are provided in form of updates, which can, but do not have to be installed. These updates have already been extensively tested on other versions of Windows and should not cause any problems. To prevent security gaps, security updates and hotfixes are continually installed. However, these do not cause compatibility problems since they don’t change the operating system.

The Multilingual User Interface (MUI) is another benefit of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise compared to Windows Professional. MUI means that several language packs can be installed at the same time and you can switch between them, depending on the location or user. For Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, there are more than 30 different language packages. If you also count the individual variants like en-UK or en-US, there are over 100 languages in total.

Thanks to a new licensing model, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is also cheaper for most systems than the well-known Windows Professional. What this exactly means we are explaining here.

As a special service, a recovery stick is always included in the delivery scope of a system with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. If a new installation of the operating system is required or desired, it simply can be "recovered" or reinstalled by using the stick.

For which purposes Windows 10 IoT is suitable?

In general, Windows 10 IoT is suitable for all industrial applications: from kiosk systems, POS devices and ATMS to production plant and industrial control to digital signage players or medical devices – just to name a few.

If you are not sure if Windows 10 IoT is the right solution for you and your application, we can provide you a free test sample of the desired PC with a Windows 10 IoT trial version.

##Overview page of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise

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know-how

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise: Benefits

Since we have devoted the last article to the term "Internet of Things" and the different variants of Windows 10 IoT, we are now entering the topic in general and will discuss the advantages of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSB.
22 Oct 2014 Array ( [id] => 130 [title] => spo-book WINDBOX II Quad: All good things come in fours [authorId] => [active] => 1 [shortDescription] => Never change a winning team: And true to this maxim, the mini pc forge provides – together with MSI IPC – the meanwhile fourth generation of the WINDBOX II series (MS-9A65) on the market which one is highly presentable. With at least four processor cores, the new model is a first division player with respect to performance capability and convinces with a contemporary equipment that leaves nothing to be desired. [description] =>

The hardware offers state-of-the-art technology, for instance the USB 3.0 connections, the eight GB working memory, or the powerful processor that runs with only 10 watt energy.

The system is cooled passively, protected by a robust metal housing, and thanks to its very thin construction, customers can integrate it in the environment unobtrusively. And they have even more choices in respect to the software available as the WINDBOX II Quad is aligned with all Windows operating systems from version 7 on, no matter if 32 or 64 bit.

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products

spo-book WINDBOX II Quad: All good things come in fours

Never change a winning team: And true to this maxim, the mini pc forge provides – together with MSI IPC – the meanwhile fourth generation of the WINDBOX II series (MS-9A65) on the market which one is highly presentable. With at least four processor cores, the new model is a first division player with respect to performance capability and convinces with a contemporary equipment that leaves nothing to be desired.