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June 29, 2015 | Frama-C helps secure data on the Internet of Things

The data exchanged by applications on the Internet of Things (IoT) presents some security challenges. CEA LIST researchers recently demonstrated the capacity of the institute’s Frama-C software to validate the software that lets connected objects communicate.

Researchers at CEA LIST, a member of the Instituts Carnot network, used Frama-C to develop verification applications for the software used to update sensor networks. Formal verification methods were used to prove that the software would work regardless of the sensor network topologies.

Applications in telecommunications, aerospace, electronics, energy, and more

framCFrama-C was also successfully used for the analysis and verification of an industrial encryption library for communications between communicating systems. Again, a study validated the correct call implementation within the security perimeter investigated.

Finally, CEA LIST spinoff TrustInSoft used Frama-C to analyze a software component developed by France-based software manufacturer 6WIND to manage network packets for very-high-broadband telecoms networks with multicore architectures.

These results have already led to new partnerships: Frama-C will be used in several collaborative R&D projects, including two EU-backed projects, for applications ranging from IoT to aerospace, electronics, and energy.

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June 19, 2015 | Safer collaborative robots for the factory of the future

The factory of the future will be home to more agile production systems in which collaborative robots will play an increasing role. But, to work safely with human operators, these robots must have particularly reliable control systems. CEA LIST researchers recently demonstrated the potential of the institute’s collaborative robot controller synthesis tools to fuel advances in cobot safety.

Collaborative robots, or cobots as they are commonly known, work as a team with a human operator, making tasks easier to perform so that the human operator can keep his or her attention where it is most crucial. For the team to be effective, cobot control systems have to meet particularly high demands for performance, stability, and safety. Ensuring robust, precise control while maintaining flexibility, transparency, and performance is a key challenge for the factory of the future.

Trial and error now a thing of the past

CEA LIST, a member of the Instituts Carnot network, has developed synthesis tools that respond to these challenges. Based on a nonsmooth optimization algorithm originally developed by France’s aerospace research institute ONERA, the synthesis tools provide fast, optimized configuration of controller parameters, regardless of the number of parameters or flexible modes. Configuration by trial-and-error is now a thing of the past: the controller gains are adjusted directly to the optimal setting.

The tools were successfully tested on a number of different controller adjustments, including an industrial cobot offering a force-amplification function.



April 5, 2015 | TrustInSoft “Most Innovative Company” finalist at RSA Conference

France-based startup TrustInSoft has already won awards for its cybersecurity verification prowess. The company recently earned a new distinction as one of ten finalists in the Most Innovative Company contest at the RSA Conference 2015 in San Francisco.

The RSA Conference is one of the world’s premier information security events. And, each year, the conference chooses the most innovative information security company from a cohort of ten finalists.

Groundbreaking levels of trust

TrustInSoft was the first French company to make the finals in a decade; as a finalist, the company will raise its profile on the US market. TrustInSoft’s technology, first developed by CEA LIST, a member of the Instituts Carnot network, drastically reduces cyber threats while keeping software validation and verification costs down. The level of information security is unrivalled, for groundbreaking levels of trust in software.

Thanks to TrustInSoft, developers no longer have to play cat-and-mouse with hackers—responding to new threats with additional layers of security. They can now ensure mathematically-measurable security to protect software against the main families of security vulnerabilities, including buffer overflow and zero day attacks.

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May 20, 2015 | Online image searches faster and more accurate

The latest CEA LIST technologies are making online image searches faster and more accurate.

Digital devices like cameras and smartphones are becoming permanent fixtures of our day-to-day lives, fueling exponential growth in the proportion of images among online data. Images are driving the increasing popularity of photo-sharing sites like Instagram, Picasa, and Flickr. But, because users often fail to tag their images sufficiently (or at all), it is difficult to perform content searches.

The latest technologies developed by CEA LIST, a member of the Instituts Carnot network, are helping overcome the three major hurdles currently hindering online image searches:

  • Gaps between the key points in an image and the way in which the images are interpreted by
  • The wide variety of images online (subject matter, resolution, technical quality)
  • The capacity of search algorithms to explore databases of hundreds of millions of images on a personal computer

Researchers at CEA LIST have overcome these challenges by using image content modelling based on a large battery of visual models—or classifiers—leveraging the “deep learning” descriptions of the images.

Researchers at CEA LIST have overcome these challenges by using image content modelling based on a large battery of visual models—or classifiers—leveraging the “deep learning” descriptions of the images. The researchers also simplified the way in which similarities between images, a key element of research techniques, are calculated. They used a semantic representation limited to a few dozen relevant classifiers. Finally, they gave their tool new capabilities to learn new visual models, creating new classifiers to respond to new and previously unidentified searches.

The next step will be to integrate these technologies into CEA LIST’s multimedia analysis tools, which could potentially be used in a very large number of fields, including for online search engines.

These advances were made under two EU-backed research projects in which CEA LIST participated: USEMP (FP7 611 596) and MUCKE (FP7 CHIST-ERA).

March 20, 2015 | New memory technologies for neuromorphic computing architectures

Artificial neural networks emulate biological synapses, storing “memories” of past events in the form of a physical property, conductance. The networks’ behavior makes it possible to establish a temporal correlation that is well suited to the processing of natural data like images and sounds.

Researchers successfully demonstrated the feasibility of integrating CBRAM components into CMOS circuits to create synapse matrices in 2012. In 2014 an experimental circuit was built, integrating two different synapse matrix structures (with and without an access transistor) and selection and control logic in 130 nm standard CMOS technology.

SynapsesIn initial testing of the experimental circuit, the artificial synapses behaved as predicted. However, the fabrication of embedded neuromorphic circuits will require the mastery of a broad array of new know-how including artificial synapse matrix design. Factors like the degree of precision of the synaptic values, the maximum matrix size, and the influence of parasite pathways will depend on two criteria: the technology used and the CMOS circuit’s on-resistance (RON).

The successful testing enabled CEA LIST to validate the researchers’ planned architecture strategies for the development of future embedded neuromorphic circuits.