Drones for agriculture – Tuxera file system software

Can drones help feed the world?

As a tech company, we’re inspired by ways technology can solve complex challenges faced by the world. When it comes to making farming more efficient and more sustainable, many different technologies play a role. One example that's of special interest to us is drones.

Monitoring crops from the air

In the last year, the popular media has placed a lot of emphasis on delivery drones. But as it turns out, drones are also a valuable tool in a farming method called precision agriculture. This approach relies heavily on remote sensing and GPS technologies to collect data about small-scale field conditions.

Drones can be equipped with remote sensing hardware such as infrared (IR) sensors to capture very accurate measurements on crop health. This technology is already in use in sub-Saharan Africa, where extreme heat and drought have intensified due to climate change. Drones mounted with IR sensors can detect plant stress 10 days before it’s visible to the naked eye. This info tells the sub-Saharan farmers exactly where to apply water, fertilizer, or pesticide to save their crops – saving them time, resources, and most importantly, their livelihoods.

Drones can help improve crop yields

According to industry analysts at Owen Wyman, using drones for precision agriculture could improve crop yields by 15 percent, while reducing fertilizer use by 40 percent. Alongside other methods, it appears drones could play a helpful role in meeting the world food demand.

While drones are getting cheaper each year, those loaded with sophisticated sensors are unaffordable for the vast majority of the world’s farmers. That said, governments and agencies can use drones to collect invaluable data about the land resources and crops being cultivated. And that data can be used to help farmers indirectly through more informed agricultural policymaking.


Want to read more on drones? Learn how the software inside makes a difference.


What does Tuxera do? Give people more power to choose devices

Tuxera gives people the freedom of choice

What brings us together at Tuxera is a passion for improving lives through technology. We fuel that passion by developing storage and networking technologies that work across all devices and operating systems.

Software and hardware giants alike would love for you to buy as many devices inside their ecosystems as possible. But our software empowers you with more freedom to choose which devices you want to use – and we’re proud to make that happen.

For the entire month of October, Tuxera will be featured in the Business Insight Finland supplement of N by Norwegian in-flight magazine. Business Insight Finland focuses on the most internationally interesting Finnish companies, so we’re honored to be a part of it! In case you can't catch a flight with Norwegian this month, no problems. Read the full article on how we put the freedom of choice back into your hands.


Tuxera – Review of TP-Link Talon 7200AD #IFAstories

As seen at IFA 16: a review of the world’s fastest router

At this year’s IFA, we had the chance to speak with TP-Link about the world’s fastest router – the Talon AD7200. Now, you may be thinking, with so much technology to choose from at IFA, why should anyone care about a router?

This router drew our attention as it’s the first with 802.11ad Wi-Fi, also known as “WiGig.” WiGig technology offers extremely high throughput, meaning it's blazing fast! With the Talon AD7200, you can stream and transfer files at unprecedented speeds of 7 Gbps! According to TP-Link, the router transfers an entire feature-length 4K movie (100 GB) in less than eight minutes, or 100 photos (a total of 150 MB) in less than a second!

The Talon AD7200 reaches these amazing speeds on a new, interference-free 60 GHz band. The drawback with this high-frequency band, however, is that it has a short range. In most homes, the majority of entertainment devices (your TV, set-top boxes, stereo system, and gaming consoles), are in one room, so this is hardly a reason to pass on such amazing speeds. Plus, the Talon AD7200 uses multi-band Wi-Fi technology. When you move out of the WiGig range, your devices are automatically switched to the router’s other high-speed Wi-Fi bands.

If you’re still not sure this is the right router for you, here are some other specs we found impressive:

  • 512 MB RAM ensures good routing and USB performance
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports for printers or external storage drives
  • Beamforming on all bands for better reception through thick walls
  • Multi-user multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) technology connecting several devices without too much interference

If you create and consume a lot of 4K video content, this router is definitely the one you want in your home. It’s also great for online gamers and tech-savvy consumers who want the top performance from their Wi-Fi.

That's our take on the Talon AD7200 router from TP-Link! A big thanks to the TP-Link crew for their gracious hospitality and for answering all our questions at IFA. We’ll be watching for more exciting networking products from them at future events!

Tuxera meets TP-Link at IFA 2016

Like this review? Check out our playlist of video reviews from IFA 16 on YouTube.


Tuxera – high-performance SMB server

Microsoft and Tuxera strengthen partnership through Tuxera SMB Server (Fusion File Share by Tuxera)

REDMOND, Wash., and HELSINKI, Finland — Sept. 14, 2016 — On Wednesday, Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC and Tuxera Inc. announced they have expanded their collaboration to Server Message Block (SMB) technology, fueling innovation in a range of fields and enhancing business solutions for customers around the globe. The collaboration comes as Tuxera launches its new Tuxera SMB (now called Fusion File Share by Tuxera as of 2019) as a drop-in replacement for the open-source Samba and other alternative SMB/Common Internet File System (CIFS) servers, ideally suited for embedded platforms.

“All the existing SMB/CIFS servers on the market, both open source and proprietary, have years of legacy code as added weight. This makes them not optimal for embedded use due to limited CPU, memory constraints and demanding support requirements,” said Szabolcs Szakacsits, Tuxera’s president and chief technology officer.

“Microsoft has helped lead the way in developing connected technologies, and SMB is integral to our server and business solutions,” said Nick Psyhogeos, president of Microsoft Technology Licensing. “Agreements like ours with Tuxera will accelerate the pace of innovation and shape industries that depend on a near-universal language for file transfers across networks.”

“We are excited to expand our multiyear cooperation with Microsoft to new technologies,” said Mikko Välimäki, Tuxera’s CEO. “Building on our market understanding as the global leader in file systems, Fusion File Share has state-of-the-art modular architecture that makes it possible to run the server in both user and kernel space and reach hardware limit in I/O throughput, while maintaining the lowest possible CPU usage and memory footprint of any other alternative.”

Microsoft’s commitment to licensing IP

The patent agreement is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant technology ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, it has entered into more than 1,200 licensing agreements. More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.

About Tuxera Inc.

Tuxera is the leading provider of storage software and networking technologies that allow music, pictures, videos and other content to be shared across any device or operating system. Every second three devices powered by Tuxera are launched to the market – mobiles, tablets, drones, cameras, cars, home entertainment and other electronics. Close collaboration with industry leaders ensures reliable compatibility, high performance standards and low power use. Founded in 2008, Tuxera’s headquarters are located in Finland, with regional offices in Korea, Taiwan, China and USA.

Fusion File Share by Tuxera is available for immediate deployment on Linux and Android, and supports the most popular embedded platforms. Contact sales@tuxera.com for more information.

About Microsoft Technology Licensing

Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC was formed in 2014 to acquire, manage and license Microsoft’s patent portfolio.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Also accessible at http://news.microsoft.com/2016/09/14/microsoft-and-tuxera-strengthen-partnership-through-tuxera-smb-server/#DOpikZCxPShyv8OV.99


Tuxera at IFA16 – #IFAstories TCL Xclusive X1 review

A closer look at IFA 16’s award-winning TCL Xclusive X1 TV

We’ve had a few days to explore IFA Berlin, which if you didn’t know is the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show. As in previous years, all the big consumer electronics brands are present, like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Philips, and myriads of others.

But what’s most evident this year is the boom of Chinese consumer electronics manufacturers. According to IFA International, the official show daily, the scale of Chinese exhibitors reached a record high at 15,000 m2 of display area! Cue TCL, which stands for “The Creative Life,” a company headquartered Huizhou, China. TCL turned heads at this year’s IFA by taking the 2016 IFA Product Technical Innovation Award for their Xclusive X1 Series TV.

They drew our curiosity as well. When we arrived at their booth, we were wowed by what we saw – but also by what we heard. The Xclusive X1 has an amazing JBL by Harman soundbar built in, which pumps out gorgeous, fully immersive audio. Read on for an exclusive interview between Tuxera’s Head of Marketing, Claudio Camacho, and TCL’s Marketing Manager, Christine Seyfarth.

Tuxera's Claudio at TCL booth at IFA 16

Claudio: Let’s start off with that amazing soundbar – tell us a bit about that.

Christine: Firstly, this soundbar is built in exclusively to our TV. It has six 3-way boxes with a total of 50 Watts of power. That power can fill a whole room measuring several square meters, and it’s very high-quality sound.

Claudio: What sort of audio technology does it support – Dolby Stereo/Surround Sound, 3D audio?

Christine: It supports Dolby Surround, and due to the curvature of the TV screen, it helps produce a better surround experience. We’re especially proud to have the JBL by Harman boxes inside because they stand for quality audio. This gives our customers the chance to experience the prefect fusion of high-quality picture and great sound.

Claudio: In which markets can we find the TV? How much will it cost?

Christine: We’ll launch this Xclusive X1 TV series in Europe at the end of the year. It’s already available in the US, China, and in other Asian markets as well. I can only say the European price, which will be around €3,990.

Claudio: €3,990 sounds like a premium product. Who are you targeting for this product?

Christine: It is a premium product. We designed it for young families that want to have the total entertainment experience in one product. Besides the great sound and the high-quality HDR picture you get Quantum Dot technology, Android TV, games, video-on-demand, and voice search. The combination of all of this – the good sound, the good picture, the Android TV, the smart features – gives you a full entertainment bundle for the entire family.

For more of our reports and reviews from IFA 16 including video reviews, check out www.tuxera.com/IFA16 or follow #IFAstories.


High-performance embedded flash file systems – Tuxera

Two big challenges with flash memory and how to solve them

Humanity creates an unfathomable 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day! To help wrap our heads around that ginormous number – that’s enough data to fill 10 million blu-ray discs daily. Obviously, it’s inefficient to burn all of this data to discs. So what technology will be used to store this data into the future? The answer is flash memory technology. Flash memory chips are embedded inside of devices like your phone or your car, and also used in external storage such as SD cards. What makes flash memory so viable is that it can retain data for years without power supplied to the chip (this is known as “non-volatile” memory). But even the best memory has some grey areas.

What are some of the challenges with flash memory technology?

Flash memory has some particular challenges related to reliability and performance, and in those areas Tuxera’s solutions bring significant performance improvements. Here are two such challenges we help solve:

1. Flash memory wears out over time. Inside the memory chip, bits of data are stored on cells. Each time data is erased from or written to a cell, it causes wear. Over time and repeated cycles of writing and erasing, the cells degrade and eventually become unusable. All our file system implementations, especially Reliance Velocity (formerly Tuxera Flash File System), write data more efficiently to reduce wear associated with read/write cycles, thereby extending the lifetime of flash memory.

2. Typical file system software can cause data fragmentation. While built-in features reduce fragmentation, this phenomenon still causes a decrease in performance over time. That's because the system has to jump around the memory layout to read or write all the bits of data that form a file. Our software is specially engineered to write data blocks to the memory in a way that keeps blocks close to each other. It wastes as little space as possible on the memory, so the system can perform at maximum speeds.

Strong involvement in the ecosystem is key

None of what we do is in a vacuum, however. We have strong relationships with leading flash memory manufacturers, and work with each vendor’s hardware to improve performance and lifetime. That's why we attend industry events such as Flash Memory Summit – the best place to network with everyone in the flash memory ecosystem. For an insider's view on the flash memory trends for 2016, check out our wrap-up of Flash Memory Summit 2016.


What's the best way to handle data stored on flash memory? Follow the link below to find out more about the world's most flash-friendly file system.

Get Reliance Velocity


Commercial drones data storage – Tuxera

Commercial drones bring valuable data – but where is it stored?

In July 2016, 7-Eleven and drone startup Flirtey brought joy to some thirsty residents in Reno, Nevada, USA. This special Slurpee delivery (7-Eleven’s signature icy beverages) made headlines because it was the first FAA-approved home delivery by drone. While deliveries are a tangible use case for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commercial applications for UAVs run much deeper than just over-glorified delivery boys. As a matter of fact, transportation reporter Joan Lowy of the Associated Press reports commercial drone use is “the biggest game-changing technology in aviation since the advent of the jet engine.”

Deliveries are just the beginning

Outside of deliveries, what other applications are drones good for? Dronetech Europe identifies seven major areas of growth in commercial drone applications: 1) environment and renewables, 2) film, photography, and music, 3) sport and performance, 4) security and law enforcement, 5) emergency response, 6) agriculture and forestry, and 7) mapping and surveying. The common thread with all of these applications is data collection – and lots of it – from high-quality video footage to valuable spectral data about our environment.

Flying high with removable storage

All of that data collected by drones needs storage – and according to Wes Brewer, VP and GM of memory solutions provider Lexar, the microSD card has a bright future in that area. As Mr. Brewer points out, 8K resolution video, multiple sensor data, and 360-degree video capture will drive the need for greater performance and capacity in removable storage. SD cards have several advantages over embedded drone storage, including scalable capacity, higher-quality image storage, and lower-power data transfer.

Tuxera’s file system software is already inside selected commercial and consumer drones, bringing support for SD cards. Our software gives some added benefits alongside those brought on by SD cards including fail-safe data integrity in the event of power loss or crash, longer SD card lifetime, fast data transfer speeds, and low write latency when saving data to the SD card.

More data collection drives future storage needs

Commercial drones in particular are collecting an increasing amount of data. As businesses start using drones in a wider variety of applications, storage requirements continue to expand. For our part, we’re eager to continue improving data transfer and storage performance to meet those demands into the future.

This post has portions from a longer article at Engadget entitled, "Why drones are the next big thing in business."


Drone file system software makes a difference – Tuxera

Beyond hardware – drone software makes a difference

When it comes to drone performance, most of the attention is naturally focused on the hardware specs. But what’s often overlooked – and equally important – is the software inside the drone. As with any technology, drone performance is dependent on how everything works together inside.

The hardware does the heavy lifting

The brain of the drone is a tiny piece of silicon called an SoC (system on a chip). Chipset makers such as Intel, Qualcomm, and Ambarella all have specialized flight SoCs for drones. These SoCs typically have a multi-core processor with support for flight control systems, gyroscope, altimeter, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 4K video processing, amongst other technologies.

Commercial drones in particular are equipped with multiple sensors and ultra HD cameras generating a lot of critical data. For example, drones used for agriculture may have IR (infrared) sensors to detect plant health, while those used for mapping may have LIDAR (light detection and ranging) surveying technology on board.

Hard-working software to match

Until the past few years, drones relied on either proprietary operating systems (OSes) or Arduino-based controllers. Today, more and more drones are running Linux-based software. On top of the OS are various drivers providing support for all the various sensors and technologies. Microsoft exFAT by Tuxera and Microsoft FAT by Tuxera file system software are two such embedded drivers. These file system software technologies bring support for SD cards used to store recorded image and sensor data on select drones available now and coming soon to the market.

But our software does more than just read and write data to the SD card – it gets more performance out of the hardware inside drones. Here are five ways how:

1. Ultra-reliable SD card support

Drones can crash for a variety of reasons such as pilot error, hardware failure, or freak accidents. With alternative file system software, you can’t be sure the recorded data is saved to the SD card and readable after the crash. But Tuxera’s software is fail-safe, meaning you can count on retrieving your data, even if the drone is severely damaged.

2. Longer SD card lifetime

Writing data on the SD card wears it out. Because our software writes data so efficiently to the SD card, it causes less wear – which means a longer lifetime.

3. More battery power for flight

Our software writes and stores data more efficiently than other file system software – meaning less CPU usage, less battery drain, and more juice for flight!

4. Fast data transfer speeds

Today’s drones are used for increasingly complex applications requiring more processing power than ever. Our software uses advanced proprietary algorithms and data structures to ensure maximum data transfer speeds (known as I/O throughput).

5. Better video performance

Drones need lightning-fast software to reliably write large, HD video files. When recording to an SD card, there’s a short delay between what’s happening in front of the camera and writing that video data to the card. This phenomenon is called “write latency.” During 2K or 4K recording, the video data is sent to the card at high speeds. But with latency factored in, frames can get dropped during the write process. Tuxera’s file systems are designed to counteract this phenomenon and prevent frame loss during intensive ultra-HD video recording.

The right software complements great hardware

When evaluating drone performance, it’s important to keep both the hardware and the software in mind, because the two are interlinked. You wouldn’t buy an expensive computer without checking what’s under the hood – why take that risk with a drone?

Featured image: By ZullyC3P (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

This post is an altered part of a longer article at Engadget, "Why drones are the next big thing in business."


Tuxera expands to Germany

Tuxera's software powers cars of the future

In an interview with TechCrunch, our founder and CTO, Szabolcs Szakacsits (known as “Szaka” to us Tuxerians), revealed that we’re now developing software that will be inside the black boxes of self-driving consumer cars by 2020. The file system software we provide handles data from 16 sensors simultaneously – data about tire pressure, camera images and video streams, radar data, driver profiles, and more. In the event of a crash, the black box protects all the data recorded so investigators can evaluate how the autonomous car crashed.

That’s why the software used inside the box needs to be extremely robust. Tuxera’s file system software backs up data in real-time from RAM to Flash, which ensures that data stored in the event data recorder (EDR) is always consistent. So even in case of power cuts or accidents, the data is reliably written to the memory.

Read more by following the Tweet below:

https://twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/731244826784501760

 

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Tuxera embedded drone filesystems enable high-performance video recording

Dreams take flight as demand for camera drones soars

General Electric sure shakes up our Twitter feed whenever they run their popular #DroneWeek campaigns. If the enthusiasm for #DroneWeek says anything, it’s that tech-savvy consumers are excited to see more of what drones can do. Many would love to get their hands on one, if they don’t own a drone already. And manufacturers are stepping up to meet that demand. The market now has drones of all shapes and sizes, with longer battery life, and capabilities that keep getting better for businesses and consumers alike.

Drone demand soars for commercial and hobby uses

According to analysts at Business Insider and KCBP, drone demand is soaring, with the highest area of growth in the commercial and consumer markets. The consumer drone market alone saw an estimated 167% year-on-year growth from 2013 to 2015.

Meeting these demands are the top players like DJI, Parrot, 3D Robotics, and Yuneec.  Many new manufacturers are rushing to the scene, especially in China, with models that are great value for money. With reduced prices and wider availability, it’s no wonder that consumer interest in drones, and the desire to fly and own one, is on the rise!

Eyes in the sky

One thing’s clear – whether for business or for pleasure, a growing number of people want drones with built-in cameras. According to e-commerce experts at TeraPeak, consumers already had a solid interest in camera drones back in 2014: nearly 25 percent of drones sold on eBay came with built-in cameras. More recently in China, the International Data Center predicts the camera drone market will grow nearly 70 percent through 2019.

Better aerial video with Tuxera’s file system software

With the growing demand for aerial video, drones need lightning-fast software that can reliably write large, HD video files to the drone’s memory cards. When you spend hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars on a camera drone, you don’t want choppy, stuttering video. Choppy video is caused by a phenomenon called frame loss. When the drone’s memory card can’t capture all the information being delivered to it, information is lost. The lost information then results in a lost or “dropped” frame.

This is just one way our embedded file system software can truly make a difference for drone users. Tuxera exFAT and Tuxera FAT are already inside selected commercial and consumer drones, bringing high-performance support for SD memory cards that store the recorded video. Because our file system software writes data faster and more efficiently than other alternatives, it delivers outstanding performance for video recording – without frame loss. Tuxera FAT+ is also ready to bring large file support for high-quality videos recorded by today's drones.

Fueling the age-old dream of flight

As business and consumer demand for drones continues to grow, one thing’s for sure – more and more people want a bird’s-eye view of the world. Perhaps humankind’s millennia-old fascination with flight (think Icarus and Daedalus) is at least in part responsible for the growing desire to own a drone. For consumers especially, the applications for camera drones are truly up to the pilot’s imagination. And that’s why we’re truly geeked to have our filesystem software inside of drones, helping fuel your imaginations with the best-possible video performance.