The Week in Review: IoT

SoftBank Group will acquire ARM for its IoT push; GE in an IoT tie-up with Huawei; Open Trust Protocol is put forward for securing connected devices.


The big news of the week, of course, is SoftBank Group’s proposed acquisition of ARM Holdings for a breathtaking $32.2 billion in cash. In announcing the deal, the companies made it abundantly clear that the proposed acquisition is chiefly about Internet of Things technology. “When I think about the investment and the commitment that’s going to be required to develop the future technologies that we are talking about — things like the Internet of Things, things like fully autonomous cars — these are technologies that will require long-term investment, and not an iterative on what we have today,” said ARM CEO Simon Segars. SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said in a statement, “ARM will be an excellent strategic fit within the SoftBank group as we invest to capture the very significant opportunities provided by the Internet of Things.”

General Electric reached a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies to cooperate on developing Internet-connected machines. GE also opened a software development incubator in Shanghai at a cost of $11 million and said it would add more than 200 jobs at the GE Digital Foundry in Shanghai. Huawei will adopt GE’s Predix operating system for its preferred Internet of Things platform. “The growth of the industrial Internet in China demands not only capital and development from companies like GE and our partners — but also a commitment to align the private and public sector to build together,” GE Digital CEO Bill Ruh said in a statement.

ARM, Intercede, Solacia, Sprint, Symantec, and five other companies collaborated on development of the Open Trust Protocol, an industry standard for securing connected devices. The protocol combines a secure architecture with trusted code management, according to the initiative’s stakeholders. “In an Internet-connected world, it is imperative to establish trust between all devices and service providers,” Marc Canel, ARM’s vice president of security systems, said in a statement. “Operators need to trust devices their systems interact with and OTrP achieves this in a simple way. It brings e-commerce trust architectures together with a high-level protocol that can be easily integrated with any existing platform.”

David Heine, senior design engineering architect at Cadence, will present a paper on low-power, multi-purpose digital signal processors at the Linley Mobile & Wearables Conference on Wednesday, July 27, at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, Calif. The paper will detail an architecture for high-performance DSPs to be used in automotive, consumer, industrial, and Internet of Things applications.

Need a $5 computer for IoT hardware development? Here you go. The Linux-based Omega2 mini-PC from Onion (not The Onion) is priced at five bucks. The Omega2 Plus computer, with more data storage and memory, is merely $9. Onion has a Kickstarter campaign going for the Omega2 which has more than 1,900 backers and has raised nearly five times its $15,000 goal, with a month to go.

Industry Groups
NXP Semiconductors has become a member of the Fairhair Alliance, an industry group that advocates the use of IPv6 in buildings for Internet of Things applications. Fairhair Secretary-General, Ruud van Bokhorst said of NXP, “They are a key player in IoT network solutions, with exactly the right technical and standardization expertise that Fairhair needs.”