The Week in Review: IoT

Analog Devices will buy Linear Technology for $14.8B in cash and stock; NXP increases sales of Secure Connected Devices; Thread Group and Open Connectivity Foundation to work together.

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Deals
Analog Devices this week agreed to purchase Linear Technology for $60 a share in cash and stock, a proposed purchase worth about $14.8 billion. The transaction will wrap up next year, if antitrust regulators and Linear Tech’s shareholders give it the green light. Both chip companies are very active in Internet of Things technologies, with ADI acquiring Switzerland-based SNAP Sensor earlier this year, while Linear Tech offers the SmartMesh IP product line for wireless sensor networks and other IoT applications.

STMicroelectronics has acquired the near-field communication and radio-frequency identification reader business of ams for $77.8 million in cash, plus potential earn-out payments of $13 million to $37 million. “Security and NFC connectivity are key prerequisites for the broad rollout of mobile and IoT devices anticipated in the coming years. This acquisition builds on our deep expertise in secure microcontrollers and gives ST all of the building blocks to create the next generation of highly-integrated secure NFC solutions for mobile and for a broad range of Internet of Things devices,” Claude Dardanne, executive vice president and general manager of STMicro’s Microcontroller and Digital ICs Group, said in a statement.

Financial Results
NXP Semiconductors reported second-quarter revenue from its Secure Connected Devices segment came to $514 million, compared with $471 million in the first quarter of this year and with $276 million in Q2 of 2015. Secure Connected Devices now includes Freescale Semiconductor’s microcontroller product line. For the second quarter ended July 3, NXP posted $2.365 billion in revenue, compared with $1.5 billion a year earlier, and the chipmaker had a net loss of $13 million, compared with net income of $300 million in Q2 last year. NXP had increased expenses in research and development; selling, general and administrative; and amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets.

Standards
The Thread Group and the Open Connectivity Foundation announced Wednesday that they will collaborate on adoption of connected-home products. The organizations will work together to make OCF’s application layer compatible with Thread’s low-power wireless mesh network layer, based on IPv6. “Thread Group members identified and prioritized OCF as a strategically important application layer to run over the Thread wireless mesh network,” Thread Group President Grant Erickson said in a statement. He added, “In order for consumers to put their faith in the connected home, their experience must be simple, reliable, and effortless. This agreement takes us one step closer to our common goal of ensuring that consumers will have smart home devices that seamlessly work together out of the box, regardless of their brand or function.”

Products
Great Bay Software of Minneapolis has introduced Beacon Suite 5.0, which it says enables enterprises to discover, enforce, monitor, and implement access policies across connected devices. “Rapid growth in adoption of IoT devices represents an increasing and under-appreciated threat to enterprises, especially in the healthcare, manufacturing and critical infrastructure verticals,” Jon Oltsik of Enterprise Research Group said. “By adding enforcement to its strong endpoint visibility and profiling capabilities, Great Bay Software can make it easier for enterprises to protect vulnerabilities in IoT devices.” Great Bay Software CEO Jim Scullion said, “We are pleased that we’ve been able to accelerate our development cycles to be able to help enterprises get ahead of IoT security threats brought on by devices with deficient onboard security.”

Seebo, a San Francisco-based software-as-a-service platform, has introduced IoT Creator, a virtualized hardware environment for Internet of Things developers. “The IoT revolution is taking place right now, and many manufacturers are struggling to remain relevant in today’s smart and connected world,” Seebo CEO Lior Akavia said in a statement, adding, “Building IoT products can be complicated, expensive, and risky. It is a comprehensive task to coordinate the world of hardware, sensors, software, firmware, PCBA factories, mobile apps, cloud, and security – while integrating them into a smart, connected product.”

Market Research
Future Market Insights predicts the worldwide Internet of Things security market will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 16.5% from 2015 to 2020. IoT security products were worth $7.8 billion in 2014, evenly divided between hardware and software products, according to the market research firm.