The Week In Review: IoT

Kilopass adds vertical thyristor to eNVM; AllSeen to merge with OCF; Qualcomm/NXP analysis; a guide to securing IoT devices.

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Memory
Kilopass Technology uncorked its new eNVM, which includes vertical layered thyristor DRAM technology. The key advantages, according to the company, is that it eliminates the need for DRAM refresh, can be manufactured using existing processes, and improves power and area efficiency. A full memory test chip is currently in the early stages of testing. A thyristor is basically a latch technology for storing values, which is different from capacitor-based DRAM technology.

Deals
Mentor Graphics inked a partnership with Real-Time Innovations, which develops embedded middleware for the Industrial IoT. Under the terms of the deal, a software chain of trust will be created based upon the Data Distribution Service, from hardware through the software stack. The companies are targeting their combined solution for industrial, medical and mil/aero applications.

Standards
The AllSeen Alliance and the Open Connectivity Foundation opened the week with the announcement that the two organizations will merge and will be known as the Open Connectivity Foundation. The OCF will develop and support the open-source AllJoyn and IoTivity standards in tandem through The Linux Foundation. The organization will also work on future OCF specifications. The OCF board will expand as a result of the merger and will include representatives of Cisco Systems, GE Digital, Intel, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Samsung Electronics, among others.

Mergers and Acquisitions
Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors have yet to publicly acknowledge reports of merger negotiations between the chip companies. Matthew Ramsay, the semiconductor analyst of Canaccord Genuity, had some thoughts on that potential combination. “For Qualcomm, diversification away from a maturing handset market and into growing automotive, IoT and security verticals. Automotive infotainment, ADAS, IoT and other growth markets could greatly benefit Qualcomm roadmap going forward. Additionally, we believe Qualcomm’s handset business would benefit from NXP’s mature NFC, secure element, and USB-C technology portfolios. Finally, Qualcomm would benefit from the acquisition of a mature distribution business with channel relationships and from use of its offshore cash,” he wrote. “For NXP, we believe the increased scale and particularly brand awareness of Qualcomm could help unlock additional value from NXP’s small handset business within Secure Connected Devices and Qualcomm could add compute and graphics horsepower as well as foundry scale to NXP’s automotive franchise. Finally, we believe a potential acquisition could unlock value in NXP’s business that has not been achieved as an independent public company.” The downside risks: NXP is still digesting its Freescale Semiconductor acquisition and has yet to complete its $2.75 billion divestiture of the Standard Products business. This would be Qualcomm’s biggest acquisition, possibly worth 10x its $3.2 billion purchase of Atheros Communications in 2011.

Security
The Cloud Security Alliance’s new report, Future-proofing the Connected World: 13 Steps to Developing Secure IoT Products, is available as a free download. Brian Russell of Leidos said in a statement, “We hope to empower developers and organizations with the ability to create a security strategy that will help mitigate the most pressing threats to both consumer and business IoT products.”

Market Research
Research and Markets has a new report, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): Market Opportunities for Solutions, Products, and Services 2016-2021. It forecasts the market for artificial intelligence in IIoT teleoperation and tele-robotics will hit $19 billion by 2021.

Products
Software AG brought out an Internet of Things Analytics Kit as part of its Apama Community Edition, available for free as open-source software under the Apache License, version 2.0. The kit can run on Raspberry Pi single-board computers for IoT application development.

CEVA this week introduced the CEVA-X1 IoT processor IP core. Will Strauss of Forward Concepts said in a statement, “The 3GPP’s recent launch of the Cat-M1 and Cat-NB1 standards paves the way for billions of IoT devices to connect via the cellular networks in the coming years. The CEVA-X1 IoT processor addresses the stringent power, cost, and performance constraints of this new wave of low-data-rate devices, offering a compelling solution upon which to develop multi-mode IoT products for this burgeoning market.”

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