The Week In Review: IoT

Computex begins; Marvell adds relays, switch; ARM uncorks 10nm CPUs, GPUs for virtual and augmented reality, adds SystemC support for modeling; Rambus deal with Scottish subway pays dividends; Mentor inks deal with Lear; Atari returns.

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Taiwan’s annual Computex trade show, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, opened this week, and the Internet of Things is among the focus areas of the exhibition. Tsai Ing-wen, the new president of Taiwan, said at the opening ceremony, “The IoT era is coming strong. Taiwan must focus on the integration of hardware and software along with low-volume, high-variety manufacturing capabilities.”

The Netherlands Trade and Investment Office is hosting a Dutch IoT Solutions forum at Computex. Amaryllo, Connecterra, Greenpeak, Sorama, and ViNotion are among the Dutch firms presenting at the Friday forum.

Technology
Marvell rolled out multi-hop relay technology to intelligently link and share data or audio/video using a daisy chain approach. The network can be used to connect up to 15 devices, extending WiFi network ranges up to 15 times for as many as 200 devices.

Marvell also uncorked a programmable access switch for 2.5 gigabit Ethernet, significantly increasing the number of wireless and wireline connections to a single switch. Lixin Zhou, senior director of the switching product line at Marvell, said switches are still all about speeds and feeds. “But there is is a lot of innovation happening in simplified management,” he said. “You can manage multiple switches as one larger switch. If you look at the market, there’s more competition for the medium and small enterprise. The demand for IT is higher, which means you need to make management of the network simpler. The trend is eventually to manage this from the cloud.”

ARM rolled out CPU and GPU IP for virtual and augmented reality applications that will be optimized for 10nm finFET processes. The company said the GPU performance will increase 50%, with a 20% improvement in power efficiency. The CPU offers a 30% improvement in sustained performance and power efficiency. ARM also added SystemC support for its cycle-accurate modeling technology, which it said will integrate with tools from Cadence and Synopsys.

Market Research
The Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts IoT devices will overtake mobile phones as the largest category in connected devices by 2018. IoT connected devices will grow 23% a year to 2021, accounting for nearly 16 billion devices in five years, out of a total 28 billion connected devices. “IoT is now accelerating as device costs fall and innovative applications emerge. From 2020, commercial deployment of 5G networks will provide additional capabilities that are critical for IoT, such as network slicing and the capacity to connect exponentially more devices than is possible today,” Rima Qureshi, Ericsson’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer, said in a statement.

Wirepas, with Frost & Sullivan, is offering a white paper, “The Rise of Autonomous Device Networks,” as a blueprint for networks to be implemented in the Industrial IoT. “From an availability point of view, autonomous device networks with decentralized architecture offer the best availability,” says Jussi Numminen of Wirepas, co-author of the white paper. He adds, “When applicable, the data should be stored, analyzed, and used locally to optimize availability.”

Deals
Nevis Technologies, a joint venture between RambusEcebs business unit and Scotland’s Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, has issued 100,000 smart cards to Glasgow subway riders. The cards securely store ticket and travel data, replacing paper tickets and tokens.

Mentor Graphics won a deal with Lear Corp., which will use Mentor’s electrical design tool to speed up time to market for automotive wiring harnesses.

Remember Atari? The gaming and interactive entertainment company announced an agreement with SigFox to develop connected devices that will operate on SigFox’s low-power wide-area network. Machina Research predicts almost 1.5 billion devices will be running on LPWANs by 2020. Atari Interactive said it will begin development and production this year of the Atari-branded devices for home, pets, lifestyle, and safety applications.

Chicago-based One Plus said it has purchased SmartBin of Dublin, Ireland, an IoT sensor technology and software firm in the waste management and recycling industry. Financial terms weren’t revealed. “We know that the industrial Internet of Things is a rapidly growing market with significant potential,” said Kristina Heinze, a partner at ParkerGale, which owns One Plus. She added, “The team at SmartBin shares in our vision of bringing transparency and efficiency to the waste management industry. With the addition of their impressive technology and experienced leadership team, we’re creating a world leader in the remote waste monitoring space.”

Platforms
Hitachi Insight Group, the Internet of Things organization within the Japanese conglomerate, is touting Lumada, which it describes as “a comprehensive, enterprise-grade IoT core platform with an open and adaptable architecture that simplifies IoT solution creation and customization.” The platform was demonstrated in the exhibition at last month’s IoT World conference in Santa Clara, Calif. Hitachi stated, “The platform will serve as the core foundation on which all of Hitachi’s IoT solutions are built and will enable the creation of IoT business ecosystems.”