The Week in Review: IoT

Samsung to invest $1.2B in U.S. IoT startups; Imagination and Intrinsic-ID will make CPUs more secure; NXP to supply chips for smart-city project; Bluetooth 5 will be more IoT-centric.

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Deals
Samsung said Tuesday that it will invest about $1.2 billion in Internet of Things startups in the U.S. over the next four years. Investments will be made through the Samsung Global Innovation Center in Silicon Valley and through other Samsung units. Samsung is partnering with Intel to establish the National IoT Strategy Initiative, which will take in academic and industry members and will advise American policymakers on IoT-related regulation.

Rambus‘ Cryptography Research extended its license deal with NAGRA to use its differential power analysis countermeasures in NAGRA digital TV services. Nagra is owned by the Kudelski Group, a Swiss company that makes technology for access control and digital rights management of digital media.

Imagination Technologies and Intrinsic-ID are working together to provide Intrinsic-ID’s security and authentication technology with Imagination’s MIPS M-class M5150 CPU intellectual property, targeting low-power applications in the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications, and embedded control. Hardware Intrinsic Security takes in the company’s Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) technology.

Infrastructure
The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding $50 million to Columbus, Ohio, as the winner in the agency’s Smart City Challenge. NXP Semiconductors will be supplying vehicle communications chips, radio-frequency identification tags, and smart-card ICs to the Ohio capital as the city upgrades its information technology infrastructure. “Technology like NXP’s will help bring Columbus’ vision to life, providing critical technology necessary for the development of America’s first truly smart city,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Sigfox is collaborating with e.l.m. leblanc, a Bosch Group company, to set up connections to some 100,000 boilers in France in order to provide preventive and remote maintenance. The program will roll out in September.

The LoRa Alliance is setting another global Internet of Things challenge, accepting submissions until November 1 on how technology can improve the delivery of food, health care, safety, and water around the world. The winner will be announced at the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Market Research
IDC predicts the U.S. market for Internet of Things hardware, software, services, and connectivity will be worth more than $232 billion in 2016. It forecasts U.S. IoT revenues will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 16.1% through 2019, hitting more than $357 billion.

Ecosystem
Cadence launched PSpice.com, a user-community web portal for accessing materials about the company’s PSpice analog and mixed-signal simulation and analysis tools. Targeting system-level design challenges in the Internet of Things and mixed-signal wireless communications, the portal provides thousands of simulation models for Texas Instruments devices, with plans to add models from other leading semiconductor suppliers. TI’s Makram Mansour said, “Within the PSpice.com environment, the designer can quickly create a sub-system design using WEBENCH design tools, select from thousands of component models, and easily export the simulation files to PSpice to characterize its performance.  In just a few minutes, a designer can have a fully functioning sub-system board design and layout ready for fabrication.”

Senet, a provider of low-power, wide-area networks for Internet of Things applications, is making available the Senet IoT Foundry, a services suite for developers of IoT sensor-based products. These services are provided at the company’s headquarters in Portsmouth, N.H. Senet President and CEO George Dannecker said, “Startup companies and even large enterprises may not have availability of the full range of skills required to be able to deliver vertically complete IoT solutions to their customers. Senet can help these companies significantly reduce the time and effort to get to market, enabling solution vendors to solve their customers’ problems faster.”

Standards
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group is preparing the Bluetooth 5 standard for release late this year or in early 2017. The specification is expected to provide broadcast, faster, and longer-range connectivity for more reliable and robust Internet of Things connections, according to the group. Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, said in a statement, “Increasing operation range will enable connections to IoT devices that extend far beyond the walls of a typical home, while increasing speed supports faster data transfers and software updates for devices. And now with the ability to broadcast a much richer set of information, Bluetooth 5 will make beacons, location awareness, and other connectionless services an even more relevant part of an effortless and seamless IoT experience.”