The Power Of Ecosystems At Arm TechCon 2018

Major partnership announcements make it clear collaboration is the way forward for IoT.


I have long been fascinated by the workings of ecosystems. Last week’s Arm TechCon in San Jose was a textbook example of how ecosystems work, overlap and how the electronics development work is indeed like a village—it takes many players to make things happen to enable end users to receive the latest gadgets like phones, fitness trackers, electronic watches, etc. The game of electronic ecosystems has never been as active and transformative before!

My fascination of ecosystems led to previous blogs like “The Game of Ecosystems,” “Top 7 Verification Trends For 2017—Changes In The Game Of Ecosystems,” “Embedded World 2018: Security, Safety, And Digital Twins.” Last week’s announcements at Arm TechCon took ecosystems to a whole next level.

On TechCon Tuesday, everyone was talking about Monday’s announcement of the Arm Pelion IoT Platform ecosystem’s “any device, any cloud” strategy, and how it was strengthened by strategic partnerships with Intel, myDevices, and Arduino. At its core, the partnership with Intel includes the capability of “late binding” to a cloud. Instead of hardcoding into an IoT device which cloud it connects to, the device can now dynamically and securely discover the target cloud it is talking to. The partnership with myDevices is about simplifying device onboarding and increasing the number of sensors, gateways, and solutions integrated with the Arm Pelion IoT Platform; developers can try out Pelion services together with myDevices’ IoT in a Box for only $199. Finally, Arduino is also partnering with Arm’s Pelion Connectivity Management to give their users the option of competitive global data plans to suit everything from single IoT prototypes to production IoT deployments.

Then on TechCon Wednesday, it was all about what Arm calls “infrastructure,” combining networking and servers. The Arm Neoverse was dubbed as “the modern cloud-to-edge infrastructure foundation for a world of a trillion intelligent devices.” At its core, the announcement made on Tuesday was about Arm’s new IP for 5G networks and next-generation cloud-to-edge infrastructure, specifically “Ares” (7nm), “Zeus” (7nm+), and “Poseidon” (5nm). The announcement came with 11 ecosystem quotes from EDA vendors like Cadence, developers of server and networking chips like Ampere, Broadcom and Marvell, software providers like RedHat and Suse, and technology partners like TSMC (process) and Xilinx (CCIX). All this comes with an infrastructure developer community as well.

For the technologies I am personally involved in for hardware/software enablement and verification—emulation, prototyping, and virtual prototyping—the Neoverse announcement also came with the announcement of ServerReady—a compliance program for Arm-based servers through what is called the Arm Server Base System Architecture (SBSA) Compliance Suite. We at Cadence have been working with Arm on this for quite some time and announced how the Cadence Palladium Z1 Enterprise Emulation Platform and Perspec System Verifier deliver Arm software compliance tests for Arm-based server SoCs as part of ServerReady. The Arm SBSA Compliance Suite currently consists of 120 tests that can be run on a bare metal testbench generated by the Perspec System Verifier from a portable stimulus model of the design. It gives users compliance testing and faster debugging without involving the previously required Linux software stack. The tests complete in minutes on the Palladium Z1 Enterprise Emulation Platform and the reference example comes with a verification plan (vPlan) for Cadence vManager Metric-Driven Signoff Platform. In case there are issues found, they can be debugged, as yours truly presented at TechCon together with colleagues from Arm in “Optimizing Hardware/Software Development for Arm-based Embedded Designs.”

Finally, as evidence that we are “eating our own dogfood,” we also announced jointly with HPE, Marvell, and Arm that the Cadence Verification Suite is enabled on Arm-Based HPC datacenters. Our tools run on x86 and Arm architectures.

Source: Bigstockphoto, Cadence

So, bottom line, the game of electronic ecosystems has never been this active before. In the IoT space, companies are forming partnerships while actively competing in the infrastructure space. It takes a village to enable all this, from process technology though EDA, semiconductor and software providers. All for us to be able to get the latest phone, fitness tracker and other gadgets, and allow them to work together.

We truly live in exciting and transformative times!

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