The Week In Review: IoT

IBM invests $200M in Watson for IoT; Silicon Labs buys Micrium; Renesas IoT Sandbox bows.


Corporate Strategy
IBM announced that it will spend more than $200 million on its new Watson Internet of Things center in Munich, Germany, focusing on how artificial intelligence and IoT connect with blockchain technology, the distributed database tech at the heart of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Big Blue revealed several customers for its Watson IoT Platform, such as Aerialtronics, Kouvola Innovation, Schaeffler, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals. IBM is investing a total of $3 billion on bringing Watson’s cognitive computing to the IoT.

Silicon Laboratories acquired Micrium, a top supplier of real-time operating systems and other embedded software tools; financial details weren’t disclosed. Both companies have been active in the IoT market. Jean-Michel Orsat, Somfy’s chief technology officer, ICT Standards and Connectivity Solutions, said in a statement, “With an installed base of millions of devices, Micrium’s RTOS software has established itself as one of the most reliable and trusted platforms over the last 10 years.”

Xenio Systems, a smart lighting startup, launched this week with private funding by DCM Ventures, El Dorado Ventures, VantagePoint Capital Partners, and other investors. The company is a spinoff from Bridgelux, a supplier of white light-emitting diode arrays and chips, which is owned by Shenzhen Kaistar Electronic, which is owned in turn by China Electronics Corporation. Reza Raji, the founder of iControl Networks and Juggle Labs, has been named CEO of Xenio Systems.

AT&T and Amazon Web Services will integrate their Internet of Things platforms, enabling the almost 29 million devices connected to AT&T’s worldwide network to securely transmit data into the AWS public cloud with ease. The companies also said they will collaborate on development of AT&T’s NetBond offering, which ties into AWS. Meanwhile, AT&T said it will launch a trial of its LTE-M network next month in the San Francisco market, before expanding the LTE-M service nationwide in 2017. LTE-M is expected to connect alarm systems, asset monitoring tools, mobile health devices, vending machines, wearable gadgets, and other IoT products and services.

Comcast will work with Semtech and other companies to support machineQ, a business-to-business offering and an Internet of Things platform. Semtech will provide its LoRa wireless radio-frequency technology for Comcast trials in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Machina Research forecasts machine-to-machine connections around the world will increase from 6 billion in 2015 to 27 billion in 2025, with 20% of those M2M connections originating in the U.S. “We believe the business-to-business segment of the Internet of Things market is going to expand rapidly over the next decade as businesses look to IoT-based technology to manage their businesses in a more effective and sophisticated manner,” Sam Schwartz, chief business development officer for Comcast Cable, said in a statement.

Renesas Electronics America brought out the Renesas IoT Sandbox, a cloud-based offering for customers and partners to create IoT prototypes. The comprehensive environment was demonstrated this week at the Wearables Technology Show in Santa Clara, Calif. “Defining an IoT solution involves complex decisions and requires many functions of the enterprise to align—from technology, production, sales, and business. Whether you are an IoT startup or an enterprise entering the IoT, being able to assemble a prototype quickly is vital to accelerate this decision-making,” Semir Haddad, director of marketing, MCU and MPU Product Solutions, Renesas Electronics America, said in a statement.

Maxim Integrated Products has introduced the DS28C36 DeepCover secure authenticator chip for IoT, industrial, and medical applications. The IC provides device integrity and intellectual property protection, and can be paired with Maxim’s DS2476 as a co-processor.

Market Research
Mobile Experts has a new report, Smart Utility Meters 2016, looking at IoT connectivity among Internet-connected utility meters. The market research firm estimates about 48 million smart meters are deployed each year, representing a mature IoT market.

Related Stories
Prior Week In Review: IoT (Sept 30)
SAP will invest $2.2B in IoT; NXP debuts IoT app processor; the top IoT development firms.

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