The Week In Review: IoT

Deere buys agtech firm; Axonius gets seed funding; IoT products.

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Deals
Deere & Co. has agreed to acquire Blue River Technology of Sunnyvale, Calif., for $305 million. The transaction is expected to close this month. Blue River develops computer vision and machine learning technology for use in precision agriculture. Monsanto Growth Ventures, Data Collective Venture Capital, Innovation Endeavors, Khosla Ventures, and Pontifax AgTech were among the investors that put a total of $30.35 million into Blue River. The startup’s product lines are See & Spray for cotton weeding, LettuceBot for precision lettuce thinning, and drones for remote sensing.

Finance
Axonius of Tel Aviv, Israel, came out of stealth mode and announced that it has received $4 million in seed funding to continue developing its software to secure Internet of Things devices and other devices on cloud services and on networks. The startup plans a general release in early 2018. Leading the seed funding for Axonius is YL Ventures, with participation by Emerge Capital and Vertex Ventures.

Strategy
LG Electronics is shopping for artificial intelligence and IoT technologies to acquire in the near future, with the aim of expanding and improving its offerings for the smart home. “Based on connectivity, the company will try to bring value to consumers by establishing a smart home ecosystem pivoting on AI, IoT, and robotic technologies,” LG’s Song Dae-hyun said at a press conference ahead of the IFA 2017 trade show in Berlin, Germany.

Products
Northrop Grumman has developed a silicon-based processor containing ultra-low-power one-time-programmable nonvolatile memory intellectual property from Kilopass to provide encryption key storage. These processors are known as dielets and were developed under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense program, intended to weed out counterfeit chips for use by the Pentagon.

Telit Communications has introduced the BL871E2-HI, a dual-mode Bluetooth 4.2 host controller interface module with embedded chip antenna and audio support. The component is a compact radio-frequency front-end module for cost-sensitive and space-constrained applications, the company says.

Sequans Communications and STMicroelectronics have collaborated on development of CLOE, which offers IoT tracking capabilities. CLOE combines Sequans’ Monarch LTE Cat M1/NB1 chip and ST’s Teseo III Global Navigation Satellite System chip.

Silicon Labs this week introduced the Si72xx portfolio of Hall-effect magnetic sensors for consumer, industrial, and automotive applications. There are three product lines in the portfolio: Si720x, Si721x, and Si7210.

Conferences
Synopsys is staging the ARC Processor Summit on Tuesday, September 26, at the Santa Clara Marriott, focusing on processor intellectual property, software development, and programming tools optimized for use in embedded devices. Jeff Bier, founder of the Embedded Vision Alliance and president of BDTI, will give the morning keynote at the free one-day conference. Hardware-track topics include: Living on the IoT Edge – Doing More with Less; IoT Demo Platform: Foundry, IP, Services; and Machine Learning for Low-Power IoT Devices.

Market Research
There will be 2.4 billion connected devices shipped a year by 2022, according to Mobile Experts. The market research firm also predicts the 70 connectivity technologies currently on offer will be consolidated to 20-25 technologies. For details on its five-year IoT forecast, IoT Devices 2017: The Big Picture, go here.