ARM launches platform for IoT acceleration

ARM, the silicon designer responsible for much of the world’s mobile processors, has launched the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform. It will provide a free operating system to help simplify the creation of IoT products for chip manufacturers and the broader IoT ecosystem.

Announced at ARM’s Techcon event in Santa Clara, ARM claims the OS will bring standards-based manageability and security to devices with restricted energy capacity. The mbed OS and Device Server will allow all ARM Cortex-M processors to communicate with server-side technologies required to connect and manage connected devices.

The protocols used in creating the OS also aim t provide a bridge between IoT devices and the APIs used by developers. As a consequence, the integration of IoT devices providing data into cloud frameworks should be further simplified, which allows for better data analytics of the information consumed.

As well as the platform itself, ARM also announced the community, focussed on uniting the developer world utilising mbed. Simon Segars, the CEO of Cambridge-based ARM, believes that the company’s position as a trusted partner and integral stakeholder in the chip manufacturing ecosystem has put it in the ideal position to accelerate the development of the IoT ecosystem.

“Deploying IoT-enabled products and services requires a diverse set of technologies and skills to be coordinated across an organisation,” said Segars. “ARM mbed will make this easier by offering the necessary building blocks to enable our expanding set of ecosystem partners to focus on the problems they need to solve to differentiate their products, instead of common infrastructure technologies. This will accelerate the growth and adoption of the IoT in all sectors of the global economy.”

Erik Ekudden, who is Vice President and Head of Technology Strategies at Ericsson Group Function Technology, sees the mbed  platform as a defining moment in the development of IoT. “ARM’s mbed platform has the potential to enable thousands, if not millions, of connected applications in Ericsson’s vision: the networked society,” he said.

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And his view is supported by a number of the key players who are involved with the platform. Geoff Lees, SVP and general manager at Freescale, agrees with Ekudden. “Freescale and ARM share a common goal of rapidly enabling the Internet of Things, and Freescale already offers the industry’s broadest portfolio of mbed-supported MCU’s,” he said. “ARM’s new mbed IoT Device Platform embodies this shared vision, and for customers looking to speed time-to-market, Freescale offers software services that streamline mbed-related development for Freescale MCU’s.”

ARM has already confirmed the launch partners for the platform, which includes companies such as Ericsson, Freescale, IBM, Japanese telco KDDI, Semtech and Telefonica. The announcement of the mbed platform follows the unveiling of the Cortex-M7 chip design, a low-powered 32-bit chip designed specifically with IoT devices in mind.

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