ARM aims for complete NB-IoT chip solution with latest buys

ARM had made a positive step forward in the journey towards the heralded world of NB-IoT with Mistbase and NextG-Com acquisitions.

Both of the organizations are focused on developing NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) solutions, an area which has been a notable focus for the ARM business since 3GPP announced the standardization of the NB-IoT was complete during June last year. Swedish Mistbase brings a NB-IoT physical layer implementation solution to the table, while NextG-Com offers a complete layer two and three software stack for NB-IoT.

“The question for me in leading ARM’s wireless business was how to move quickly to enable our partners to design NB-IoT compliant products,” said Paul Williamson, GM of the wireless business at ARM. “This week we made significant progress on that by acquiring Mistbase and NextG-Com for their specialist engineering expertise in software and hardware IP that meets the new NB-IoT standard.”

Although ARM does already have an existing portfolio of IoT devices, including short range Bluetooth 5 and 802.15.4 Cordio products, the acquisitions take the business into new areas. By providing complete connectivity IP options of short range PAN (Personal Area Network) and long range NB-IoT connectivity, ARM now claims to be able to address any class of IoT application and has moved further towards supplying complete modems as well as application and baseband processors.

“In enabling NB-IoT compatibility, we will save the industry years of development effort and improve access for developers by reducing the time it takes to get products approved by standards bodies and network operators,” said Williamson.

“Our NB-IoT IP also complements ARM’s broader product portfolio, making it easy for partners to take advantage of our security and ARM mbed Cloud capabilities. Combining ARM NB-IoT IP with secure cloud connectivity will allow ARM’s chip partners to create industry-leading products that tie into an end-to-end security system.”

Using security as a marketing message is certainly a sensible move as it continues to remain top of the agenda for numerous decision makers around the world. Only this week, Spiceworks released some new research which highlighted the impending world of IoT would bring about more security challenges. In fact, 70% of the respondents to the research didn’t think security was being adequately addressed by the vendors themselves.

The acquisitions will certainly provide a boost for ARM ahead of MWC as it looks to extend its dominance from the smartphone market to the newly emerging, and highly lucrative, IoT space.

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