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ARM focuses on energy harvesting in nascent IoT

Posted: 20 Apr 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IoT  Bluetooth  Internet of Things  IP  Cordio 

As battery lifespans become the major concern of many mobile device makers, UK-based ARM concentrates on extending the battery life of sensors using Bluetooth to address the emerging Internet of Things (IoT).

ARM has snapped up Wicentric, a Bluetooth Smart stack and profile provider, and Sunrise Micro Devices (SMD), a provider of sub-one volt Bluetooth radio intellectual property (IP).

The IP of both Wicentric and SMD will be integrated to form the ARM Cordio portfolio, which is aiming to complement ARM's existing processor and physical IP targeting end markets requiring low-power wireless communications such as the IoT. ARM is keen to make the Cordio solutions efficient enough to be powered using energy harvesting and sees SMD's sub-one volt Bluetooth radio IP as a vital ingredient in the design armoury.

SMD is a privately held provider of radio IP solutions including a pre-qualified, self-contained radio block and related firmware to simplify radio deployment. Central to all SMD radios is native sub-one volt operation. Wicentric is also a privately held provider of Bluetooth Smart software solutions focused on enabling the development of low-power wireless products. The company's product line includes Bluetooth protocol stack and profiles for creating interoperable smart products and the link layer for silicon integration.

ARM is gradually building up a suite of IoT-focused solutions that address key stumbling blocks associated with developing commercially viable IoT products. The Wicentric and SMD deals squarely target the energy efficiency and power management challenges that will face successful IoT vendors wishing to create affordable and saleable solutions.

In February, recognising that security of IoT solutions is also a prized asset, ARM acquired Offspark, leading Dutch security software company that specialises in IoT communications security. Offspark's PolarSSL technology is already deployed in a wide variety of devices including sensor modules, communication modules and smartphones.

ARM recognises that like energy efficiency, security is becoming a major requirement for all IoT deployments.

The ARM Cordio portfolio will be available for immediate licensing.

- Paul Buckley
  EE Times Europe

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