The IP vendor #1, leading the pack with revenues more than twice the closest competitor revenues, has to position on the new IoT market, especially because ARM’s main product line is processor IP family, and MCU or CPU is certainly at the earth of the SmarCoT: the “Smart” part. In fact, ARM’s customers have the freedom to develop any chip (as soon as they pay the license and royalties) addressing the Internet of Things. But ARM marketers have made a serious home work to define how they see the IoT market and define solutions around ARM Cortex M family to address this market.
It’s all about ecosystem, and ARM knows pretty well about the concept, we even can say that they have introduced it within the semiconductor industry! You need partners to build an ecosystem and ARM has defined three partner classes: Cloud (providing services), Partners (for development tools) and Silicon Partners who bring the technology. These three groups form the mbed Partner Ecosystem (mbed is in fact the Operating System developed by ARM to support IoT).
Interesting in the above scheme is the fact that you don’t see any IC or any CPU or MPU IP, even if you can easily guess that you will find it into the IoT devices on the right side… but not only. If you dig in the new web site fully dedicated to ARMmbed, you quickly identify the Silicon, for example in the Smart Home solution:
The multiple home appliances and control developed around ARM Cortex M running mbed OS are the smart things (SmarCoT) connected to Internet via a single gateway (integrating Cortex A CPU running Linux). In fact mbed[SUP]™[/SUP] OS enables low-power wireless devices with IPv4 or IPv6, integrates with home/mobile gateways and electric meters to provide Internet routing. One of the new standards for home automation is Thread – its IPv6 based standard that brings IP to the edge, it consumes minimal power and allows mesh networking among home appliances. It runs over low power radio (802.15.4) MAC and PHY.
If you are interested by Smart City, the same mbed OS would be used to support large scale and secure IoT street:
Analogous to a Web Server that accepts connections from mobile phones or web browsers, a Device Server handles the connections from Internet of Things (IoT) devices (or “Little Data”). This Device Server is a key enabler for cloud service providers, operators and enterprises to access the IoT growth market with production deployments, bringing end node devices in to the world of web services. The Device Server can be used to connect the Little Data world of IoT to the Big Data applications.
ARM has already built a specific policy for mbed OS partners who :
- contribute technically to the platform,
- use it within their own solutions for developers,
- work with ARM on marketing,
and finally benefit from being part of the ecosystem.
Technical benefits include early access rights to platform source that enable porting code and integrating solutions before it goes public, and support from the team creating the platform itself. Partners can also get development licenses for the latest versions of Device Server. Marketing benefits include being featured on the mbed Developer Website, social media channels, involvement with press releases, guest blogs and videos, and participation at ARM® mbed events.
ARM is claiming a developer community being already over 70,000 strong, and if you look at the partner’s logos, you can see that almost all the big names of the MPU space, the Atmel, Freescale, NXP, Renesas, ST are mbed OS partners. Complemented with Big Data service providers like Alcatel-Lucent, IBM or Ericsson to name a few, this initiative could support the creation of a new industry, required to develop IoT. ARM is very good at building an ecosystem and such ecosystem is helping facilitate the building of deeper relationships between new and non-traditional customers and partners.
If you are interested in discussing becoming a partner, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org