After spending the week in Silicon Valley at ARM TechCon and related meetings, there was one common thread amongst the presentations and conversations and that was security. No matter what the topic was, mobile, consumer or industrial IoT, wearables, automotive, etc… security always came up. The question I had was how will companies approach security organizationally?
Take ARM for example, do they have one security group or security specialists in each product group? Do they approach security horizontally, vertically, or diagonally in regards to the different market segments? The answer of course is “all of the above” because security will be one of the most critical aspects of system level design and that starts with silicon, absolutely.
“We have the opportunity to get this right. Let’s take that opportunity to get the IoT right. As the IoT evolves, and as it gets more complex, it will be difficult to address security after the fact.” ARM CEO Simon Segars, ARM TechCon 2015 Keynote.
A funny side note, right in the middle of Simon’s keynote, alarms went off and we were all evacuated from the building. As it turns out, not so smart sensors detected an over toasted bagel during an IoT conference. Just a little bit of irony there… The sensors were probably connected to a PC but I digress…
The most impressive slide I saw at ARM TechCon, and I saw plenty, is the ARM partner slide above. Let me tell you something about collaboration, it is a language in itself. The fabless semiconductor ecosystem was born and raised collaborating so it is our native tongue, one that we have spoken for more than 25 years. TSMC is a great collaboration example of course and the result is the largest and most successful foundry ecosystem the world will ever see. TSMC and partners start at process development and continue through to the finished chips that hide inside the electronic devices we rely on every day.
ARM, on the other hand, has a different challenge. ARM and partners also start at process development but they continue through to the system level (both silicon and software) that enable the electronic devices we use every day. There are hundreds of silicon, design support, software, training, and consortia partners in the ARM ecosystem. This is literally 25 years of collaboration experience synthesized down to one slide and no one in this industry speaks collaboration better than ARM.
When I attend other conferences and hear companies that are new to the fabless semiconductor ecosystem talk about collaboration it really is hard to keep a straight face. It’s like me trying to speak my kid’s social language. I do not now nor will I ever really know what it is like to be a millennial but sometimes I pretend to, just to amuse my adult children. Try this one, tell your kids that you and their Mother are going to “Netflix and chill tonight” and see what happens.
Back to security, they say it takes a village to raise a child? Well, it will take an ENTIRE ecosystem of EXPERIENCED collaborators to make a SECURE mobile, consumer or industrial IoT, wearable, automotive, etc… device, ABSOLUTELY!
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