ARM and Intel Team on Common Standards for IoT Devices

Semiconductor manufacturer ARM, a division of Japan’s SoftBank, and Silicon Valley tech giant Intel have put aside a longstanding rivalry in order to forge a strategic partnership that will adopt common standards developed by Intel for the Internet of Things. The lack of such standards to manage the security of IoT devices, networks and data has been a stumbling block to the growth of the sector. Gartner analyst Bill Ray explains that NXP Semiconductors, Renesas Electronics and Microchip Technology’s Atmel rely on ARM designs, while Intel’s processors dominate today’s cloud data center market.

According to Reuters, ARM senior vice president/IoT cloud services general manager Himagiri Mukkamala stated that the adoption of the standards will unleash “a significant acceleration in terms of how the market will grow in terms of the number of managed devices and the volume of data that moves through these systems.”

Mukkamala added that, “chipmakers are expected to ship around 100 billion ARM-based IoT devices in the next four to five years, matching the total number of ARM chips shipped in the last 25 years.” ARM has also forecast that, “as many as 1 trillion IoT devices will be put to work in the world over the next two decades.”

The adoption of standards solves a problem inherent in IoT devices, which “come pre-loaded at the factory with network access credentials, leaving them open to many security vulnerabilities.” As a result, “periodic fixes require manual upgrades by technicians in the field.” By adhering to common standards, Intel and ARM will manage their devices with a single management platform, “enabling such tasks to be automated to keep them secure.”

ARM recently introduced its Pelion IoT management platform, which “will rely on Intel’s Secure Device Onboard specifications announced a year ago … [and] allow customers using IoT chips based on either company’s products to manage them in the same system.”