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17 September 2018

Rethink IoT News ATW 227: Around The Web Roundup

// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • Renesas is acquiring IDT for $6.7bn, a semiconductor specialist that Renesas plans to use to improve its self-driving car technology offerings and SoCs.
  • Adesto has completed its acquisition of Echelon, adding the latter’s expertise in networking to Adesto’s application-specific semiconductors – a $45mn deal.

// Hardware //

  • Taoglas has announced a new antenna design that lets IoT devices become much smaller, particularly suited for devices with shorter ground planes. The company says it can provide an additional 2dB of efficiency with Taoglas Boost.
  • Qorvo has unveiled the QGP6095M, a System-in-Package (SiP) that supports simultaneous Zigbee 3.0, Thread, and Bluetooth 5.0.

// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • MTT has joined the LoRa Alliance, with the Russian business solutions provider announcing that it will be launching a LoRa network in six major Russian cities.
  • Kore is revamping its brand and is increasing its focus on vertical-specific offerings, for its connectivity platform, hoping to catch up with Cisco Jasper.
  • Samsung has unveiled its SmartThings LTE-M (LTE Cat-M1) tracker, a device it is planning to compete against Bluetooth-based devices from Tile and Trackr. AT&T seems to be pricing connectivity for it at $5/month.
  • AT&T, G+D, and Altair have announced a new IoT-focused integrated SIM system, with G+D designs being integrated into Altair’s ALT1250 LTE chipset.
  • GCT Semiconductor has announced that its GDM7243i multi-mode chip has been certified by “a major US carrier,” and is being used in LTE+ Sigfox designs.
  • CLS has announced plans to launch a constellation of nanosatellites, through its Kinéis subsidiary, with plans to connect several million objects in Europe.
  • Vodafone says it has 74mn IoT connections globally, as it plans to double the availability of NB-IoT in its footprint.
  • Sprint has unveiled its Curiosity IoT platform, which it built in partnership with Packet, a firm owned by SoftBank, and using ARM’s Pelion IoT Platform. Cubic Telecom has also launched its Global Connectivity Management Platform, at MWCA.

// Big Data, Cloud, AI, and Machine-Learning //

  • Hitachi and Tencent have announced a partnership to apply their joint IoT technologies to manufacturing, logistics, infrastructure, and smart cities.
  • Alibaba Cloud and myDevices have partnered, offering a ‘turnkey’ LoRa offering called IoT in a Box. myDevices will be marketing through Alibaba’s contacts.
  • Nvidia has announced a new data center inference platform, based around its Tesla T4 GPU and TensorRT software. It has also announced deals with NTT Group, which will use it in its ‘corevo’ AI initiative, Yamaha Motor, which will use Jetson AGX Xavier, and a group of Japanese industrial firms, for AI-based robotics.
  • BlackBerry has unveiled Spark, a PaaS that it is pitching at hyperconnectivity-seeking “Enterprise of Things (EoT)” customers, for managing secure device connections. BlackBerry cites regulatory compliance as a driver.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • Adobe has found that US adults are speaking to their digital assistants more, including those who don’t own smart speakers. Some 32% of the 1,000 people surveyed owned a smart speaker, with 31% using them to issue smart home commands to connected devices.
  • Netgear has unveiled the Orbi Voice smart speaker, a WiFi gateway that houses Amazon Alexa and also supports WiFi mesh networking.

// Wearables //

  • Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon Wear 3100 SoC, with the launch supported by Google’s Wear OS. The quad-core A7 ARM CPU is the heart of the unit, and with LTE, Qualcomm claims a 4-12 hour improvement in battery life compared to the older Wear 2100 SoC.
  • Apple has unveiled the Apple Watch 4, with the most notable feature being a new ECG sensor that will monitor heart health (with FDA approval), and Watch OS 5.

// Automotive //

  • Qualcomm and China Mobile have demonstrated roadside units to house LTE-based V2X PC5 communication devices, for communicating with road users.

// Security //

  • Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 team spotted new Mirai attacks on IoT devices, as well as the Gafgyt botnet, also known as BASHLITE, which now has 1mn slaves.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • eMotorWerks, now owned by Enel, has deployed a 30MW virtualized battery in California, showing how EV batteries can be used as a flexible grid asset.
  • Apana is using Semtech’s LoRa systems to provide Costco Wholesale with a water management system that has saved 22% on water bills and 20% in usage.
  • Green Stream has picked Senet and Semtech to power its LoRa-based flood warning systems, to monitor water levels in hard to cover regions.