Riot 261: Around The Web Roundup

// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • Infineon has acquired Cypress Semi for $10bn, at a 55% premium over Cypress’ share price in the week before the news began to leak. This is another gigantic bit of semiconductor consolidation, and Infineon is now the owner of Broadcom’s old WICED Bluetooth and WiFi IP.

// Forecasts, Surveys. Reports, & Blue-Sky Thinking //

  • Frost & Sullivan reports that manufacturers are using less than 5% of the operational data they generate, due to improper data management strategies, limited expertise, and a lack of resources.

// Hardware //

  • Dialog Semi has unveiled the FC9000 SoC, a WiFi design that aims to replace the need for low-power wireless protocols like Bluetooth, Z-Wave and Zigbee, and more importantly, their need for intermediary gateways. Dialog says its power-saving algorithms are key to this, and this is the first product stemming from its acquisition of Silicon Motion’s Mobile Communications portfolio.


// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • Globalstar has announced that a Nordic deployment of its SmartOne C IoT devices, powering reindeer tracking collars, has enjoyed major success, with PrismaQuality, the Globalstar reseller, reporting rapid uptake in the industry.
  • AT&T, KPN, Orange, and Swisscom have announced that you can now roam using an LTE Cat-M devices across their networks, linking the USA, Mexico, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Orange’s European footprint. More MNOs are expected to be announced.
  • Arkessa has signed a deal with Infineon and Arrow, where it will provide cellular connectivity services for Infineon eSIM devices that Arrow sells.
  • Wirepas has announced a $16.3mn investment round, which it will use to drive its lighting and energy focused wireless mesh networking protocol.
  • BehrTech (BTI) has announced the brand for its MIOTY LPWAN protocol – MyThings. The brand will be on upcoming products, the first of which is the MyThings Module, which is intended for rapid prototyping.

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

  • Schneider Electric is taking a 10% stake in AutoGrid, hoping to use the latter’s machine learning and data analytics functions in Schneider’s smart grid and building offerings.
  • State Farm and USAA are collaborating on a blockchain-based system for automating payments between the two insurance providers, using Quorum, the Ethereum-based platform developed by JPMorgan Chase.
  • Microsoft and Oracle have announced a cloud interconnection deal, which sounds far too cozy. The pair say that it will allow customers to migrate workloads between the two environments. No mention of money in the announcement.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • Yandex is launching its smart home ecosystem, powered by its Alice smart assistant, and based around its Yandex.Station hub. The launch includes integrations with Philips, Redmond, Samsung, and Xiaomi.
  • Amazon has unveiled the Echo Show 5, a much smaller Echo device that is priced at $90. The 5-inch screen means this is about the size of a smartphone, and Amazon is going to aggressively promote this in holiday periods.
  • Signify, the rebranded Philips Lighting wing, and Silicon Labs are collaborating to expand the Friends of Hue interoperability program to those that want to use SL’s Zigbee chips in their designs.
  • Ossia has announced that Goodman Networks will be a channel partner for its Cota wireless charging technology, with Goodman using its team of 2,200 installers to push Cota into smart homes, retailers, and other professional service providers.
  • Apple has added router and camera support to its HomeKit platform. Specifically, the new HomeKit Secure Video API means that developers can locally examine video files before encrypting them and storing them in iCloud for 10 days – a service that will apparently be free for consumers, which is a very big deal if it comes to market. The new router settings support smart home device firewalling and segmentation.
  • Google’s Cloud Platform suffered an outage that took down its Nest functions for many US customers, and some in Europe. It meant that locks and heating systems could not be controlled. Again, you need a local control option.

// Wearables //

  • Apple is still top dog in wearables, but IDC reports that Huawei is the fastest growing company in the market. Global wearable shipments reached 49.6mn in Q1, up 55.2% year-on-year. This sounds like huge news, until you look at the split between ear-worn and wrist-worn devices – about 35% to 65%.
  • Garmin and Blue Cross have announced a device partnership, where Garmin wearables will be supplied to Blue Cross Blue Shield members, via the Blue365 program.

// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //

  • Zebra has unveiled Savanna Data Services, a new cloud offering that is part of the wider Zebra Savanna platform. The Data Services aspect is a set of tools and an API aimed at third-part developers, who want to use Zebra’s immense hardware and service footprint to create applications for customers – providing data collection, analytics, and event triggering functions.

// Automotive //

  • DB Schenker has unveiled its T-Pod, the autonomous truck developed with Einride, a Swedish startup. The system is the first such vehicle approved for use on public roads, with Deutsche Bahn also showing off a number of digital transformation projects in its rail freight portfolio.
  • The European Data Task Force has gained Volvo as a member, joining BMW, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz, as well as Here and TomTom, in the real-time V2X data sharing project.
  • Lyft and Aptiv say they have completed 50,000 trips in their self-driving BMWs, with the cars achieving a 4.97 star rating, apparently, in the Las Vegas trial.
  • Momenta and NXP have collaborated, using NXP silicon and Momenta’s automotive software offerings to create a new driver monitoring system that the pair are aiming at SAE Level 3+ applications.
  • Teraki has announced that it can offer data collection and filtering services for any vehicles connected to Microsoft’s Connected Vehicle Platform (CVP), using its AI-based Intelligent Edge Processing system.
  • Wind River and Airbiquity have announced a partnership to provide vehicle-to-cloud Over-the-Air (OTA) update solutions for connected and autonomous cars. Wind River is no longer part of Intel, and Airbiquity is making a name for itself in the software and services game.
  • Hertz has announced a pilot for its Hertz My Car service, in Austin and Atlanta, which will offer Vehicles-aaS (VaaS). With two tiers, $999/month for the basic options and $1399/month for luxury ones, the service includes maintenance, roadside assistance, and limited liability protection. You can swap your car twice per month.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • EDF, one of the UK’s big-six utilities, is launching an electric vehicle promotional campaign. On the one hand, EVs are a way to poach fuel spending, admittedly for a pretty minimal gain, but on the other, when aggregated, they are a powerful grid-scale energy resource.
  • Anheuser-Busch says it is going to hit its 2025 100% renewable energy target several years early, after announcing a 222 MW virtual-power-purchase agreement in Texas with Recurrent Energy.
  • National Grid announced that the UK had achieved 16-days consecutive operation without using coal-derived energy. Its first coal-free day was in April 2017. This comes as UK solar installations have dropped 94%, after the feed-in tariffs were scrapped by the government. Update: the streak ended on its 18th
  • The US energy storage market grew 232% year-on-year, deploying 148.8 MW in Q1. It was up 6% from Q4 2018. Behind-the-meter (in-building) storage accounted for 46% of Q1 deployment, and was up 138% year-on-year. Front-of-meter (grid asset) was down 10% from Q4, but up 120% compared to Q1 2018.