SAN JOSE, Calif. –Cisco Systems is gearing up for what it claims could be $14 trillion opportunity with the Internet of Things. Top technical executives shared plans for the networking giant to embrace IoT as well as efforts to extend to key partners its internal process of evaluating new technologies.
As many as 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020, creating a $14.4 trillion business opportunity, said Rob Lloyd, president of sales and development at Cisco, speaking at an annual press event. The trend will create business opportunities initially in manufacturing, government, energy and health care that extend far beyond today’s budgets for computer and communication systems, he said.
The IoT space also presents a host of challenges. For example, Cisco is working with a dozen utilities worldwide in hopes as many as 10 million smart meters will be deployed by the end of the year supporting Internet Protocol. Today, as many as 2 billion smart meters are in operation using a mishmash of as many as 135 utility protocols. “There are cases where we need gateways, and we will have a migration strategy,” said JP Vasseur, a Cisco fellow.
Cisco crammed into 40 Kbytes RAM an IPv6 stack for smart meters now supported on a handful of microcontrollers from companies such as Atmel, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments. U.S. cybersecurity laws hampered adoption of open, routable protocols, but those rules are due for an update as early as this month easing the way for IP, said Rick Geiger, executive director for Cisco’s smart grid group.
Separately, Cisco invested in Cohda Wireless (North Adelaide, Australia), a vendor of 802.11p boards seen as a key enabler for connecting cars to the Net. The U.S. Department of Transportation is conducting trials of the technology which can be used to connect cars to each other and to infrastructure to smooth traffic flows and avoid accidents.
Padmasree Warrior, Cisco's chief technology and strategy officer, demonstrated an automated parking system using sensors from Streetline, a Cisco partner. The products will be used in Cisco’s own headquarters and are one of many examples of sensors that will link businesses and consumers over mobile networks, creating opportunities for services managing big-data analytics, she said.
Cisco is installing Streetline sensors at its headquarters as part of its embrace of IoT.