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.
The USD$14 trillion (who knows if that's realistic or not - I've seen forecasts of between USD$1.2 to USD$75 trillion) number cannot be measured in terms of the ASP of terminal devices. Indeed, the mean cost of terminal devices would need to be in the USD$2 to enable this market opportunity. The value is a measurement of what is enabled by a universal M2M/IoT infrastructure. And in those terms there is no reason to regard this kind of vision as unrealistic. But I'm not a social scientist so I can't comment on how to derive that kind of forecast. I can however describe precisely how low cost network infrastructure and terminal devices with an ASP of less than USD$2 can be realised using Weightless M2M technology.
Forecasting is a difficult art to pull off with credibility but there is little doubt that whether the M2M opportunity can add $1 trillion or $75 trillion to the economy it is inevitably going to be transformational. So instead of fixating on the numbers let's look at what the industry needs to do to realise the potential.
It needs a technology that is different to the legacy network infrastructures that exist today and one that is commercially and technically feasible. I'm going to argue that Weightless technology and the Weightless Standard are the keys to unlocking this potential. And I'll try to do that without writing a white paper into a comment field - there are resources on weightless.org to flesh out the arguments.
It needs a ubiquitous network infrastructure that offers price points per connection equivalent to PAN technologies such as Bluetooth, Zigbee & Wi-Fi but with the range of traditional 2G/3G/LTE technologies. And it needs to have been optimised from day 1 to address the specific needs of M2M that are fundamentally different to those for human communications...
The Weightless Standard defines in explicit detail how this can be done using TV white space spectrum and a completely new protocol to deliver a low cost network (fraction of traditional cellular), low cost hardware at the terminal end (around $2), low power (a ten year battery life from a primary cell) and exceptional signal propagation characteristics deriving a range of 10km and excellent building penetration.
The availability of a very large amount of bandwidth in the very high quality, low frequency, globally harmonised and license free TV white space spectrum is the catalyst for this transformational change. Dynamic Spectrum Access, deployed geo-locational database resources for TVWS, carefully considered regulation, spread spectrum transmission, cloud based network architectures, lightweight terminal processing requirements and a protocol designed from the ground up to support the specific needs of machine communications are the building blocks.
Sounds like an unobtainable utopian Shangri-La doesn't it. Until you consider that the FCC has already legislated for it, silicon is available to support it, the Standard is due to be ratified in two weeks and globally over 600 Members of the Weightless SIG are already engaged.
Happy to debate either here or on the Weightless LinkedIn Group.
There are two fundamental elements to this infrastructure - the base station end (the network) and the terminal end of the link. A Cisco (or similar) could be the type of company that could get behind the development of the network technology. The 'distant no-name factories' could develop a hugely diverse range of devices that could connect to these networks in the same way that multiple applications developers churn out apps for Smart Phones. To take just one example of an M2M application - Smart Meters: There are over 400 companies in 35 countries actively working on the development of Smart Meters for over 1.4 billion connections worldwide already.
Once a driver (say a Smart Meter or Smart Grid network) is in place, application developers will appear to exploit it. And with each base station in a Weightless network capable of supporting 100k+ connections the number is limited by our imagination. Today's iOS and Android apps demonstrate that our capability to imagine the future is initially blinkered.
Why do need to sprinkle sensors all over the planet except to pave the way for the new world order/Orwellian future? Are we developing the technology to enslave ourselves?
First we loose our privacy thru online databases (i.e. Big Data), now it's 24/7 monitoring in the physical world too.
Someone needs to slow this train down and think about the negative consequences.
Again they aren't saying it costs $14T to buy 50B IoT nodes.
They are saying there is $14T in business value (productivity gains, new customer experiences, etc.) to be had in installing the 40-50B nodes.
These are M2M connections of IoT devices that instrument processes like the factory floor, utility grids and crop irrigation and a bazilloion other things.
People won't own their IoT nodes like they own smartphones.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.