MENLO PARK, Calif. – Intel, ARM and others are on a fairly even footing in the still emerging Internet of Things that will surpass 25 billion units and $4 trillion in 2020, a market watcher said. International Data Corp. aims to help form a trade association to provide education on the market it believes could ship 11 billion units using 20 billion processor cores by 2017.
“We think there’s potential for more growth, but we are being conservative and even then the volumes are very large,” said Mario Morales, a senior analyst with IDC at an annual Smart Technology World conference here.
Morales used the term intelligent systems to define the rising class of secure embedded systems that can host an operating system and run native and cloud apps. It’s a term Intel also has adopted, describing an area others refer to as the Internet of Things or machine-to-machine communications.
“We think there’s still a lot of confusion out there in IoT and M2M,” Morales said, adding he expects an intelligent systems ecosystem association to launch with a Web site in about six months. “We will base this group on fundamental research,” he said.
The prediction of 25 billion intelligent systems only includes devices using 32-bit microprocessors. It excludes microcontroller-based embedded systems and sensor nodes, Morales added.
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IDC predicts so-called intelligent systems will outpace growth and volume of embedded systems.
So the annual USA market for garage door openers is 4B employing 53K (per IBIS) people. Some may add IoT at current $15 retail to become aware of a door opening via an email to smartphone. If you had an IoT concentrator or used an 8bit with 6LoPan it could be $5 retail per node. When the cost gets low enough, this opens up more apps and volume.
Interesting. Not a huge market, though. I don't know what the total wordlwide market for new cars is, but it is just over 2 million here in the UK (for a population of 63 million), so about 1 per 30 people. I guess if I've got one in each car, one in my garage door, it might just add up.
Actually, one of my cars is already connected to the internet: it is leased and I can log onto the leasing company's website and see sorts of stuff, including where I've been. As can the leasing company, of course. I don't know what the physical layer is - I assume GSM/3G.
I still don't understand what these 11 billion things are that need to be connected together. Adding internet connectivity to my fridge or toaster would add cost to them for no obvious benefit. Adding a sensor to my garage door is all very well, but for it to be able to open and close itself would take several hundred dollars worth or mechanical and electrical engineering.
The only things I can think of in my house that would obviously benefit from internet connectivity are my electricity and gas meters, but in order for that to happen, I'd need new meters fitting at a cost far greater than the IoT functionality.
What are all these things that need to be connected together?
My point isn't that Intel will not be a success in the IOT or that IOT devices in general don't need a lot of power. There's a huge spectrum and I believe that x86 will take quite a large swath of that spectrum of IOT applications.
The point I was attempting to make is that if we take 8 and 16 bit devices out of the IOT classification, we are cutting out a very large portion of the IOT. It's down in that level that I don't think x86 will play a part.
It's important to note here that IDC is talking about Intelligent Systems which it defines as Net connected, secure systems that can run an OS.
This includes much of what is IoT but does not include the sub-32-bit devices and sensors others put in the IoT category. It does include whopping embedded comms infrastructure systems where Intel has a good leg up and ARM is beginning to find sockets.
Intel has a long history in embedded controllers. And there is no reason to think that extreme low power is needed for the IOT. Last time I checked my cable box, TV, receiver, fridge and toaster were plugged in all the time. In fact, I am having a hard time coming up with anything running on battery power in my house that needs to communicate other than phones, tablets, laptops.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.