MADISON, Wis. — NXP Semiconductors is rolling out a Modular IoT Gateway solution this week at Electronica in Munich, one of the largest trade fairs for the electronics industry.
NXP's modular IoT gateway
The launch of NXP’s new IoT Gateway product comes 11 days after Qualcomm officially announced plans to acquire NXP.
Neither NXP nor Qualcomm is commenting on the eventual outcome of the planned M&A (the deal is not expected to close until the end of 2017) and its impact on the IoT market.
The consensus among industry observers is the Qualcomm/NXP marriage will give birth to a genuine IoT powerhouse. Qualcomm brings cellular connectivity, while NXP brings high data security. The combined companies will address two IoT fundamentals – “connectivity and security” – in unparalleled depth and breadth.
That’s the high-level view.
But on a product-by-product level, there are overlaps and conflicts that company brings to the IoT market.
A broad-brush analysis shows that NXP’s newly unveiled Modular IoT Gateway product, for example, demonstrates the Dutch semiconductor company’s strong presence in the “industrial” IoT market, its unmatched expertise in IoT security and the company’s broad MCU portfolio — areas in which Qualcomm seems to trail NXP.
We asked NXP to break down the technology building blocks that enabled its Modular IoT Gateway. We also asked industry analysts to share their analysis on the impact, if any, of the combined portfolio of NXP and Qualcomm products and technologies on the IoT market.
NXP’s Modular IoT Gateway
On the Modular IoT Gateway, Denis Cabrol, NXP’s executive director of MCUs and application processors, told EE Times, “This isn’t a home router that can drive 20 nodes. This is a gateway designed for industrial IoT applications, driving hundreds of nodes or more.”
Built on an open source Linux platform running on NXP’s latest i.MX processors, the Modular IoT Gateway is set up to connect Thread and ZigBee-based end node devices securely with the cloud through Wi-Fi or Ethernet, NXP explained.
Modular hardware supports rapid iteration of specific wireless communication configurations. (Source: NXP)
Cabrol told us, “Bear in mind that many of these IoT end nodes – deployed in such industrial fields as oil rigs — are battery operated and they aren’t always on. They are installed in hard-to-reach places outside.”
More specifically, NXP’s Modular IoT Gateway — featuring buffer — can help battery-operated end-node devices communicate to the cloud, even without power, Cabrol explained. The gateway solution can commission, control and monitor thousands of end nodes, and “upgrade the code for such devices without crashing the network,” he added.
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