Absolutely halherta - the neocortec module uses a TI controller with an 8051, but the ARM Cortex-M starts to offer more cycles within the power budget to handle the protocol stack and some of the applications which can change the software architecture
TI also has the TIVA C Cortex-M4 microcontrollers that are ideal for IoT applications, especially when combined with TI's CC3000 WiFi IC. Furthermore TI also have the CC3200 Microcontroller that integrates a Cortex-M4 with a WiFi radio in a single chip. They sell the CC3200 launchpad for around $30.00
But why is it that only Cortex-M micros are ideal fo IoT applications? I think that the AVR8 cores are still quite powerful (performance wise) and have been used with Ethernet/WiFi interfaces for at least a decade now. Sure they may not have as much processing power as their ARM competitors, but if you plan on building something like a network-enabled thermostat they are still viable. Especially with the emergence of $3 WiFi solutions such as the ESP8266.
And I agree...the hardware is all there. More open-source software/firmware/libraries is/are still needed to power IoT apps on this hardware. I'm hoping that over time the Mbed libraries can provide the necessary IoT libraries on multiple platforms.
In addition to microcontrollers there are embedded microprocessors (ARM9/11/CortexA5/8/9 as well as MIPS and even the low power Intel atom cores) that can run Linux. Sure they may not be power sippers compared to microcontrollers, but because they run Linux, designers can leverage the thousands of applications/software stacks/libraries that already exist for that OS.
Hi Mike - the M7 annoucement was already covered in EETimes (at least twice!) and I was on the ST stand three times at the show, so I know how busy it was. And the elements you flag are software rather than the hardware, which is another issue. Will follow up offline with you on this.
As a softeware engineer, I much care about the development tools. 7 controllers from 7 different companies, I suppose the hardware must be ok all. Therefor, the company that could provide the best service for software engineer would hold the chance.
Of course, TI has plenty of solutions, including integrated MCU/radio systems, along with the LaunchPad/BoosterPack ecosystem (where you can choose from MSP430, Stellaris Tiva ARM, 320F28xx DSP, or Hercules safety ARM).
Am I missing something but I don't see any TI parts in the list - not Stellaris and its descendants after being Borged by TI (for their own good....)?
The other thing I didn't see was software - hardware is nice, but software makes hardware something besides fancy sand.
Many of the vendors listed demand mucho $$$ to purchase the development systems required to make their hardware more than nifty sand. This seems counter-productive. If I'm a developer stapped for cash with a good idea am I going to spend $400-500/seat to give my team the tools they need to make the parts work when another vendor is giving their development tools away for free? I don't think so - and I've been in that situation several times. I would rather spend that cash on board spins - and making sure my team can keep body and soul together - and afford medical insurance - and send their kids to good (private) schools.