SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Internet of things will shake up business models for embedded systems developers over the next few years, according to a new study by Venture Development Corp. It will also and drive the adoption of more security technologies, said an analyst in a panel discussion at DESIGN West here.
Half the embedded projects in the works today are making some use machine-to-machine links, rising to 69 percent in three years, the study said. As embedded systems link to the Web and smartphones, “more than 75 percent of OEMs say their business models will shift over three years because of Internet of things,” said Chris Rommel, a vice president at VDC (Natick, Mass.) presenting the results in a panel discussion.
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Awareness is relatively high for the Internet of Things, VDC said.
Security is the biggest bugaboo. More than 70 percent of OEMs surveyed said they are already feeling security vulnerabilities. More use of encryption and authentication are their preferred techniques for dealing with the issue, he reported.
IoT apps will emerge in three phases, predicted Ian Ferguson, a business development manager for ARM on the panel. Initially they will be confined to internal closed systems that are later opened up to consumers and finally to interoperable mixes of device and service providers.
Wireless carriers will be rainmakers, Ferguson said. “They are looking for ways to connect devices to new services—so Sprint and DoCoMo will be your new customers and they might find ways to make this happen quicker,” he told engineers, predicting health and fitness devices will be an early market.
Chips already are enabling the shift, said Peter Carbone, vice president of marketing at Renesas. He dubbed 2013 the year of the 40nm microcontroller.
“A megabyte will be the smallest flash block you put down and the processors will easily hit 200 MHz with up to four cores,” Carbone said. “The 28-nm MCUs now in development will pack two to four Mbytes flash minimum and multicore will be standard."
Chip vendors are already embedding in the MCUs blocks for encryption, authentication and secure key maintenance, he added.
Analytics software is the next key ingredient, said Roger Edgar, a vice president of Motomic Software that develops the code specifically for IoT systems.
“You know more about the casual visitor on your Web site than the customer on your M2M system, said Edgar. “You have a boatload of data you are not taking advantage of,” he said.
A selection of the findings of the VDC survey is available on the following pages.