mobile | classic
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology Magazine





Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn


Search...

Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2017


 

Intel and ARM architectures may battle over IoT
22 February 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, News

In November ARM announced Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33, the first microcontroller cores based on the ARMv8-M architecture. In a connected world where everyday devices can be compromised to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, these cores offer the IoT something new: Born Secure.

The issue of security is far from new to the semiconductor and electronics industry, but what is new is the forecast for the number of devices which are likely to be connected to the Internet and thus available to be compromised. Hackers always target the weakest link in any system and as press reports of last year’s Mirai botnet attacks have revealed, many ordinary devices such as home routers, webcams and digital video recorders were used by Mirai to launch DDoS attacks. Often users simply had not changed the default passwords and administrator settings on these devices, highlighting the importance of security for all devices attached to a public network such as the Internet.

Security is perhaps the most challenging issue for IoT developers because the threats posed to equipment permanently attached to the Internet are constantly evolving. Security is a subject with which anyone with a PC, tablet or smartphone will be familiar, with the need for regular patches and other updates to the OS to protect against ever changing attacks. If the US Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service have been unable to master security, nor tech companies such as Cisco, LinkedIn and Yahoo!, then startup makers with limited development and testing budgets, operating on short timescales and with tight profit margins need all the help they can get.

With some IoT forecasts now surging towards hundreds of billions of devices, including products as diverse as connected LED lighting, thermostats and toasters, security oversights have the potential to paralyse the development of the IoT. Colin Barnden, principal analyst at Semicast Research, commented: “Security must move from nickel-and-dime to front-and-centre in the mindset of all developers and makers if the IoT is to maximise its potential.”

The M23 and M33 cores are the latest building blocks in the development of ARM’s secure off-the-shelf platform for the IoT and were developed with TrustZone built in and designed to work with ARM’s previously announced mbed OS. In the same way that Apple has successfully built an ecosystem of products that just seamlessly work together (iPad, iPhone, iCloud, iTunes, etc.), so ARM is steadily building a commercial IoT platform which designs-out as many vulnerabilities as possible by providing hardware and software IP that was developed from inception to be secure and integrated.

Semicast judges this to be a winning strategy for the IoT, especially in the industrial market, where ARM is by far the leading microcontroller architecture with devices based on the legacy ARMv6 and ARMv7 instruction sets. IoT has been the key focus area for the semiconductor industry for the last five years and it is Semicast’s view that industrial IoT can be described as intelligence and connectivity being added to ever smaller, distributed, remote industrial devices, all of which must be secured.

Barnden explained: “industrial IoT is not viewed by Semicast as a growth application itself; instead this intelligence and connectivity is provided by the addition of sub-$1 32-bit MCUs, together with short-range wireless communications ICs based on standards such as 6LoWPAN, Bluetooth/BLE, LoRa, NFC, Sub-1/2,4 GHz, Thread, Wi-Fi and ZigBee. These intelligent connected industrial devices generate the Little Data which has never previously been captured, to be processed locally or fed straight to the cloud for Big Data analytics, creating the industrial IoT of smart buildings, cities, factories, grid, medical, payment and security.”

Semicast forecasts shipments of ARM-based microcontrollers in the industrial market to grow to about 9 billion units in 2021, from under 4 billion in 2016, and judges future shipments of M23 to be much higher than for M33 in the industrial market, as legacy low cost and low power M0/M0+ designs transfer to using M23. Publically announced licensees for M23 and M33 include Analog Devices, Microchip, Nuvoton, NXP, Renesas, Silicon Labs and STMicro-electronics.

Intel has not previously been a player in the 32-bit microcontroller space, but that changed late in 2015 with the launch of its Quark D1000 and D2000 devices. These are 32-bit Pentium-based microcontrollers running at 32 MHz with 8 to 32 KB of on-chip ROM and RAM. Priced in the range of $2-3, these products will certainly help Intel to combat the army of ARM microcontroller suppliers. Whether Intel will commit to the 32-bit microcontroller market with the release of multiple variants of these products, which the market leaders such as Microchip, NXP, Renesas and STMicroelectronics have made a feature of their business models, remains to be seen.

Barnden summed up, “Intel is the largest semiconductor company and the combination of Intel Security, Wind River and Intel Architecture silicon is a powerful combination to help secure the IoT. In the long term the battle for the Cloud, Things and Fog (CTF) looks set to be dominated by ARM and Intel.”

For more information visit www.semicast.net


  Follow us on Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn    

Further reading:

  • Ghana repurposes communications antenna for astronomy
    16 August 2017, News
    The 32 metre converted telecommunications antenna will be integrated into the African VLB Network in preparation for the second phase construction of the Square Kilometre Array.
  • Practically educating Gauteng’s technical educators
    16 August 2017, News
    The annual Gauteng Department of Education training, which has been running for three years in partnership with Resolution Circle, took place in July.
  • Bluetooth updated for mesh networking
    16 August 2017, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, News
    A highly anticipated mesh networking standard has been introduced to the Bluetooth specification by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).
  • From the chairman’s desk: Manufacturing in South Africa
    19 July 2017, AREI, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
    Warren Muir reflects on his attendance at the 2017 Manufacturing Indaba, and how it fits in with arei’s plans for the South African electronics industry.
  • SA antennas used in major European tunnel project
    19 July 2017, Poynting Antennas, News
    The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest and deepest train tunnel through the Swiss Alps, makes exclusive use of technology from Poynting Antennas to ensure a seamless digital communication service underground over a route length of more than 57 km.
  • Training structure the key to successful content
    19 July 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
    The structure and assessment of training programmes are just as important as their content when it comes to up-skilling production staff, explains Bob Willis.
  • Choosing the right mezzanine module for embedded systems
    19 July 2017, Rugged Interconnect Technologies, This Week's Editor's Pick, Computer/Embedded Technology
    Open architecture embedded systems for military/aerospace applications have always relied on mezzanine or daughter cards to provide flexibility and modularity because they are very effective in handling ...
  • Cape Town hosts Dynamic Spectrum Alliance global summit
    14 June 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
    The three-day event brought together representatives from five continents and 21 countries around the world, including policy makers, regulators, academia, and public and private sector representatives.
  • UL presents new smart meter standards
    14 June 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
    Users throughout the supply chain need to be assured of the fact that common, consensus-based standards are being used on both a national and international basis to test and certify all smart meters.
  • Keeping time to save money in smart meters
    14 June 2017, Tempe Technologies, This Week's Editor's Pick, DSP, Micros & Memory
    Mary Tamar Tan from Microchip Technology explains how a real-time clock and calendar module can reduce component count and cut programming costs in smart meters and other applications.
  • Implementing the upcoming 71 W PoE standard now
    14 June 2017, Arrow Altech Distribution (AAD), This Week's Editor's Pick, Power Electronics / Power Management
    With Power over Ethernet (PoE) being a popular and mature technology, it’s no surprise that developers are eager to jump onto the next IEEE bandwagon and start delivering higher levels of power down Ethernet cables.
  • From the editor's desk: The Internet of Bricks
    17 May 2017, Technews Publishing, News
    The virtual wall that protects the IoT from the trolls prowling outside is only as steadfast as the security that holds it together.

 
 
         
Contact:
Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Other
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual





 

         
    Classic | Mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.