Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Saturday, December 3, 2022

IoT Momentum Building From Ground Up 

The churn of technology fuels industry consolidation, an inexorable process that includes individual companies as well as industry groups tasked with driving technical standards.

The latest example comes from the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) launched last year to jumpstart interoperability standards for the Internet of Things (IoT). The group said Monday (Nov. 23) it would acquire most of the assets of the UPnP Forum (Universal Plug and Play) formed in 1999 by consumer electronics, appliance and mobile device manufacturers.

Meanwhile, nuts-and-bolts IoT development kits also are beginning to hit the market as networks of connected devices move closer to reality.

OIC, Portland, Ore., said the merger with the play-and-play forum would consolidate and help streamline IoT technology and infrastructure efforts "leading to increased alignment on standardization for the Internet of Things." The merger is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.

Over the last decade, the UPnP Forum helped forge networking software protocols for connecting devices and networks in homes. OIC hopes to leverage the technology as a proven test bed for broader IoT applications that according to some industry estimates could exceed 20 billion connected devices by 2020.

The transfer of UPnP's assets to the IoT interconnect group is the latest effort to forge interoperability standards to ensure that devices can communicate and operate together. Mike Richmond, OIC executive director, said the merger would help "streamline specification development" for next-generation IoT devices.

OIC released its proposed 1.0 spec in September promoted as a cloud-native architecture offering more flexibility to developers seeking to scale IoT deployments on cloud platforms. A preliminary version of the spec was released this summer along with a corresponding code release from IoTivity, the open source software framework designed to enable wireless connections between IoT devices.

The consortium said it would form a working group to maintain UPnP specifications and certification tools and would offer "legacy" UPnP certification for a fee to non-OIC companies.

Meanwhile, the underlying infrastructure for the IoT is slowly emerging from chipmakers and device manufacturers. For example, U.K. embedded hardware designer Imagination Technologies released a development kit this week that includes "optimized" hardware and an open-source software for IoT development projects.

Hardware components based on MIPS and PowerVR architectures include a MIPS-based processor designed to serve as an "IoT hub." Imagination said the hub could run several Linux-based operating systems, including OpenWrt and Brillo, Google's entry in the IoT market. Other hardware included with the IoT development kit is a network connection boards with sockets for adding temperature, motion and other sensors.

Software includes the FlowCloud platform for connecting devices to the web along with access to cloud services. Also included are open source software frameworks, network stacks and cloud connectivity.

Imagination designs hardware used in embedded and mobile devices from Apple, Cavium, Broadcom, Huawei, Intel, LG, Samsung and others.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

One Response to IoT Momentum Building From Ground Up

  1. It’s great to see Consortium’s growing in number and delivering easy to market solutions for IoT. Thank you for the article George.

    Jason Lebrecht

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