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Intel on same IoT ground as ARM

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Internet of Things? microprocessors? intelligent systems?

Chip giants Intel, ARM and other companies are on a fairly even footing in the still emerging Internet of Things that will surpass 25 billion units and $4 trillion in 2020, a market watcher said. International Data Corp. aims to help form a trade association to provide education on the market it believes could ship 11 billion units using 20 billion processor cores by 2017.

"We think there's potential for more growth, but we are being conservative and even then the volumes are very large," said Mario Morales, a senior analyst with IDC at an annual Smart Technology World conference here.

Morales used the term intelligent systems to define the rising class of secure embedded systems that can host an operating system and run native and cloud apps. It's a term Intel also has adopted, describing an area others refer to as the Internet of Things or machine-to-machine communications.

"We think there's still a lot of confusion out there in IoT and M2M," Morales said, adding he expects an intelligent systems ecosystem association to launch with a web site in about six months. "We will base this group on fundamental research," he said.

The prediction of 25 billion intelligent systems only includes devices using 32bit microprocessors. It excludes microcontroller-based embedded systems and sensor nodes, Morales added.

In terms of processors architectures, ARM is used in as much as a third of intelligent systems today while Intel chips are used in about ten per cent of them, Morales estimates. MIPS and Power architectures also have a significant hold in consumer and infrastructure systems, respectively, he noted.

"This fragmentation is an opportunity-there are more players to dictate what will happen," he said.

The fragmentation extends to ecosystems where service providers, systems makers, chip and app vendors and integrators all have partnerships. "There's a lot more education and collaboration we need to do," Morales said.

"We are still not at an inflection point to really drive what the vision could be here," he added.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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