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Intel unveils software for IoT apps

Posted: 11 Dec 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IoT? HomeKit? smart home? Thread protocol?

Enhancing connectivity and security for Internet of Things applications based on its processor will be a lot easier now, thanks to a new software released by Intel. It includes new components from its Wind River and McAfee divisions analysts say will compete with IoT software announced in October by rival ARM.

The effort echoes a more general offering Intel created for embedded systems in 2012. It comes amid a growing diversity of options in IoT components, software and services.

Targeting the smart home, Google's Nest announced its Thread protocol and Apple debuted HomeKit earlier this year, and Broadcom has been promoting its WICED platform since 2013. In the industrial space, Linear acquired Dust Networks in early 2012 and the Zigbee Alliance was an early player.

"By simplifying the development process and making it easier to deploy new solutions that address market needs, we can help accelerate innovation," Doug Davis, general manager of Intel's Internet of Things group, said in a release.

The Intel IoT Platform includes an updated version of the Intel IoT gateway, edge management middleware from Wind River that handles node and cloud functions, enhanced McAfee security, and API and traffic management tools. It aims to address IoT devices from smart headphones to medical equipment, including wearables.

Intel software

(Source: Intel)

"This is the first time that Intel has actually put forth a strategic vision of how they're going to execute on the Internet of Things," Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights and Strategy, told EE Times. "While I think it took them a long time to get there, I think they wound up in a good place."

Intel's strengths in data centre and networking markets will help it snag IoT wins, he said. "They're stepping to the table with hardware, software, services and security, but they don't have to be the best at everything to win."

Intel has put a lot of stock in its new gateway, Moorhead noted. Other companies rely on a more stripped-down system, but the Intel gateway is a "pretty robust and capable device, a filter" necessary for billions of connected devices, he said.

"The gateway integrates processor, OS, applications... to help us scale," supporting Intel's Quark and Atom x86 processors, Davis told attendees at a launch event.

However, as these devices become integrated into a variety of systems with different protocols, Intel officials reiterated the need for security.

Lorie Wigel, a vice president from McAfee, emphasized the importance of security in IoT:

  • There really is, or should be, a strong sense of urgency about securing IoT. There is a two- to five-year window to really have a big impact in terms of how security gets implemented into IoT. Devices are proliferating now; those devices are being incorporated into systems. It's really critical that we build security in.

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