Menu
ARM buys Mistbase and NextG-Com to extend its reach in IoT

ARM buys Mistbase and NextG-Com to extend its reach in IoT

With expertise in NB-IoT low-power wide-area networking, ARM will extend its reach from smart homes to smart cities

Chip designer ARM has a new strategy for the internet of things: to offer complete solutions "from application software to antenna."

ARM has typically left it to licensees of its microprocessor designs to add their own wide-area radio modems and other circuitry essential for the chips at the heart of smartphones and other connected devices. That's the case with Qualcomm, for example, which packages ARM's processor core with its own LTE modems to deliver the chips at the heart of Apple's iPhones.

But now ARM wants to deliver the whole stack itself, at least for low-power, low-bandwidth devices, ARM wireless business general manager Paul Williamson said in a blog post Tuesday.

To further that goal, the company is investing in its own radio designs, and has acquired two companies with expertise in the NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) low-power wireless standard: a Swedish one, Mistbase, and a British one, NextG-Com. Mistbase designs chips, while NextG-Com writes networking software.

Processors built to ARM's designs require little power, at least compared to the power-hungry chips found in desktop and laptop PCs. That's what made them attractive to smartphone manufacturers.

But phones, especially the latest 4G phones, are still power-hungry compared to many of the devices that make up the internet of things. A smartphone with a 10 watt-hour battery will run for a day or two before needing a recharge, whereas NB-IoT was developed for devices that must run for up to 10 years on a single 5 Wh battery. The trade-off is that NB-IoT devices will only be able to transmit at up to 20 kilobits per second, or perhaps 250 kbps, compared to megabits per second for a typical smartphone.

It's in the market for such devices that ARM sees a big advantage in more closely tying the design of the processor with that of the wide-area radio modem, something it already does for Bluetooth wireless devices.

"In addition to the hardware and software expertise of the acquired companies, we are also investing in radio design that will offer complete NB-IoT chip solutions from application software to antenna. This will cut the complexity of adopting cellular IoT technology," Williamson wrote.

Supporting NB-IoT is already a relatively easy decision for network operators to make. The standard, finalized last year, requires only a small upgrade to the high-speed LTE networks that operators have already invested billions deploying, and opens up a whole new market. Analysts at IHS-Markit forecast that the number of NB-IoT connections will grow from around 1 million this year to 141 million by 2021, Williamson said.

ARM's NB-IoT efforts will fit right into its Cordio range of wireless designs, alongside its support for Bluetooth 5 and the IEEE 802.15.4 personal area networking standard. This, Williamson wrote, allows ARM to extend its reach from the smart home to the smart city.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments