Arm executive on how to connect one trillion devices
Simplicity, security and scalability among IoT devices are key
Santa Clara, Cali. — The internet of things (IoT) is connecting billions of devices to the internet, and soon hundreds of billions of devices. According to Gartner, as many as 50 billion IoT devices will be connected to the web by 2020, but how? During a keynote presentation at Arm TechCon 2017, President of IoT Services Group at Arm Dipesh Patel discussed some of the key challenges of connecting potentially one trillion IoT devices.
Arm is recognized as a major player in the deployment of IoT devices, especially since being acquired by SoftBank, a company invested in budding technologies. According to Patel, connecting hundreds of billions of IoT devices will require simplicity, security and scalability. Simplicity is needed to make it easy to create, deploy and manage devices throughout their lifecycle. Security is needed to safeguard devices and retain customer trust. And scalability is needed to allow a solution to reach billions of devices.
Even with these needs in place, Patel asked if it really is possible to secure one trillion devices. Some forecasts predict 62 billion devices in 10 years, with other forecasts predicting 125 billion devices in 20 years. Personally, however, Patel believes the opportunities available to IoT are much bigger than these predictions suggest.
“It all comes back to the business insights that we can provide from IoT,” Patel said. “But if you can translate the potential of devices out there in sensing something, in analyzing that data, take some action from that data and create some value, I think the potential is much bigger. The potential could be as big as 250 billion.”
Speaking as to how to enable IoT devices, Patel drew reference to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in which certain needs take precedence over others. An individual must secure basic needs like water and food before pursuing more advanced needs like security, friendship, esteem and self-fulfillment. Likewise, connecting billions of IoT devices first requires securing basic, physical needs like a CPU before pursuing more advanced needs like software, security and machine learning.
In an effort to improve IoT device management and security, Patel also noted that Arm is extending its Mbed software with a suite of features called Mbed Edge, which include a framework of modules for gateways on the IoT. This is intended to run on gateway boxes that reside between devices and the cloud. “The gateway needs to be managed and used to its full potential for different workloads and data extraction,” Patel said.
Patel ended by underscoring the need for collaboration among companies on the path toward IoT. “I don’t think any one person will be able to find or create the perfect solution. It is really about creating partnerships. We’ve got what we are doing, which is creating that common foundation, but we need to make sure what we are doing works with other partners across the supply chain, across the ecosystem and that is something we are very, very focused on.”