Broadcom’s IoT Vision: It’s All About Partners and the Cloud Ecosystem | Cypress Semiconductor
Broadcom’s IoT Vision: It’s All About Partners and the Cloud Ecosystem
The Internet of Things is expected to usher in the biggest and fastest spread of technology in history, adding trillions of dollars to the global economy and potentially billions of new connected devices to the market in the next decade.
As IoT starts to mature, it’s becoming more obvious how that growth will happen.
Broadcom, for its part, sees itself as an enabling link in the long chain of startups, application developers, consumer electronics manufactures, module makers and cloud integrators that are coming together to build out a bigger, faster and more nuanced IoT ecosystem.
The next phase of IoT is less about the products and more about the business models, said Broadcom’s Stephen DiFranco, senior vice president of channels, partners and IoT. At a media event in San Francisco this week, DiFranco elaborated on the many different players that are contributing to the evolution of IoT.
“All of them are trying to solve the same problem,” he said. “They are taking something that’s not connected and connecting it. We will see new business models come up out of this that will drive the next phase of IoT.”
The next step, DiFranco said, is to make sense of the projected zettabyte’s worth of data that the many new sensors, nodes, beacons and will collect and fling into the cloud.
At Broadcom’s “Geek Peek,” an event that gave Bay Area tech press and industry analysts a preview of some trends ahead of next month’s Consumer Electronics Show, DiFranco laid out the longer-term vision for the IoT’s evolution.
The three key signifiers, he said, are partners, rapid product development and massively autonomous machine-to-machine systems.
- Cloud-driven IoT for simple controls for meaningful business applications: “All of the IoT products that the market is experimenting with on the consumer side will find value on the industrial side,” DiFranco said. “We truly think that the cloud is what’s going to drive the business model for the IoT.”
- Rapid application development for new devices and the apps that control them: “A lot of our partners will tell you how challenging it is to bring that first product to market,” DiFranco said. “To really start to simplify platforms, you have and go out and support the mass market. We want module and platform partners to help customers go to market faster and more affordably.”
- Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications for deployments of massively automated autonomous systems: “The whole idea of M2M is about collecting data, and collecting it autonomously and continuously over a large area, whether it’s a farm, a factory or a city,” DiFranco said. “A big part of IoT is going to be analytics and making sense of the information we collect.”
DiFranco’s predictions come on the heels of a product announcement by Broadcom that expanded its flagship WICED™ connectivity platform.
Broadcom unveiled a new product family, the WICED CORE Enhanced Low Power (ELP) systems-on-a-chip, which aims to bring more processing power at lower energy consumption to smartwatches, wearables and other connected IoT devices.
The a trio of Bluetooth Smart-based devices comprising the WICED CORE ELP family can quadruple the battery life of wearables — up to four years when paired with a standard coin cell battery.
“The new chips support multiple protocols for ultimate flexibility,” said Brian Bedrosian, senior director, product marketing, wireless connectivity at Broadcom. “All of the devices can talk to anything within any network.”
Interoperability and integration are going to be critical over the next five years, DiFranco said, as the number of connected devices in the market grows to anywhere from 18 billion to 60 billion, according to market research.
“Some of those will be dumb devices, like existing industrial machines that we embed with sensors, processors, MEMs and two-way communications chips,” he said. “But the majority of these 50 billion devices will be natively smart, designed from the very beginning with connectivity in mind.”
Broadcom hosted demos from a handful of its customers and partners at its “Geek Peek,” including:
- Anaren, a maker of development kits and modules based on WICED technologies.
- Cloud4Wi, a maker of Wi-Fi adapters that add location-based sensors for analytics and location-based services.
- Colorfy, which helps startups and inventors get their product to market, offers a virtual reality headset that can be controlled by any smartphone.
- Elgato, a maker of connected home devices that showed its Eve product lineup of Bluetooth Low Energy devices for automation, door and window sensors, and air quality monitoring.
- Grushgamer, a maker of a smart toothbrush and gamified app that encourages and monitors kids’ brushing habits.
- iDevices, a maker of connected home devices that showcased lighting, thermostat and switch solutions.
- LSR, a maker development kits and modules that demonstrated TiWiConnect™, a connectivity platform that adds smartphone and web connectivity through the cloud.
- Particle, which licenses a prototype-to-production platform for developing Internet of Things products.
- Roost, which makes a Wi-Fi module for creating smart connected smoke alarms.