The Internet of Things revolution is real and it’s here. Two of the big guys weighed in last week -- Intel and Freescale. In a nutshell, we’re all pretty much in agreement that the IoT consists of just about everything. Different folks take different approaches to how to accomplish this lofty goal. For example, as you might expect, Intel introduces a new series of microprocessors aimed at the space.
The new Intel processors are based on the Haswell microarchitecture. The eight processors offer extended lifecycle support and an improvement in processing, graphics, and media performance. The final piece of the puzzle is enhanced security. Using the devices, designers can build platforms for such applications as retail, industrial, medical, digital security surveillance, aerospace, and communications.
Intel looks at the various applications from different levels of performance, say for apps that are graphics-intensive, compute-intensive, or I/O-intensive. Then they wrap the proper architecture around the new CPU, and throw in some security (clearly, there’s more involved from a security perspective) for the perfect IoT platform.
The discussion with Freescale was less product-specific, and more about what’s possible, and what’s needed to get there. They talked about sensors, and wireless, and software, and, of course, processors. But it was more of a holistic approach to getting information to and from the cloud. They center the technology around a cellular infrastructure, then ensure that the proper pieces are in place to handle the various elements.
The Freescale analogy was built around a tree. The roots of the tree serve as the hardware for processing, sensing, and connectivity. The trunk of the tree is the software that’s connected to everything that takes place. Finally, the branches represent the end application, of which there can be many, and they can either be similar or different. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Freescale offers just about all of these various elements.
It’ll be a while (if ever) that this all gets sorted out and some sort of common platform evolves. It’s more likely that it’ll stay as a collection of disparate parts that somehow have to communicate and interoperate. As always, it’ll be the software that has to perform the magic of making it all work.