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ARM Dives into Low-Power IoT Communications

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ARM, the leading designer of mobile processors, announced the launch of ARM Cordio, a portfolio of low-power wireless communications technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT).

ARM Cordio is comprised of the intellectual property (IP) from two acquisitions, Sunrise Micro Devices and Wicentric, also announced on April 16. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The Cordio name originates from Sunrise Micro Devices’ sub-volt Bluetooth wireless radio technology. A year ago, Sunrise Micro Devices and Wicentric, a maker of Bluetooth Smart software, announced an alliance to develop software for the Cordio BT4 radio core for IoT sensors and devices.

“By partnering with Wicentric, a proven software provider in the Bluetooth space, [Sunrise Micro Devices] can offer exactly what the IoT market needs – a complete Bluetooth Smart radio IP solution,” said Bob Morris, vice president of sales and marketing at Sunrise Micro Devices, in an April 2014 statement. “Together, we will foster the ecosystem of Bluetooth Smart products by enabling innovative product features while reducing interoperability risk and time-to-market.”

Today, the baton has been passed to ARM.

“This portfolio will complement ARM’s existing processor and physical IP targeting end markets requiring low-power wireless communications such as the Internet of Things (IoT),” said the company in a statement. According to ARM, dropping power requirements from 1.2V to 1V can improve battery life by up to 60 percent.

ARM isn’t the only chip firm pursuing the growing market for IoT technologies.

Last summer, IBM announced that its second-generation SyNAPSE chip. Built in collaboration with Samsung and inspired by how the human brain processes information, Big Blue envisions that the power-sipping chip will pave the way for IoT systems that process sensory information efficiently.

And on March 31, the tech giant announced plans to invest $3 billion over the next four years to grow its IoT analytics and cloud portfolio. “Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result,” Bob Picciano, senior vice president of IBM Analytics, said in a statement.

IoT is also having a profound effect on Intel’s finances. A year ago, during Intel’s first quarter fiscal 2014 earnings call, CEO Brian Krzanich revealed that the company’s new Internet of Things Group, grew 32 percent year-over-year. In December, the company launched its own IoT reference platform, called simply the Intel IoT Platform.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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