UPDATED 13:15 EST / NOVEMBER 03 2021


Arm speeds up device development to unleash the potential of IoT

Edge computing is projected to be the next trillion-dollar market, but some challenges still need to be overcome, such as those related to the development lifecycle on “internet of things” devices.

Computer chip design firm Arm Ltd. is kicking off the process to accelerate IoT application and product development times with its new, solutions-based approach to IoT design. Arm Total Solutions for IoT is a unique solution that will lay the foundation for a new IoT economy, according to Mohamed Awad (pictured), vice president of the IoT and embedded line of business at Arm.

“You can have all this massive innovation that can be unleashed from all these developers that didn’t have access to these devices before, and you can also take all these embedded devices, embedded developers and make them so much more efficient with these new modern, modern development methodologies,” he said. “A combination of those two things not only is it going to lower the cost of development, but it’s going to spur a massive amount of new innovation and all new products and services.”

Awad spoke with Dave Vellante, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, for a digital CUBE Conversation. They discussed promising IoT trends, as well as how Arm’s new approach will play a pivotal and transformative role in this market.

Reducing product design cycle times

The IoT market has made great progress in recent years. Starting with installing microcontrollers in everyday devices, the industry soon moved forward to address issues of interconnectivity and intelligence, and now it wants to extract value from it all. The plethora of devices, use cases and diverse platforms make this a daunting task though.

“The industry needs to figure out how to derive intelligence from the smallest sensor all the way up to the largest cloud data center, and that means local intelligence, it means regional intelligence, and it means global intelligence,” Awad said. “The potential is enormous, but the challenge is pretty enormous as well.”

This is where Arm’s new approach comes in. A key element of this is the Arm Virtual Hardware, which makes available a virtual representation of devices in the cloud for widespread use of developers, enabling software development without the need for physical silicon. It brings modern agile software development methodologies, such as continuous integration/deployment, DevOps and MLOps for IoT and embedded platforms, without requiring investment in complex hardware farms.

“What we’re doing here with Arm Total Solutions is we cut those five years [of product design cycle] down to three years, so we can massively accelerate time to market,” Awad said.

Allowing for parallel development

Another fundamental aspect of Arm Total Solutions for IoT is Project Centauri, which is a set of application programming interfaces that aims to make it easier to scale software and services across different hardware platforms. Most IoT applications are designed to run on specific platforms, so developers often need to be rewrite lots of code to have that same software run on an alternative product. It’s a lot of extra work that Arm says Project Centauri will eliminate.

“[It] puts in place a set of standards, reference software and specifications around things like security and how devices should communicate with the operating system or cloud service providers that allows software developers to get a level of reuse and leverage,” Awad explained.

Arm’s announcement ultimately promises to move IoT closer to standardized development tools, which previously fueled the explosion of smartphone apps. The idea is to allow hardware and software to be developed in parallel, not in series, and then enable the use of software development practices like continuous integration and continuous deployment.

“Not only are we parallelizing them, but we’re enabling what I’ll call modern development methodology,” Awad said.

Here’s the complete video interview, one of many CUBE Conversations from SiliconANGLE and theCUBE:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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