ARM reveals more details about M2M industry forum

By Graeme Burton
02 Aug 2012 View Comments
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Chip designer ARM has been revealing more details about the mission of the forum that it is putting together to help drive standardisation for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, also known as "the internet of things".

The forum, according to Gary Atkinson, director of embedded marketing at ARM, will be less concerned about developing technical standards than about devising blueprints for how devices ought to communicate in a connected world.

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"What we are really looking at is the methodologies or blueprints for putting these things together," said Atkinson. "We already have a plethora of standards. This is about how we can make it easy to connect devices to the internet."

Indeed, M2M software developer Jasper Wireless is already attempting to drive through globally agreed standards – based on its technology – in an industry grouping of telecoms operators.

These include Japan's NTT Docomo, Singapore's SingTel, Australia's Telstra; Spain's Telefonica, which also owns the O2 mobile network in the UK, Russia's Vimpelcom, The Netherland's KPN and Rogers of Canada.

ARM's forum, by contrast, so far comprises ARM and a number of UK-based technology companies that design products based on ARM technology.

It will deal with such issues as how to deploy a sensor into a building automation system, for example. Should the sensor have a built-in passive near-field communication (NFC) chip and, if so, how should it "handshake" with the network, and exchange data securely?

"It's complex for both users and building management teams to understand what choices they should make. And once you go outside of the building, you are into proprietary wireless technologies or cellular," said Atkinson. "We are trying to take it up a level in order to devise recommendations for architecture."

Likewise, with security and privacy, the aim of the forum will be to devise methodologies, rather than standards.

The first meeting of the forum is scheduled for 24 August and will be chaired by Atkinson.

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