Fast-growing semiconductor designer ARM has snapped up Sensinode, a Finnish start-up specialising in software technology behind the "internet of things".
Like ARM, Sensinode makes money by licensing, but of software to semiconductor companies and device manufacturers for incorporation into their products.
Sensinode is responsible for the IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks (6LoWPAN) and constrained application protocol (CoAP) standards for low cost low power devices, and is also an active contributor to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) ZigBee IP, ETSI and OMA standardisation efforts.
These standards are built into Sensinode's core products - NanoStack, NanoRouter and NanoService. NanoStack is a 6LoWPAN-based protocol stack software product for 2.4GHz and sub-GHz radios; NanoRouter is a 6LoWPAN-based network edge router, enabling routing between 6LoWPAN and IPv4 / IPv6 networks; and NanoService provides end-to-end web services using leading CoAP and Embedded Web technology.
ARM will continue offering Sensinode's products.
"Sensinode is a pioneer in software for low cost low power internet connected devices and has been a key contributor to open standards for internet of things.
"By making Sensinode expertise and technology accessible to the ARM Partnership and through the ARM mbed project we will enable rapid deployment of thousands of new and innovative IoT applications," said John Cornish, executive vice president and general manager in ARM's System Design Division.
The acquisition indicates the direction in which ARM believes that the semiconductor industry will take - towards ever-more pervasive computing and increased built-in intelligence and networking into everyday products and devices.
According to IMS Research there will be some 30 billion connected devices in use around the world by 2020, and the market is forecast to grow exponentially as computing power migrates from the desktop.
ARM foresees Sensinode's pervasive computing software being embedded within ARM's range of microprocessors, especially via ARM's mbed project, providing a foundation for thousands of new applications including wireless sensors, "smart" connected appliances, home health applications, and wearable electronics.