With 212 billion connected devices expected to arrive within the next few years, Atmel is joining forces with tech leaders Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Samsung and Wind River to establish a new industry group focused on improving interoperability and streamlining connectivity. At this point, there are multiple proposals and forums driving varying approaches, yet no single solution addresses the majority of key requirements. The newly-unveiled Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) looks to define a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies to wirelessly connect and intelligently manage the flow of information among personal computing and emerging Internet of Things (IoT) devices, regardless of form factor, operating system or service provider.
The initial aim of this new project is to create an open source code that will transform the Internet of Things from mere concept into a reality that benefits consumers, developers and end users. This will help ensure that OIC specifications and open source implementations will help companies design products that intelligently, reliably and securely manage and exchange information under changing conditions, power and bandwidth, and even without an Internet connection.
“Atmel is excited about our participation in OIC to establish an open source framework that goes beyond the digital home and supports services for multiple verticals including consumer, industrial and automotive markets,” said Kaivan Karimi, Vice President and General Manager of Wireless MCUs at Atmel Corporation. “Together with other industry leaders, we are committed to building a strong technology infrastructure for the Internet of Things; one that is instrumental in solving the pain points where other industry standards fall short today.”
Leaders from a broad range of industry vertical segments – from smart home and office solutions to automotive and more – will participate in the program to enable emerging applications in all key markets. However, the first OIC open source code will target the specific requirements of smart home and office solutions. For instance, the specifications could make it simple to remotely control and receive notifications from smart home appliances or enterprise devices using securely provisioned smartphones, tablets or PCs. Possible consumer solutions include the ability to remotely control household systems to save money and conserve energy. In the enterprise, employees and visiting suppliers might securely collaborate while interacting with screens and other devices in a meeting room. Specifications for additional IoT opportunities including automotive, healthcare and industrial are expected to follow.
“Open source is about collaboration and about choice. The Open Interconnect Consortium is yet another proof point how open source helps to fuel innovation,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “We look forward to the OIC’s contribution in fostering an open environment to support the billions of connected devices coming online.”
Member companies will contribute software and engineering resources to the development of a protocol specification, open source implementation, and a certification program, all with a view of accelerating the development of the IoT. The OIC specification will encompass a range of connectivity solutions, utilizing existing and emerging wireless standards and will be designed to be compatible with a variety of operating systems.
“The rise and ultimate success of the Internet of Things depends on the ability for devices and systems to securely and reliably interconnect and share information,” said Doug Fisher, Intel Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Software and Services Group. “This requires common frameworks, based on truly open, industry standards. Our goal in founding this new consortium is to solve the challenge of interoperable connectivity for the Internet of Things without tying the ecosystem to one company’s solution.”
This exciting news follows yesterday’s big announcement of Atmel’s definitive agreement to acquire Newport Media, Inc. that will enable Atmel to offer designers and Makers the industry’s most complete wireless portfolio of smart, connected devices for the Internet of Things (IoT). The acquisition will immediately adds 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to the company’s offerings and will accelerate an introduction of low-energy Bluetooth products.
“Combined with our existing Wi-Fi and Zigbee solutions and industry leading microcontroller portfolio, Atmel is positioned for substantial growth in the Internet of Things marketplace.” explains Atmel CEO Steve Laub.
Have questions regarding the OIC? Learn more by reading the entire press release. Interested in the ever-evolving Internet of Things? You’ll want to check out our extensive Bits & Pieces IoT article archive here.