The Internet of Things is becoming the Standards Wars of Things: Intel has now thrown its hat into the ring with its own IoT Platform to connect stuff end-to-end.
Announced in the past few minutes at a morning presentation in San Francisco, the platform will describe how to hook up gizmos on the edge – the sensors, the wearables, the street lights, the air-con units, and so on – to the backend systems (cough, cough, Cloudera) processing collected information.
Judging by slides shown by Chipzilla this morning, the IoT Platform will sit mostly in the cloud running on beefy x64 servers, and talk down to software running on mobile devices, wearables and other gadgets, via gateways.
"We're shaping the Internet of Things," beamed Doug Fisher, veep of Intel Software and Services, during the platform's launch.
"How do you get the devices connected to the data center? APIs are one of the key founding elements of secure management and provision."
Devices will use the usual communications protocols to shift data across wireless and wired networks; Intel is focusing on "security, standards and scalability" – the interfaces between the building blocks of a large network of sensors and gadgets.
It will also use new software from Wind River to manage edge devices – Wind River is the embedded operating system developer owned by Chipzilla that targets ARM, x86, MIPS, PowerPC, and other processor architectures. Intel-owned McAfee will provide whitelisting and other stuff, such as authentication and encryption, to try to keep the stack secure.
It follows Intel opening a biz division to jump on the IoT hype-wagon, and bigging up its poster child of the Internet of Stuff: smart cities wired with sensors to keep humans comfortable and placated.
Although Intel is shrinking its silicon to fit PCs in SD cards and cranking out lower-power x86 Quark CPUs for developer boards, rival Brit chip-designer ARM is sketching out processor cores that efficiently use battery power to fit into tiny IoT sensors.
Perhaps that's why Intel's now turning to standards to define its Internet of Stuff and tapping up its Wind River knowhow.
Assembled Chipzilla execs are billing the platform as a combined hardware and software-as-a-service play: connecting Quark system-on-a-chips, with encryption acceleration and hardware key generation, to the cloud, for instance. That silicon can also include EPID, Intel's cryptographic key-based system for identifying and authenticating devices and gateways.
Mike Bell, Intel's wearables supremo, was bullish on ARM: he told analysts Intel had proved its chip were just as power efficient as the Brit-designed cores.
The overall blueprint looks like this:
Accenture, NSA pals Booz Allen Hamilton, Capgemini, Dell, HCL, NTT Data, SAP, Tata Consultancy and Wipro are, according to Intel, aboard Chipzilla's new platform to bury sensors and controllers into cities, homes, water management, sewage systems, traffic lights, databases of personal information, hospitals and plenty of other things that will be just fine on the safe seas of the internet.
In October, ARM revealed its own glue for the Internet of Things: its mbed OS platform. Its execs warned The Register at the time that it could take a couple of years before a dominant standard for the Internet of Things emerges. ®