ARM grabs Dutch 'SSL of Things' biz Offspark

Mbeds TLS code in Cambridge chipset

ARM has strengthened its security portfolio by buying Offspark, the company whose PolarSSL secure communications is widely used in Internet of Things devices.

The purchase is not about organic growth for ARM, while the company isn’t giving out a figure for the value of purchase, a spokesman told El Reg it was well below anything which needed to be declared. The motivation was to acquire the people and skills.

PolarSSL will remain open source, under an Apache 2.0 licence and open for commercial use but will be included as part of the ARM mbed platform aimed at Internet of Things applications. Offspark is a Dutch company which specialises in IoT communications security and its PolarSSL technology is already deployed in a wide variety of devices including sensor modules, communication modules and smartphones.

PolarSSL is the IoT industry's most pervasive embedded Transport Layer Security (TLS) solution. It will be rebranded as mbed TLS and form the core of the ARM mbed communication security and software cryptography strategy.

"We have always said that security must be the foundation of any IoT system and the acquisition of Offspark is evidence of us making that happen," said Krisztian Flautner, general manager of IoT business for ARM. "PolarSSL technology is already deployed by the leading IoT players. The fact that those same companies also utilize ARM Cortex® processor and software technologies means we are now able to provide a complete bedrock solution for the industry to innovate from."

"ARM is undeniably the front-runner in the embedded world and combining with them is the perfect way of scaling our business," added Paul Bakker, CEO, Offspark. "Security is the most fundamental aspect in ensuring people trust IoT technology and that is only possible with a truly tailored solution. Together, ARM and Offspark can provide security to the edge of any system and we look forward to working with our partners to help them deliver some exciting new projects."

ARM mbed TLS will be available for standalone use and as part of mbed OS, providing leading support for TLS and DTLS optimised for embedded devices. It complements the Cryptobox technology of mbed OS that enables secure execution and storage. mbed TLS not only targets embedded devices but will continue to expand with features for the non-embedded arena as well.

ARM will release mbed OS under an Apache 2.0 licence, which will include mbed TLS, Thread and other key technologies toward the end of 2015. ®

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