IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

Amazon Sets Up Onramp for Billions of MCU-powered Devices to AWS with FreeRTOS Stewardship

by Roy Murdock | 11/29/2017

AWS announced its intent to enter the IoT & Embedded operating system (OS) market today by taking stewardship of the popular FreeRTOS operating system from WITTENSTEIN high integrity systems (WHIS). FreeRTOS is a small, MCU-focused Real-Time OS that has gained wide adoption since its release in 2003 as an alternative to paid options. Read more

Black Duck and Synopsys Set to Ride the Next Wave of Customers

by Andre Girard | 11/16/2017

The surge of consolidation VDC expected would reshape the software composition analysis (SCA) solution market advanced in earnest with the announcement Synopsys (NASDAQ: SNPS) intends to purchase segment-leading Black Duck Software. The deal, expected to close in December 2017, mirrors the 2014 acquisition of Coverity, which netted Synopsys the revenue share leader of a rapidly expanding test tool market segment. Synopsys first entered the SCA market by acquiring Protecode in 2015. Other M&A activity in the sector include the Flexera Software acquisition of Palamida and the purchase of Veracode by CA Technologies. Read more

Arm: Gateways Play a Critical Role in IoT Networks

by Daniel Mandell | 10/31/2017

Last week’s Arm TechCon conference highlighted many trends affecting the development of embedded systems and IoT solutions today. Security, distributed intelligence, and scalability took center stage and were the driving factors behind two of the biggest announcements from Arm at the event: the launch of its Platform Security Architecture (see Steve Hoffenberg’s blog on that announcement here) and Mbed Edge software for IoT gateways. The latter is in response to the growing importance of IoT gateways in current and emerging connected solution architectures. Read more

Arm: Security Isn’t Just a Technological Imperative, It’s a Social Responsibility

by Steve Hoffenberg | 10/31/2017

As the world’s leading provider of semiconductor intellectual property, Arm is in a unique position to help secure the tens of billions of devices that will be coming to the Internet of Things. And in light of the numerous high profile security breaches that have occurred over the past year, it should come as no surprise that security was the major focus of the 2017 Arm TechCon conference in Santa Clara, CA. Read more

SAP Recommits to Cloud and Digital Transformation at TechED 2017

by Roy Murdock | 10/06/2017

VDC headed out to Las Vegas last week to grab a seat at SAP’s annual developer conference, TechED 2017. SAP held the conference in the massive Palazzo convention center, with the focus of the conference centered on SAP platform developer education and outreach. CTO Bjoern Boerke kicked off the conference with a Star Trek themed keynote, introducing his crew of speakers in the classic attire of the USS Enterprise. Bjoern states that a small team at SAP chose the theme to convey the bold move to “boldly go where no man has gone before” and lay the foundation for today’s SAP Cloud Platform. Read more

IoT Device Management is a Major Problem in Plain Sight

by Daniel Mandell | 10/04/2017

Device management is part of the foundation of an IoT solution. “Device management” is also an overly simplified term in light of the IoT where preserving embedded software and security integrity means greater control throughout the lifecycle. However, enabling scalable and secure IoT device management today still requires a fair amount of engineering time and investments to build – even on top of “building blocks” provided by IoT and cloud services providers. Device management and monitoring are not functions that translate easily between connected device classes, vendors, and use cases but remain critical to all of them. Read more

Industrial PCs Lead the Charge for Distributed Intelligence

by Daniel Mandell | 09/29/2017

Industrial PCs (IPCs) are evolving and gaining more market traction from the Internet of Things to enable connected applications and services. IPCs are by no means new but the growing IoT solution requirements for distributed processing, connectivity, and security are breathing new life into the device class. Beyond more traditional embedded control applications, IPCs are helping fill the gap between intelligent “things” and edge servers or the cloud. Read more

5G Edge Infrastructure Market Growing Rapidly Ahead of Standardization

by Daniel Mandell | 09/28/2017

The network edge is a critical element to enabling 5G applications and services. While no one knows for certain which mix of 5G technologies, frameworks, and standards will be at the core of next generation networks, the edge is an area brimming with market opportunities today. Trends such as Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and Fog Computing are causing OEMs, service providers, network operators, and others throughout the IoT and embedded ecosystem to reevaluate their network architectures and data models to position themselves on the front lines of competitive differentiation and services delivery. Read more

Hitachi Vantara, the New (Not New) IoT Platform Company

by Steve Hoffenberg | 09/22/2017

Most people probably know that Japan-based Hitachi is a large corporation, but they probably don’t realize just how large it is. In its fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, Hitachi Ltd. had worldwide revenues of 9.16 trillion Japanese yen (about US$82 billion), making it one of that nation’s 10 largest companies. Larger than Sony, Panasonic, Softbank, or many other well-known Japanese technology brands. Hitachi is also old, founded back in 1910, originally to produce electric motors. Read more

MWC Americas: Senet Continues as Pioneer for LoRa LPWAN

by Steve Hoffenberg | 09/15/2017

At the inaugural Mobile World Congress Americas trade show and conference (formerly the CTIA Wireless show), attendees wound their way around the ongoing construction at San Francisco’s Moscone Center to find an event notable smaller than its MWC mother event in Barcelona. Nevertheless, IoT-related products, services, and conference sessions were prominent and plentiful. Read more

Kontron Finds Revitalization through S&T Merger

by Daniel Mandell | 08/07/2017

The Internet of Things is now a staple of competitive strategies for both embedded platforms and IT solutions alike. The recent merger of Kontron, a leading global provider of embedded technology, with S&T Deutschland Holding AG (S&T) is critical to the company regaining its foothold in the market. Kontron designs and manufactures embedded boards and systems spanning a swath of form factors. The company is a pioneer in the computer-on-modules market and remained the leading global supplier in 2016. Read more

ARKit – Much Needed Addition to Apple’s AR Portfolio

by Roy Murdock | 06/13/2017

Apple released its long-anticipated AR tracking and recognition SDK, ARKit, at its 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last Monday. Many in the AR industry had anticipated the release for quite some time, given Apple’s 2015 acquisition of leading AR SDK provider Metaio – a German company incubated within Volkswagen in 2003. Until last week, Apple had remained content to play at the mobile hardware, OS, and application distribution levels, shuttering all licensing of Metaio’s SDK and tracking solutions, along with the popular insideAR conference that Metaio had organized since 2006. Read more

NIWeek 2017: The Next Generation of LabVIEW, 5G, and the Industrial Internet of Things

by Daniel Mandell | 05/26/2017

We were in Austin, Texas this week for National Instruments’ annual conference, which brings together thousands of engineers, scientists, and industry professionals from a variety of backgrounds. NIWeek is a showcase of how the organization is accelerating development and increasing productivity in test, measurement, and control systems using its platforms. This year’s show was full of exciting new announcements and customer demonstrations of new technologies at the forefront of 5G and the Industrial Internet of Things. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Majid Bemanian of Imagination Technologies on IoT Security (Part 2)

by Daniel Mandell | 05/19/2017

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded technology providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. In part one of this blog, Majid touched on the evolving IoT threat landscape and how open source communities are crucial to securing embedded platforms. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Majid Bemanian of Imagination Technologies on IoT Security (Part 1)

by Daniel Mandell | 05/18/2017

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded technology providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. Majid Bemanian is Director of Segment Marketing for Imagination Technologies, responsible for driving the company’s strategic security initiatives and leading its market strategy for the networking and storage segments. He also co-chairs the prpl Foundation’s security working group, focused on developing open standards and APIs around next-generation embedded security solutions. He has more than 30 years of high-tech industry experience. Read more

Intel Struts Its Stuff for Autonomous Driving

by Steve Hoffenberg | 05/05/2017

Amid presentations from senior executives and demos from partners, on May 3 Intel invited dozens of press and analysts from around the world for Autonomous Driving Day, literally rolling up the garage door on its new autonomous driving engineering facility in the former Altera building in San Jose, California. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Marc Brown of Parasoft

by Andre Girard | 04/12/2017

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. Parasoft is unique in our support of embedded, IoT, and enterprise IT markets, providing broad testing support for developers and testers – static and runtime analysis, unit testing, API testing, load testing, penetration testing, security testing, virtual test environments via service virtualization, and intelligent reports and analytics. Read more

Enhancing the Airport Experience with IoT

by Steve Hoffenberg | 04/06/2017

In a city like London, where there are five airports for travelers to choose from, airports need to optimize the experience they provide flyers. Travelers are accustomed to interactive displays for announcements, kiosks and electronic check-ins, and weather and delay updates via smartphones. So then, how can airports continue to improve? To be competitive, they will have to become “Smart Airports.” Learn more

Software AG Acquires Cumulocity for IoT Cloud PaaS

by Roy Murdock | 03/31/2017

Consolidation in the high-growth IoT Cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market continues as another one of the leading “pure play” vendors was acquired earlier this week. Software AG announced its acquisition of Cumulocity GmbH on Monday, March 27th. The companies had been working together since 2014, and had engaged in a formal strategic partnership in 2016. According to Software AG, the acquisition will help the company bolster its IoT and Industry 4.0 software portfolio, which will be an essential growth-driver in the future for Software AG. Learn more

Critical Hardware Trends from Embedded World 2017

by Daniel Mandell | 03/29/2017

Embedded World is without a doubt among the most important annual events for the engineering ecosystem. Each year, more than 30,000 visitors and 900 exhibitors descend upon the historic city of Nuremberg, Germany to discover new embedded technologies and solutions spanning the gamut of industry applications. The conference itself continues to grow year-over-year bolstered by burgeoning IoT solutions within automotive, building automation, communications, energy, white goods, and more. Learn more

The Platform and Security Puzzles - MIT Connected Things Conference 2017

by Roy Murdock | 03/17/2017

VDC director Steve Hoffenberg and analyst Roy Murdock made their way through the crisp, chilly (19F!) Boston Monday morning to Cambridge to attend the MIT Connected Things 2017 conference. As usual, the event took place in the MIT Media Lab, giving attendees a spectacular view of the Boston skyline and the Charles River during breaks throughout the day. Learn more

IoT at MWC: Beyond the Hype?

by Chris Rommel | 03/13/2017

The tech world is at a point of unparalleled change. You've heard that phrase, or things similar to it, in just about every year since the Dark Ages. Walking around MWC, however, something did feel different this time. Yes, there was a lot of hype and even a healthy sampling of good old fashion vapor-ware. But there were real tangible products, customer deployments and the beginning of some fundamental shifts in the vendor ecosystem structure. Learn more

Cybersecurity Shines at RSA2017 Innovation Sandbox

by Steve Hoffenberg | 02/14/2017

At the RSA Conference, one of the annual kickoff events is the Innovation Sandbox “Most Innovative Startup” competition, in which 10 cybersecurity startups vie for the title. Each competing company has three minutes to present their case before a panel of expert judges and a room packed with thousands of attendees. (When we say three minutes, we mean exactly three minutes. A countdown clock is visible to everyone, and when it reaches zero, a loud buzzer sounds, cutting off any presenter that is still speaking.) Learn more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Steve Rokov of GE Digital

by Roy Murdock | 01/10/2017

Steve joined GE in September 2015. He reports into GE Digital and is based in San Ramon, CA. He serves as the Core Product Marketing lead for Predix – the Industrial IoT Platform. As a ‘go-to-market’ expert, he has launched multiple products in the mobile and enterprise infrastructure markets. He has held senior roles in both public and private companies in the US and UK. Learn more

CES 2017: Automotive, Voices, and Everything

by Steve Hoffenberg | 01/10/2017

Once again the annual consumer electronics lovefest known as CES invaded Las Vegas. With more than 3,800 exhibitors occupying 2.6 million square feet of floor space (not to mention numerous private meeting suites), the show seemed more overwhelming than in past years. We couldn’t possible see it all, much less sum it all up in a blog post, but we’ll briefly highlight a few themes.Learn more

VDC Cocktail Event at Mobile World Congress 2017

by VDC Research | 12/22/2016

Meet with our team of IoT and Enterprise Mobility analysts and executives to learn about our key research findings, current offerings, and upcoming initiatives, as well as network with other technology stakeholders. We’ll cover some of the latest technology trends we are following. Space is limited, so please REGISTER NOW to attend. Learn more

GE Minds + Machines 2016: Checking in on GE’s Progress Towards “Digital Industrial”

by Roy Murdock | 11/22/2016

GE brought together a wide range of software, hardware, systems integrators, and industrial companies in San Francisco this past week for its fifth annual Minds + Machines summit. Over 2,700 attendees mingled inside a spacious, restored warehouse on Pier 48 overlooking the bay – a fitting location for a company intent on transforming itself into a “Digital Industrial.” Read more

High Risk, High Reward Qualcomm Takeover of NXP

by Daniel Mandell | 11/04/2016

The embedded processor space continues to see rapid consolidation seemingly quarter after quarter. Last week, Qualcomm propelled itself to the forefront of a number of new industries with the $47B acquisition of NXP – the largest acquisition in the semiconductor market’s history. The leading driver for the acquisition is the rich growth prospects of the automotive market and the (Industrial) Internet of Things. From a sheer sense of scale, Qualcomm is taking on a company with more employees, products, and customers than itself. Read more

Key Takeaways from ARM TechCon 2016 – Part 2

by Daniel Mandell | 11/03/2016

In part 2 of our ARM TechCon recap (See Part 1 here), we will see how new embedded development solutions for system-on-chips and connectivity are lowering the hurdles for OEMs and engineers. We will also illustrate the importance of the automotive (IoT) market looking forward. As Embedded Processors Become Platforms of Integration, Engineering Focus Turns Towards Simplifying Development - System-on-chips have become extremely complex given the increasing number of integrations at play between hardware/cores and software stack elements. Read more

Key Takeaways from ARM TechCon 2016 – Part 1

by Daniel Mandell | 11/02/2016

Much of the ARM ecosystem came together last week in Santa Clara for the annual ARM TechCon conference where industry leaders like to launch and showcase their new IoT and embedded technology solutions. This year’s conference featured no shortage of interesting and innovative developments from organizations both new and old. ARM itself announced its entrance into the cloud-based SaaS market with secure device management for mbed Cloud developers, launched the first ARMv8-M cores (the M33 and M23), expanded its Cordio radio IP, and extended its TrustZone security features beyond the processor core with the CoreLink SSE-200 subsystem IP. Looking back, there were 6 key themes that stuck out in our discussions with various vendors and partners at the event. Our key takeaways from the event include… Read more

Why did Silicon Labs Acquire RTOS Vendor Micrium? Think IoT-focused MCUs.

by Roy Murdock | 10/04/2016

Silicon Labs announced its acquisition of Micrium yesterday. While we had anticipated Micrium’s acquisition for quite some time, given the shrinking pool of commercial competitors in the MCU-targeted real-time operating system (RTOS) space, we were surprised to see Silicon Labs as the eventual acquirer, given how well Micrium could have integrated into various major IoT portfolios. In this blog we discuss why this acquisition makes sense from both companies’ perspectives, and how it will enable them to break out of their respective stagnating market segments. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Antony Passemard of AWS IoT

by Roy Murdock | 09/16/2016

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. Antony Passemard leads the strategic product management efforts for AWS IoT at Amazon Web Services. Read more

Intel’s McAfee Spin-Off: What’s it Mean for IoT Security?

by Steve Hoffenberg | 09/13/2016

As has been widely reported, Intel is planning to spin off its Intel Security business unit formerly and soon again to be known as McAfee. The spin-off will be a private company valued at approximately $4.2B, of which 49% will be held by Intel and 51% by asset management firm TPG. Read more

Shopping with IoT: Retailers Leverage New Technology to Restock and Reshelve

by Roy Murdock | 08/24/2016

As the Internet of Things continues to revolutionize the way we interact with the devices around us, some of the most forward-thinking organizations are taking note of the many ways in which the IoT can be effectively used to change the consumer experience. Major retailers are working with vendors, such as Intel and Panasonic, to tackle the competitive pressures of the ever-changing retail industry. With new IoT devices that can track inventory across the supply chain, connect the backroom to store shelves, and deliver personalized in-store assistance to customers, retailers are finding opportunities for growth by utilizing new data flows. Read more

Hyperledger: How Blockchain and IoT Can Work Together

by Steve Hoffenberg | 08/08/2016

The Hyperledger Project is a collaborative, open source project hosted by the Linux Foundation. The project aims to apply the blockchain concept to transactional markets other than cryptocurrencies. Started in 2015 and currently comprised of 61 members, it is a relatively new initiative that has gained a lot of industry support in advancing blockchain technology. The Hyperledger Project is made up of different codebases donated to the Linux Foundation. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Quentin Ochem of AdaCore (Part 2)

by Andre Girard | 07/06/2016

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. In part two, Quentin Ochem of AdaCore provides insights into how he sees the Ada market evolving. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: with Quentin Ochem of AdaCore (Part 1)

by Andre Girard | 07/05/2016

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. In part one, Quentin Ochem of AdaCore explains that reports of Ada’s death are greatly exaggerated. Read more

Wearable Technologies Pave the Way to Rio Olympics

by Steve Hoffenberg | 06/30/2016

With the 2016 Olympic Games set to begin in Rio de Janeiro in August, many athletes have begun to promote the latest and most advanced wearable technologies they have used in preparation for the event. From the US Cycling team to the South African Track and Field team, elite athletes have integrated wearable technologies into their training plan to gain a competitive edge. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: Q&A with Jim McElroy from LDRA Technology (Part 2)

by Andre Girard | 06/24/2016

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. Read more

The IoT & Embedded Technology Beat: Q&A with Jim McElroy from LDRA Technology (Part 1)

by Andre Girard | 06/23/2016

This interview is part of an ongoing series VDC conducts with IoT and embedded software solution providers to share views on their company, products, and state of the market. Read more

FPGA 101: Understanding What’s Behind the Gate

by Daniel Mandell | 06/17/2016

As field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) diversify into new markets and become easier to develop with, the broader embedded community should understand the basics of the processing technology. Introduced to the market in 1985 by Xilinix, FPGAs first offered a flexible alternative to application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). The main distinguishing factor of FGPAs is that they are field-programmable which means they can be programmed by the end user to meet specific needs (during prototyping, post-deployment, etc.). Read more

Agile in Embedded: Opportunity for Vendors to Target this Specific Need (Part 2)

by Andre Girard | 06/17/2016

Just as embedded engineering organizations were slow to adopt new methods, so too have tool suppliers been slow to adapt to changing practices in embedded development. With limited options, many in the large and growing population of system developers using Agile either apply their incumbent lifecycle management tools in support of new practices OR employ tools designed for Agile development in IT to address the specific needs of the embedded realm. Read more

Agile in Embedded: The Challenges Behind and Potential Ahead (Part 1)

by Andre Girard | 06/16/2016

Agile and product manufacturing have a long and somewhat contentious relationship. Lean manufacturing practices and the Toyota Production System are often viewed as the initial inspiration for the Agile software development manifesto. The speed and quality improvements of early Agile teams quickly lead to widespread use of iterative practices in the enterprise/IT software development market but embrace of the methodology for product, or even systems, development could certainly not be called rapid. Read more

PTC LiveWorx 2016: Friend or foe?

by Roy Murdock | 06/10/2016

VDC recently had the pleasure of attending PTC’s flagship LiveWorx 2016 event, which has become one of the largest and most highly-anticipated IoT conferences in the greater Boston area. The 3-day event took place from Monday June 6th to Wednesday June 8th in the Boston Convention center, and featured a wide range of notable speakers, such as... Read more


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