IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

Intel’s IoT Platform Extends Security Toward Edges

by Steve Hoffenberg | 12/12/2014

At a press and analyst event in San Francisco on December 9, Intel announced its “IoT Platform” reference model. The model is horizontal in scope, encompassing numerous technologies applicable to everything from edge devices to gateways to the cloud. In addition, it is intended to be a modular approach, such that Intel’s hardware and software components (including those from subsidiaries Wind River and McAfee) can be mixed with those of other vendors. For example, a customer could deploy its preferred gateway devices not limited to those based on Intel’s Moon Island design, while remaining compatible with Intel’s reference model. We won’t attempt to describe the entire Intel IoT Platform in this blog post, but we’ll focus on a couple of security aspects announced. Read more

Where's The Action On Security Concerns?

by Andre Girard | 11/25/2014

I read an interesting report from Spiceworks recently about mobile security actions by IT departments...or perhaps, lack of actions might be more accurate. The report, which is free to download, shows that nearly all IT professionals are worried about security risks affecting mobile devices supported by their company. However, this level of concern vastly outweighs the level of action their organizations have actually taken to lessen security threats. Read more

Automotive Privacy Protection Principles Don't Go Far Enough

by Steve Hoffenberg | 11/14/2014

The Association of Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers jointly announced on November 13, 2014 a set of voluntary “Consumer Privacy Protection Principles.” The document is written in quasi-legalese, but in essence, it’s a pledge by automakers, beginning with the 2017 model year, to among other things: 

  • inform consumers about how data collected from their vehicles will be used
  • obtain “affirmative consent” for certain ways that data might be used
  • anonymize aspects of the data under some circumstances

VDC applauds the auto industry for recognizing the importance to consumers of privacy for data collected by electronic and digital technologies, which are growing by leaps and bounds in new vehicles. Read more

Software Enablement is Critical to IoT & Embedded Processor Value

by Daniel Mandell | 10/16/2014

The value of an embedded processor is increasingly defined by its supporting software development tools and platforms, according to a recently published study by VDC Research. The most important selection criteria for embedded processors, according to VDC’s findings, is the availability of programming tools and software (see exhibit). The Internet of Things (IoT) will accelerate this trend as design teams wrestle with implementing often newfound low-power connectivity on systems that are generally more complex. Mitigating software development efforts is therefore an increasingly vital trait of embedded and IoT processor solutions. Read more

Cheaper Sensors, Greater Connectivity, More Sensor Fusion

by Daniel Mandell | 10/09/2014

As embedded auxiliary technologies such as geo fences and gyroscopes gain more popularity, the need for sensor fusion across device classes has become increasingly important. This importance has led to several mergers and innovative technology strategies from the likes of Fairchild Semiconductor and Kionix that will become more noticeable in the coming months. We expect sensor fusion to continue gaining traction in mobile/wearable device form factors and translate to the greater embedded market over the next several years. Read more

How Significant is ARM’s mbed OS?

by Steve Hoffenberg | 10/07/2014

For microcontrollers (MCUs) used in embedded devices, intellectual property supplier ARM is the clear market leader. In a recent forecast for VDC Research’s report “The Global Market for Embedded Processors,” ARM-based MCUs accounted for more than half of the unit shipments using non-proprietary architectures in 2013 (see chart). Read more

Notable Demos from ARM TechCon 2014 and JavaOne

by Steve Hoffenberg | 10/02/2014

Semiconductor intellectual property supplier ARM kicked off its annual TechCon conference and trade show in Santa Clara, CA with expansion of the mbed IoT Device Platform, including a free operating system as well as server side IoT technologies. We describe the mbed OS in more detail in a separate blog post. In this post, we’ll highlight a couple of notable demos from other vendors on the show floor, plus one from Oracle’s concurrent JavaOne conference and trade show in San Francisco. In a literal sign-of-the-times at both events, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a sign that read, “Internet of Things.” Read more

VDC Research is Attending ARM TechCon 2014 in Santa Clara October 1-2

by Steve Hoffenberg | 09/23/2014

ARM TechCon 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center is designed to facilitate collaborative design by connecting the hardware and software communities in one event. The event delivers a comprehensive forum created to ignite the development and optimization of future ARM-based embedded products. The conference includes about 75 intriguing sessions offering insight and education into new products, advanced development techniques, security issues, and much more. Read more

5G Picking Up Steam with Embedded Industry Leaders

by Daniel Mandell | 09/19/2014

What if, no matter where you are or how many people are connected to a network, you were able to perform every function you wanted with lower latency and at faster speeds than what is possible today? Think limitless connectivity: 5G mobile communications technology. While the very concept of 5G technology is still in its infancy, leaps and bounds are being made each year to establish its underlying technologies via research efforts across the globe. This next generation wireless system is projected to debut as early as 2018 by the 5G Creative Mobile Strategy forum in South Korea. However, most engineers do not believe 5G technologies will truly make its way into the hands of end users until sometime after 2020. VDC believes the latter, as several market elements between standardization and communications technology must advance and align to fulfill the prospect of the next mobile network generation. Read more

Tasktop unveils new Tricentis offering

by Andre Girard | 09/18/2014

Yesterday, at Tricentis Accelerate 2014, Tasktop previewed an upcoming release of Sync featuring increased integration of the Tricentis Tosca Testsuite across multiple software delivery disciplines and tools. Tasktop’s Sync platform provides authoring tools for tasks, data, workflow connectivity and integration between multiple Application Lifecycle Management solutions. Its new partner, Tricentis, is known for its software testing solutions to accelerate business innovation. The partnership between Tricentis and Tasktop represents an exciting advancement along the path of broader Agile and DevOps adoption within the software development industry. Read more

VDC Research is Attending ARM TechCon 2014 in Santa Clara October 1-2

by Daniel Mandell | 09/16/2014

ARM TechCon 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center is designed to facilitate collaborative design by connecting the hardware and software communities in one event. The event delivers a comprehensive forum created to ignite the development and optimization of future ARM-based embedded products. The conference includes about 75 intriguing sessions offering insight and education into new products, advanced development techniques, security issues, and much more. Read more

Will SafeNet Acquisition Lead to Growth in Gemalto’s IoT Business?

by Steve Hoffenberg | 08/14/2014


On August 8, France-based security technology provider Gemalto announced a definitive agreement to acquire US-based firm SafeNet for US$890 million. Gemalto’s press release can be seen here, so we won’t rehash all the details in this blog post. However, we will provide a few comments regarding the potential synergies between the companies in the IoT/M2M market. Read more

IoT Lessons from the Russian CyberVor Hacking

by Steve Hoffenberg | 08/07/2014


Widely reported during the first week of August was the revelation that a group of Russian hackers known as CyberVor had amassed a database of 1.2 billion usernames and passwords, as well as more than 500 million email addresses. The New York Times originally broke the story, based on findings from the firm Hold Security. Unlike the Target retail data breach of late 2013 and the more recent eBay breach, CyberVor’s loot is not the result of one or two large breaches, but rather a large number of breaches of all sizes. Hold Security says that the data came from 420,000 websites, ranging from large household-name dotcoms down to small sites. Most of the sites were breached using SQL injection techniques through malware infecting the computers of unwitting legitimate users. Read more

Connecting the Internet of Things: Interoperability Depends on Protocols

by Daniel Mandell | 08/04/2014


As the hype and potential for the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to grow, we wanted to address some of the key issues concerning device interoperability and developer collaboration. Specifically, we will be looking at some of the most important communications protocols for the IoT today and how industry players are preparing for the future. A communications protocol is an established system of rules that spells out the specific details for a type of communication between devices. This is distinct from a communications standard, which protocols are built upon and serve as a regular format to enable interoperability. Read more

VDC Research is attending Agile2014 in Orlando July 28-29

by Andre Girard | 07/22/2014


Agile2014 is organized by the Agile Alliance, and it is intended to promote the principles of Agile and serve as an opportunity for all of the foremost experts and innovators in the field to come together. The conference boasts over 240 talks and workshops across 16 program tracks and over 1,800 attendees. Read more

M2M Gateways: The Savior or Nemesis of IoT Security?

by Daniel Mandell | 06/26/2014


The indisputable rise of connectivity prompted by the Internet of Things across industries will spur strong demand for gateway devices to bridge potentially thousands of sensors, machines, or other products per device to the internet or cloud for years to come. Consequently, the gateway has access to a trove of potentially sensitive and valuable data. An M2M/intelligent gateway is therefore a major security asset or liability, dependent on OEMs’ efforts to prevent current and emerging threats from afflicting host networks, or the device itself. Embedded security will be vital to the success of current and future M2M gateway solutions. Read more

IoT Necessitates Changes in Both People and Technology

by Chris Rommel | 06/18/2014


The requirements of the devices composing the Internet of Things are changing rapidly. The embedded market no longer consists of dedicated-purpose devices that may or may not be connected. Engineering organizations and deploying enterprises must now design scalable system topologies that can integrate new devices and adapt to the IoT’s evolution. While these next-generation systems are required to facilitate downstream device/node management as well as efficient upstream data transfer and analytics, they must also do so dynamically, allowing for more intelligence and flexibility in node role and workloads within sub-network architectures. Read more

PTC Acquires Atego, Broadens ALM Support for Product Development

by Andre Girard | 06/16/2014


PTC (NASDAQ: PTC) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Atego, a leading developer of model-based systems and software engineering applications based in the UK, for $50 million in cash. The transaction is expected to be completed in PTC’s fiscal fourth-quarter 2014, which begins in July. According to PTC’s press release, Atego had approximately $20 million in revenue over the course of the past 12 months, and the company expects it will achieve approximately $5 million in revenue from Atego in PTC’s fiscal fourth-quarter 2014.  Read more

eBay Response to Data Breach Shows the Company Still Doesn’t Get It

by Steve Hoffenberg | 05/22/2014


This month’s major data breach news comes courtesy of hackers who accessed eBay’s user database by using valid credentials pilfered from eBay employees. The hackers apparently had access to eBay’s entire database of 145 million active users during the months of February and March 2014. The information accessed included passwords in encrypted form, as well as names, email addresses, shipping addresses, and dates of birth all in plain text. Read more

Agile in Embedded: Slow to Adopt, Fast to Spread

by Andre Girard | 05/16/2014


VDC just recently completed an in-depth analysis into the use and trends around Agile and DevOps methods in the embedded systems market. It is an exciting space with a number of dynamic changes underway as OEMs investigate new ways to improve the overall efficiency of systems development in the face of pressing time-to-market, process standard, and complexity challenges. We have a lot of compelling findings that demonstrate the growing use of Agile, DevOps, and other collaborative approaches across the embedded landscape. Read more

5 Key Takeaways from Axeda Connexion 2014

by Daniel Mandell | 05/09/2014


This year’s Axeda Connexion conference in Boston was full of interesting and insightful ideas and views of the future of M2M communications and the Internet of Things. A variety of global enterprises sponsored the event and contributed to various keynotes and sessions including AT&T, Broadcom, Deutsche Telekom, Intel, Oracle, Salesforce, Wipro, and many more. The Internet of Things will have a major impact on traditional business models for embedded hardware players, software vendors, service providers, network operators – everyone throughout the value chain. The change for end users will be as much cultural as it will be technological. Read more

Exploiting the Exploit: The Marketing of Heartbleed

by Steve Hoffenberg | 04/23/2014


No doubt anyone reading this post is already aware of the Heartbleed bug affecting OpenSSL implementations of the TLS Internet security protocol. Heartbleed has received massive press coverage –deservedly so given its potential implications for a significant portion of web sites and Internet-connected devices. We won’t belabor the technical details of the bug, which are summarized nicely at What we will discuss is how Heartbleed has been publicized. To the best of our knowledge, Heartbleed is the first computer systems bug to have both its own website and its own logo, the cute bleeding heart. As such, Heartbleed sets a precedent that will have both positive and negative ramifications for future vulnerabilities and malware. Read more

Growing Roots: Delivering Application Value with Microcontrollers

by Daniel Mandell | 04/03/2014


The appeal and value of traditional microcontrollers (MCUs) wanes with progressively integrated and intelligent embedded processing systems. Several leading suppliers are differentiating their MCU-based devices and solutions with new and innovative technologies to get a leg up on competitors in key vertical industries such as automotive and industrial automation & control. Mitigation of vertical application requirements will be imperative of embedded MCU suppliers moving forward, particularly as OEMs look to consolidate functionality and take advantage of increasingly powerful CPU cores. Read more

VDC Research is Attending EE Live! in San Jose

by Steve Hoffenberg | 03/12/2014


VDC Research will be attending the EE Live! conference and trade show (formerly known as the Design West Embedded Systems Conference) in San Jose, CA, April 1-3, 2014. Contact us to schedule a meeting! While we are at the conference, we welcome the opportunity to meet with attending vendors to learn more about their embedded solutions and any show-related (or other recent) announcements. You can arrange a meeting time with VDC analysts by contacting us directly. Read more

What we’re excited for this week at Embedded World 2014

by Daniel Mandell | 02/24/2014


VDC Research has made the journey across the Atlantic again this year to the Embedded World tradeshow in Nuremberg, Germany. It is always exciting to see what industry leaders will be announcing and exhibiting at the show, and this year is no exception. The following is a brief list of some of the major exhibitors and announcements to look forward to over the next few days. Read more

Is this a run on static analysis?

by Andre Girard | 02/21/2014


The static analysis solutions market is one of the most dynamic segments VDC’s embedded software team currently tracks. While still a relatively young and evolving technology, static analysis has rapidly become a standard -- perhaps even necessary -- element of the software development lifecycle. Software is emerging as the primary agent for differentiation and resource investment for more companies as they try to speed the delivery of innovative new solutions. The development of increasingly complex software needed for these devices and systems is accelerating growth of code quality and security issues that static analysis is designed to address. In parallel, there is a growing awareness of the potentially catastrophic impact of software failure. As a result, we expect static analysis tools to generate revenue growth exceeding many other tooling segments. Read more

The End of Moore’s Law or Just the Beginning?

by Daniel Mandell | 02/07/2014


In 1965, Gordon E. Moore, the founder of Intel, noticed that the number of components in integrated circuits had doubled every year since their inception in 1958. Moore predicted that this doubling of components would continue at an annual rate for at least another 10 years. Nearly fifty years later, Moore’s Law, as it is commonly referred to today, continues to be the driving force behind the technological growth of the semiconductor industry. Despite its influence continually pushing innovations in processing speed, memory capacity, sensors, and even pixels in digital cameras, the general consensus amongst chip manufacturers is that Moore’s Law will soon come to an abrupt halt. Read more

Hardware OEMs Need Not Fear Software Abstraction

by Daniel Mandell | 02/04/2014


Networking has never experienced innovation that would so dramatically benefit the work of software engineers and developers worldwide, until recently. Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are at the center stage of a technological revolution. However, how will these relatively new technologies impact traditional embedded hardware markets? Though SDN and NFV present substantial benefits to networking infrastructures, VDC Research believes SDN/NFV technologies will have only a marginal impact on embedded hardware markets through 2018. Read more

VDC Research is attending Embedded World 2014!

by Andre Girard | 01/28/2014


We will be making the trip across the Atlantic again this year to visit the largest embedded technology tradeshow of the year, embedded world in Nuremberg, Germany. Last year, the conference boasted over 22,500 visitors and 865 exhibiting companies! While we are at the conference, we welcome the opportunity to meet with attending vendors to learn more about their embedded solutions and any show-related (or other recent) announcements. Read more

Is Embedded Android Ready for Prime Time?

by Steve Hoffenberg | 01/27/2014


Android for embedded systems is a relatively new concept. Beyond smart phones and tablets, few products on the market today run embedded Android. However, Android is poised to become a significant player in the embedded systems market.

Android is a subset of the Linux Embedded Operating System, and many engineers and developers have become accustomed to Linux in recent years. They trust the Linux kernel because it has no licensing fees, the source code is accessible, and it has a large community for developer support. Read more