6 March, 2017 - 21:47 By News Desk

Partners ship 100 billion chips but ARM targets a trillion or more

The ARM business model has inspired innovators, entrepreneurs, academics and now –  the cumulative deployment of 100 billion chips, half of which shipped in the last four years, writes ARM CEO Simon Segars

It is an amazing achievement but success does not belong to ARM alone, rather it is testament to the power of partnership.

And if partnership can create and deploy 100 billion chips, why not a trillion or more? That is our target, seeing a trillion connected devices deployed over the next two decades. And for that to happen, we must think carefully about the ecosystem and infrastructure required to support such a vast quantity of data-driven products.

NarrowBand-IoT

Connecting a trillion devices requires a range of enabling technologies. In the home that may be Wi-Fi or Bluetooth low energy. For devices operating remotely, in power-constrained environments and sending infrequent amounts of little data, there are new cellular-based technology standards delivered by the 3GPP Release 13 in 2016. 

That included NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE Cat M1. We expect NB-IoT, an ultra-low-power wide-area connectivity (LPWAN) standard, to be a key enabler of a broad range of IoT applications and that is why we announced ARM Cordio-N NB-IoT radio technology last week. 

With broadly available IP from ARM, any chip designer will be able to integrate NB-IoT functionality into a product and reduce overall system costs.

Tadashi Iida, vice-president and head of the Mobile Technology Division at ARM parent SoftBank Corp agrees: “The industry is planning a complex network transformation to cope with the weight of devices that will connect over the next two decades.

“We will see advanced and efficient compute, security, storage, and connectivity from the edge of the system to the Cloud. NB-IoT will play an important role in this transformation as it lays a path towards the massive machine communications needs of 5G. ARM’s licensable IP, ARM Cordio-N NB-IoT modem will help hasten this path as it will enable developers to bring products to market faster, and at scale.” 

Built for purpose

For me, the beauty of NB-IoT is that it will enable the smallest embedded edge devices to send tiny amounts of data using licensed spectrum while being so efficient that devices may last for 10 years or more on a battery. 

Along with offering reliable quality of service, the standard is highly attractive to mobile network operators as it is relatively inexpensive to deploy on their existing cellular networks.

ARM’s IP technology and ecosystem offers a path to accelerate cellular IoT adoption by delivering a secure solution certified at the chip. By utilising the ARM ecosystem, we expect improved costs and time-to-market that will drive innovation for IoT and Enterprise solutions.”

Design to delivery – fast

Our aim now is to achieve network pre-certification of ARM Cordio-N NB-IoT IP. This would allow our chip and OEM partners to build secure connected products from the ground up to be secure and resilient enough to run on cellular networks.

If we succeed, along with our operator partners, we will have made it far easier and cheaper for developers to get to market. For anyone, trying to get a new device up and running as fast as possible out of the box, this will be a huge plus.

This is all part of ARM’s ultimate vision; to transform technology experiences through a total computing approach that creates a vast network of securely-connected smart devices that enhance every aspect of peoples’ lives. Today, alongside our 1,100 partners, we celebrate 100 billion ARM-based chips shipped, but that is only the start.

• This article first appeared on the ARM Community website

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