Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Friday, October 19, 2018
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IoT App Developers Get New Tools 

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As the Internet of Things matures, IoT application development is moving center stage with frameworks designed to accelerate deployment of devices along with platforms to handle data management.

Meanwhile, IoT infrastructure players like Arm Ltd. continue to focus on networking and security tools needed to build out enterprise deployments of connected sensors and devices.

Among the emerging IoT tools is a category dubbed AEPs, for application enablement platforms. Industry watcher IHS Markit reports that IoT application developers and adopters are embracing AEPs to accelerate IoT app development and data management. As a result, the market tracker forecasts AEP revenues will grow by more than 31 percent annually through 2022 to become an $83 billion market.

Meanwhile, the cumulative number of IoT devices managed using AEP tools is forecast to jump 38 percent annually through 2022 to a whopping 6.7 billion devices. “This growth is enabled by the increasing adoption of IoT solutions across a range of industries and use cases, coupled with the growing desire of many customers to outsource as much IoT development as possible, to focus on core-competency aspects of their business,” IHS Markit concluded in a research note released this week.

While the AEP market booms in parallel with IoT deployment, IHS reports that the number of new platform introductions actually peaked in 2017. With large infrastructure vendors like Arm targeting the vibrant IoT market, consolidation in the AEP market is thought to be well underway. Those mergers are expected to weed out what the market watcher describes as a large number of “me-too” platforms.

AEP market consolidation also is expected to simplify pricing models for device and data management, which currently run about $1 per device per month for device management and $0.20 per year for data management.

The long-term goal for IoT vendors is offering AEP platforms that make application development simpler and cheaper, especially as sensor data volumes soar.

Another issue is how to power all those devices. Arm, the chip intellectual property vendor that has invested heavily in IoT infrastructure development, this week rolled out “production-ready” software stack based on the IoT connectivity protocol dubbed Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

Arm said its Mbed Cordio Stack aims to help developers add BLE connectivity to IoT devices for emerging enterprise applications like asset tracking.

The shift to low-power IoT devices is expected to drive Bluetooth-enabled device shipments to more than 5 billion by 2022, with an estimated 97 percent based on BLE technology.

Arm’s new Bluetooth software stack also integrates the chip vendor’s Mbed operating system.

Taken together, these and other tools are aimed at making life easier for IoT developers by supplying application and connectivity tools required to expedite deployments and manage the resulting torrent of sensor data.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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