Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent


New chips designed in IBM's East Fishkill, NY plant to speed machine-to-machine networks

When even the most common objects in our world — sidewalks, pipes and toaster ovens — all need internet connections to function, society has a serious addiction to bandwidth.

We’ve dedicated a lot of cyber-ink on this blog to the Internet of Things. And we aren’t the only ones. Just read the Internet of Things archive at Read Write Web and you’ll see just how many objects require an IP address to function. In a recent post, “The “Rise of the Machines,” VentureBeat claims that global revenue from sales of wireless telecommunications technology for M2M (machine-to-machine) systems are set to spike from $1 billion this year to $6.5 billion in 2014, according to iSuppli.

As the world’s buildings and infrastructure evolve towards smarter cities, they’ll add vast new oceans of data to already creaking communications infrastructure. All manner of digital detritus is crowding the world’s wireless infrastructure. Growing arrays of cameras, sensors and other devices chat among themselves, communicating on all manner of commercial activity from the number of cartons in a cargo ship’s hold to how many cars are stuck at the next freeway ramp. Very often M2M data are critical in nature — real-time hospital data on a patient’s status, perhaps, or tracking bad guys somewhere.

Of course, analytics is a big play for IBM in this space — users will need powerful hardware and smart software to make sense of all this data. We also play at a more protean level — we offer cutting-edge chip technology to makers of networking gear, optical switches and handsets. Very often, our custom-chip offerings provide breakthroughs. Ten years ago, for example, our silicon-germanium technology helped jump-start the wireless revolution.

This week we start selling a new custom-chip offering (WSJ) that looks like it has breakthrough written all over it.

We call it the Cu-32 Design Kit (sounds like a refugee from the Periodic Table). It gives custom-chip designers a potent toolkit to create the next-gen networks that will become a foundation of smart-planet communications.

For consumers, Cu-32 arrives in time to keep the teens texting and HD movies streaming through the ether. The rapid rise of web-enabled consumer devices will only add to consumers’ expectations of fast, always-on connections wherever they happen to be. Over the next five years, research firm In-Stat expects the majority of CE devices purchased, including digital TVs, Blu-ray players and gaming consoles to be web-enabled, with 137 million devices shipping in the U.S. in 2014. Experts say that as consumers demand better service from mobile networks, providers will be looking to technology like Cu-32 to deliver.

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Posted by: Israel
November 30, 2010
5:02 pm

Awesome! I am ready for better service from mobile networks RIGHT NOW. Now, please. Just read an article about how Generation Y prefers to access the internet from mobile devices as opposed to laptops or desktop computers, so it’s easy to see which way the wind is blowing.

Posted by: Jenn T1
November 9, 2010
4:22 am

Hi Adam,

As you know I work for a non-profit, global standards organisation working with geospatial or location information and services. It is called the Open Geospatial Consortium or OGC.

I wanted to share some of the work we have done around sensors for several years now. Below is taken from an OGC White Paper – OGC® Sensor Web Enablement: Overview And High Level Architecture:

“A sensor network is a computer accessible network of many, spatially distributed devices using sensors to monitor conditions at different locations, such as temperature, sound, vibration, pressure, motion or pollutants. A Sensor Web refers to web accessible sensor networks and archived sensor data that can be discovered and accessed using standard protocols and application program interfaces (APIs).

In an OGC initiative called Sensor Web Enablement (SWE), members of the OGC [hundreds worldwide including IBM] are building a unique and revolutionary framework of open standards for exploiting Web-connected sensors and sensor systems of all types: flood gauges, air pollution monitors, stress gauges on bridges, mobile heart monitors, Webcams, satellite-borne earth imaging devices and countless other sensors and sensor systems.
SWE presents many opportunities for adding a real-time sensor dimension to the Internet and the Web. This has extraordinary significance for science, environmental monitoring, transportation management, public safety, facility security, disaster management, utilities’ Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) operations, industrial controls, facilities management and many other domains of activity.

The OGC voluntary consensus standards setting process coupled with strong international industry and government support in domains that depend on sensors will result in SWE specifications that will quickly become established in all application areas where such standards are of use.”


Posted by: Steven Ramage
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