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Silicon Valley giants unite for IoT standard

Posted: 10 Jul 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IoT  communication  connectivity  device-to-device  specification 

The obsession with connectivity and the rapid growth of IoT have led six silicon valley giants to create a group that will define specifications for device-to-device communications. The work of this Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) sees direct competition in Qualcomm's AllSeen initiative.

The OIC—formed by Atmel, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Samsung, and Wind River—is the latest of many geared to link IoT devices to each other or the cloud. Another consortium is expected to announce a more narrowly focused effort this month.

For its part, the OIC plans to release this fall an implementation of open-source code targeting home and office devices and a general specification by early 2015. Versions for automotive, healthcare, and industrial markets will follow. It will also create a compliance test for vendors that want to develop their own code based on the spec.

"The developer community needs a consistent and secure way to develop apps that incorporate peer-to-peer communications," says Gary Martz, a product line manager in Intel's wireless group, spearheading OIC. "Device-to-device methods are cropping up in an ad hoc manner, especially in places like China.

"We've talked to Tier 1 companies in each vertical market and asked what's needed for a single solution we can all support. Generally everyone agreed what's missing is a standards-based approach along with open-source implementation of it."

The connectivity spec will support authentication and be independent of any specific processor, network, or operating system. But the group is not yet prepared to say just what the spec and software will support or terms of joining the group or using its code.

Intel will contribute to the effort its XMPP-based Common Connectivity Framework, software for making device-to-device links over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Broadcom and Samsung also will contribute existing code to the effort, Martz told EE Times.

Unlike the OpenWSN open-source code, the OIC's approach will include an object model for software developers, and it will not be based solely on Internet Protocol. Compared to AllSeen, Martz says, the OIC approach will provide more support for vertical markets beyond the home and more security functions such as authentication.

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The consortium seeks to define the specification, certification & branding to deliver reliable interoperability of IoT devices. Source: OIC

"OIC aims to make [IoT device connectivity] easy for developers and OEMs."

The group hopes to announce later this summer more members, as well as terms for joining and using its work.

- Rick Merritt
  EE Times





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