SANTA CLARA, Calif.—As Internet of Things deployments accelerate, ARM CEO Simon Segars said Wednesday that security and cost are his biggest priorities as the company doubles down on technology investment. Segars, keynoting ARM TechCon 2016, reaffirmed ARM’s commitment to giving partners the building blocks for seizing new opportunities in machine learning, artificial intelligence, IoT and other areas.
“We’re committed to our business model based around partnership and committed to increasing our investment in our R&D to deliver more technology and deliver it sooner,” Segars told a standing room-only audience at the Santa Clara Convention Center.
Segars’ comments came a day after Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank Group which acquired ARM this year, laid out his vision for how the industry will achieve 1 trillion units in the coming years. (See a video excerpt of Segars’ keynote here).
“ARM in the last couple of months may have changed hands. We have a new owner, but you heard it from me today, you heard it from Masa yesterday: We are committed to continuing the great work that we’ve done over the past 25 years,” Segars said.
He noted that society benefits from waves of ecosystem innovation, each building on the lessons of the previous, and each wave “brings technology closer to people and creates more and more opportunities on a global scale.”
As the mobile revolution was built in part on the PC revolution, now too the IoT is building on both of those waves, with innovators and entrepreneurs finding new ways to deliver value through connected computing.
Segars cited an Economist Business Unit report, which ARM co-sponsored with IBM, that illuminated just how quickly this next wave is building.
The study found that 75% percent of companies surveyed said IoT technologies are affecting their business now, according to Segars. Their big areas of concern are security, cost and knowledge—how to fill in the skills gap need for companies to put together IoT solutions that work for them.
“The industry is really serious about adopting IoT,” Segars said, adding the real benefits of IoT come from putting together and end-to-end system for customers.
“It’s going to require innovation in the devices,in the algorithms that run on top of this, and that innovation is still very alive and well,” Segars said.
More compute power
As the IoT takes shape, cost is an issue for many applications. But at the same time, performance and power considerations hold sway elsewhere.
Take, for example, drones. Their prices range from the inexpensive to the very expensive and specialized. Regulatory agencies are loosening restrictions, and delivery services are poised to exploit the technology. This will require higher performance electronic systems that are power-sensitive at the same time.
Right now, drones are leveraging Cortex-M devices, working with accelerometers and other sensors to run, monitor and balance the vehicle, communicating with the smart phones or tablets that are controlling them.
The algorithms are complex but the computing requirements are “relatively simple” at this point, he said. But that’s changing and drones will join other autonomous technologies from driverless cars on the freeways, and tractors in the field.