Intel, Dell Ramp Up IoT Standards Competition with New Group

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2014-07-08 Print this article Print
Internet of things

In an email to eWEEK, an Intel spokesperson said both the OIC and AllSeen are looking to solve the same problem, but there are differences in the approach.

"The proven way to drive participation & adoption and the fastest path to market requires both an industry standard specification as well as an open source implementation," the spokesperson wrote. "Additionally, the ultimate solutions need to be able to scale from home automation to enterprise, automotive, industrial, health and beyond. The common thread that spans these verticals is authentication and security. OIC has made security and authentication foundational to both the standard and open-source project."

She said Intel and other OIC members decided that AllSeen "doesn’t address the market needs in a manner that will drive broad participation and adoption," adding that the group is open to working with other groups to accomplish its goal of interoperability.

Competition among chip makers may also have played a role. Qualcomm, Intel and Broadcom all are making major IoT plays—for example, Intel has launched a new family of processors, Quark, aimed at the IoT, and has created a business unit dedicated to the market segment—and AllSeen is making Qualcomm's AllJoyn code the basis for its framework.

In a post on the Qualcomm's Developer Network blog in June, Rob Chandhok, president of Qualcomm Interactive Platforms and senior vice president of Qualcomm Technologies, tried to address concerns any other vendor may have about the chip maker's intent in taking its internal project and moving it into the open-source community.

"What we want is for AllJoyn is to grow into a true open-source platform, governed openly by a broad industry Alliance," Chandhok wrote. "This Alliance should include partners and competitors who together feel that the value of the ecosystem is something bigger than each member company. And for those concerned about our intent with intellectual property, it is not Qualcomm's intent to monetize, through a patent licensing program, our code contributions to the AllJoyn open-source platform made in the Alliance."

AllSeen and the OIC are not the only ones working to create technologies that will help the various connected devices in the IoT communicate. There also is the Industrial Internet Consortium, of which Intel also is a founder, though the group does not intend to develop any specs. Other vendors, like Apple and Google, also are working on ways to get devices running their software to interoperate, and a startup, Spark Labs, recently received $4.9 million to help fund its efforts to develop Spark OS, a cloud-based, open-source operating system for devices built using the company's hardware development platform.

However, the competition in the open-standard IoT framework arena has just ramped up, and AllSeen's Ben-Zur believes her group is doing what needs to be done.

"Two of the ways I measure the success of an open-source project is the critical mass supporting the effort and the value of the technology itself," she wrote in a post on the consortium's blog. "I’m excited to be a part of an initiative that can tout both."


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