Samsung Electronics is adding new modules and management capabilities to its Artik platform for the internet of things in an effort to better help organizations more quickly build out their IoT projects.
The introduction of the new additions to Artik—which was unveiled last year—and the expansion of the Artik Cloud were made this week at the Korea Electronics Show and are only the latest efforts by Samsung to become a significant player in the burgeoning space. With Artik, Samsung officials want to give developers all the hardware and software they need to begin building IoT products more easily.
The key is to make the platform broad enough to address the broad range of IoT use cases, according to James Stansberry, senior vice president and U.S. head of Artik at Samsung. A single set of products won't meet all the demands in the internet of things, Stansberry told eWEEK.
The company earlier this year rolled out a series of modules, which provide compute, connectivity and other capabilities that customers can use in their projects. The first modules were the Artik 1, Artik 5 and Artik 10. Now Samsung officials are adding to the lineup with the low-power Artik 0 and higher-end Artik 7.
The Artik 0 module family is built on low-power ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers that are aimed at such lightweight and cost-optimized devices like HVAC, industrial sensors, lighting and personal health monitoring, according to company officials. The Artik 7 family targets high-end gateways and multimedia applications, runs on an eight-core, 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 chip and enables users to run analytics locally, allowing for more offloading of cloud workloads to increase responsiveness and reduce latency, officials said.
Both modules, available now, also support the ZigBee and Thread, another indication of the industry's move to embrace IoT interoperability standards. In addition, the Artik 0 modules also support Bluetooth Smart standards, while the Artik 7 lineup includes built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and GbE MAC interfaces. It also includes a multimedia processor for video and audio processing and a pre-installed Linux operating system.
Stansberry said the Artik 7 has the same capabilities at the Artik 10, but with less flash and memory. However, it comes at a lower price point, which will be attractive to many customers, he said.
Samsung also is enhancing the system management capabilities in the Artik Cloud, which the company launched in April. The open data-exchange platform is designed to connect devices, applications and other clouds for greater interoperability, and now through the cloud, organizations can monitor and manage their various deployed devices, including those at the network edge as well as gateways. They can identify each device, monitor the status of its connectivity, manage such areas as firmware version and battery levels, and remotely do such tasks as firmware updates, reboot and factory reset.
Samsung officials several years ago targeted the IoT as a growth opportunity and have aggressively pursued the market. In 2014 Samsung bought IoT startup SmartThings and helped establish the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) to help create connectivity standards for the IoT. The OIC, which developed the IoTivity standard that Samsung's modules use, this year became the Open Connectivity Foundation and this month announced it was merging with the AllSeen Alliance, a rival constortium that is developing the AllJoyn standard.
In 2015, officials announced the company would spend $100 million in an IoT developer program. This year, along with the Artik Cloud launch, Samsung bought cloud infrastructure vendor Joyent for $126 million and announced it will spend $1.2 billion over four years to grow its presence in the U.S. market.
By 2017, all Samsung televisions will be connected, the company said, and within five years, all of the company's hardware will be IoT-enabled, according to officials.