Samsung, Intel, Dell Form Open Interconnect Consortium

The consortium will seek to define connectivity requirements to ensure the interoperability of billions of devices projected to come online by 2020.

IoT and tech consortium

Technology giants Intel, Samsung, Dell and three other firms announced a partnership to establish an industry consortium focused on improving interoperability and defining the connectivity requirements for the billions of devices that will make up the Internet of things (IoT).

The concept of IoT is generally described as a wired or wireless network connecting devices, or "things," that is characterized by autonomous provisioning, management and monitoring.

The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) will have a focus on defining a common communications framework based on industry standard technologies to wirelessly connect and intelligently manage the flow of information among personal computing and emerging IoT devices.

The other founding members of the consortium include Atmel, a designer and manufacturer of semiconductors, fabless semiconductor company Broadcom, and Wind River, an embedded systems software specialist that is also an Intel subsidiary.

The OIC specification will be designed to encompass a range of connectivity solutions, utilizing existing and emerging wireless standards and will be designed to be compatible with a variety of form factors, operating systems and service providers.

"The rise and ultimate success of the Internet of things depends on the ability for devices and systems to securely and reliably interconnect and share information," Doug Fisher, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the software and services group, said in a statement. "This requires common frameworks, based on truly open, industry standards. Our goal in founding this new consortium is to solve the challenge of interoperable connectivity for the Internet of things without tying the ecosystem to one company's solution."

The first OIC open source code will target the specific requirements of smart home and office solutions, such as the ability to remotely control and receive notifications from smart home appliances or enterprise devices using securely provisioned smartphones, tablets or PCs.

The organization noted specifications for additional IoT opportunities including automotive, health care and industrial applications are expected to follow.

In addition, member companies will contribute software and engineering resources to the development of a protocol specification, open-source implementation, and a certification program, all with a view of accelerating the development of the IoT.

"Open source is about collaboration and about choice. The Open Interconnect Consortium is yet another proof point how open source helps to fuel innovation," Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, said in a statement. "We look forward to the OIC's contribution in fostering an open environment to support the billions of connected devices coming online."

The market for IoT, excluding PCs, tablets and smartphones, is expected to grow to 26 billion units in 2020—an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion units in 2009, according to a recent report from IT research firm Gartner.