Data tapestry of Ireland: 18 IoT players jump-starting the future

15 Feb 2017

Image: Besjunior/Shutterstock

In our latest Data Week list in this series, we bring you 18 firms who are proving to be the glue that will make the internet of things stick.

There are many components that make up the data industry, from software companies to cloud players, data centres, telecoms companies and more. As part of Data Week, we will list all the major constituents of the industry in Ireland.

On Monday, we provided a list of the top players in telecoms and yesterday, we listed 20 leading cloud service providers.

Today, we feature internet of things (IoT) enablers.

Stay tuned for the global data carriers connecting our shores to the world, culminating in a final list on Friday that incorporates data centres in Ireland.

Analog Devices

Founded in 1965 by Ray Stata and Matthew Lorber, Analog Devices is now one of the largest semiconductor businesses in the world and has rapidly adapted to the growing IoT market.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in Ireland last year, where it now employs 1,200 people, the company made a strategic move to buy its rival Linear Technology for $14.8bn last July.

It also bought LiDAR developer Vescent Photonics to expand the company’s capabilities with autonomous driving tech.


From its Dublin HQ, Asavie has developed the award-winning PassBridge platform to make IoT connectivity that bit easier.

Connecting myriad ‘things’ to the internet is no easy task. There are multiple protocols and standards, ever-evolving cellular technologies, and varying device capabilities and requirements to navigate.

PassBridge has helped Asavie hook in more than 20 operators seeking to quickly launch scalable and secure mobile and IoT projects, including AT&T, Three, Vodafone and Eir Business.


One of Ireland’s most exciting young companies, DecaWave creates wireless devices that can be located indoors to an accuracy of 10cm.

By last summer, the company had already deployed over 1m internet of things chips globally. Having raised $30m in funding to date, its ultra-wideband (UWB) wireless technology has close to 1,000 customers throughout the world. DecaWave is headquartered in Dublin, with offices in France, China and South Korea.


Last year, Eir joined forces with Irish IoT player Asavie to build an IoT Connect platform that can be used by small and large companies, from healthcare to transport and manufacturing, to connect machines to the internet and gather real-time intelligent data.

This will see Eir’s cellular network be employed by businesses to connect machines in the field via a self-care portal that firms can log in to over a public cloud, or through a VPN.

Data tapestry of Ireland: 18 IoT players jump-starting the future

Image: Besjunior/Shutterstock


Firmwave is a product and solution design company that specialises in designing ultra-low power hardware and firmware for IoT and wearable devices.

Based at GEC in Dublin, Firmwave is targeting the emerging IoT sensors market that is predicted to reach $34.75bn by 2023. It also has offices in Gdansk Technology Park, Poland. Last summer, the company partnered with Asavie on a low-power, wireless sensor network platform in the US.


A tactile IoT that anticipates needs, rather than waiting to be instructed, is the focus of Ericsson’s 1,600-strong workforce in Dublin and Athlone.

In 2014, Ericsson revealed plans to create 120 new software roles in the two areas.

The global telecom giant’s legacy in technology is enduring, with the next generation focused on 5G, IoT, fibre, VR and more.

The company currently has 800 people focused on next-generation software, and 400 involved in a global consulting hub.


The company known as ‘Big Blue’ is investing heavily in the world of IoT, proving its clout as a leader in the connected world.

Claire Penny, IoT leader for IBM, recently spoke about the potential of the Watson supercomputer in industries such as healthcare.

Just last week, IBM and Ericsson revealed 5G tech 10 times more powerful than ever before, with “potential to unleash and inspire brand new ideas and innovations we haven’t yet imagined”.


Since establishing in Ireland in 1989, Intel is one of the top employers in the country. The local operation supplies a significant proportion of the company’s 14nm chips to the rest of the world. Intel Ireland has also played a key role in developing Intel’s Galileo board for IoT, which was designed in Ireland.

In September 2016, Irish company Movidius was acquired by Intel. Movidius designs low-power processor chips for computer vision and deep learning.

The company is headquartered in California and has two design centres in Dublin and Romania.

Movidius recently signed a deal with Google for the company’s chips to feature on smartphones that can sense their immediate environment.

Data tapestry of Ireland: 18 IoT players jump-starting the future

Image: Besjunior/Shutterstock

Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls is a global technology and IoT company, designing, fitting and monitoring intelligent buildings such as hospitals, airports and manufacturing facilities. The company also works to support IoT, managing data centres built to house the data created by connected devices (and structures).

Following a 2016 merger with Irish security systems company Tyco, the US-headquartered Johnson Controls operates out of an additional location in Cork.

Nokia Bell Labs

The legacy of Alexander Graham Bell continues through the work of Nokia subsidiary Bell Labs in Dublin, where an R&D group has achieved a number of firsts, including the first lightRadio transatlantic calls.

Bell Labs became a part of Nokia when the latter revealed plans to acquire Alcatel-Lucent for €15.6bn.

The acquisition will lay the foundation for the next wave of technological change driven by 5G and IoT.


Cork is the global headquarters of Liam Casey’s PCH, a $1bn-a-year supply chain player focused on professional services around IoT.

The company, which also has offices in San Francisco and Shenzhen in China, devises the design and manufacture of connected devices. In the past year, PCH has been cultivating specialised relationships with consumer brands in the fashion, luxury and health markets, including alliances with brands like Johnson & Johnson and L’Oréal.

S3 Group

Founded in Dublin back in 1986, S3 has focused its business on two areas: the design and supply chain management of advanced semiconductors, as well as cloud and data analytics services for the health sector.

Of particular interest to S3 is the design of semiconductors for satellite communications and the field of industrial IoT.

Data tapestry of Ireland: 18 IoT players jump-starting the future

Image: Besjunior/Shutterstock


As well as handling a myriad of business support functions for German software giant SAP, Dublin is also home to SAP’s App Haus, as well as its BusinessObjects’ R&D centre, which develops business analytics.

Specifically, App Haus works with start-ups on SAP’s next-generation in-memory computing platform SAP HANA, which can be harnessed to manage and deploy real-time IoT and machine-to-machine applications.


Three is one of Ireland’s most prolific data carriers.

When it comes to IoT, according to ComReg in Q2 2016, Three Group had the largest market share of M2M subscriptions, at 50.1pc.

In early 2016, Three announced the roll-out of 4G Plus, to allow users to access speeds of up to 225Mbps on the move.


Irish IoT company Taoglas designs and manufactures antennas that enable M2M connectivity for wireless devices.

The Wexford-headquartered announced a $2m investment in a state-of-the-art San Diego IoT centre early last year. Other investments in Taiwan, Germany and France give the company an international footprint.

Now, Taoglas is reaching for the stars. The company received funding from the European Space Agency last month, which will be put towards its telecoms research.


Beyond offering mobile and fixed data connections to Irish consumers, Vodafone also uses its networks to support IoT.

ComReg reported that in Q2 2016, Vodafone had a 43.9pc share of M2M subscriptions.

Through its Siro partnership with ESB, Vodafone aims to bring high-speed broadband access to rural Ireland.

In November, Vodafone revealed that it is planning to invest €250m in 2017 in a network and IT transformation programme to deliver its plan for the Gigabit Society.

VT Networks

Founded in 2015 by Mark Bannon and Will Ferguson, VT Networks successfully raised €1.2m last year to roll out Ireland’s first IoT network.

Using Sigfox technology, the nationwide network went live in June 2016 and aims to connect 1m devices by the end of this year.

Bannon believes that the future of IoT lies in creating products with zero battery consumption, noting specific potential with sensors in the agricultural sector.


Wia, led by Conall Laverty, is an NDRC-based IoT start-up that originated in Belfast, and aims to provide makers with a platform to bring home and school projects to life.

The company is targeting both consumers and businesses.

Wia’s SDK provides an interface between a hardware device and its real-time service.

With just a few lines a code, a developer can create a production-ready product, as well as a complementary mobile app.